A New York Asian Art Buffet That Will Leave You Full
Throughout this month in Manhattan, fourteen gallerists—all members of Asian Art Dealers New York (AADNY)—will present exhibitions that together run the gamuts of time, medium and culture, from ancient Chinese ceramics and 19th-century Tibetan paintings to 9th-century Indian sculpture and 20th-century Japanese prints. And as next week marks the big Fall Asian art auctions at Christie’s and Sotheby’s, that’s just to get the pan-Asian aesthetics party started.
Below are six highlights from six dealers, who then explain the reasons for their choices. As prices for Asian fine and decorative arts have proved generally strong over the last several years, we also asked the dealers to characterize the market for their particular area of expertise (or that of the piece, should the dealer specialize in a number of areas). And, finally, we asked them for a New York restaurant pick, one representing their pieces’ area or country of origin. After all, can art not be a multi-sensory experience?
Arnold H. Lieberman, Buddhist & Hindu Antiquities, Hindu and Buddhist arts of the 2nd century B.C.E. through the 19th century C.E., from ancient Afghanistan to imperial China; Arnold Lieberman.
1. A Kashmiri bronze of a seated Buddha, 7th-8th century. The piece has inlaid silver eyes and is an exquisite example of the type.
2. With the emergence of the Chinese into the market, it is healthy indeed. Record prices have been realized in auction and privately.
3. For reasonable India food, Bawarchi on 1st Avenue and 63rd Street. More upscale is Ama on 53rd Street between 2nd and 3rd Avenues.
Joan B. Mirviss Ltd; Joan Mirviss; Japanese art.
1. Takegoshi Jun is certainly a master of kutani glazing and his training in Japanese style painting (nihonga) is evident on each individual piece. If I had to choose one in particular, it would be this tall square vase decorated with four kingfishers perched on branches [porcelain with polychrome enamel glazes, 2010].
It is difficult to see the richness of the works from still photographs, but in life they are quite dynamic. As Takegoshi [b. 2010] hand-builds all of his vessels, the shapes are not “perfect” but slightly irregular or skewed showing the artist’s hand in each piece. His painterly use of black lines to render the designs and his use of the jewel-like polychrome enamel glazes over the lines give a vitality and depth to his subjects. This vase in particular has very elegant proportions and the composition of the kingfishers on the branches framed by borders on the top and bottom lend to a certain Art Deco aesthetic.
2. The market for Japanese ceramics has been growing over the last several decades and is now incredibly robust in the United States. There are many major museums expanding their Japanese clay collections as well as museums who are just beginning to acquire in the field.
3. Aburiya Kinnosuke, on East 45th at 3rd Avenue.
Nancy Wiener Gallery; Nancy Wiener; Indian, Himalayan and Southeast Asian Art.
1. This Pre-Angkorian Ganesha is my favorite. It is a spectacular sculpture, perhaps the finest Cambodian image of Ganesha known.
2. The market for Indian and Southeast Asian art continues to grow at a steady pace. One reason for this is that it is still possible to acquire a masterpiece of Indian or Southeast Asian art for a fraction of what a major Western work would cost. Like many others in this economy, the market for Indian and Southeast Asian has slowed, and prices have been adjusted to accommodate the current economy. However, interest in Indian and Southeast Asian art by Indian and Western collectors is increasing, and the demand for high quality works of art is quite strong.
3. I love Cambodian food, but I mostly eat it in Cambodia.
Scholten Japanese Art; René Scholten.
1. My favorite work is definitely Hashiguchi Goyo’s (1880-1921) woodblock print, Woman Combing her Hair. Why? Because she’s gorgeous. Just look at the attached photo.
2. The market for 20th century Japanese prints and paintings, especially a genre that we call shin-hanga (‘new prints’), has definitely grown more than any other type that we handle in the field of Japanese art. I believe a big reason for this is because of a few landmark shows and publications have really brought this type of art, and the artists, to the public’s attention. With more and more places to see and appreciate it, more and more people are inspired to collect it.
3. My favorite Japanese restaurant in New York is Nobu 57. Why? Because the food is gorgeous!
Kaikodo; Carol Conover; Asian art.
1. As for a favorite I would say a pair of 14th century paintings of the historical Buddha and the Buddhist monk, Bodhidharma, are my favorite [entitled Sakyamuni, they are attributed to Yen Hui, ink and color on silk. The image shows only one of the pair]. I like them because they are so very early and beautifully painted old master works. To have a painting of the historical Buddha is quite rare—in this relatively good condition and the fact they are a pair is very unusual.
2. The market for Buddhist works of art ebbs and flows, it seems, but generally it is growing for Chinese art due to the strong buying power of the Chinese.
3. One of my favorite Chinese restaurants is New Green Bo for soup dumplings.
Kang Collection; Keum Ja Kang; Korean art.
1. My favorite work is General Guo Ziyi’s Banquet. Guo Ziyi (697-781) was a Chinese general who loyally served four Chinese emperors during the Tang dynasty, and came to be considered a model of the ideal Confucian official. In Korea, this subject matter fits well with the values of the Joseon court, which held conservative Confucian principles. Guo is pictured here in the fourth panel from the left, a bearded gentleman seated with two small bows by his side. The artist uses brilliant blues and greens in his composition, colors that themselves evoke the so-called blue-green landscape style that was popular during the Tang dynast in China.
2. With Korea’s economic growth into one of the world’s largest economies and the national prominence of Korean made goods here in the United States, (Hyundai, Samsung, KIA, etc.), the interest in Korean culture and art has grown significantly over the last several years. Museums are hiring Korean curators and opening Korean art wings so the level of exposure to Korean art and culture is much more prominent now than when we started our gallery 30 years ago.
3. Kum Gang San in Flushing. The food is fresh and authentic, the service is great, and best of all, it’s open 24 hours a day—just like New York!
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