10-Day Celebration of Asia Week New York

Article by Chung-Fan Chang

As we enter the 3rd busy week of the Spring, and finally getting some warmer weather that we long looking forward to after the daylight-saving time passed last week, you do not want to miss the rare and wide range of Chinese, Indian, Japanese, Korean, Himalayan and South Asian art collection brought to the public by 45 leading Asian Art dealers. I joined the Press Tour of the Asia Week New York to begin my treasure hunt in Manhattan. A shortlist of this year’s must-see exciting pieces of the Asia Week New York 2018:

Navin Kumar Gallery
Previous lives of the Buddha (Jataka Tales #31,32,33)
China
Ming Dynasty, 15th – 16th century
73.0 x 52.7 cm

This unique Jataka Tales painting is not characterized as any Tibetan style, but with hints and clues of Chinese motifs including a variety of music instruments, suggested figure style of Tang, Song and Yuan periods, symbolic landscape depiction of cherry blossom, the well-known Chinese painting technique of multi-point perspective, and clothing and hat styles. Don’t want to miss the detail depiction of animals.

Oliver Forge and Brendan Lynch Ltd.
Solomon Enthroned Seeks the Counsel of His Subjects
Mughal, India
1630-40

The story of the drawing is about Solomon asking his council members whether he should accept and drink the Water of Immortality. Members all suggested yes, but Solomon at the end decided not to drink it so he will not be alone when loved ones pass away. The drawing is well kept with details of figures and animals, especially on the feature of Solomon, his council all has wings that indicated relationship with the birds facing Solomon’s dome. All 35 birds have individual character and gesture, some are descending in flight, some are resting on top of the dome, and two birds are observing, almost camouflaged within the tree full of detailed leaves.

Oliver Forge and Brendan Lynch Ltd.
A Prince Arrives at a Sumptuous Palace Terrace at Night to Visit Princess
School of Mir Kalan Khan
Avadh, Lucknow or Faizabad, Circa 1770

This painting demonstrated astonishing details of the Princess’s diadem, a jeweled crown, semi-transparent rope, green skirt, and gold pyjamas with pink flower pattern. I enjoyed the decorations of the of interior space in contrast to the dark night outside. The geometry architecture design juxtaposing the curvier shape of the figures and exquisite fabric that they are wearing. Look out to the garden, you will find well depicted plant and flora with a city-like backdrop that suggesting a scene of aerial perspective.

Dai Ichi Arts, Ltd.
FUKUMOTO Fuku | Stacking Vase
Porcelain

The design of this vase employed a minimum form of cylinder shapes. At first glance, you may think there are separate components of the structure, yet they each stacked up harmoniously connected as if one just finished washing plates and bowls. Fukumoto’s work is elegantly balanced with a limited selection of color. Each layer of the “opened” vase shaped irregularly compare to the top and bottom vase that are perfectly symmetrical. An overall rational organization with a touch of humanity.

J.J. Lally & Co
An Archaic Jade Rabbit Pendant
Shang Dynasty, 13th-11th Century B.C.
Length 2 inches (5.1 cm)

Rabbit in Chinese culture resemble the moon, and makes medicine by putting herb inside a mortar and crush and grind it into powder with a pestle, like how we used to see guacamole been prepared and served in the restaurant in front of the customers. A wily rabbit has three burrows” (狡兔三窟, jiǎo tù sān kū) is a common saying in Chinese that describes rabbit is smart and hard to figure out. In the East, rabbit is of a high regard of longevity and intelligence in comparison to the Western culture, “Tortoise and the Hare,” one of Aesop’s Fables, reflects the smart and lazy nature of rabbit. I begin curious about who will be the next owner for this rich and symbolic cultural artifact of jade rabbit.

These two-day non-stop galleries hopping allowed me to see the most amazing museum level collections from the East, including my home country, Taiwan. Credits goes to the amazing organizers, we called AKA the “gang leaders,” Margret Tao and Marilyn White for their effortless coordination.

AsianInNY

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