Asia Week New York 2015

By Jasmin Justo

Asia Week New York is a city-wide event in which NYC museums and galleries celebrate the beauty and history of Asian art. During this week, anyone with an interest for art or seeking new inspiration can visit any participating gallery or museum to explore the beauty of traditional Asian art including rare paintings from India. Participants can also view contemporary art exhibitions to discover new art forms and inspirations without having to leave New York City.

The China 2000 Fine Art gallery featured the paintings from An Cho, one of the few women artists from China. An Cho studied under Pu Ru (1896-1963) for seventeen years in China and Taiwan. Under his mentorship she learned the importance of the artist’s and its affect on the quality of the painting. From this philosophy she learned everything from making her own dyes and paintbrushes to reading Chinese classics and calligraphy from the Song and Tang dynasties. From this thorough learning process she incorporated forgotten art techniques into her art work to revitalize the essence of Chinese art and became the sole living practitioner of ancient artistic styles. At the gallery, her painting Pavilion on a Ledge, Four Elements, A Big Horizontal Landscape, Guihua and Bird, Giving the Lyrics, 1945, Mountain Mist near Water were in exhibition. All her paintings feature stunning and delicate detailed ink strokes, simple colors in various shades and beautiful poetry to accompany each painting.

M. Sutherland Fine art is another gallery featuring contemporary Chinese ink paintings. The main focus of their exhibition was landscape paintings of the Taoko Gorge region of eastern Taiwan painted by Hsu Kuohuang. What is outstanding from his work that despite being a contemporary artist, there is a blend of traditional Chinese ink techniques with the use of mix mediums that makes the work aesthetic.

The Kang Collection is a gallery that focuses on contemporary Korean Art from Korean American and Korean artists. Their exhibition of “Happy Modern: Modern and Contemporary Korean Paintings” featured the works of Ik-Joong Kang, Sun K. Kwak and Min-Jung Kim. It also featured ink paintings from Korean modern masters Noh Soo-Hyun, Min Kyoung Kap, Seong Jae-hue, and Song Soo-Nam. In the gallery, Ik-Joong Kang features his playful vibrant colorful work of overlapping circles made from candle wax. Another interesting piece is a abstract work of simple canvas of various monochrome and rainbow hues slowly melting into a upside down tornado of rainbow and monochrome colors.

Oliver Forge and Brendan Lynch is one of the many galleries exhibiting Indian art. In his gallery, he exhibit’s the rare art pieces of Emperor Farrukhisyar. Due to the emperor’s short reign, it is rare to find genuine portraits. At the gallery, he features a bright gold painting depicting the emperor in the traditional splendor of a royal prince; jeweled turban, robe with flowers, a sash of gold and ropes of pearls around his neck, waist, and arms.

Francesca Galloway is another gallery exhibiting Indian paintings from Ahmadnagar. Painted in the late 16th century, the paintings are considered rare and exquisite for their mix in artistic influences from Mughal, Persian, Ottoman, and Hindu culture often in watercolor. Various of the paintings use a mix of bright bold colors and spiral designs. Other paintings feature flowers and nature with gold and precious metals illustrating epic stories such as “A Scene in a Jain Heaven Marwar” painted in 1725-50 with opaque watercolor and gold on cotton.

Onishi Gallery held a special exhibition displaying the metalwork of Japanese female artists, nine of the works belong to artists considered as “Living National Treasures”. The exhibition, “Heritage: Contemporary Japanese Ceramics and Metalwork” featured Yukie Osumi’s works whose family is well known for bold bright colors and to shape the metal and textures to beautiful elegant shapes. Oshiyama Motoko is also featured known for making luxurious sheens, tantalizing textures and elegant lines.

Dai Ichi Arts presented their contemporary ceramics at Hollis Taggart. In their exhibition “The Grandeur of Japanese Ceramics: From Tea Ware to Sculpture” the contemporary Japanese ceramics play with the ideas of traditional ceramic making by creating new kinds of glazes and forms. For example the “Oribe Box” by Goro Suzuki seems like a natural rock that would be found in nature with its uneven shape and sharp corners. It also has an simple white flowers with a orange background making it seem as if it’s wrapped in a orange cloth. The texture of the piece is smooth and glasslike and is indeed a box, which makes it a curious piece of work.

There were various other galleries and exhibitions all displaying interesting vibrant works from all parts of Asia and is indeed a unique event for dealers, art collectors, art enthusiasts, and artists to attend and enjoy the abundance of Asian traditional and contemporary art.

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