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Asia Week hits New York for a new year

Asia Week and its smaller counterpart Asia Week New York have become a popular arts week that now not only includes open houses at galleries around town, but also features exhibitions at the Metropolitan Museum of Art and other museum sites, auction sales, and quite a few events that are often free and open to the public. Asia Week lasts for nine days, from March 14-22.

Asia Week 2014-slide0
Nancy Wiener Gallery

Curators from around the country will converge on New York, including representatives from Boston’s Museum of Fine Arts, The Philadelphia Museum of Art, The American Museum of Natural History, The Smithsonian Institution, and the Worcester Art Museum, among others. International Asian art aficionados will also make their way here for the festivities.

The broader Asia Week, an annual event that began in 1992, boasts shows and events at over 55 participating galleries like "Central Asian Textiles" at Carlo Cristi and "Ukiyo-e Paintings, Prints, and Illustrated Books" at Sebastian Izzard Fine Art. Local galleries participating in Asia Week New York, which is now only in its sixth year, include Scholten Japanese Art, Arader Galleries, Joan Mirviss, Kapoor Galleries, Kaikodo, and about 35 others mainly on the Upper East Side of Manhattan. You are certainly wondering by now what there is to see and do, so here’s your guide to Asia Week this year:

JADA 2014: An Exhibition by the Japanese Art Dealers Association. On view March 15-19 at the Ukrainian Institute of America, 2 East 79th Street at Fifth Avenue. Five Asian art dealers based in New York will be presenting their works in the beautiful townhouse on 79th Street at the beginning of the week, exhibiting a wide range of art and artifacts hundreds of years old. Highlights include a pair of six-panel folding screens painted with ink, mineral colors and gofun of cherry blossoms (offered by Erik Thomsen Gallery); a gilt bronze vajra (a Buddhist symbol that in this instance includes flaming ends) from the 13th century (exhibited by Mika Gallery); and a jimbaori, or a sleeveless coat worn over Japanese armor, and adorned with over 1000 pheasant feathers as well as silk and fabric (presented by Leighton R. Longhi Oriental Fine Art).

Jingdezhen: Poetry in Porcelain. On view March 14-22 at FitzGerald Fine Arts, 41 Greene Street in SoHo. Although not an official participant in Asia Week, FitzGerald Fine Arts will nonetheless offer Chinese porcelain, calligraphy, and painting created by four contemporary artists. Zhu Di, Gan Daofu, Zhang Guojun, and Jared FitzGerald draw upon the traditions of more than a thousand years of Chinese art-making in their own works, and you won’t want to miss seeing them. Highlights include Guojun’s Asking Mountain, porcelain panels that look like dripping paint; and Di’s Evening Mist, also porcelain panels which look like traditional Asian screens.

The Transcendent Spirit. On view March 15-22 at Antiquorum, 595 Madison, floor 5. The Australian gallery Lesley Kehoe Galleries will present their exhibition in the Fuller Building. Featuring seven contemporary artists, this exhibition is particularly interesting in that it features a number of different media, from paint and crayon to stoneware, and from copper to mixed media. Each work is inherently fluid and graceful, certainly speaking to the nature of the exhibition, the longer version of which read, “Transcendent Spirit Synthesizes Experience, Embodies Mastery, Transforms Material, Is Beauty.” Highlights include Mitsuo Shoji’s perfectly wave-shaped stone vase-like sculpture entitled Red Goddess (a red grainy stone with just a dash of tasteful gold paint at the lip and base); and Mitsuo Shoji’s Universal Thought #10 (Gold), a painting that seems to combine the calligraphy of old with contemporary painting, a picture of a golden moon set amid a fog of black and gold.

Auction of Asian Works of Art. On view March 15-21 at Lark Mason Associates; online auction to take place April 15-30. In anticipation of Asia week, Lark Mason Associates is offering a preview of their auction, which you can visit at their showroom at 227 East 120th Street. The auction itself will be held online, on iGavel. Some highlights of works to be sold include a large Chinese gilt bronze statue of a seated figure from the Ming dynasty, a Chinese Imperial Zitan and Jichimu wooden throne-back armchair from the Qianlong period, and a 12th-century green and red Chinese ceramic Junyao dish, all in beautiful condition. Simply setting foot inside the auction galleries is an adventure and you'll love being surrounded by so many artistic and well-crafted pieces hundreds of years old.

There are many fantastic exhibitions and events taking place this week so be sure to check them out! If you'd like to peruse some of the works in more detail, Asia Week is also online and on artsy with great interviews and commentaries. In collaboration with Asia Week New York is also an exhibition entitled Ink Art: Past as Present in Contemporary China, hosted at the Metropolitan Museum of Art. If you get the chance to see any of the Asia Week festivities, please let us know by commenting in the boxes below or connect with us via facebook or twitter!

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