Asia Week New York—the ten-day Asian art extravaganza—which concluded on March 24, 2018, reports that combined sales totaled $169,819,000. At press time, this figure includes 41 out of 45 galleries and the four auction houses: Bonhams, Christie’s, Doyle, and Sotheby’s.
The annual event was celebrated with a gala reception on March 19, co-hosted with the Asian Department of the Metropolitan Museum of Art. Mike Hearn, Chair of the Asian Art Department and Christina Prescott-Walker, chairman of Asia Week New York welcomed over 600 collectors, curators and Asian art specialists.
Says Christina Prescott-Walker, chairman of Asia Week New York. “From the minute Asia Week New York commenced, the whirlwind of non-stop activities including 45 gallery exhibitions spanning five centuries combined with the unusually large number of auction sales, kept everyone on the go. Asia Week New York was once again a huge success and we look forward to 2019 when we celebrate our 10th anniversary.”
Asia Week New York is always a draw for international museum curators on the look out for treasures, and this year was no different. They represented the Asian Art Museum in San Francisco, the Art Institute of Chicago, the Saint Louis Art Museum, the Minneapolis Institute of Art, the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, The Brooklyn Museum, The Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Newark Museum, the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, the San Antonio Art Museum, the Samuel P. Harn Museum, the Detroit Institute of Arts, the Denver Art Museum, the Harvard University Art Museums, the Herbert F. Johnson Museum of Art, Cornell, the Indianapolis Art Museum, the Yale University Art Gallery, the Portland Art Museum, the Nelson-Atkins Museum, the Philadelphia Museum, the Kimbell Art Museum, the Cleveland Museum, the Trammell and Margaret Crow Collection of Asian Art in Dallas, the Virginia Museum of Art, The Berkeley Art Museum, the Princeton Art Museum, the Norton Museum of Art, Asia Society Museum, the Ringling Museum of Art, the Rubin Museum of Art, The China Institute, The Korean Cultural Center, the Freer and Sackler Galleries, the Seattle Art Museum, and from Europe the British Museum, Musée Guimet in Paris and the Rietberg Museum in Zurich.
This year also marked the return of Aman, as presenting sponsor of Asia Week New York. “We are so proud to have supported Asia Week New York once again, said Jane Mackie, Chief Marketing Officer, Aman. “With our roots formed in Asia, we are delighted to have celebrated and championed Asian art throughout the week, and share fruitful encounters with likeminded attendees with an equal passion and vested interest in Asian art.”
Praise came in from just about every quarter, as evidenced by the comments by the participating galleries.
Chinese specialist James Lally, of J.J. Lally & Co commented: ”It was a great week. We had more overseas visitors during Asia Week than ever before with many new buyers including one who purchased a Neolithic Jade Notched Disc circa 3000-2500 B.C., carved from yellow jade.”
"It has been a pleasure to welcome regular clients and curators as well as new faces to the gallery, and to have our landmark exhibition, Three Giants of the North so well received during Asia Week New York 2018,” said Joan B. Mirviss of her eponymous gallery. “To date, 89 percent of the clay works from the exhibition were placed with either private or museum collections. Our first exhibition with clay artist, Iguchi Daisuke, his first outside Japan, sold out completely.” Among the notable sales were a Matsui Kōsei neriage vessel entitled Himalaya, dated 1985; a Kamoda Shōji slightly flattened vessel with blue enamel decoration against a matte black ground dated 1977; a soaring faceted vessel with cedar-patterned slip-glaze by Wada Morihiro dated 1990 and Minowa Kanasugi, Mikawashima from 100 Famous Views of Edo by Utagawa Hiroshige, the earliest known printing from 1857.
“Asia Week New York 2018 was significantly stronger for us than last year,” said Sanjay Kapoor of Kapoor Galleries. “Attendance was up and sales were prominent with both Indian miniature paintings and Himalayan works of art. Buyers were very eager and sales were concurrent. Our exhibition included The Vasudhara Mandala, the earliest dated thangka discovered from Nepal and a world record for Himalayan painting when it first sold in 2011. We have now had the pleasure of selling it twice. We were privy to hosting several prominent institutions and private collectors and sold a large portion of the works on view during Asia Week.”
Chinese specialist Eric Zetterquist of his eponymous Zetterquist Galleries in New York commented: “I am delighted to report that over 75% of my exhibition has sold, and interest continues even after the close of Asia Week. A Koryo Celadon Double Gourd Vase was snapped up by a collector.”
Brendan Lynch of the London-based gallery Oliver Forge & Brendan Lynch reported that their highly successful exhibition, Indian and Persian Court Painting, had strong daily attendance and sales to mainly American private collectors and museums. Amongst the highlights was a South Indian portrait of Tipu Sultan (1750-99), dating from c. 1825, which sold to a private collector in California.
Katherine Martin, director of Scholten Japanese Art, remarked: “A few of my best works are on reserve at the moment with institutions. It seems as though there were more curators coming through this year, often accompanied by patrons and members of Asian art councils supporting a clear mandate for acquisitions.”
Says Nicholas Grindley, “We have sold a lot of scholars objects this year, a significant number to new clients and are delighted that our social media profiles @NickGrindleyArt #nicholasgrindley have been raised through the publicity generated by the organizers of Asia Week New York. We were visited by private collectors and museums alike. All in all a good week!”
“As a first time exhibitor on my own, I found the visitors to be energized, interested and serious in their knowledge of Asian art,” said Suneet Kapoor of his namesake gallery. “I am delighted to report two major works are on reserve for an international museum with an outstanding collection.”
First-time participant Jacqui Lloyd, co-director of TAI Modern, from Santa Fe said: “We are very impressed by the knowledge of collectors visiting our gallery for the first time, as well as by our many current friends and collectors who came in. Asia Week New York is well organized and well promoted. Several press mentions have been wonderful. We are pleased with our reception.”
“We had a very successful edition of Asia Week New York,” said Mark Slaats of Littleton and Hennessy. “It was a pleasure to meet so many new people and to see all of our old friends, collectors as well as curators from many of the major institutions in our field here in New York. We are delighted with the interest in our exhibition focusing on Chinese bronzes and the very positive responses it generated. This reinforces the vibrancy and energy in the current market and the continuous interest in outstanding, unique Chinese works of art." Among the objects sold were an early 15th century gilt copper figure of Guanyin and a rare Song dynasty inlaid ‘double bird’ censer, sold to private collectors before the opening day.
“Our clients are 100% museum curators during this show,” said Keum Ja Kang, “and we are delighted to report that we made several sales to major museums.”
Nana Onishi, who specializes in contemporary Japanese metalwork, said: “We had a positive experience at our permanent gallery space in Chelsea, and sold a number of pieces of Tokuda Yasokichi V. We are pleased to have connected with several museums regarding possible acquisitions and future exhibitions.”
Said Runjeet Singh: “During the show, I sold 21 of 36 items from my new catalogue, sales were to institutions, as well as new and existing clients. I had a particular buzz around my Tibetan horse armor elements, which have not been on the market for about 30 years, and sold them immediately to a private collector.”
Martha Sutherland, whose gallery specializes in contemporary Chinese paintings was encouraged by the many new people who came into her gallery. “We were delighted to welcome many new faces.”
Walter Arader of Walter Arader Himalayan Art said: “We saw strong crowds of dedicated collectors and were happy with the results. The market has become significantly more sophisticated with taste moving to earlier and more historically significant pieces.”
Newcomers Matthew Shamnoski of Findlay Galleries and Karen Kuo of Robert Kuo Ltd., collaborated on an exhibition entitled Art in the Age of Displacement.“Findlay Galleries was pleased to participate in Asia Week New York with the Robert Kuo Ltd. gallery.” “We were delighted to have had the opportunity to organize our unique exhibition and to announce the placement of a Chuang Che painting with the Herbert F. Johnson Museum of Cornell University.” Karen Kuo added: “As a first time participant of Asia Week New York, we were so impressed with the whole production. It was a fantastic experience and we are happy to report that one of Fu Shen’s paintings went to the Herbert F. Johnson Museum. What a whirlwind 10 days!”
Asia Week New York Association, Inc. is a 501(c) 6 non-profit trade membership organization registered with the state of New York.
For more information visit www.AsiaWeekNewYork.com