With an outstanding body of collectors, curators, gallery owners and auction house experts, Asia Week New …

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The Diane and Arthur Abbey Collection of Japanese Bamboo Baskets in the Metropolitan Museum of Art
(Courtesy Diane and Arthur Abbey)

As a continuation of its series of vibrant and thought-provoking webinars, Asia Week New York is excited to bring you Ahead of the curve: collecting contemporary Asian art, a webinar on Thursday, December 2nd at 5:00 p.m. EST. To register, click here: https://us06web.zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_4ZviiQjzQruACvCh40kdNA

As contemporary Asian artists find increasingly inventive forms, styles, and media to express their creativity, there are more opportunities to entice collectors – both novice and experienced – into starting or building on a new or existing collection. Whether a geometrically shaped Japanese bamboo basket, a complex Chinese ink drawing by a young aspiring artist, a dramatic contemporary Japanese photograph or a contemporary Indian painting, one thing unites them: the discerning eye of the collector.

lluminating Earth 148, 2019, gelatin silver print, © Yojiro Imasaka (courtesy of Miyako Yoshinaga) lluminating Earth 148, 2019, gelatin silver print, © Yojiro Imasaka
(Courtesy Miyako Yoshinaga)

In a relationship with Joan B Mirviss LTD, the panel discussion will highlight four areas of contemporary Asian art: Chinese ink painting, bamboo art, South Asian art, and Asian photography. With expert insights from gallery owners, auction house experts and curators as well as their passionate collector customers, Before the curve explores how this flourishing of contemporary Asian art has opened up exciting opportunities for savvy collectors. The panelists discuss the challenges of being at the forefront in their field: introducing and promoting an unknown medium, changing public perception, building new relationships with artists and illuminating their quality and artistic value to institutions and the public. This essential discussion is moderated by Joan Mirviss, who herself pioneered the collection of contemporary Japanese ceramics.

The award-winning panel includes:

Diane and Arthur Abbey have been collecting Japanese bamboo baskets for over 25 years. The peak of her collection resulted in a groundbreaking eight-month exhibition of 90 of her pieces in the Japanese galleries of the Metropolitan Museum of Art in 2017-2018, which attracted more than 400,000 visitors. Her outstanding collection, donated to The Met, helped fill a museum gap in the Met’s Japanese collection. The couple worked closely with the entire Asia division of the Met – particularly Monika Bincsik, who curated the exhibition and currently holds The Diane and Arthur Abbey Curatorship for Japanese Decorative Arts, the first foundation position in this area in the museum’s history. The Abbey Collection was based more on emotional and visual appeal than on who the artist was. Some of the pieces are from artists designated as living national treasures and some from artists who are relatively unknown.

Nasreen Mohamedi, Untitled, Oil on Canvas, circa 1964, 47 x 35 inches (119.3 x 88.9 cm), sold for $ 437,500, a world auction record for the artist March 16, 2020
(Courtesy Sotheby’s)

Anne Hata is the Estrellita and Yousuf Karsh Chair of Photography at the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston. She has worked for the MFA since 1989 and has headed the photography section of the museum since 2001. After photography has become its own department at the MFA, it is its first professor. Havea has strengthened the MFA’s photography collection in many ways, including building up its holdings of 19th century Japanese photography. Havea has organized a variety of exhibitions ranging from early photography to contemporary.

John and Denise Knight collect contemporary ink art and Chinese ceramics. Her collection also includes some examples of new Western art from artists such as Brice Marden and Joan Mitchell. The knights are intellectually and aesthetically involved in the fields they have collected and are particularly interested in art, which embodies an East-West Asian cultural dialogue. The Knights spent half of their adult lives in Asia and the Middle East and the remainder in New York, where they currently live.

Bharti Malkani is a New York based art collector and philanthropist. She believes in the transformative power of education and has been campaigning for systemic educational reform in her native India for many years. Malkani earned her BA from the University of Pennsylvania and began her career in investor relations representing publicly traded, small capitalization technology companies in the investing community. After a few years she left the corporate world for entrepreneurship and now devotes herself to several non-profit organizations, including serving on the board of directors of the Penn Museum, Philadelphia. Her journey to collecting art began in the late 1990s and her main focus is on modern and contemporary South Asian art.

Manjari Sihare Sutin leads sales for the Department of Modern and Contemporary South Asia at Sotheby’s for America. She joined the auction house in 2015 and brings to her role a broad and deep knowledge that she has acquired over 18 years of experience in this field. Manjari has worked extensively with a number of cultural institutions and private collections in India and the United States. She has two degrees in Art History and Visual Arts Administration: from the National Museum Institute, New Delhi, and New York University, respectively.

After completing her Bachelor of Arts in Art History at Stanford in 2006, Margo Thomas moved to Santa Fe, where she co-founded the Eight Modern gallery in 2007. In 2014, Thoma bought Santa Fe-based TAI Gallery and merged it with their American contemporary art gallery, Eight Modern, and the result is TAI Modern. She and bamboo expert Koichiro Okada continued the mission of gallery founder Rob Coffland’s to promote and advocate Japanese bamboo art around the world. Works by TAI Modern artists have been exhibited in some of the most prestigious institutions in the country, including the Art Institute of Chicago and the Metropolitan Museum of Art.

Craig L. Yee is co-founder of INK Studio, a Beijing and New York-based gallery and experimental art gallery dedicated to the research, documentation and exhibition of ink as a medium, language and discourse for the creation of contemporary art. Mr. Yee has played a pivotal organizational and editorial role in a number of large university and museum research projects on classical Chinese painting, including New songs on Ancient Tunes (2007) at the Honolulu Academy of Arts, Selected masterpieces by Modern Chinese painting (2010) at the Central Academy of Fine Arts in Beijing and Alternative dreams (2016), a multi-year research and exhibition program on 17th century Chinese painting at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art.

Originally from Japan, Miyako Yoshinaga founded her gallery of the same name in New York City, MIYAKO YOSHINAGA, in 1999. It has established itself as a leading showcase for promoting international artists with an emphasis on innovation and cross-border practices. The gallery was also a pioneer in establishing Japanese and other Asian photography as a viable component in the international art arena. She curates overview exhibitions for Japanese and Korean master photographers with a scientific focus and promotes younger artistic careers and ambitious projects through exhibitions and international art fairs.

About Asia Week New York

Asia Week New York is the collaboration of high-ranking international Asian art galleries, the six major auction houses Bonhams, Christie’s, Doyle, Heritage Auctions, iGavel and Sotheby’s as well as numerous museums and Asian cultural institutions with a continuous program of simultaneous open galleries, auctions of Asian art and numerous museum exhibitions , Lectures and special events. Participants from Great Britain, India, Italy, Japan and the USA unveil extraordinary museum-quality treasures from China, India, the Himalayas, Southeast Asia, Tibet, Nepal, Japan and Korea.

Asia Week New York Association, Inc. is a 501 (c) (6) registered not-for-profit trade organization registered in New York State. For more information, visit www.AsiaWeekNewYork.com @asiaweekny #asiaweekny

About Songtsam, Presenting Sponsor

Founded in 2000 by Baima Duoji, the Songtsam Group is the only collection of luxurious Tibetan-style retreats in the entire Tibetan Plateau, offering guests sophisticated elegance, refined design, modern amenities and unobtrusive service in places of natural beauty and cultural interest . With a long and strong interest in Chinese, Himalayan and Southeast Asian art, Mr. Baima began collecting art long before he founded his first hotel, Songtsam Lodge Shangri-La, which is next to the famous Songzanlin Monastery in Shangri-La is located. La. Many of the properties on the Tibetan Plateau are decorated with Mr. Baima’s personal collection, with each hotel functioning as a private art museum. Visit www.songtsam.com for more information.


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