Posts Tagged ‘contemporary’


November 16, 2012 – April 29, 2013
One of my favorite museums, the Rubin Museum of Art, famous for having the largest  collection of religious art from cultures of the Himalayas, including Nepal, Tibet and Bhutan as well as related cultures from India, Mongolia and China, is presenting the final of a three-part series of Modernist Art from India. The exhibition highlights art after independence, with paintings showing how the vast landscape of India is viewed by artists.  Modernist paintings from India – might be viewed as a contradiction but the West has no monopoly on Modernism. India has a complex history of modern art, starting in the early 20th century with the  Bengal School of Art centered in Calcutta/Kolkata and led by Abanindranath Tagore, a nephew of the famous poet Rabindranath Tagore. In the 1930s and 40s individual art schools flourished in Bombay, Baroda, Madras and  New Delhi.
The show was curated by Beth Citron and includes paintings by Lisi Raskin, Marc Handelman, Seher Shah, and Janaina Tschaepe, Krishna Shamrao Kulkarni, Gieve Patel, Sudhir Patwardhan, S. H. Raza and others — all showing a variety of abstract and figural landscapes often  with a social and  political perspective.
Untitled, S. H Raza, 1956; Oil and mixed media on canvas
Elisabeth and Natasha

Ming dynasty porcelain vase sold for HK$167.8 million

Hong Kong,  Shanghai or Beijing  — which is the fairest of all ?

We know that Hong Kong is the world’s third  largest auction market and now a new museum for contemporary art is in the planning stage to rival New York and London.  Artfix Daily just wrote an article about this
A Ming dynasty porcelain vase sold for HK$167.8 million ($21.6 million) including buyer’s premium, at a Sotheby’s auction in Hong Kong.

Beijing and Shanghai have long had significant art scenes, and been home to a number of notable artists, such as Beijing’s high-profile Ai Weiwei (who recently sold his “Sunflower Seeds 2010” to the Tate Modern for an undisclosed amount). 

Yet, it is Hong Kong that has fast become a contender in the art world; known for its trade and finance the city is poised to become Asia’s art capital. 

Beginning in 2007, the former British territory has held the position of world’s third largest art auction market, after New York and London. As of 2008, Hong Kong has hosted a successful contemporary art fair; the inaugural edition drew 19,000 visitors, and representatives from 100 galleries, numbers that have more than doubled.

Hong Kong’s artist community, however, is still small and the expense of living in the city means that artists must often work day jobs to support themselves.  Finding open studio space is also tricky.

Also lacking was a significant museum, but now plans are underway for a contemporary art museum, which would open to the public in 2018.  An international competition for the building design will be held this year and plans include 20,000 square meters of exhibition space.  The ambitious project aims to rival with New York’s Museum of Modern Art and London’s Tate Modern.

On an earnings conference call Feb. 29, Sotheby’s CEO William Ruprecht and CFO William Sheridan said China was an “underpenetrated” market. With consolidated sales of $1 billion, the company plans to open new premises in Hong Kong which will have competition in strong mainland auction houses such as Beijing Poly International and China Guardian Auctions.

Hong Kong has already attracted a number of well-known art galleries, including London’s White Cube, which accommodates the area’s newly wealthy collectors. Graham Steele, the gallery’s Asia director, said to the BBC, “The energy of the city is very seductive for dealers and artists. It’s a scene that’s about to blossom and in a really great way.”

Whether the nascent gallery scene expands will depend on whether China can continually produce the buyers and sustain its economic upward trajectory. MarketWatch points out that, according to the World Bank, almost all of China’s growth since 2008 has come from “government influenced expenditure”.

(Report: Christine Bolli for ARTFIXdaily)


February 20, 2012 Leave a comment

Here is a medley – some of them deal with all types of Asian art, others only with contemporary art.

Arts of Asia                  in business for some forty years


Oriental Art Magazine    

Asian Art News    on-line only

Ars Orientalis   


Art India    

In addition, the International Snuff Bottle Society issues a Newsletter four times a year –

International Netsuke Society also publishes a Journal



Korean artist Lee Ufan

January 26, 2012 Leave a comment

The Korean artist Lee Ufan about whom I have blogged before has been commissioned to create a site-specific work to inaugurate the Sculpture Garden for the Asia Society Texas Center in Houston. The garden will be designed by Yoshio Taniguchi. Lee Ufan is well known in Europe and Asia for his contemporary sculptural pieces.


Reuters reported on Sotheby’s Hong Kong sales that demand for classical Chinese paintings remained strong.  A Qi Baishi ink painting “Rabbits and Osmanthus”, sold for $ 796,224, five times the estimate. 

The Asian Contemporary Art sales in Hong Kong saw around a fifth of works unsold. The sale of classical paintings had only around 5 percent of lots unsold. Mainland Chinese buyers dominated…..



Opens July 23, 2011

I have always been fascinated by Japan’s modern looking antique ceramics and antique looking contemporary and modern ceramics. Freer has a large collection of 20th century Japanese ceramics, including works by Living National Treasures as well as by young and more unknown artists.
The piece shown is by Shimizu Uichi (1926-2004); it is a stoneware piece covered with an iron glaze, where the artist “trailed his fingers through the wet glaze.


China jumped from ninth place to first place in 2010, becoming the world’s largest auction marketplace for Fine Art, overtaking the United States and United Kingdom. In addition,  the dramatic evolution of the internet and its 2 billion and a half users have caused a speedy acceleration of online art sales. All this is reported by Artprice, the world leader of art market information. China not only played an important role in the global economic recovery, it also seized the limelight in cultural, art  and sports events. Expressing the pride of Chinese culture it took the global auction prices to new heights. And what I have commented about before — prices of Chinese artists have not only closed the gap but overtaken Western artists and art works. 
So it is no surprise that the Ullens Collection auctioned off at Sotheby’s Hong Kong on April 3, 2011 brought new record prices for contemporary Chinese art.

Pacific Asia Museum

If you are near Pasadena, California, visit the the Pacific Asia Museum.

The museum has two interesting exhibits/programs:

MEIJI, JAPAN REDISCOVERED, March 31, 2011-February 26, 2012. This exhibit explores  cultural, artistic and political relationships between post-feudal, after 1868,  Japan and the West. This was  a very dynamic and vibrant time for Japan opening the country up to America and Europe, showcasing the arts of Japan by creating art specifically for export.  At one time work of art from this period was somewhat neglected but  collectors and scholars alike have a new appreciation for the high technical skill  of these art objects.

And  a new book by  Donald Stadtner – SACRED SITES OF BURMA: MYTH AND FOLKLORE IN AN EVOLVING SPIRITUAL REALM; available through amazon. Don Stadtner will give a talk about thee sacred sites at the Pacific Asia Museum on April 10, 2011, at 2:00PM.  There is a dearth of books on the arts of Burma, especially in English.

If you an bear to hear about another record-breaking price for Chinese art – a triptych by Zhang Xiaogang, titled FOREVER LASTING LOVE,  fetched HK $ 79 millions (US $ 10,162,807 ) at Sotheby’s Hong Kong Contemporary Chinese Art auction on April 2nd, more than double its estimate. Sales result for the entire auction came to the equivalent of US $ 54,9 millions, sold on the strength of 105 lots from the collection of Baron Guy Ullens, founder of Beijing’s largest private art museum.  Sotheby’s did not identify the buyer of the painting. Although this painting is extraordinary for a number of reasons, I am in awe of these prices,  and am humbly remembering how long it took for many European paintings to reach stratospheric price ranges.  What will the future hold?

Where to Buy Art OnLine


1. VIP Art Fair is the first art fair to mobilize the collective force of the world’s leading contemporary art galleries. Its first art fair took place January 22-20, 2011 at VIP Art  Fair will take place entirely online  with works from nearly 140 galleries. It aims to connect buyers, collectors, dealers and galleries with in-depth photos, comprehensive details on artworks and artists and with  live conversations with dealers.

2. 20×200  sells limited edition prints ranging from $ 20 to $ $ 5,000, at 20×

3. is set to launch in spring and aims to match collectors with art based on their personal preferences. Website is not yet working.

4. Artnet restarted its online auction at




February 2, 2011 Leave a comment

If you are pursuing up and coming artists from India, you may wish to check out India’s third annual Art Summit. It took place in New Delhi,   January 20th to 23rd but you can follow some of the emerging  and established artists on Eighty-four galleries from twenty countries managed to sell about 50% of works shown, claiming a spot in the global market. This will be an interesting development to watch as this venue  establishes itself as India’s single largest platform for modern and contemporary art.  Prices started in the low thousands. One gallery owner from Mumbai reported that she was unprepared for what happened, when all three editions of a $ 13,000 neon lighted-and-acrylic piece by Tejal Shah were snapped up.  And a New Delhi gallery sold 10 contemporary pieces ranging in price from $ 7,700 to $ 270,000. Not all works offered were by Indian artists. According to the New York Times, two galleries sold paintings by Picasso, each selling for more than $ 1,000,000. One of the principal buyers  and supporters of contemporary Indian  art  and an influential art  collector in India is Kiran Nadar who founded the Kiran Nadar Museum of Art,  with paintings by  Souza and Raza (his Sarashtra painting bought for $ 3.5 million). Together with the Devi Art Foundation of New Delhi, and two other private museums planned for  Coimbatore and Kolkata, these private museums make up for the absence of contemporary art from public museums in India.