Asia Week New York - the ten-day Asian art extravaganza that concluded on March 24, reports that combined sales totaled $169,819,900. 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 departement, and Christina Prescott-Walker, chairman of Asia Week New York, welcomed more than 600 collectors, curators and Asian art specialists.
Said Prescott-Walker, "From the minute Asia Week New York commenced, the whirlwind of nonstop activities included 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 tenth anniversary."
Asia Week New York is always a draw for international museum curators on the lookout 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 and many others.
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 BCE, 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," 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 Kosei neriage vessel titled "Himalaya", dated 1985; a Kamoda Shoji 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 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."
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 titled "Art in the Age of Displacement." Kuo said: "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 ten days!"
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