What Not to Miss at Asia Week New York 2024

This sprawling decentralized art fair brings together classical and contemporary art from across Asia in sales, exhibitions and more.

An abstract landscape painting
Lui Shou-Kwan’s ‘Red Mountain Landscape 紅山風景 is on view at Alisan Fine Arts. Courtesy Alisan Fine Arts New York

Two of the largest bronze figures crafted during the early Ming dynasty—one depicting guardian deity Panjarnata Mahakala and one the meditational deity Hevajra—went on the block today (March 19) in Sotheby’s two-lot sale Wrathful Deities: Masterworks from the Bodhimanda Foundation, which is headlining its Asia Week New York sales. Also today, at Christie’s, a complete set of Hokusai’s 36 Views of Mount Fuji went on sale for the first time in 20 years as part of the auction house’s Japanese and Korean Art sale. Tomorrow, more than forty artworks and artifacts from Tibet, Nepal and Greater China from the collection of Senator Dianne Feinstein and Richard Blum will go up for auction at Bonhams.

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Print of large blue and white ocean wave
‘Under the Well of the Great Wave Off Kanagawa (Great Wave).’ Courtesy Christie's

These sorts of headline-generating sales have become a standard part of the Asia Week New York calendar. Founded in 2009 and now in its fifteenth year, this sprawling decentralized art fair is a jewel of the spring arts and auction calendars, attracting collectors and art lovers with a heavy-hitter lineup of gallery and museum exhibitions, lectures by international art experts and a schedule of top-notch sales at the big-name auction houses.

This year’s remaining Asia Week New York programming, which runs through March 22 (and sometimes longer in the case of exhibitions), includes shows at twenty-eight galleries of Asian porcelain, jewelry, textiles, ceramics, sculpture, bronzes, paintings and prints; more sales at Bonhams, Christie’s, Doyle, Heritage Auctions and Sotheby’s; and talks on topics like John W. Winkler’s Chinatown Etchings and the intersection of Zen and power.

A graphic painting done in the Indian style
Roshan Pradhan, ‘New World,’ 2021, acrylic on canvas, 183 x 152.5 cm. Courtesy of Sangeeta Thapa, Founder Director Siddhartha Art Gallery, Kathmandu, Nepal

The Met’s contribution to this year’s lineup is “Indian Skies: The Howard Hodgkin Collection of Indian Court Painting,” which features 120 Mughal, Deccani, Rajput and Pahari works from the British artist’s collection. Additionally, the institution sold 174 deaccessioned Chinese ceramics and jades from its 35,000-piece collection of Asian art in yesterday’s “Chinese Art from The Metropolitan Museum of Art” sale at Bonhams. Asian art enthusiasts can still see those lots and more in the virtual walkthrough of the “Chinese Works of Art, featuring Passion and Philanthropy” exhibition.

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Meanwhile, the Rubin Museum of Art is showing “Reimagine: Himalayan Art Now,” a museum-wide exhibition of paintings, sculptures, sound installations, videos and performance art by more than thirty contemporary artists who either hail from the Himalayan region or were inspired by it. The Brooklyn Museum’s Asia Week New York programming includes “Porcelains in the Mist: The Kondō Family of Ceramicists,” which brings together sixty-one pieces that showcase the Kyoto-based Kondō family’s innovations in the ceramic arts. The Korean Cultural Center New York is showing “John Pai: Eternal Moment,” a retrospective celebrating the artist’s legacy as a seminal figure in Korean art in New York City. And the Loewentheil Photography of China Collection is showing “Dragon Women: Early Photographs of China,” which explores women’s place in society in the final decades of imperial China.

A black and white photo of three Chinese women
John Thomson, ‘Manchu Women,’ c.1868, Albumen silver print. Courtesy the Loewentheil Photography of China Collection

Galleries across the city have mounted exhibitions of Chinese, Japanese, Korean, Indian and Southeast Asian art, along with art from the Himalayas. The Asia Week New York website makes it easy to browse by region or to find the galleries showing contemporary Asian art, but there’s no obvious way to filter exhibitions by the type of artwork—finding, say, a show of post-war Japanese prints or Korean abstract paintings means scrolling through this year’s offerings.

Standout exhibitions include Alisan Fine Arts New York’s “Shifting Landscapes,” a solo exhibition of works by pioneering ink artist Lui Shou-Kwan, which has an accompanying group show with works by Bouie Choi, Chu Chu, Lam Tung Pang, Kelly Wang and Yang Yongliang, “Landscape as Metaphor: Contemporary Voices.” Dai Ichi Arts, Ltd. is showing a selection of Post-war ceramics from Japan that exemplify two specific sculptural ceramic movements, Sodeisha and Shikokai, in “Ceramic Frontiers.” And Egenolf Gallery has mounted “Supernatural: Cat Demons, Ogres and Shapeshifters,” a fun exhibition of Japanese prints featuring fantastic beasts.

It’s a lot to take in, but as overwhelming as the Asia Week New York programming can be, it’s always nice when a single day of gallery hopping can take you from country to country and from past to present. If, as is the case here, you can dive deep into a rich and diverse artistic heritage, all the better.

For more information about Asia Week New York 2024’s exhibitions and auctions, click here.

What Not to Miss at Asia Week New York 2024