Asia Week New York recently concluded, achieving an astounding $130 million in total sales. The yearly extravaganza took place from March 10-19th and included more than 650 collectors, curators and Asian art specialists. The goal of the week is to celebrate and promote Asian Art and to help to emphasize its cultural importance in New York, and throughout the world.
The 45 international galleries that opened their doors for the event included a large array of new and old, and items on display ranged from paintings and ceramics to antique figurines. Exhibitors hailed from Belgium, England, France, Germany, Switzerland, Japan, Italy and the United States. The works of art came from China and Southeast Asia to the Himalayas, Japan, Korea and India.
In addition, museum curators from around the world were in attendance including, just to name a few: 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 Phoenix Art Museum and the San Antonio Art Museum.
While headlines surrounding the event buzzed with the idea that the Chinese economy was affecting Asia Week New York, the galleries saw healthy traffic. As Lark Mason, the chairman of Asia Week New York said, “Despite headlines of the Chinese economy affecting Asia Week New York, the galleries saw steady traffic throughout the week, and the four major auction houses including Bonhams, Christie’s, Doyle, and Sotheby’s saw sales that were robust.”
As newcomers, we at Phoenix Ancient Art were quite satisfied with the fair as well. As our own Alexander Gherardi of Phoenix Ancient Art said, “Asia Week has been a great first time experience for us. We were able to reach the Asian art crowd that we have never interacted with before, and received very complimentary responses, which was quite validating for us since Chinese art isn’t our main area of expertise as our focus is on Western Mediterranean and Egyptian antiquities.”
Some of the interesting exhibits and events included the commemoration of the earthquake and tsunami that struck northern Japan in 2011. The Japan Society commemorated these events with an exhibition of contemporary photography (In the Wake: Japanese Photographers Respond to 3/11).
Certainly, some of the oldest works on view during the fair came from our Phoenix Ancient Art New York gallery where we had on display both a Chinese Bronze Buckle with Monkeys and our Chinese Terracotta Figure of a Kneeling Court Lady.
The fair was a lovely opportunity to explore Asian art and a chance for people to familiarize themselves with dozens of beautiful international galleries. It was a feast for the eyes and an educational experience for all involved.