OUR AUTUMN 2022 issue illustrates the vibrant art and culture of the Philippines, featuring impressive articles on textiles, metalwork, jewellery, weapons, and more. Please do send your feedback and suggestions for new articles, as I always appreciate hearing from our international readership. My aim is to ensure that Arts of Asia continues to play an influential role in the Asian art market through education and developing awareness, as well as enhancing the opportunity to collect beautiful Asian works of art.
It was an honour to attend the opening of the Hong Kong Palace Museum (HKPM) on July 3rd. A celebratory lion dance was staged at the Museum Plaza shortly before the museum opened. As shown from left to right in the lead photograph, the opening event was officiated by Professor Lee Chack-fan, Vice Chairman of the HKPM Board; Bernard Charnwut Chan, Chairman of the HKPM Board; Kevin Yeung Yun-hung, Secretary for Culture, Sports and Tourism; Mrs Betty Fung, Chief Executive Officer of the West Kowloon Cultural District Authority; and Dr Louis Ng, Museum Director, HKPM.
Bernard Charnwut Chan expressed his delight at the museum’s opening: “From project initiation, design and construction to completion, the HKPM has opened its doors to the public on schedule, within budget and within five years—just in time to celebrate the 25th anniversary of the establishment of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region, which our teams are very excited about. We look forward to welcoming visitors from Hong Kong, China and the rest of the world to appreciate these amazing art treasures from the Palace Museum and experience the richness of 5000 years of Chinese civilisation in the magnificent new facility.”
The HKPM will play an important cultural role in Hong Kong, with its superb new facility offering multifaceted artistic and cultural experiences to visitors. I look forward to collaborating with the museum and its curators for many years to come. For an insight into the stunning collections and priceless treasures on display at the HKPM, please see our blockbuster Summer 2022 issue. The issue has sold extremely well and we only have a few print copies left. However, the digital version will continue to be available.
Time flies, and it has already been a year since we launched our redesigned website, which I am proud to say has been very well received. We have expanded our worldwide readership by providing high-quality online content for anyone interested in Asian art. The full digital archive of Arts of Asia, from 1971 to the current edition, offers comprehensive and invaluable information. Please visit our website at www.artsofasia.com to enjoy the impressive content with advanced search capabilities.
I am pleased to inform readers that Bonhams—owned by Epiris, the private equity firm, since 2018—has successfully extended its global reach through the acquisition of several established auction houses. In 2022, Bonhams has been on a buying spree, acquiring the Nordic firm, Bukowskis; the US firm, Skinner, based in Boston, Massachusetts; and a second Scandinavian firm, Bruun Rasmussen, based in Denmark. Bruno Vinciguerra, Bonhams CEO, also recently announced the acquisition of Cornette de Saint Cyr, the renowned French auction house: “Based in Avenue Hoche, Paris, with an impressive saleroom in Brussels, Cornette de Saint Cyr is famous throughout the auction world for its high-profile single-owner sales. The acquisition will build on Bonhams’ portfolio in France, having expanded its French operations by opening a saleroom in Paris in Rue de la Paix in September 2021. It will also enhance Bonhams’ European scale to support further growth across the company’s network internationally.”
Since the onset of the Covid pandemic, online auctions have grown significantly and become increasingly popular with collectors. Readers may be interested in the online auction, “Magnificent Lustre: Southeast Asian Gold Jewellery and Ornaments from an Asian Private Collection”, being presented by Sotheby’s Hong Kong from September 1st to 8th, 2022. Formed over the last three decades by a distinguished Asian collector, this superb collection represents a true labour of love and dedication—an impressive achievement that would be impossible to replicate today. Approximately eighty ancient gold rings—the majority dating from the 9th to the 15th century—were carefully selected for their refined workmanship and brilliant gems. The collection also includes rare and outstanding gold necklaces, earrings and ornaments. Exceptional examples include solid gold rings from Java and India, as well as an early gold and tumbled crystal “four-pointed star” ring.
Gold jewellery represented beauty, nobility and prestige in ancient Asian civilisations, all aptly expressed by the spectacular examples in this impressive collection. An exhibition is being held at Sotheby’s, 5th floor, One Pacific Place, Hong Kong, from August 25th to September 8th. For enquiries, please contact Vivian Tong (tel: +852 2822 9027, email: firstname.lastname@example.org).
“Dressed by Nature: Textiles of Japan” debuts the Thomas Murray Collection at the Minneapolis Institute of Art (Mia) in America. A well-known independent researcher and art expert with a fantastic eye for global textiles, Thomas Murray built his Japanese collection over nearly forty years. In 2019, the museum acquired the entire collection of more than 200 outstanding textiles, which catapulted the Mia collection to among the foremost collections of Japanese textiles in the world. More than 120 textiles are currently on exhibit at Mia and I encourage readers to visit the show.
I would also like to announce the exhibition, “Hunters, Warriors, Spirits: Nomadic Art of North China”, at the Indra and Harry Banga Gallery, City University of Hong Kong. Bringing together for the first time more than 200 treasures of ancient nomadic art from the Shang period to the Liao and Yuan dynasties, the exhibition is jointly organised by the Intangible Cultural Heritage Earthpulse Society and the Orochen Foundation, and is supported by the Hong Kong Heritage Museum. In addition, on view were eighteen monumental bronzes by Dashi Namdakov, the contemporary Buryat maestro, with photography by Marc Progin, as well as commissioned animation and new media artworks. I would like to thank Dr Isabelle Frank, Consulting Curator of the Indra and Harry Banga Gallery, for giving me a guided tour of the exhibition. It was truly a pleasure to attend this unique and fascinating show.
Finally, I would like to wish friends and colleagues the very best for the upcoming autumn season of auctions, exhibitions and fairs, including Fine Art Asia in Hong Kong (October 5th−8th) and Asian Art in London (October 20th−November 5th). Not only will it be great to catch up in person, but also a delight to see and handle exceptional Asian art and antiques.
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