Even in the grey, murky days of November, there is still something to look forward to (and I don’t mean Christmas). Once again, it’s time for Asian Art in London, that annual festival that aims to show that London is the world’s number one location for buying, selling and enjoying Asian artefacts.
Asian Art in London is now in its fifth year and, if you are still not familiar with this event, I can tell you that it involves more than 50 internationally recognised specialists and that participating dealers and auction houses (including Bonhams, Christie’s and Sotheby’s) hold their principal sales and exhibitions at this time of year. It not only offers a chance to see beautiful works of art, but also to learn more about them as there is a programme of lectures and conferences that attracts scholars from around the world. There’s also entertainment in the form of a series of concerts. The event covers all of Asia, with furniture, decorative objects and works of art from China, Japan, Korea, India and South East Asia together with Himalayan, Tibetan and Islamic art embracing 7,000 years of craftsmanship. It differs from other large international Asian art gatherings in that the event is centre in the galleries and showrooms of the specialist dealers, where it is hoped that the visitors can enjoy a calmer atmosphere away from the hustle and bustle of the major art fairs.
This extravaganza of Asian art is being sponsored for the second year running by AXA Art Insurance and is under the chairmanship of the well known and highly respected dealer Giuseppe Eskenazi, whose own exhibition includes two rare Chinese porcelain fish jars from the 14th and 16th Centuries. Between them, the dealers taking part in this important event remind us of the sheer diversity of Asian art. Textile specialist Linda Wrigglesworth is celebrating 25 years in business this year and will have a special display of 25 Chinese dragon roundels of the 17th-19th Centuries at the Metropolitan Hotel in Park Lane, while Grace Wu Bruce will show bamboo carvings, scholar’s rocks, inkstones and paintings at her Mayfair gallery. Sydney L. Moss will show recent acquisitions of Chinese paintings and calligraphy, while Rossi & Rossi will show Tibetan works of art. Robert Hall, who is usually best known for snuff bottles will exhibit paintings by C. C. Wong, while Hungry Ghost’s exhibition focuses on using antiques in a contemporary interior.
S. Marchant & Son will showcase recent acquisitions including Imperial porcelain from an important collection and manuscript specialist Sam Fogg will offer an exhibition devoted to Indian court painting. Christopher Cooke will have Chinese furniture, Berwald Oriental Art is to offer recent acquisitions in Chinese ceramics and Gregg Baker will treat us to an exhibition on the theme of birds and their depictions in Japanese screens from 1600-1900. With more than 30 dealers, Grays Antique Market has specialists in most relevant fields and will offer a variety of lectures and exhibitions.