Snow day at Sotheby’s

February may have been Fashion month, but March is Art month. Even though it is indeed about time for Spring, yesterday it was snowing/raining. Either way, my plans included heading to Sotheby’s for a Chinese art tour.

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 March 15 marked the beginning of Asia Week, a whole week dedicated to the promotion and celebration of Asian art in New York City and I was excited to experience this for the first time as a new Young Associate/member of the China Institute. I lucked out because I got free membership as a result of the Learn Chinese Contest I mentioned a couple months ago and this tour was exclusive to China Institute members! It was my first time at Sotheby’s (had no idea there was a place called York Avenue!) and it was beyond amazing. I couldn’t have asked for a better thing to do on a snowy day.

The tour started with a showing of Shuimo (literally meaning water ink) Contemporary Chinese ink paintings. One of the first works we were introduced to quickly became one of my favorites. It was love at first sight.

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the left and right are by Qin Feng. the center by Master of the water, pine and sone retreat

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Just from the three Qin Feng paintings I saw (only two are pictured above), I could tell I was a fan. They exude a sense of raw power in bold expressive brushstrokes but at the same time they are so deceptively simple. Although I thought everything shown was beautiful, the other works just did not possess the same kind of presence these Qin Feng paintings had. I find this sprezzatura and presence difficult to resist in business or life. Hard to believe these were done with just ink, coffee, tea on silk and cotton paper! Even their title gave me something to think about: Desire Landscapes.

There was too much to cover and not enough time (such is life) so our guide encouraged us to revisit and browse whatever pieces piqued our interest afterwards. IMG_1627IMG_1624

(Completely unrelated but of course I had to take a picture of the orchids.)IMG_1626

Besides the fact that I love Chinese ink paintings, I just felt so at peace here. You can see why:

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After seeing the Shuimo, we went up to the 10th floor to see Chinese classical paintings.

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We were met by a different guide upstairs who pointed out a few of the standout pieces but honestly I don’t remember much of what he said because I was just overwhelmed by all of the beauty. I’m also a huge fan of Chinese calligraphy so I felt like a kid in a candy store. 
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One day I hope to have a few pieces similar to what I saw here, hanging in my future home!IMG_1632
Beautiful. just beautiful.

Here I am in my favorite corner of the whole floor.

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And my outfit for my day at Sotheby’s 🙂

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“Aspire to the principle, behave with virtue, abide by benevolence, and immerse yourself in the arts.”-Chinese Proverb

To see all the pieces I saw in the Shuimo/water ink exhibition (via eCatalogue) click here. 

For all of the pieces in the Fine Classical Chinese Paintings room (via eCatalogue) click here

 Asia Week and its events (ends March 23)

learn more about the Young Associates of the China institute

Sotheby’s-1334 York Avenue- New York 10021 at East 72nd Street

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