Every spring, dealers, collectors, and connoisseurs flock to New York City to celebrate exquisite Asian art. This year marks the 10th anniversary of Asia Week with 48 international galleries, 6 auction houses, and 16 cultural institutions taking part in the festivities running from March 13-23. Lectures, exhibitions, and auctions focus on a wide range of art forms from classical Chinese calligraphy to contemporary South Asian art. Sotheby’s is particularly honored to be hosting lectures by Colin Mackenzie, curator of Chinese art at the Art Institute of Chicago, and Jeff Watt, scholar and curator of Tibetan and Himalayan art. To celebrate this incredible event, we’ve pulled together some of our favorite decorative pieces inspired by the diverse art of Asia. These versatile finds are designer favorites as they add history, beauty, and craftsmanship to any room.
Ancestral portraits were very popular in China from the end of the 17th century all the way up to the beginning of the 20th century. The paintings, made to commemorate deceased family members, were displayed in homes as a way to honor loved ones. In modern day interiors, these paintings add bold color and geometric patterns with an amazing history. The graphic works function in almost any type of room, from traditional to modern, and are an incredible addition to your art collection.
PATTERN ON PATTERN
Once found only in the palaces of royal families in India, bone inlay has made a big comeback. Designers are swooning over pieces like this dresser as they are the furniture equivalent of adding a bold patterned pillow. These intricately patterned furnishings add a pop to any room, and you can’t help but marvel at the craftsmanship and details used to create these showstoppers. When you’ve got a room like this one that’s pattern on pattern, adding even more pattern with the furniture creates a stunning scene.
AN ALTERNATIVE TO PRINTS AND PAINTING
When a painting or print just won’t do, look to something a bit more off the beaten path. Hand-carved lattice wall panels add a visual punch and function more like a beautiful architectural detail you can hang on the wall. The traditional Chinese patterns take advantage of negative space with their bold geometry, and have the ability to look modern while drawing upon the traditional technique of hand-carving.
BUDDHA KNOWS BEST
Evoke the power of Buddha’s teachings in your home with a sculpture reminding you to open your mind and heart to the world. From small sculptures to large Buddhas that once resided in temples, finding a Buddha that brings you joy is kind of like searching for the perfect partner in crime. You just know when you’ve found the right one. By adding him to your interiors, you take a room up a notch by inviting serenity to your space.
FOR THE LOVE OF BLUE
Adored by collectors and designers around the world, these vases from China are known for their beautiful cobalt blue designs on a crisp white porcelain. They are a traditional Chinese art form and a very popular accessory in traditional and transitional interiors. The adventure of creating a collection by hunting down the perfect pieces and coming up with fabulous ways to display them is a hobby we wholeheartedly endorse.
Whether they are depicting natural landscapes or moments in history on their many panels, Coromandel screens add panache to any wall. Coco Chanel was known for her love of these multi-panel lacquered screens, and they have long been used as an alternative to wallpaper or as a statement wall in interiors around the world. Large in format, they are like a movable wallpaper that tells a story and adds a luxe backdrop for furniture and accessories. Explore the possibilities of these beautiful artifacts.