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Asia Week New York: March 9-18

TEFAF, The Paris Biennale, Art Miami Basel, Masterpiece – antiques fairs are very much part of the art world calendar but a growing development is the gallery-based exhibition trail.

Instead of dealers taking stands at a specific location in a large hired venue, specialists in a particular market sector act together using their own galleries to mount open-house shows in their home city (or hire space there) over a fixed time. Very often these are joined by relevant auction series.

London Art Week (for paintings, drawings and sculpture); Master Drawings New York (works on paper), the Paris Parcours des Mondes (for Tribal art) and the two big Asian events – Asian Art in London and Asia Week New York – are all manifestations of this trend.

Obvious advantages emerge from these collaborations. The critical mass of having so many specialists gathered in one part of town for a short period draws in the visitors but avoids the expense of stand costs and travel for many of the participants.


The London and New York Asia fests are veterans of these initiatives.

Asian Art in London celebrates its 20th anniversary this November. The younger Asia Week New York (AWNY) has been going since 2009 and will open its doors for a 10-day run from March 9-18.

What started 10 years ago in the Big Apple with 16 ‘Asian Art Dealers of the Upper East Side’, has grown to over 51 participating galleries. Added to this are five auction houses staging their major spring series of Asian sales plus cultural institutions who join forces with exhibitions, lectures tours and other events.

The whole is masterminded by Asia Week New York Association Inc, with a planning committee of around a dozen dealers and auction experts headed by a president (currently Lark Mason) who stands for two years. Mason describes 2017’s roster as “our latest and most diverse to date”, adding that their ongoing participation is “a testament to how firmly entrenched this annual event has become”.

It plainly works on a commercial level, drawing in all important Asian visitors as well as collectors from all over Europe and the US.

Not just collectors either; institutional buying is always important at these events and the critical mass attracts museum representatives from around the world looking to fill gaps in their collections.

In past editions, participants have sold to museums from Beijing to Berlin and Singapore to Sydney as well as institutions all around the US.

Over the next five pages ATG looks in more detail at what is on offer in this year’s AWNY. We have asked two veterans of this event why it is a must for them; preview a small sample of the works of art that will be on offer in the selling shows and the 20-plus dedicated auctions, and offer just a hint of some of the other cultural events that the visitor can attend during the 10 days.

If you want to know more, go to the online guide at This gives you all you need to know to plan your visit.

It has a daily calendar of all the events from individual dealers and auctions, details of special lectures, maps to guide you around the open house weekend and help you locate the galleries and much more.