Siddhartha with His Wife, Gandhara, 3rd–4th century, grey schist, 19 x 41 x 6 cm (7 ½ x 16 x 2 ¼ in). Image courtesy Rossi & Rossi
HONG KONG– Rossi & Rossi will be showcasing an amazing selection of Buddhist paintings, sculptures and ritual objects from the Himalayas, China and India when the Fine Art Asia opens in October. The event which is considered the continent’s leading annual fine art and antiques fair runs from October 4 to 7 at the Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre. Rossi & Rossi is participating for the tenth year in a row.
One of the works expected to feature prominently at the Fine Art Asia is an exquisite fifteenth-century painting of Arhat Cudapanthaka, an enlightened Indian disciple of Shakyamuni Buddha. From China, the piece which draws from different tradition from the Tang period (618–907) to post-Yongle date, combines wit with elegance. The stylistic approach which can be traced back to the Yongle period (1403–24), when the direct stylistic source of the portrait was established, combines tradition with style. Similar examples can be found in the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York, the Palace Museum in Beijing and the Zimmermann Collection, also in New York.
Also expected to be a major attraction at the Rossi & Rossi Fine Art Asia exhibit is a precious Tibetan painting titled Buddha Shakyamuni. It features the historic figure at the centre of the composition. Wearing monastic robes, the figure is seated on a pedestal inside a shrine at the Mahabodhi Temple Complex in Bodhgaya, India. The figure radiates calmness and tranquility expected of a religious leader. According to Buddhist texts, Shakyamuni remained in the perfect equanimity of meditation while being taunted by the demons of Mara.
An eighth- to ninth-century Seated Padmapani from Swat Valley, Pakistan is another pieces that Rossi & Rossi will be presenting as part of its Fine Art Asia exhibit. The important shows the bodhisattva seated on a lotus throne in full-lotus posture. This rare and highly important sculpture is notable for its early date and high quality, which can be seen from its elegant casting and balanced proportions.
A fine Gandhara (third to fourth century) piece depicting Siddhartha with His Wife, an episode from the Life of Buddha, is one of several grey schist relief panels that will be on view at the Fine Art Asia exhibit. Seated on a throne under an arch is the elegant Prince Siddhartha. Wearing a high turban, earrings and a necklace, he holds what appears to be a lotus to his chest. Beside him, his wife wears a similar headdress, earrings, a necklace and bracelets. With both feet on footstools, they watch a performance by a dancing girl, one musician playing a flute while the other plays a string instrument. Similar panels can be found in the collection of the British Museum
The work of Tibetan contemporary artist Tenzing Rigdol will complement the classical selection that will feature significantly at the Rossi & Rossi Fine Art Asia exhibit. Rigdol’s solo exhibition, Change Is the Eternal Law, will be on view simultaneously at Rossi & Rossi Hong Kong from September 19 to 24 October. Rigdol’s work ranges from painting, sculpture, drawing and collage, to digital, video installation, performance art and site-specific pieces.
Born in 1982 in Kathmandu, Nepal, Rigdol draws on traditional Buddhist and Tibetan iconography to highlight tortuous experience of Tibetan people within China. Rigdol’s work featured prominently in Tibet and India: Buddhist Traditions and Transformations at the Metropolitan Museum of Art. He was one of only two contemporary Tibetan artists to be included in the exhibition. His mixed-media work Pin Drop Silence: Eleven-Headed Avalokitesvara (2013) was also the first piece by a contemporary Tibetan artist to be acquired by the Metropolitan Museum of Art.
Fine Art Asia is Asia’s leading annual fine art and antiques fair. It provides an unrivalled platform for museum-quality antiques and art in Asia. The fair showcases a wide range of collecting categories from ancient Himalayan bronzes, Chinese ceramics and works of art, furniture, textiles and jades, to exceptional modern and contemporary art. As with other year’s, Fine Art Asia 2015, brings together a host of leading Hong Kong and international galleries. Timed to coincide with the peak art auction season in Hong Kong, the Fine Art Asia 2015 attracts collectors, dealers and connoisseurs from around the world.
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