American Marketer


Asia Week infiltrates New York luxury scene

March 12, 2015

Giuseppe Piva Japanese Art Giuseppe Piva Japanese Art


Luxury auction houses and the Madison Avenue Business Improvement District are participating in Asia Week to honor Eastern art in New York.

The week is a collaboration of Asian art specialists, auctions houses such as Christie’s, Sotheby’s and Bonhams and also Madison Avenue BID. Engaging the art studios and boutiques along Madison Avenue will likely bring affluent Asian consumers and art enthusiasts together for the week.

“Our involvement supports the galleries that are hosting the dealers as well as to further emphasize that Madison Avenue is a very multidimensional district,” said Matthew Bauer, president of Madison Avenue Business Improvement District, New York.

“We have over 100 art galleries on Madison Avenue and wide variety of restaurants and salons and all the things that make up a complete luxury experience,” she said. “We think that what makes Madison Avenue what it is is that there is so much variety of experiences that one could have here.”

Everyone included
Last year’s Asia Week saw 47 dealers and sales reaching $200 million. This year’s event will be March 13-21 and will host more than 40 dealers.

The event will host Chinese, Indian, Himalayan, Southeast Asian, Japanese and Korean art. Museums such as the American Museum of Natural History, Brooklyn Museum, China Institute, Guggenheim and Japanese Art Society of America will be present.

Art curators from over 100 museums worldwide will come to the event to scout new pieces.

Collections will include pieces from the Robert Ellsworth Collection, one of the most prominent Asian art collections by an American.

Sotheby’s will offer 11 catalogs of works, and six will be Chinese art.

The galleries hosting the events are primarily on the second floor of buildings on Madison Avenue, driving eyes upward for the week and introducing spaces unfamiliar with most passing by. Also, several galleries are on side streets off Madison.

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Map of events

“Regarding Madison Avenue BID, indeed it is a natural partnership since Asia Week New York brings so many people to Madison Avenue, with many of our participating dealers exhibiting on the avenue or on the adjacent side streets. People walk up and down going from gallery to gallery,” said Noémie Bonnet, executive director of Asia Week New York.

Blue and gold banners will line Madison Avenue from 57th to 86th street during the event.

The reception for the week will be hosted at the Metropolitan Museum of Art and will also celebrate the museum’s 100th anniversary of its Asian art department.

The Metropolitan Museum of Art’s Costume Institute is also exploring the influences Chinese culture has had on Western high-fashion in a new exhibit opening May 7.

Titled, “China: Through the Looking Glass,” a take on the sequel to Alice in Wonderland, the exhibit juxtaposes couture and avant-garde pieces with Chinese art and cultural artifacts. While many brands focus in on Chinese consumer behavior through social efforts and store openings, this exhibit aims to appraise cultural appropriation in reverse (see story).

Event time
Art events often attract luxury brands.

For instance, Fendi and Giorgio Armani looked to Niche Media’s special-edition imprint for Art Basel Dec. 4-7 to promote their residential properties during a time frame when numerous wealthy individuals flocked to Miami Beach for the annual art festival.

Totaling nearly 300-pages, the magazine included advertisements from fashion and jewelry brands as well as a bevy of real estate developers and luxury high-rises that are populating the Miami area. Due to the influx of affluent individuals, many of whom own multiple homes, creating a special-edition publication full of real estate options during the popular Art Basel may spur continual growth in Miami (see story).

Inclusion of luxury brands at art events allows like-minded consumers to engage with several brands and places at once.

“The proximity of brands to each other and galleries with one another and boutiques to another is a very urbane experience that people can go place to place to place on foot and see so much for Asia week,” Madison Avenue BID's Mr. Bauer said. “In terms of Asian art and also the galleries that are here and the boutiques that are here, it will benefit visitors and will emphasize the complete experience when coming here.

"It enlivens and makes the neighborhood more special.”

Final Take
Nancy Buckley, editorial assistant on Luxury Daily, New York