26 Lots in Japan Society's 2014 Benefit Auction Range from New Yoko Ono Work to Hiroshige Woodblock Print

2014 Japan Society Gallery Benefit Auction

Thursday, March 20, 2014, 7:00 pm at Japan Society

** Online Bidding Open thru March 19 at **

New York, NY - For more than a century, Japan Society has championed Japanese art, whether expanding the appreciation of revered and renowned artists, re-contextualizing beloved but little understood disciplines, or introducing and fostering emerging talent.

This year the art gives back.

The Society's 2014 Japan Society Gallery Benefit Auction, encompassing an online auction through March 19 and live and silent auctions March 20, showcases the dynamism of Japanese art and features several gifts from venerable artists with longstanding relationships with Japan Society.

Yoko Ono, whose solo exhibition Yes: Yoko Ono began its international tour at Japan Society Gallery in 2000, has donated a new work exclusive to the auction.

Hiroshi Sugimoto, whose history with the Society dates back to the 80s and includes the 2006 exhibition History of History, offers an experiential lot: an authentic Japanese tea ceremony in the tearoom of his Chelsea studio. Also at auction is a tea bowl created by one of today’s top ceramic artists, Hiro Ajiki.

Japan's new wave of masterful, iconoclastic artists is represented by Kohei Nawa, Manabu Ikeda and Hisashi Tenmyouya, all of whom gained international exposure through the Society’s 2011 exhibition Bye Bye Kitty!!!

True to the Society's commitment to the enduring value of traditional art, the auction includes a colorful print by ukiyo-e master Utagawa Hiroshige as well as a print by a modern successor to this respected art form, Hiroshi Yoshida. Alongside these is a work created by the Fukushima-based artist group three, who were Japan Society's Artists in Residence in the summer of 2013.

Carefully selected by Japan Society Gallery Director Miwako Tezuka, the 26 auction lots are currently up for online bidding at Paddle 8 through March 19 (visuals and full descriptions here: On Thursday, March 20, a live auction of 12 lots conducted by Henry Howard-Sneyd of Sotheby’s begins at 7:00 pm. At 8:00 pm, a silent auction composed of 13 additional works begins, concluding at 9:00. The Yoko Ono work is only available for online and absentee bidding.

Proceeds from the auction support initiatives of the Japan Society Gallery, including the two major exhibitions Japan Society presents each year, the Summer Artist Residency Program, the Archive Research Project conserving key works in the Society's modest house collection, educational programming related to exhibitions.

Full List of the 2014 Gallery Benefit Auction Featured Artists: Hiro Ajiki, Nobuyoshi Araki, Cai Guo-Qiang, Eikoh Hosoe, Manabu Ikeda, Masako Inkyo, Arata Isozaki, Toyo Ito, Kenro Izu, Yukiya Izumita, Sebastian Masuda, Ray Morimura, Kohei Nawa, Yoko Ono, Kiyoji Otsuji, Noriko Shinohara, Ushio Shinohara, Hiroshi Sugimoto, Jiro Takamatsu, three, Hisashi Tenmyouya, Utagawa Hiroshige, Akira Yamaguchi, Keisuke Yamamoto and Hiroshi Yoshida.

Live Auction Tickets: $125/$100 Japan Society members; $1,000 for a block of 10 tickets and opportunity to join the Auction Committee.

Japan Society Gallery is among the premier institutions in the U.S. for the exhibition of Japanese art. Extending in scope from prehistory to the present, the Gallery’s exhibitions since 1971 have covered topics as diverse as classical Buddhist sculpture and calligraphy, contemporary photography and ceramics, samurai swords, export porcelain, and masterpieces of painting from the thirteenth to the twenty-first century. Each exhibition, with its related catalogue and public programs, is a unique cultural event that illuminates familiar and unfamiliar fields of art.

Founded in 1907, Japan Society is a multidisciplinary hub for global leaders, artists, scholars, educators, and English and Japanese-speaking audiences. At the Society, more than 100 events each year feature sophisticated, topically relevant presentations of Japanese art and culture as well as open and critical dialogue on issues of vital importance to the U.S., Japan and East Asia. An American nonprofit, nonpolitical organization, the Society cultivates a constructive, resonant and dynamic relationship between the people of the U.S. and Japan.

Japan Society is located at 333 East 47th Street between First and Second avenues (accessible by the 4/5/6 and 7 subway at Grand Central or the E and M subway at 53rd St. and Lexington Ave.) The public may call 212-832-1155 or visit for more information.

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Media Contacts:
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Kuniko Shiobara, 212-715-1249,

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