Thoughts Across the Waters

Thoughts Across the Waters
Scroll, mounted and framed, ink and colour on paper
46 x 221 cm. (18 1⁄8 x 87 in.)
Inscribed and signed by the artist
Dated 1997
Kaikodo, New York. David Drabkin Collection
Kaikodo Journal X -Ring of Fire: The Art of Wucius Wong, Kaikodo, New York, November 1998, pp. 48-49.
Further details
David Drabkin’s Yaosi Xuan Collection, decades in the making, is titled after the present Wucius Wong painting. Before collecting art in earnest, and now some sixty plus years ago, David Drabkin, then a young Pomona College student, spent his 1961 junior year abroad in India, with stops in Hong Kong and Japan. This first taste of Asia would be a major turning point in his life and presaged a lifelong interest in the entire Asian region. With his lively intellect, driving curiosity and a remarkable adaptivity, David Drabkin has grown his connection with Asia in a way that is rare: he lived in Japan for extended periods during 1968-1971, 1989-1994 and 1998-2004 and he has also resided in Vietnam, China, Hong Kong, Thailand and Laos. A lawyer by training, his entrepreneurial talent also led him to establish a boutique hotel, The River Resort, in Champasak, Laos in 2009. Nestled on the banks of the Mekong River, it incorporates his love of Asian art, heritage and design.

David Drabkin’s familiarity with Chinese, Japanese and Southeast Asian cultures expresses itself in the many pieces which he acquired and lived with for many years, always creating an aesthetically pleasing home. With a love of training his “eye”, he cultivated friendships with fellow art aficionados, many of them noted experts in their respective fields. And, always, he remained appreciative of his alma mater, Yale, whose art museum housed many of his Japanese and Chinese pieces on loan. David Kidd, longtime doyen of Japanese art, whose magnificent Kyoto mansion housed many treasures, was often visited by Drabkin and his family as was the Kita-Kamakura home of Kaikodo founders Howard and Mary Ann Rogers. Hong Kong’s Hanart Gallery founder, Harold Wong, became a friend as did David Sensabaugh and Amy Poster, during and beyond their tenures at the Yale University Art Gallery and the Brooklyn Museum, respectively. Others who enlivened David Drabkin’s collecting odyssey were Professor Richard Barnhart and dealer James Lally, among many others.
Yaosi, translated in the context of the David Drabkin Collection as “Thoughts Across the Waters”, echoes a well-known phrase from the classical Chinese poetry anthology Chu Ci, capturing a feeling of longing. American David Drabkin’s remarkable penchant for immersing himself fully in so many Asian environments and cultures has made far-away lands fully present, known to him and mediated through art. Highlighting primarily Chinese and Japanese art including a monumental landscape attributed to Wang Shichang from the 16th century, a Ming mother-of-pearl- inlaid lacquer dish and Kano School screens, the David Drabkin Collection will be presented by Christie’s New York in September 2022, spanning major dynasties and across a wide range of media, as a testament to the founder’s unfailing curiosity and wide- ranging interests.

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Carmen Shek Cerne (石嘉雯)
Carmen Shek Cerne (石嘉雯) Vice President, Head of Department, Chinese Paintings

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