Asian Heritage Art in Celebration of Cultural Diversity

Presenting arts of Asia from our corporate art collection to celebrate Asian cultural diversity and inclusion.

In honor of Asian-Pacific American Heritage Month, May is a time to recognize the many cultures and achievements of Asians and Pacific Islanders across our company and beyond. The JPMorgan Chase Art Collection boasts a stunning visual survey of the arts of Asia across a wide range of media, periods and styles. Antique cultural objects, applied and decorative arts as well as modern and contemporary works are represented by more than twenty nationalities with the largest holdings originating from Japan, Indonesia and China. Today, two dozen offices throughout China, India, Indonesia, Japan, Korea, Malaysia, Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Taiwan feature international art from the corporate collection with a special focus on Asian heritage.



Among the first major artworks purchased to enhance the interior of the new headquarter building in Lower Manhattan, built in 1959, were paintings by Japanese artists Kumi Sugai and Kenzo Okada. David Rockefeller, who founded the firm’s art program, often selected pieces during his numerous trips to the continent and took great personal satisfaction in exploring contemporary Asian art.footnote 1 His parents were passionate collectors of Asian art; in fact, his father‘s “pride and joy” was his comprehensive collection of Chinese porcelains, having acquired a significant portion of J.P. Morgan’s vast collection in 1913.footnote 2

There are several contemporary artists whose work in the corporate Art Collection merits special attention. Korean artist Nam June Paik, considered the founder of video art, was commissioned in 1992 to create The Chase Video Matrix, a site-specific installation of 400+ television sets activated by live and programmed videos, at 4 Brooklyn Corporate Center. Chinese sculptor Zhang Jianjun’s Sumi Ink Rock, 2002, graces the Hong Kong Client Center along with several works on paper by Zao Wou-kI, and two major paintings by Jiro Yoshihara, co-founder of the avant-garde Gutai movement in Osaka, can be viewed in the firm’s Tokyo office.

Recent additions to the Art Collection continue to demonstrate the innovation and diversity of creative practice expressed by Asian artists. Unique photography by Korean artist Jungjin Lee; hand-cut paper works embellished with delicate paintings by Filipino artist Jasmin Sian; and functional wood and metal furniture by Jin Bae Jung are among the exciting new artworks to find a home at JPMorgan Chase & Co.

1
David Rockefeller. “Introduction” to Contemporary Art from New York: The Collection of the Chase Manhattan Bank, 1989, p. 9.
2
David Rockefeller. Memoirs, p. 25.