About Mark A. Johnson Tribal Art
 San Francisco Tribal Art Show 2017

Mark Johnson (second from left) with major of Surabaya, Java Island (third from left), Kim Martindale (fourth from left), Consul General - Indonesian Consulate SF (fifth from left), and other Indonesian consular and Jakarta Textile Museum staff. San Francisco Tribal & Textile Art Show 2017.

I have been a collector and dealer of traditional tribal art since the early 1970s, when I bought my first object, a 19th century Uzbek ikat hanging (since sold to the Guido Goldman Central Asia ikat collection). In search of additional examples, I quickly visited the few rug galleries and import shops I could find in California, until I decided I needed to travel directly to the source countries in Asia.

What I assumed would be a month long leave of absence from my last job, stretched to more than four months, as I traveled across Asia from Hong Kong to Afghanistan. On my return, I was able to sell many of these items to a small, but growing group of enthusiastic Southern Californian collectors.

This passion for art, culture, and travel soon became a business, and I launched my first “import” company in 1979, specializing in Asian textiles. Eventually, I shifted my emphasis from Central Asia to Southeast Asia, especially the vast island archipelago of Indonesia and my interest in textile arts led to an interest in other forms of tribal art.

Today Mark A. Johnson Tribal Art specializes in the traditional arts of Asia and the Western Pacific, with an emphasis on the Austronesian cultures of Indonesia, Malaysia, Philippines, and Formosa; offering authentic sculptures, architectural elements, beadwork, textiles, costumes, ceramics, masks, basketry, jewelry, weaponry, shamanic objects, and other miscellaneous ethnographic items.

Mark A. Johnson Tribal Art is based in the Venice Beach-Marina del Rey area of Los Angeles, California. The gallery is open by appointment only.
Southeast Asia Map

Advisor for the Indonesian tribal art collection at the Mingei International Museum in San Diego, California (www.mingei.org).

Founding member and first director of Los Angeles Tribal (formerly: Asian & Tribal Art - Los Angeles), an organization of Los Angeles based tribal art dealers. (www.latribal.com).

Board member of the Los Angeles based Ethnic Arts Council (EAC), an organization of collectors, dealers, and academics dedicated to advancing the knowledge and appreciation of ethnic arts (www.ethnicartscouncil.org).

Board member of ATADA (Antique Tribal Art Dealers Association), an organization dedicated to promoting the highest professional standards for dealers in tribal art.


The objects that I offer for sale are to my best experience and knowledge authentic, traditional, artifacts. These items were originally made and used by the indigenous people living in the region and not made for resale to the tourist or decorative market.

Not every item I have is an antique, although most of them are. For example, in some regions of Asia and the Pacific there are tribal cultures that were still making traditional items for their own use, well into the 20th century. However, most authentic artifacts tend to be made prior to the worldwide tourist explosion in the 1980s.


"Art Borneo" a catalog of art from Borneo Island, 2008.

"Hudoq: Masks and Myth of the Modang Longwai" a story about masks from Borneo Island, 2018. With Wang Beng and Marc Pinto.

"The Kayanic Tradition. Kayanic Dayak Art from Borneo. Volume I: Guardian Sculptures" a publication on the unique sculptural art forms of the Kayanic Dayak complex of Borneo Island. 2020.
Museum/Gallery Exhibitions
(Lender and/or Advisor)

"Elemental Art of the Indonesian Archipelago". Selections form the collection of the Mingei International Museum, San Diego, CA. 2005-2006.

"Facing East, Masks of the East and Artists Inspired by Them". Hammond Museum & Japanese Stroll Garden, New Salem, NY, 1999.

"A Transcultural Mosaic" objects from the permanent collection, including Indonesia and Southeast Asia. Mingei International Museum, San Diego, CA, 1998-99.

"The Beaded Universe", beadwork from around the world. Mingei International Museum, San Diego, CA, 1997 (The exhibit traveled to New York and North Dakota).

"Beyond the Java Seas", exhibition of Indonesian Art. Smithsonian Institute, Washington, D.C., 1991-92 (This exhibit traveled to several venues in the USA, Europe, and Australia).

"Hornbills and the Sacred Dragon", exhibition of Indonesia Tribal Art. Museum of Man, San Diego, CA, 1991 (Guest curator and primary lender).

"The Other Face", exhibition of Indonesian Tribal Art. Mingei International Museum, San Diego, CA, 1991.

"Island Indonesia", exhibition of Indonesian Tribal Art. Irvine Fine Arts Center with the Bowers Museum, Orange County, CA, 1990.

"The Common Cord", exhibition of Central Asian Textiles. Seattle Art Museum, WA, 1986-87.

"The Eloquent Dead", exhibition of Indonesian Tribal Art. UCLA's Fowler Museum of Cultural History, Los Angeles, CA, 1985.

Sales Policy

Payment must be made in advance, including the full cost of shipping, packing materials, and any financial fees. Personal checks, money orders, credit cards, bank wire transfers, or PayPal are accepted for domestic payments. Bank wire transfers or credit cards are preferred for International payments. Immediately after acceptance of the full payment, the item will be shipped.

If for any reason, the buyer is unsatisfied with the item and notifies the seller within seven (7) days of receipt, the buyer may return the item for a refund or credit of the full original purchase price*. Reasons for return could include damage to the item in shipping, aesthetic objections, legitimate concerns about restoration or authenticity, or any other reason the buyer finds significant. It is my policy that the deal is not complete until the buyer has the item in hand and has had a reasonable amount of time to examine it in detail (no more than seven days). I will not question this decision and will gladly accept the item back.

After seven (7) days, the sale is considered final with the following exception. All items are guaranteed as described. If this information ever proves to be incorrect, the buyer may return the item for a refund or credit of the full original purchase price* (if returned within 30 days) or credit only (if returned after 30 days). Incorrect information could include significant misidentification of the item, legitimate concerns about authenticity, and/or significant un-disclosed restoration.
*The buyer is responsible for returning the item in the same condition as sent and will pay the shipping costs and any bank or financial fees.

If there is a dispute with any of the above issues, it is the responsibility of the buyer to back up claims with a written declaration from a recognized authority, preferably a non-dealer. Other dealers may be considered "biased" and both seller and buyer must agree that any particular dealer who might be called on to authenticate an item is known to be fair and unbiased when doing so. Without clear and specific information, it is at my discretion to accept these claims. That said, my normal policy is to side with the buyer, as I would rather lose the sale than the client, however I want to protect myself from other dealer’s unwarranted, unsupported, or false comments, frivolous returns, or simple "buyers remorse".

When purchasing any item, it is considered that the buyer agrees with the above terms. Any variations or exceptions to the above terms must be approved in writing prior to the purchase of the item.

Customs invoices for foreign shipments will be entered accurately to the best of my knowledge, including country of origin, description of item(s) and costs.