artnet Global Chinese Auction Market Report 2016: key findings and highlights

In collaboration with artnet, the China Association of Auctioneers releases the Global Chinese Auction Market Report for 2016.

Art Radar looks at some of the key findings presented in this year’s report, which reveals insights into one of the largest art markets in the world today.

Chinese Association of Auctioneers (CAA), Cover of Global Chinese Art Auction Market Report 2016.

Chinese Association of Auctioneers (CAA), Cover of Global Chinese Art Auction Market Report 2016.

With Chinese art still one of the most-collected category of art being collected today, the Chinese Association of Auctioneers (CAA) continues its partnership with artnet to present the fifth edition of the Global Chinese Art Auction Market Report, which studies trends, patterns and insights into the market of Chinese art and antiques in 2016.

It is currently the only report looking into the Chinese art and antiques market that publishes auction results vetted by a third-party organisation, with insider knowledge on the market. The report promises a standard of quality and accuracy, and is aimed at promoting transparency within the Chinese market for art today.

With auction sales of Chinese art and antiques representing more than one-third of the
size of the global art auction market, totaling USD6.7 billion worldwide, the Global Chinese Auction Market Report remains an insightful publication into what may be one of the world’s most important art markets today.

Art Radar highlights some of the key points of this year’s report.

Lin Fengmian, 'Harvest at Dawn', 1950s, oil on canvas, 85.8 x 123.8 cm. Image courtesy Sotheby's Hong Kong.

Lin Fengmian, ‘Harvest at Dawn’, 1950s, oil on canvas, 85.8 x 123.8 cm. Image courtesy Sotheby’s Hong Kong.

1. With a decline of 5% in worldwide sales, the Chinese art and antiques category collectively enters its third consecutive year of decline in auction performance. 

Standing at a total of USD6.7 billion worldwide in 2016, auction sales of Chinese art and antiques see a marked difference from the reported figure of USD7.1 billion for 2015. This follows a larger trend of decline: last year’s Global Chinese Auction Market Report stated a decline of nine percent overall from the previous year.

Despite the decline in overall sales, however, the report reveals that 2016 hits a four-year high in terms of sell-through rate, stating that out of a total of 573,950 Chinese art and antique lots that were offered globally, 300,525 were sold. This brings the sell-through rate to 52 percent, the highest since 2012. Coupled with strong growth in the high-end market, which refers to lots valued above 10 million yuan, this may mean that the market is redoubling its focus on higher-quality lots. In fact, 2016 marked a milestone for the high-end market as well. Sales reached a reported 29 percent overall market share out of the total global auction sale of Chinese art and antiques, a figure that was more than double of that recorded two years ago.

Liu Ye, 'Mondrian in the afternoon', 2001, acrylic on canvas, 160 by 160 cm. Image courtesy Sotheby's Hong Kong.

Liu Ye, ‘Mondrian in the Afternoon’, 2001, acrylic on canvas, 160 x 160 cm. Image courtesy Sotheby’s Hong Kong.

2. The market for auction sales in mainland China recovers, amidst declining sales in Western art markets.

Examining the performance of sales within different locales, the report notes that auction sales of Chinese art and antiques regained its global lead over other markets. With a reported USD4.8 billion in sales, mainland China sees a seven percent recovery following two consecutive years of decline in sales value. This is compared to a reported 24 percent decline in total sales value from markets outside of mainland China.

One highlighted reason for the robust growth in mainland China was a downsize in quantity within mainland China, with auction houses concentrating instead on offering high value lots. The report notes a “tightening supply”, with the number of lots offered for sale dropping to the lowest level in seven years, totaling at 499,260. Coupled with higher sell-through rates and more high-value lots on offer, the report indicates that the market in mainland China is on a trajectory of recovery focused on quality over quantity. With the collecting community continuing to grow in terms of diversity and taste, and a decrease in speculative art-collecting behaviour, the report notes a more selective collector base in mainland China, driving recovery on the back of better-quality work rather than sheer volume of sales.

Liu Dan, 'Airy Mountains, Rushy Glens after Li Tang', 2004. Image courtesy Sotheby's Hong Kong.

Liu Dan, ‘Airy Mountains, Rushy Glens after Li Tang’, 2004. Image courtesy Sotheby’s Hong Kong.

3. Beijing and Tianjin mark expanding market share, amidst increasing concentration of the market in Asia. 

With the market continuing to condense in mainland China, the report notes that both the Beijing and Tianjin regions are taking on larger market shares in both volume and value. Together, Beijing and Tianjin represent 69.9 percent of the market share in mainland China, with the next-largest, the Yangtze River Delta region, representing only approximately 20 percent of overall market share.

The average prices of lots offered in the Beijing and Tianjin region also increased, reaching USD27,764, making it the second-highest worldwide. Asia now represents 78.6 percent of the overall market share for auction sales in Chinese art and antiques, with North America coming in second at 13.2 percent, and Europe representing 8.1 percent of overall global sales. With Asia retaining its traditional position as one of the largest markets in value for this particular collecting category, demand from Chinese buyers has also increased since the second half of 2015, with high net worth individuals investing more in art due to uncertainties in the value of the Chinese yuan.

Ho Huaishuo, 'River of Illusion', 1996, ink and colour on paper, 95 x 130.7 cm. Image courtesy Sotheby's Hong Kong.

Ho Huaishuo, ‘River of Illusion’, 1996, ink and colour on paper, 95 x 130.7 cm. Image courtesy Sotheby’s Hong Kong.

4. Non-payment remains a chronic problem in mainland China.

However, the report continues to note that the issue of non-payment remains a chronic problem, stating that only slightly more than half of the lots sold in mainland China were actually paid for, out of USD4.8 billion total sales value. With a larger percentage of total sales coming in from higher-value sales, where the practice of paying in installments and delayed payment remains prevalent, higher priced lots sported an even lower percentage of paid-for lots, with only 47 percent of lots having been paid for. This represents a decline in overall payment rate, from 58 percent in 2015 to 51 percent in 2016.

Junni Chen

1873

Click here to download the full report from artnet

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A Revamped Fair Edition: Insights from Contemporary Istanbul 2017 – round-up

Contemporary Istanbul reports strong sales and visitorship presence over one week.

Art Radar takes a look at the performance of the fair’s 12th edition, which featured 73 galleries from over 25 cities with 1500 artworks on show.

View of Contemporary Istanbul 2017, 14 – 17 September 2017. Image courtesy of Contemporary Istanbul

View of Contemporary Istanbul 2017, 14 – 17 September 2017. Image courtesy Contemporary Istanbul.

With galleries from Istanbul, Dubai, London and New York gathering in two venues, the Istanbul Congress Centre (ICC) and Istanbul Convention and Exhibition Centre (ICEC), this year’s edition of Contemporary Istanbul saw a record number of both exhibitors and visitors alike. Alongside a revamped public programme line-up, visitors were also treated to 1500 artworks on show from leading galleries across Europe, the United States and Asia.

View of Contemporary Istanbul 2017, 14 – 17 September 2017. Image courtesy Contemporary Istanbul.

View of Contemporary Istanbul 2017, 14 – 17 September 2017. Image courtesy Contemporary Istanbul.

Important Artwork Sales

Gallerists reported an “enthusiastic crowd”, with many local and international collectors as well as artists in attendance. Sales were also reportedly strong from the day of the preview itself, with pieces such as one of Yayoi Kusama‘s “Infinity Nets” series being sold. Other pieces by major artists also include Spanish modern artist Manolo Valdes, by New York/London gallery Marlborough Contemporary. Turkish artists were also not left out: works by Fahrelnissa Zeid, the pioneer of modern art in Turkey, who currently has an exhibition at the Tate Modern (London) also sold well during the fair.

 Fahrelnissa Zeid, Three Ways Of Living (War), 1943, 125 x 205cm, private collection, photography by Atahan Yılmaz, Courtesy of Dirimart Gallery. Contemporary Istanbul, 14 – 17 September 2017, www.contemporaryistanbul.com.

Fahrelnissa Zeid, ‘Three Ways Of Living (War)’, 1943, 125 x 205 cm, private collection. Photo: Atahan Yılmaz. Image courtesy Dirimart Gallery.

Record Visitor Numbers and New Exhibitors

With a total number of over 80,000 visitors recorded, Contemporary Istanbul hits an all-new high in terms of visitorship. The director of Contemporary Istanbul, Kamiar Maleki adds:

The fair has transformed over the past 12 years, showcasing an increasingly high quality and variety of work and building up to be one of the leading fairs in the world […]. In particular, our new exhibitors have enjoyed interacting with the international and local collectors at the fair and have had strong interest and sales.

Galleries such as Victoria Miro from London also revealed that Contemporary Istanbul had brought in a “busy stand”, with “exceptional interest from sophisticated and knowledgeable collectors”. With the fair running alongside the Istanbul Biennial, which opened on 16 September 2017, alongside other prominent museum shows, the fair was uniquely positioned against the backdrop of a burgeoning arts scene in Istanbul this year. 29 new exhibitors were also added to the line up in 2017, with galleries such as ARCHEUS/POST-MODERN from London, NK Gallery from Antwerp and Parasite from Tel Aviv joining existing exhibitors.

View of Plugin at Contemporary Istanbul 2017, 14 – 17 September 2017. Image courtesy Contemporary Istanbul.

View of Plugin at Contemporary Istanbul 2017, 14 – 17 September 2017. Image courtesy Contemporary Istanbul.

An Expanded Public Programme

Coupled with higher exhibitor and visitorship numbers was the expansion of public programming at this year’s edition of Contemporary Istanbul. With an emphasis on collaboration and partnership, Contemporary Istanbul 2017 saw new platforms being added to its programming. Of particular note was the fair’s first ever outdoor contemporary sculpture exhibition in a public park. Held in the Artists’ Park adjacent to the fair, the sculpture exhibition, entitled “The Fifth Edition”, was curated by Prof Hasan Bülent Kahraman.

Held in collaboration with the Şişli Municipality, the exhibition served as an extension to the main fair and included artists such as Erdağ Aksel, Jan Fabre, Magdalena Abakanowicz, Osman Dinç and Tony Cragg. Another specially curated section exhibited during Contemporary Istanbul is the “Plugin” new-media section, now in its fifth year running. Dedicated to new media art and curated by Ceren and Irmak Arkman, the exhibition showcases artists working with new media as an integral part of their practice, such as Félix Luque, Memo Akten and onformative.

Grayson Perry, 'Red Carpet', 2017, Tapestry, 247 x 252 cm. Copyright Grayson Perry. Image courtesy the artist, Paragon Contemporary Editions Ltd. and Victoria Miro, London. Contemporary Istanbul, 14 – 17 September 2017, www.contemporaryistanbul.com.

Grayson Perry, ‘Red Carpet’, 2017, tapestry, 247 x 252 cm. © Grayson Perry. Image courtesy the artist, Paragon Contemporary Editions Ltd. and Victoria Miro, London.

New Collaborative Horizons for the Future

The fair will return next year from 13 to 16 September 2018. With a focus on partnership and collaboration, the fair outlines its vision for continuing to promote Istanbul as a unique visual art scene. Founder and Chairman Ali Güreli emphasised a collaborative spirit in promoting this vision, stating that

It has been great to instigate and witness the cooperation with important stakeholders at this significant artistic moment in Istanbul which has proven to be an amazing and unique time in Istanbul’s cultural calendar […]. We aim to drive forward more collaborative initiatives in an effort to continue propelling Istanbul towards being an even stronger international player.

With an international reach, collaborative approach and vibrant local arts scene, Contemporary Istanbul is primed to develop into a main fixture on the list of must-see art fairs for international art collectors and lovers alike. Pushing itself onto the radar of the global art landscape, Contemporary Istanbul is an art fair to watch in the years to come.

Junni Chen

1864

Related topics: Turkish artistsnew mediapromoting art, market watch, art fairs, events in Istanbul

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“Dissonant Rhythms”: Australia’s Ross Manning – artist profile

The Institute of Modern Art, Brisbane, is currently showing an exhibition of the kinetic light and sound sculptures of Australian artist Ross Manning. 

“Dissonant Rhythms”, the first full survey of Manning’s work, runs until 28 October 2017. 

Ross Manning, "Bricks and Blocks", 2016. Photo: Carl Warner. Image courtesy Institute of Modern Art, Brisbane.

Ross Manning, “Bricks and Blocks”, 2016. Photo: Carl Warner. Image courtesy Institute of Modern Art, Brisbane.

“Dissonant Rhythms” is the first major exhibition of Brisbane-based artist Ross Manning, renowned for his exploration of repurposed, everyday materials, including ceiling fans, projectors and fluorescent tubes. His work is an intriguing interplay of light and sound, creating an atmosphere within the gallery that promotes self-play, introspection and a sense of wonder, as animated objects activate multiple senses in the viewer. 

A key highlight of the exhibition is Manning’s major new commission made especially for this exhibition: a large-scale, self-playing-instrument which dominates one of the galleries, taking the form of a wave.

Ross Manning, "Six Short Films", 2016. Photo: Carl Warner. Image courtesy Institute of Modern Art, Brisbane.

Ross Manning, “Six Short Films”, 2016. Photo: Carl Warner. Image courtesy Institute of Modern Art, Brisbane.

Hailing from Brisbane, artist and musician Ross Manning’s practice revolves around experimental music, immersive installations and new technologies, with light typically serving as the focal point of his work. His work has recently been featured in the 11th Shanghai Biennale in “Why Not Ask Again?”, as well as “Set in Motion” at Govett-Brewster Art Gallery.

Ross Manning, "Endless Sheet", 2011. Photo: Carl Warner. Image courtesy Institute of Modern Art, Brisbane.

Ross Manning, “Endless Sheet”, 2011. Photo: Carl Warner. Image courtesy Institute of Modern Art, Brisbane.

In his exhibition at the IMA, the works focus on systems that are “driven by their own logic”, moving objects that are propelled by their own kinetic forces and electricity. As the IMA explains,

This is a sculptural practice with a totalising scope and vision: just as it appears to consume all manner of household and industrial objects, hardware, and technologies, so it harnesses visible and audible frequencies. It then uses those same energies of light, sound, and motion to colonise nearly every surface and wavelength in its vicinity.

Ross Manning, "Bricks and Blocks", 2016. Photo: Carl Warner. Image courtesy Institute of Modern Art, Brisbane.

Ross Manning, “Bricks and Blocks”, 2016. Photo: Carl Warner. Image courtesy Institute of Modern Art, Brisbane.

Key to Manning’s practice, as the exhibition’s title suggests, is the idea of rhythm and the interplay between the aural and the visual, influenced by his musical background. This underlying premise belies the various disciplines he works with: sound, light, colour and movement. As the IMA elaborates,

For Manning, rhythm is also what animates the frame rate of the moving image; what turns the cog in the machine; what powers the internal clock that drives the computer; what drives the flicker of light waves. Most importantly, rhythm is in the pulsation of energy. A dissonant rhythm isn’t any less an order of time; it is simply one in which things appear out of time. Elements may not work together—they jar, grate, and compete for attention—but they are bound by the same energy and intensity. Despite this sense of disorder, the ear and eye search for an underlying unity all the same.

Ross Manning, "Sad Majick", 2009. Photo: Louis Lim. Image courtesy Institute of Modern Art, Brisbane.

Ross Manning, “Sad Majick”, 2009. Photo: Louis Lim. Image courtesy Institute of Modern Art, Brisbane.

His recent commission, Wave Opus (2016–present), is the latest in a series of sound sculptures that encourage self-play as well as live performance. This particular installation is the largest the artist has produced of the series, with three rows of aluminium cut to different lengths forming different undulating wave-like sections. A length of rope runs alongside each row, connected to motors at either side of the gallery, and creating waveforms when played. At thirty minute intervals, the motors spin the rope and strike the chimes.

Ross Manning, "Wave Opus III", 2017. Photo: Louis Lim. Image courtesy Institute of Modern Art, Brisbane.

Ross Manning, “Wave Opus III”, 2017. Photo: Louis Lim. Image courtesy Institute of Modern Art, Brisbane.

In this sense, the work serves as a “tonal curtain”, to quote the artist, a “literal and figurative wall of sound to divide the space”, with the length of each tube determining the note and creating different sounds.

Ross Manning, "Wave Opus III", 2017. Photo: Louis Lim. Image courtesy Institute of Modern Art, Brisbane.

Ross Manning, “Wave Opus III”, 2017. Photo: Louis Lim. Image courtesy Institute of Modern Art, Brisbane.

Other key works in the exhibition include Six Short Films, originally produced for the Len Lye Centre housed in the Govett-Brewster Art Gallery in New Plymouth, New Zealand. Inspired by the pioneering films of New Zealand artist Len Lye, the work pays tribute to his 1935 film Colour Box, a film made without a camera, rather using hand coloured celluloid frame-by-frame. In this exhibition, Manning uses coloured theatre gels assembled together in loops with tape, which are then rotated along motorised rollers, using the same colours that Lye used in the original film. As the projectors rotate and colours shift across the gallery walls, viewers are bathed in multicoloured rays.

Ross Manning, "Six Short Films", 2016. Photo: Carl Warner. Image courtesy Institute of Modern Art, Brisbane.

Ross Manning, “Six Short Films”, 2016. Photo: Carl Warner. Image courtesy Institute of Modern Art, Brisbane.

In a similar sense, Endless Sheet also uses moving image and overhead projectors, breaking down early computer programming and the mechanics of animation. As sheets of paper loops through the projector in a simple conveyer belt system, light passes through holes to cast shadows and light onto the gallery walls, triggered by a motion sensor that starts the performance.

Ross Manning, "Endless Sheet", 2011. Photo: Carl Warner. Image courtesy Institute of Modern Art, Brisbane.

Ross Manning, “Endless Sheet”, 2011. Photo: Carl Warner. Image courtesy Institute of Modern Art, Brisbane.

The bright, vivid colours in Bricks and Blocks rely on a simple feedback loop using cameras, mirrors, and television monitors. The camera picks up light emitted from two fluorescent tubes and the image in the mirror, which in turn captures the lights, monitor and movements of any surrounding visitors. The imagery is infinitely repeated, as the camera records the mirror, the recording is broadcast on the monitor, which is in turn reflected in the mirror and recorded by the camera. The result is an extremely simple but exquisite feedback loop, turning the banality of a mirror and monitor into something extraordinary, and giving order to the potential visual chaos of the shifting lights.

Ross Manning, "Spectra XIII", 2017. Photo: Carl Warner. Image courtesy Institute of Modern Art, Brisbane.

Ross Manning, “Spectra XIII”, 2017. Photo: Carl Warner. Image courtesy Institute of Modern Art, Brisbane.

Born in 1978, Manning previously worked as a repairman for data projectors. Talking to The Guardian in 2014, he explains his “surgeon-like passion for the inner workings of machinery”:

When you show a video through a data projector you have predeterminants that technology will produce your artwork out of. I like to start with the technology, start with the machine, and then try and get it to do the things I want it to do.

These feelings were intensified after a period spent in Japan working as an English teacher, which greatly influenced his interest in sound, technology and music. He explains:

Japan is where I first started mucking around with electronics. I would go into Akihabara and all the electronics stalls. It was a music focus because I built my own instruments and electronics for audio. In Japan is where I saw all this amazing music and art and also got the chance to start building and experimenting with my own stuff.

Ross Manning, "Six Short Films", 2016. Photo: Carl Warner. Image courtesy Institute of Modern Art, Brisbane.

Ross Manning, “Six Short Films”, 2016. Photo: Carl Warner. Image courtesy Institute of Modern Art, Brisbane.

Manning is now represented by Milani Gallery, Brisbane. His work was originally shown in the IMA’s annual exhibition, “The New Fresh Cut”, which showcases the work of emerging, Brisbane-based artists. He has been exhibited in joint and solo shows in Australia and internationally, including Berlin, Helsinki, London and New Zealand.

In 2014, he exhibited his kinetic light sculptures “Different Rhythms” as part of Tasmania’s annual festival Dark Mofo. The exhibition took place in a network of underground tunnels, exhibiting pieces such as Sad Majick, which uses an oscillating fan to propel LED lights, which in turn send splinters and fragments of colour through the tunnels, in a similar way that the artist uses light in Six Short Films at the IMA. Celebrating the simplicity and beauty of ordinary objects was key to this former exhibition, and the same values and ideas shine through Manning’s work in his current show.

Anna Jamieson

1826

Related topics: installationevents in AustraliaAustralian artistsAustralian artmuseum shows

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5 contemporary women printmakers in India to know now

Art Radar examines how these artists have reinvented printmaking by bringing their own unique experiences into their practice.

This is the second article in a two-part series on printmaking in Asia. It examines the pathbreaking work of five women artists from India – in their own practice, in teaching, and in establishing an infrastructure to secure a future for the art form.

Click here to read Part 1: What is printmaking? Art Radar explains.

Anupam Sud, ‘Dialogue’, 1984, etching on paper, 50 x 65 cm. Image courtesy the artist and Palette Art Gallery.

Anupam Sud, ‘Dialogue’, 1984, etching on paper, 50 x 65 cm. Image courtesy the artist and Palette Art Gallery.

This article was written by a participant in our art writing diploma programme. Do you want to write for Art Radar too? Click here to find out more about our Diploma in Art Journalism & Writing.

Printmaking in India, in the first half of the 20th century, was dominated by male artists and was considered a field requiring technical mastery, physical strength, endurance and stamina. It was the pioneering efforts of eminent contemporary women printmakers that challenged the myths surrounding this medium, not only proving that they possessed all these characteristics, but also taking the art form to a higher level.

1. Anupam Sud

Art historian and fellow printmaker Paula Sengupta says (PDF download) of Anupam Sud (b. 1944) in The Printed Picture:

Her […] work tends to focus on the human body and her printmaking technique is uniquely labour-intensive, making her one of India’s foremost practicing printmakers.

After completing an education in Fine Arts in New Delhi and studying printmaking at the Slade School of Art in London, Sud joined Jagmohan Chopra’s  “Group 8” in 1968 to promote printmaking in the country.

Anupam Sud, ‘Value Added Test’, 2007, etching on paper, 62.8 x 93.5 cm. Image courtesy the artist and Palette Art Gallery.

Anupam Sud, ‘Value Added Test’, 2007, etching on paper, 62.8 x 93.5 cm. Image courtesy the artist and Palette Art Gallery.

Her distinctive style is often described as “narrative”, although the artist believes that there is sufficient ambiguity and openness in her work that allows onlookers to form their own interpretations.  

Like other women printmakers of her generation, she did not aspire to be purely decorative in her work and instead chose to address interpersonal and social issues faced by the newly forming urban India. Sud uses various intaglio-etching techniques to explore sexuality and identities in her work, especially the non-verbal interrelations between the sexes.

Sud has had solo exhibitions in India, Korea and the United States, and has participated in biennales and triennales in Asia, the Americas and Europe. Her work is on display at the National Gallery of Modern Art (New Delhi) and the Victoria and Albert Museum (London).  

Zarina Hashmi, “Atlas of My World,” 2001, portfolio of six woodcuts with Urdu text printed in black on Kozo paper, edition of 20. Image size: variable, sheet size: 25.5 x 19.5 inches (64.7 x 49.5 cm). © 2001, Zarina Hashmi; Image courtesy of the artist and Luhring Augustine, New York.

Zarina Hashmi, “Atlas of My World,” 2001, portfolio of six woodcuts with Urdu text printed in black on Kozo paper, edition of 20. Image size: variable, sheet size: 25.5 x 19.5 inches (64.7 x 49.5 cm). © 2001, Zarina Hashmi. Image courtesy the artist and Luhring Augustine, New York.

2. Zarina Hashmi

Zarina Hashmi (b. 1937) was born in Aligarh in India, although she has been living and working in New York for several years. Her early education in mathematics and her interest in architecture reflect in her practice, such as her minimalist use of the line on handmade paper. Zarina (who prefers to use only her first name) is also a formalist in her approach and her focus on structure is evident in her prints which are made using various techniques, including intaglio, woodblock, lithography and silkscreen.

As a Muslim woman born in India but living abroad, her work explores themes surrounding cultural identity, home, displacement, borders, journey and memory. She often creates a series of several prints in order to depict different locales or ideas. Many of her works, such as The Cities Blotted into the Wilderness (2003) and Atlas of my World (2001), focus on geographies, territorial boundaries and terrains, especially those in the midst of political conflicts.

Zarina Hashmi, ‘Letter VII,’ from the portfolio “Letters from Home,” 2004, Portfolio of eight woodblock and metalcut prints on handmade Kozo paper and mounted on Somerset paper, edition of 20, image size: 12 x 9 inches (30.5 x 22.9 cm), sheet size: 22 1/4 x 15 inches (56.5 x 38.1 cm). © 2004, Zarina Hashmi; Image courtesy of the artist and Luhring Augustine, New York.

Zarina Hashmi, ‘Letter VII,’ from the portfolio “Letters from Home,” 2004, Portfolio of eight woodblock and metalcut prints on handmade Kozo paper and mounted on Somerset paper, edition of 20, image size: 12 x 9 inches (30.5 x 22.9 cm), sheet size: 22 1/4 x 15 inches (56.5 x 38.1 cm). © 2004, Zarina Hashmi. Image courtesy the artist and Luhring Augustine, New York.

Zarina has always been fascinated by the possibilities of paper and often uses sculptural elements in her prints by creating textures. She does this by puncturing, scratching, weaving and sewing, in addition to traditionally printing on paper. She also uses calligraphic text in Urdu, her mother tongue, to connect with remembered experiences of childhood.

Her work has been exhibited worldwide and she was one of the four entries representing India in its first participation at the Venice Biennale in 2011. In 2012, the Hammer Museum in Los Angeles organised the first retrospective of her work titled “Zarina – Paper Like Skin”, an exhibition that later travelled to the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum in New York and the Art Institute of Chicago. Her work has been shown in several group exhibitions including the recently concluded Exhibition 1 at the Institute of Arab and Islamic Art in New York in 2017.

Kavita Nayar, ‘Me the Flower’, 2011, Etching on paper, 56 x 76 cm. Image courtesy the artist and Mojarto.

Kavita Nayar, ‘Me the Flower’, 2011, Etching on paper, 56 x 76 cm. Image courtesy the artist and Mojarto.

3. Kavita Nayar

An innovative printmaker, Kavita Nayar (b. 1957), like other contemporary women printmakers, has continuously sought to discover herself through her practice, and to capture emotions and experiences in her works. She expresses her ideas and subject matter using the spirit of nature as a theme, and her mastery of technique is evident in the painterly feel of her prints.

After studying Fine Art at Santiniketan and New Delhi, Nayar was awarded a scholarship by the French Government to study lithography and etchings at Cite International des Arts and Ecole des Beaux Arts in the 1980s. Working under a master printer in serigraphy in Luxembourg and studying further at the Ruskin School of Art in Oxford helped the artist hone her skills. As a result, she is at ease in a variety of techniques and mediums.

The tragic loss of her daughter made Nayar seek refuge in spiritualism and these influences are visible in her recent work, such as in the series “Seeds” (2009-2012), where she explores the meaning of life through the visual vocabulary of flowers and foetuses. In an interview with The Hindu in 2014, the artist said:

I took solace in nature. I was drawn to it automatically. I saw my daughter everywhere, in flowers, petals, leaves and trees.

Kavita Nayar, ‘In My Womb’, 2011, variation in multiple plate intaglio. Image courtesy Mojarto.

Kavita Nayar, ‘In My Womb’, 2011, variation in multiple plate intaglio. Image courtesy the artist and Mojarto.

Nayar has been closely associated with both the Garhi Printmaking Studio and the Indian Printmakers’ Guild. She is also a Trustee of the Kala Sakshi Memorial Trust which gives scholarships to art students. Through these roles, Nayar is a mentor, role model and guide to the younger generation of artists in the country.   

Nayar lives and works in New Delhi. Her works have been exhibited in Europe and Asia and she has held solo shows in the United States, England, Mauritius and India. Nayar’s prints and paintings are in private and public collections worldwide including the National Bibliotheque in Paris, the National Gallery of Modern Art in New Delhi, the Frank Museum in Columbus, Ohio and the Panchavati Hall at the Prime Minister’s residence in New Delhi.

Kanchan Chander, ‘Visage’, 1998, Etching on paper, 13 x 14 cm. Image courtesy the artist and Mojarto.

Kanchan Chander, ‘Visage’, 1998, etching on paper, 13 x 14 cm. Image courtesy the artist and Mojarto.

4. Kanchan Chander

Just like other leading women contemporary artists of the country, Kanchan Chander (b. 1957) also faced  the challenge of asserting herself in a field and a medium that had been the playground of her male counterparts for decades. An extremely versatile artist, Chander has studied fine art and printmaking in Germany, India, Chile and France and was a founder member of the Indian Printmakers’ Guild along with Kavita Nayar and Shukla Sawant.

Chander strongly believes that

Art occurs in a social situation – the maker and the art, both are bound by social forces that are instrumental in shaping them. I too am subject to the same law.

Kanchan Chander, ‘Flora and Fauna’, 2015, Etching on paper, 28 x 36 cm. Image courtesy the artist and Mojarto.

Kanchan Chander, ‘Flora and Fauna’, 2015, Etching on paper, 28 x 36 cm. Image courtesy the artist and Mojarto.

As a result of this philosophy, her work is reflective of her own life: its ups and downs, joy and despair. Chander also draws inspiration from the idea of a mythic and divine feminine energy, and often depicts feminine power by using imagery from the Bhoota figures of Karnataka, tribal figures and images of the Shakti cult. In her more recent works like the “Vatsalya” and “Fables Retold” series, she also explores the intensity of the mother-child relationship.

With a number of solo shows in India, Nepal, Japan and Australia to her credit, Chander has also participated in several exhibitions, print shows, triennales and International Print Biennales. Her work is on display at the National Gallery of Modern Art in New Delhi, the Mumbai International Airport, the British Museum, the Victoria and Albert Museum, the Ecole des Beaux Art in Paris and the Fukuoka Art Museum in Japan.

Shukla Sawant, 'Remembering Pandita,' 2009, screen print on tissue paper and acrylic. Image courtesy the artist.

Shukla Sawant, ‘Remembering Pandita,’ 2009, screen print on tissue paper and acrylic. Image courtesy the artist.

5. Shukla Sawant

The youngest among these five artists, Shukla Sawant (b. 1963) works in a variety of media and techniques. In an email to Art Radar, Sawant says that her “printmaking practice is largely
connected to images that are part of a spatial experience”.

She often puts photography, printmaking, sculpture and readymade objects together in order to create the desired impact, even blending them with background music and audio effects in her installations. Examples include her 2009 installation Remembering Pandita, where she used sounds from a printing press, and Desert Islands and Other Texts that used bird calls of seagulls. Sawant thus uses an interventionist’s strategy in her art practice to focus on people who have been deliberately kept out of the mainstream for social and political reasons.

Shukla Sawant, 'Blinding White', 2006, screen print on acrylic, cloth and aural sound piece. Image courtesy the artist.

Shukla Sawant, ‘Blinding White’, 2006, screen print on acrylic, cloth and aural sound piece. Image courtesy the artist.

Sawant first studied painting at the Delhi College of Art, later followed by graphic art, specifically lithography, at the Ecole Nationale Superieure des Beaux Arts in Paris. She also completed a second Master’s degree at the Slade School of Art and the Slade Centre for Theoretical Studies on a Commonwealth scholarship programme. She has worked as a teacher and lecturer in the Department of Fine Arts and Art Education at Jamia Millia Islamia in New Delhi and is currently Associate Professor at the School of Art & Aesthetics, Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi.

Sawant was a founder member of the Indian Printmakers’ Guild and is an active collaborative artist who works with her contemporaries in initiatives such as the KHOJ International Artist’s Association established in 1997, which brings together artists from several countries for workshops and lecture programmes every year. Her first solo show was held at the Delhi Shilpi Chakra Gallery in 1986, and since then she has exhibited extensively in India and abroad.  

Amita Kini-Singh

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Click here to read Part 1: What is printmaking? Art Radar explains.

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Photo Gallery: Takashi Murakami’s “octopus” exhibition at MCA Chicago

Art Radar runs an exclusive photo gallery of Takashi Murakami’s latest show in the United States.

Running at MCA in Chicago until this Sunday 24 September 2017, the major retrospective of the Japanese artist showcases more than three decades of Murakami’s works from his earliest to his most mature.

Takashi Murakami, 2017. Photo: Maria Ponce Berre. © MCA Chicago.

Takashi Murakami, 2017. Photo: Maria Ponce Berre. © MCA Chicago.

Many of the works which have been on display at Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago (MCA) since 6 June 2017 have never before been shown in North America. “Takashi Murakami: The Octopus Eats Its Own Leg” has indeed been a major retrospective for the Japanese artist in the United States, and has recently, as announced on 21 September by MCA, officially broken the David Bowie attendance record of 193,000, making it the all-time highest attended exhibition in the MCA’s 50-year history.

The exhibition is curated by MCA Chief Curator Michael Darling, who said in regards to setting a new attendance record for the museum that “The audiences for this show have been amazing, incredibly youthful and diverse with an enthusiastic thirst for all that Murakami produces.”

Takashi Murakami, 'Super Nova', 1999, acrylic on canvas mounted on board, 7 panels, 118 x 59 in (300 x 150 cm) each, overall 118 in. x 413 in (299.72 x 1049.02 cm). Collection of Vicki and Kent Logan, fractional and promised gift to the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art. © 1999 Takashi Murakami/Kaikai Kiki Co., Ltd. All Rights Reserved. Photo: Jeffrey Wells Photography, Aurora, Colorado.

Takashi Murakami, ‘Super Nova’, 1999, acrylic on canvas mounted on board, 7 panels, 118 x 59 in (300 x 150 cm) each, overall 118 in. x 413 in (299.72 x 1049.02 cm). Collection of Vicki and Kent Logan, fractional and promised gift to the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art. © 1999 Takashi Murakami/Kaikai Kiki Co., Ltd. All Rights Reserved. Photo: Jeffrey Wells Photography, Aurora, Colorado.

Takashi Murakami is known for his highly imaginative work, which has proved successfull in both the art world and commercial spheres, with collaborations with pop icons such as Kanye West and fashion house Louis Vuitton. Murakami has invented the term Superflat used to refer to the style of art he creates, inspired by anime and popular culture. Superflat art pairs traditional Japanese painting techniques with a contemporary, animé-inspired aesthetic within a flattened picture plane. Murakami’s work blurs the boundaries between high and low, ancient and modern, eastern and western art, and features what MCA calls “a colorful cast of characters inspired by folklore, art history, and popular culture”.

Takashi Murakami, 'Dragon In Clouds—Indigo Blue', 2010, acrylic on canvas mounted on board, 143 x 708 5/8 in (363 x 1,800 cm). Collection of Larry Gagosian. © 2010 Takashi Murakami/Kaikai Kiki Co., Ltd. All Rights Reserved. Photo: Gavin Ashworth.

Takashi Murakami, ‘Dragon In Clouds—Indigo Blue’, 2010, acrylic on canvas mounted on board, 143 x 708 5/8 in (363 x 1,800 cm). Collection of Larry Gagosian. © 2010 Takashi Murakami/Kaikai Kiki Co., Ltd. All Rights Reserved. Photo: Gavin Ashworth.

The current exhibition comprises over 50 works, including monumental paintings and sculptures. For this show, Murakami has created a new group of paintings shown for the first time, including The Octopus Eats Its Own Leg, a 114-foot masterwork made up of over 35 panels that surround visitors in the gallery. The title of this work and the exhibition is taken from a Japanese folk saying that hints at the process of rejuvenation. As MCA explains,

An octopus in distress can chew off a damaged leg to ensure survival, knowing that a new one will grow in its place. Similarly, Murakami often feeds off his own prior imagery, or that of Japanese history, in order for new work to emerge.

"Takashi Murakami: The Octopus Eats its Own Leg", 6 June 6 – 24 September 2017, MCA Chicago. Photo: Nathan Keay. © MCA Chicago.

“Takashi Murakami: The Octopus Eats its Own Leg”, 6 June 6 – 24 September 2017, MCA Chicago. Photo: Nathan Keay. © MCA Chicago.

"Takashi Murakami: The Octopus Eats its Own Leg", 6 June 6 – 24 September 2017, MCA Chicago. Photo: Nathan Keay. © MCA Chicago.

“Takashi Murakami: The Octopus Eats its Own Leg”, 6 June 6 – 24 September 2017, MCA Chicago. Photo: Nathan Keay. © MCA Chicago.

"Takashi Murakami: The Octopus Eats its Own Leg", 6 June 6 – 24 September 2017, MCA Chicago. Photo: Nathan Keay. © MCA Chicago.

“Takashi Murakami: The Octopus Eats its Own Leg”, 6 June 6 – 24 September 2017, MCA Chicago. Photo: Nathan Keay. © MCA Chicago.

"Takashi Murakami: The Octopus Eats its Own Leg", 6 June 6 – 24 September 2017, MCA Chicago. Photo: Nathan Keay. © MCA Chicago.

“Takashi Murakami: The Octopus Eats its Own Leg”, 6 June 6 – 24 September 2017, MCA Chicago. Photo: Nathan Keay. © MCA Chicago.

"Takashi Murakami: The Octopus Eats its Own Leg", 6 June 6 – 24 September 2017, MCA Chicago. Photo: Nathan Keay. © MCA Chicago.

“Takashi Murakami: The Octopus Eats its Own Leg”, 6 June 6 – 24 September 2017, MCA Chicago. Photo: Nathan Keay. © MCA Chicago.

"Takashi Murakami: The Octopus Eats its Own Leg", 6 June 6 – 24 September 2017, MCA Chicago. Photo: Nathan Keay. © MCA Chicago.

“Takashi Murakami: The Octopus Eats its Own Leg”, 6 June 6 – 24 September 2017, MCA Chicago. Photo: Nathan Keay. © MCA Chicago.

"Takashi Murakami: The Octopus Eats its Own Leg", 6 June 6 – 24 September 2017, MCA Chicago. Photo: Nathan Keay. © MCA Chicago.

“Takashi Murakami: The Octopus Eats its Own Leg”, 6 June 6 – 24 September 2017, MCA Chicago. Photo: Nathan Keay. © MCA Chicago.

"Takashi Murakami: The Octopus Eats its Own Leg", 6 June 6 – 24 September 2017, MCA Chicago. Photo: Nathan Keay. © MCA Chicago.

“Takashi Murakami: The Octopus Eats its Own Leg”, 6 June 6 – 24 September 2017, MCA Chicago. Photo: Nathan Keay. © MCA Chicago.

"Takashi Murakami: The Octopus Eats its Own Leg", 6 June 6 – 24 September 2017, MCA Chicago. Photo: Nathan Keay. © MCA Chicago.

“Takashi Murakami: The Octopus Eats its Own Leg”, 6 June 6 – 24 September 2017, MCA Chicago. Photo: Nathan Keay. © MCA Chicago.

"Takashi Murakami: The Octopus Eats its Own Leg", 6 June 6 – 24 September 2017, MCA Chicago. Photo: Nathan Keay. © MCA Chicago.

“Takashi Murakami: The Octopus Eats its Own Leg”, 6 June 6 – 24 September 2017, MCA Chicago. Photo: Nathan Keay. © MCA Chicago.

Takashi Murakami, 'Release Chakra’s gate at this instant', 2008, acrylic and platinum leaf on canvas mounted on wood panel, 63 x 138 in (160.1 x 351 cm). Private Collection. © 2008 Takashi Murakami/Kaikai Kiki Co., Ltd. All Rights Reserved. Photo: Courtesy of the artist and Blum & Poe, Los Angeles/New York/Tokyo.

Takashi Murakami, ‘Release Chakra’s gate at this instant’, 2008, acrylic and platinum leaf on canvas mounted on wood panel, 63 x 138 in (160.1 x 351 cm). Private Collection. © 2008 Takashi Murakami/Kaikai Kiki Co., Ltd. All Rights Reserved. Photo: Courtesy of the artist and Blum & Poe, Los Angeles/New York/Tokyo.

"Takashi Murakami: The Octopus Eats its Own Leg", 6 June 6 – 24 September 2017, MCA Chicago. Photo: Nathan Keay. © MCA Chicago.

“Takashi Murakami: The Octopus Eats its Own Leg”, 6 June 6 – 24 September 2017, MCA Chicago. Photo: Nathan Keay. © MCA Chicago.

"Takashi Murakami: The Octopus Eats its Own Leg", 6 June 6 – 24 September 2017, MCA Chicago. Photo: Nathan Keay. © MCA Chicago.

“Takashi Murakami: The Octopus Eats its Own Leg”, 6 June 6 – 24 September 2017, MCA Chicago. Photo: Nathan Keay. © MCA Chicago.

Takashi Murakami, 'ZuZaZaZaZaZa', 1994, acrylic and silkscreen on canvas mounted on board, 59 x 67 in (149.8 x 170.1 cm). Takahashi Collection. © 1994 Takashi Murakami/Kaikai Kiki Co., Ltd. All Rights Reserved. Photo: Norihiro Ueno.

Takashi Murakami, ‘ZuZaZaZaZaZa’, 1994, acrylic and silkscreen on canvas mounted on board, 59 x 67 in (149.8 x 170.1 cm). Takahashi Collection. © 1994 Takashi Murakami/Kaikai Kiki Co., Ltd. All Rights Reserved. Photo: Norihiro Ueno.

"Takashi Murakami: The Octopus Eats its Own Leg", 6 June 6 – 24 September 2017, MCA Chicago. Photo: Nathan Keay. © MCA Chicago.

“Takashi Murakami: The Octopus Eats its Own Leg”, 6 June 6 – 24 September 2017, MCA Chicago. Photo: Nathan Keay. © MCA Chicago.

 

Takashi Murakami: The Octopus Eats Its Own Leg” is on show from 6 June to 24 September 2017 at MCA Chicago, USA.

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Related Topics: Japanese artists, Superflat art, museum shows, events in the United States, photo galleries

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Art internships and opportunities | 1a space (HK), Inlaks Fine Arts Awards 2018, Office for Contemporary Art Norway… and more

Looking for new career options in the arts? Art Radar Opportunities is an archive of openings in the visual art world. 

Whether you are an artist or an aspiring curator, a market analyst or a scholar, Art Radar Opportunities has listings that will pique your interest. Every week we add new positions suitable for a variety of backgrounds and levels of experience. 

Reader offer! We’re offering free job listings to all of our readers. If you would like to advertise your opportunity to 25,000 visitors a month, fill out our Internships or Opportunities submission form.

New this week!

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OPEN CALL | Norway, Belgium and Brazil | Call for Applications | Office for Contemporary Art Norway (OCA) – 1 October 2017

The Office for Contemporary Art Norway (OCA) is a non-profit foundation aiming to foster dialogue between art practitioners in Norway and the international art scene. OCA is currently accepting applications for five grant schemes, including a new residency opportunity for an artist, curator, critic or writer at Capacete, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. The five categories are as follows: International Support, International Support for Art Critics, Curators, Art Magazines and Translation of Text (ISACAT), International Support for Galleries and Independent Exhibition Spaces (ISGIES), International Residency at Capacete, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil and Wiels Residency Programme, Brussels, Belgium. Each has its own requirements and timelines, the grants are in general limited to Norwegian artists and creative professionals, or their international counterparts and projects that are based in or interact with Norway’s art and cultural scene. MORE HERE

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OPEN CALL | India | Call for Artists | Inlaks Fine Arts Awards 2018 – 1 October 2017

The Inlaks Shivdasani Foundation (formerly The Inlaks India Foundation) is a philanthropic organisation that identifies and supports exceptionally talented young Indian students. The annual Inlaks Fine Arts Award is intended to help young artists in their formative years to develop their creative talent independently within India through financial assistance. The current 2018 Award includes a fund worth INR300,000 (approx. USD4,675) for a period of one year and the opportunity to participate in an art residency programme within India for a period of 4 weeks in 2018. The applicant must be an India citizen currently residing in India and is under the age of 30 (by 31 December 2017). MORE HERE

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OPEN CALL | Hong Kong | Call for Curators | 1a space – 22 October 2017

1a space is a Hong Kong-based independent art organisation dedicated to experimentation, collaboration and cross-disciplinary practice in the arts. The initiative is now calling curators from the Asia-Pacific region (including Hong Kong) to apply for its “21 Century Art Incubator” programme. The proposed project must engage with the region and encourage cross-cultural exchange and collaboration with local communities. Selected curator(s) will be awarded an HKD20,000 (approx. USD2,559) honorarium plus curator’s fee. Allowances for flight tickets and accommodation will be provided for non-Hong Kong incubators. The exhibition will take place at 1a space between March and April 2018 with at least 1 related public programming. MORE HERE

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INTERNSHIP | Venice, Italy | Unpaid Internship | The National Pavilion United Arab Emirates (UAE) – 3 December 2017

The National Pavilion United Arab Emirates (UAE) at la Biennale di Venezia manages the UAE’s participation in various offerings of the Biennale. The Venice Internship programme offers training and cultural exchange opportunities for emerging arts and architecture professionals to spend one month in Venice staffing the UAE’s art exhibition at the 16th International Architecture Exhibition of la Biennale di Venezia taking place from 26 May 26 to 25 November 2018. The internship is open to Emiratis and long-term residents of the UAE aged 21 and above with an interest or background in arts and architecture. All applicants must register and apply online. MORE HERE

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INTERNSHIP | New York | Multiple Unpaid Internships | Brooklyn Museum – apply by dates vary

Brooklyn Museum is a contemporary art museum focusing on experimental and socially-engaged art and cultural conversations. The museum is currently offering four internship vacancies: Development Intern (Development), Marketing and Communications Intern (Marketing and Communications), Graphic Design Intern (Design) and Digital Collections and Services Interns. Each position has its specific requirements, descriptions and application deadlines. In general, interns will have the opportunity to work closely with the heads of the departments respectively. The unpaid internships require part-time weekly commitment with flexible time arrangement. MORE HERE

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Did you know that Art Radar runs its very own online art writing course? Click here to find out more about Art Radar‘s Diploma in Art Journalism & Writing.

Looking for more opportunities in the contemporary art world? For Art Radar’s complete list of jobs, internships, residencies, courses and open calls, click here.

Closing this week!

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INTERNSHIP | Hong Kong | Unpaid Internship | 1a space – 22 September 2017

1a space is an independent, non-profit contemporary visual art organisation and venue founded by a collective of Hong Kong art professionals. The organisation is seeking a student intern currently studying art, design, literature, architecture, moving images, art education, museum studies or other related subjects. The part-time internship will take place from September 2017 to February 2018 with flexible work timetable. Interns will gain training in curatorial work through engagement in the space’s exhibition preparations and logistics. Interested applicants please send application and CV to: info@oneaspace.org.hk with email subject: Application to 1a space Internship Programme 2017-18. MORE HERE

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OPEN CALL | Global and Shanghai | Call for Art Critics | International Awards for Art Criticism (IAAC) – 24 September 2017

The Fourth Edition of the International Awards for Art Criticism (IAAC 4) of 2017 is calling art critics and writers all over the world to submit their unpublished works in Chinese or English about any contemporary art exhibition held between 20 September 2016 and 20 September 2017. The First Prize will consist of a cash award of EUR10,000 (approx. USD11,972) and a fully funded short programme of visits and meetings in Shanghai or London. Each of the three Second Prizes will be awarded a cash prize of EUR3,500 (approx. USD4,189). Submissions may be no longer than 1,500 English words or 2,000 Chinese characters. Applicants may upload supporting high-quality visual elements. MORE HERE

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OPEN CALL | Australia | Call for Arts Professionals | The Australia Council International Leadership Program (Asia Pacific) – 26 September 2017

The Australia Council International Leadership Program is calling arts professionals from eligible Asia-Pacific countries to join two leadership programmes in Australia: “Arts Leaders Program” and “Future Leaders Program”. Differentiating in specific programme activities, both opportunities offer residential workshops, professional meetings and leadership projects. A full scholarship will be provided to the successful candidates, which covers air travel to and from Australia, visa applications, accommodation and access to online materials. While each programme has its own selection criteria, the general eligibility requirements include proficiency in English and citizenship of China, India, Indonesia, Papua New Guinea, Philippines or Samoa. MORE HERE

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OPEN CALL | Jersey, UK | Call for Photographic Artists | Archisle International Photographer in Residence Programme 2018 – 29 September 2017

Taking place in the British Channel Island of Jersey, the Archisle International Photographer in Residence Programme is currently accepting applications from international photographers and photo-media artists for the position of Photographer in Residence 2018. This is a 6-month residency commencing from April through to September 2018. Successful applicants will be provided with the following benefits: a GBP10,000 (approx. USD12,786) award for a new body of work and solo exhibition; studio space with access to inkjet printing and office resources; living accommodation and stipend; travel costs. Applicants will submit a project proposal, recent work imagery, a current CV and a list of estimated travel cost. MORE HERE

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OPEN CALL | The Middle East and North Africa Region (MENA) | Call for Artists and Cultural Operators | Roberto Cimetta Fund – 30 September 2017

The Roberto Cimetta Fund has opened The Tamteen Funding line to support arts and cultural operators developing local projects in the MENA region. All arts and cultural professionals and small and medium organisations whose annual budget does not exceed EUR20,000 (approx. USD23,815) and are based and deliver projects in the region can apply. Grants per proposal do not exceed EUR3,000 (approx. USD3,572). Applications can be made in Arabic, French or English. Results will be announced on 1 December 2017. MORE HERE

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This is just a sample of art world opportunities we gather each week. If you’d like to see more, click here to sign up for more information on how to get full access and feeds of opportunities.

3 art events in Istanbul not to miss in September 2017

As the 15th Istanbul Biennial opens this autumn, the city comes alive with collateral art events.

The 15th Istanbul Biennial launched on 16 September 2017. Art Radar highlights three not-to-miss events taking place across the city during the biennial’s opening month.

"Past Meets Present", 7 September - 13 October 2017, Anna Laudel Contemporary, Istanbul. Photo: Kayhan Kaygusuz. Image courtesy Anna Laudel Contemporary.

“Past Meets Present”, 7 September – 13 October 2017, Anna Laudel Contemporary, Istanbul. Photo: Kayhan Kaygusuz. Image courtesy Anna Laudel Contemporary.

The 15th Istanbul Biennial will run until 12 November 2017 across different venues in the Turkish city, incluing Istanbul Modern, Galata Greek Primary School, Pera Museum, ARK Kültür, Yoğunluk Artist Atelier and Küçük Mustafa Paşa Hamam.

During the lenght of the biennial, Istanbul comes alive with diverse art events across its plethora of art spaces and institutions. Contemporary Istanbul art fair just recently closed on Sunday 17 September, marking another successful year for the art market in Turkey.

Art Radar has selected three events not to miss this September and October, taking place around the biennial.

"Past Meets Present", 7 September - 13 October 2017, Anna Laudel Contemporary, Istanbul. Photo: Kayhan Kaygusuz. Image courtesy Anna Laudel Contemporary.

“Past Meets Present”, 7 September – 13 October 2017, Anna Laudel Contemporary, Istanbul. Photo: Kayhan Kaygusuz. Image courtesy Anna Laudel Contemporary.

1. “Past meets Present” — Anna Laudel Contemporary

7 September – 13 October 2017

Anna Laudel Contemporary is hosting a group exhibition entitled “Past meets Present”, co-curated by Huma Kabakcı and Mine Küçük, and showcasing a selection of works by 16 Turkish and international artists including; Sami Aslan, Burçak Bingöl, Hera Büyüktaşçıyan, Ahmet Civelek, Onur Hastürk, Patrick Hough, Bilal Hakan Karakaya, Seçil Kınay, Hasan Kıran, Maude Maris, Ardan Özmenoğlu, Murat Palta, Shahpour Pouyan, Gazi Sansoy, Elvan Tekcan and Pınar Yolaçan.

The exhibition concept draws inspiration from the setting of the show itself: the site was the Ottoman Post Office in the early 20th century. The historical context, coupled with the international outlook of the gallery, provides the appropriate perspective for the idea of redefining the past through contemporary art.

“Past meets Present” also presents a programme of parallel activities as part of the 15th Istanbul Biennial, including a Curatorial Tour and Artist Talk, and a performance installation entitled “Body-The Present Flowing into the Past” presented by TORK Dance Art.

Pelesiyer, 'Pelesiyer's Table', site-specific installation, mixed media. Image courtesy halka art project.

Pelesiyer, ‘Pelesiyer’s Table’, site-specific installation, mixed media. Image courtesy halka art project.

2. “Maybe, We Will Benefit from Our Neighbour’s Good Fortune” — halka art project

14 September – 14 October 2017

Curated by Işıl Eğrikavuk, the exhibition taking place in Kadıköy, on the Anatolian side of Istanbul, brings together Istanbul-based art collectives dadans, HAH and Pelesiyer, who have produced new works for this exhibition. Additionally, artıkişler (video art collective), birbuçuk (arts and ecology collective) and Istanbul Permaculture Collective are presenting a programme of parallel activities as part of the exhibition. 

The show is an extension of an academic collaboration between Brighton University, UK and Istanbul Bilgi University, Turkey. Funded by Arts and Humanities Research Council, UK, the exhibition brings together collectives that incorporate cooking, eating, cultivating, co-existing and environment in their work. The show further investigates if arts, collective producing, solidarity, cooking and cultivating, which also generate the idea of neighbourhood, can be considered as alternative ways to protest.

The title of the exhibition comes from an old idiom in Turkish language which means one can benefit from the achievements and the abundance of the neighbours around. The exhibition questions the traditional interpretation of one’s ‘neighbour’, exploring the current dynamics of solidarity and inviting the audience to be a part of an alternative model of communication and expression.

Çatalhöyük wall painting, circa 6500 BC, Jason Quinlan and Çatalhöyük research project.

Çatalhöyük wall painting, circa 6500 BC, Jason Quinlan and Çatalhöyük research project.

3. “ONE”: A 9000-Year-Old Ritual, Presented by Nazlı Gürlek — ANAMED

23 September 2017

In collaboration with Koç University’s Research Center for Anatolian Civilizations (ANAMED) and Performistanbul, Nazlı Gürlek’s performance entitled “ONE” will be presented on Saturday 23 September between 5-8 pm at ANAMED in Istanbul. “ONE” is organised parallel to ANAMED’s exhibition entitled “The Curious Case of Çatalhöyük” that celebrates the 25th excavation season of the Çatalhöyük Research Project.

The performance is inspired by a wall painting dated around 6500 BC, discovered in Building 80 at Çatalhöyük, which is believed to have been created as part of a ritual. The project is also an attempt at an artistic adaptation of the archaeological methodology of the Çatalhöyük project based on “reflexivity, interactivity, multivocality, and contextuality”.

Gürlek re-creates the ritual through three different ways of expression including painting, documentation and movement: two nine-metre rolls of paper with drawings inspired by the Çatalhöyük painting, visual documentation of the excavation process showing the unveiling of the painting, and a live performance based on bodily movements of a performist.

C. A. Xuan Mai Ardia

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Preview: 3 highlights at Beirut Art Fair 2017

The eighth edition of the Beirut Art Fair continues its committment to highlight the artistic scenes of Lebanon and the Arab world.

Ahead of its opening this Thursday 21 September 2017, Art Radar previews the fair and its creative offerings.

Fondation Boghossian, "Villa Empain", Belgium. Image courtesy Beirut Art Fair.

Fondation Boghossian, “Villa Empain”, Belgium. Image courtesy Beirut Art Fair.

This year’s Beirut Art Fair presents a huge selection of exhibitions, exclusive presentations, talks and new initiatives, taking place at the BIEL. With 51 galleries participating – including 29 first time participants – the fair promises to be an illuminating presentation of the contemporary art scene in Lebanon today.

As fair director, exhibition curator and former journalist Laure d’Hauteville explains that the fair’s main concern is to amplify the voices of artists working in Lebanon. The energy of Beirut’s contemporary art scene can be seen in the network of historical and emerging galleries on show at the fair this year. It is the fair’s aim to export much of this work beyond Lebanese borders, by focusing their centrepiece exhibition on Lebanese collections.

Ghazi Baker, "Detail of a Painting", Untitled, Acrylic, Pastel and Oil on Cotton Canvas, 180 x 130 cm, Image courtesy Mark Hachem, Lebanon.

Ghazi Baker, ‘Detail of a Painting, Untitled’, acrylic, pastel and oil on cotton canvas, 180 x 130 cm. Image courtesy Mark Hachem, Lebanon.

Created in 2010, the 2016 edition of the fair aimed to streamline its offering, focusing on the fair’s quality and reputation. As a result, the fair is “a stronger and more assertive platform”, says d’Hauteville,

able to meet the expectations of a new generation of regional and international art lovers and collectors. Discovery and rediscovery are the pillars on which the identity of this fresh, energetic, one-of-a-kind fair is founded. Beirut Art Fair offers a singular space characterized by a degree of freedom of expression and cultural diversity unmatched in the region, helping it to highlight and promote the specificities of the Middle East’s vibrant creative art scene.

As a result, this year presents a previously unseen selection of galleries and exhibitions focusing on the region, including one tied to the notion of Arab identity:

The focus of the 2017 edition of BEIRUT ART FAIR is threefold: to foster a spirit of expansion and renewal, to promote the discovery of young talents, and to unfold a new perspective on the recent history of creation and collecting in Lebanon. For the second consecutive year, in both its main section and in REVEALING, BEIRUT ART FAIR has opted to use greater selectivity in its choices, in an effort to better meet the expectations of collectors, galleries and influencers.
Chaouki Chamoun, "Sprouting and Blooming Sand; a Tale in the Making", acrylic on canvas, 165.5 x 250 cm. Image courtesy Mark Hachem, Lebanon.

Chaouki Chamoun, ‘Sprouting and Blooming Sand; a Tale in the Making’, 2007, acrylic on canvas, 165.5 x 250 cm. Image courtesy Mark Hachem, Lebanon.

1. “Ourouba, The Eye of Lebanon”

The exhibition “Ourouba, The Eye of Lebanon” (PDF download) is curated by London-based expert Rose Issa, and reflects the aesthetic and socio-political concerns of the Arab world over the last decade. The exhibition explores the notion of contemporary “Arabicity” – Arab identity – through themes relating to memory, destruction and reconstruction, conflict and peace, particularly felt in the wake of 9/11. Much of the work on display has been loaned from important art collections in and around Lebanon, questioning how artists from the region, many of them secular, “express, offset or avoid the turbulence, corruption, humiliation and surveillance so present in their daily lives”.

Othmane Taleb, "Le passage des anges I", 2017, Diptych, Graphite, pastel on Canson paper, 70 x 50 cm. Image courtesy Hajer Azzouz Art -La maison de la plage, Tunisia

Othmane Taleb, ‘Le Passage des Anges I’, 2017, diptych, graphite, pastel on canson paper, 70 x 50 cm. Image courtesy Hajer Azzouz Art – La Maison de La Plage, Tunisia.

As Issa comments,
Since 2001, Arab societies have been powerless witnesses to violent events which have brought not only chaos in their midst, but also the frightening extension, on a scale both national and international, of a terrorism purporting to be ‘Islamic.’ The disintegration of the Arab world, with its succession of violence, war and the pillaging of historical sites in countries such as Syria, Iraq, Palestine, Yemen, Libya and Lebanon, has led to a sense of collective urgency which directs creative minds of the region to reflect even more intensely on life – on its resilience and beauty – despite the surrounding mental and physical chaos.

Thus, “Ourouba, The Eye of Lebanon” gives visitors the opportunity to consider artworks and acquisitions that address these issues, through installation, painting, photography, video and sculptural works that Issa has personally selected by visiting over 20 public and private collections in Lebanon. The exhibition is made up of works by 39 artists, some whose work lives solely in private, rather than public, collections. In this sense, the exhibition also narrates how different Arab artists create their artistic identities through the ultimate setting of their finished pieces, highlighting the various routes and challenges that their work faces, as they reveal personal journeys, research and aesthetic choices.

Elene Usdin, "Olga after Zarraga", Acrylic on inkjet print photography, 2016, 81 x 81 cm. Image courtesy Galerie Esther Woerdehoff, France.

Elene Usdin, ‘Olga After Zarraga’, 2016, acrylic on inkjet print photography, 81 x 81 cm. Image courtesy Galerie Esther Woerdehoff, France.

2. “REVEALING”

In its second iteration, the Beirut Art Fair presents “Revealing”, a platform which showcases and supports emerging artists based in Lebanon. The exhibition promotes young artists from the ME.NA. region, in the hope that they will be “discovered” and noticed by collectors attending the fair. Each gallery showcases one promising artist. Select highlights include the work of Camille Leherpeur, which deals with ideas of “unboxing”, performance staging, creating objects that shy away from the academicism of contemporary art.

Camille Leherpeur, "The palace", 2015, Inkjet print on fabric, 280 x 200 cm, Image courtesy Archiraar gallery, Belgium

Camille Leherpeur, ‘The Palace’, 2015, inkjet print on fabric, 280 x 200 cm. Image courtesy Archiraar gallery, Belgium

Leherpeur shows with Brussels-based Archiraar Gallery, an unusual gallery in that is has two spaces – a white cube and a black cube. One a conventional space to show art, the other a complementary, enclosed space which opened in 2014 and suggests a more intimate relationship with the work on display.

Tom Young, "Asphyxiated City (West)", 2017, oil on canvas 180 x 250 cm. Image courtesy Artspace Hamra, Lebanon

Tom Young, ‘Asphyxiated City (West)’, 2017, oil on canvas, 180 x 250 cm. Image courtesy Artspace Hamra, Lebanon.

Another highlight from “Revealing” is Tom Young, showing with gallery and multidisciplinary space Artspace Hamra, which supports modern and contemporary Middle Eastern art. As the gallery states, through thematic residences and cultural events, their ambition is “to initiate a dialogue among cultures and promote awareness of Middle Eastern art both locally and globally”.
Based between Beirut and London, Young trained as an architect, meaning that his work is informed by ideas surrounding light and space. Flicking, scraping, wiping and slashing thick impasto oil paint over his canvases, Young explains:
I’m interested in blurring the boundaries between realism and abstraction, and the paradox of capturing a sense of time in a still image. I explore the symbolism of narrative motifs such as carousels, suggesting dramatic contrasts in the city and the coexistence of pain and joy. I use motifs such as these to suggest childhood memories, the collective amnesia that often happens during and after challenging events and the resilience of the human spirit in the face of adversity.
Manal Mahamid, "Fine Dust", 2017, Video Art on loop, 8min20. Image courtesy Gallery One, Palestine

Manal Mahamid, ‘Fine Dust’, 2017, video on loop, 8:20 min. Image courtesy Gallery One, Palestine.

Another key artist to watch in the exhibition is Palestinian artist Manal Mahamid, showing with Gallery One. Mahamid earned a degree in Museology and Curation from the University of Tel Aviv, and now works across media including video, installation, painting and photography. Her work “reassesses linear understandings of time, whilst making a hopeless attempt to pin down the ephemeral existence of all things”. Her work is intrinsically bound up in her Palestinian identity, as she attempts to combat narratives that negate the existence of Palestine and Palestinians. Shortlisted for the A.M Qattan Young Artist of the Year Award in 2002, in 2007 she was the recipient for Delfina Foundation’s Resident Artist Award as part of the Riwaq Biennale.

Carla Barchini, "Balance", 2017, Mixed Media on Wood, 99 x 132 cm. Image courtesy Espace Jacques Ouaiss, Lebanon

Carla Barchini, ‘Balance’, 2017, mixed media on wood, 99 x 132 cm. Image courtesy Espace Jacques Ouaiss, Lebanon.

3. “Food Art by Bankmed Lemons and Rainbows”

Adding a little lightheartedness to the fair, also on show is this playful, collaborative exhibition which brings together food and art, commenting on the relationship between artistic formation and culinary creation. Work by selected artists including Hala Audi Baydoun, Joseph El Khoury and Raffi Tokatlian. As Nelly Zeidan Choucair, who curates the exhibition, explains, the presentation has been developed around the theme of juicing – “in which drinking becomes a synonym for eating – focused on lemons, the Mediterranean fruit par excellence”.

René Groebli, "L’oeil de l’amour", # 532, L’oeil de l’amour series, 1953 platinum-palladium print, 40 x 50 cm, edition of 7. Image courtesy Galerie Esther Woerdehoff, France

René Groebli, ‘L’Oeil de l’Amour’, # 532 from “L’Oeil de l’Amour” series, 1953, platinum-palladium print, 40 x 50 cm, edition of 7. Image courtesy Galerie Esther Woerdehoff, France.

Food art unites creators of multiple backgrounds and viewpoints for whom food nourishes the subconscious and the imagination. The varied consistencies, colours and flavours of food serve also as a foundation for works of art in their own right. Food’s perishable nature means that each piece of food a acquires an element of ephemerality. One’s manner of consumption is also a reflection of one’s way of life and of one’s ideas, of one’s mode of organisation and one’s politics. Curator Nelly Zeidan Choucair playfully ask:
So, would you like a piece of contemporary art?

Anna Jamieson

1860

Related Topics: Lebanese artistsmarket watchart fairevents in Lebanonart scene in Lebanon

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