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Hong Kong’s M+ gets new Executive Director from Australia

Deputy Director and Director of Collections of the Art Gallery of New South Wales in Australia will be at the helm of M+.

Ms Suhanya Raffel will bring extensive knowledge and experience in the field of contemporary Asian art at the Kowloon-based museum starting November 2016.

"The M+ Sigg Collection – Chinese Art from the 1970s to Now" at Whitworth, Manchester. Background: Wang Xingwei, 'New Beijing', 2001. Foreground: Zhan Wang, 'Artificial Rock No. 31', 2001. Exhibition organised by M+, West Kowloon Cultural District Authority, Hong Kong in collaboration with Whitworth Art Gallery. Photography: Michael Pollard 2015. Image courtesy the Whitworth.

“The M+ Sigg Collection – Chinese Art from the 1970s to Now” at Whitworth, Manchester. Background: Wang Xingwei, ‘New Beijing’, 2001. Foreground: Zhan Wang, ‘Artificial Rock No. 31’, 2001. Exhibition organised by M+, West Kowloon Cultural District Authority, Hong Kong in collaboration with Whitworth Art Gallery. Photography: Michael Pollard 2015. Image courtesy the Whitworth.

On 20 July 2016, the West Kowloon Cultural District Authority (WKCDA) announced the appointment of Ms Suhanya Raffel to the position of Executive Director, M+ Museum of Visual Culture of the WKCDA. Ms Raffel, who currently is Deputy Director and Director of Collections of the Art Gallery of New South Wales in Australia, will succeed Lars Nittve, who stepped down from the role in Hong Kong in October 2015.

Hong Kong’s M+, Museum for Visual Culture is scheduled to open in 2019. Its collection encompasses 20th and 21st century art, design and architecture, and moving image from Hong Kong, China, Asia and beyond. M+ will join other institutions as one of the largest museums of modern and contemporary visual culture in the world. Ms Raffel, who will start her new role in November 2016, is an appropriate successor of Nittve to guide the institution, as her experience in and in-depth scholarship of contemporary Asian art is extensive.

Reporting directly to Mr Duncan Pescod, the Chief Executive Officer of WKCDA, Ms Raffel will be responsible for providing leadership in the planning, curatorial and collection development, management and fundraising for M+.

As quoted in the press release, Mrs Carrie Lam, Chairman of the Board of the WKCDA, said:

Ms Raffel is an expert in Asian contemporary art, and has over 30 years of professional experience in museum management. She brings with her a wealth of museum management experience in the areas of curatorship, exhibitions and collection development. Her capable leadership, professionalism and vision inspire our confidence in the successful opening of a world-class M+ Museum in just three years’ time.

Ms Suhanya Raffel, Executive Director of M+ (designate). Image courtesy West Kowloon Cultural District Authority.

Ms Suhanya Raffel, Executive Director of M+ (designate). Image courtesy West Kowloon Cultural District Authority.

Who is Suhanya Raffel

Suhanya Raffel, who received her education in Australia, has over 30 years of experience as a museum manager and curator. Her curatorial experience spans the United States, United Kingdom, Sri Lanka, Singapore, Hong Kong, Mainland China and many parts of Australia. Ms Raffel joined M+ matters in 2014 as a technical expert and her association with Hong Kong dates back to 2011, when she joined the Asia Art Archive presented by Art Hong Kong (now Art Basel Hong Kong).

From 1994 to 2013, Ms Raffel worked with Queensland Art Gallery/Gallery of Modern Art, where she worked up to senior curatorial positions and became Acting Director.

Ms Raffel has also led the Gallery’s flagship Asia-Pacific Triennial of Contemporary Art (APT) since 2002 – a project she worked with since 1994 as a curator. As Deputy Director of Curatorial and Collection Development, she was responsible for building up the Gallery’s contemporary Asia-Pacific collection, and took part in major curatorial projects such as the Andy Warhol exhibition in 2007-2008 and the China Project in 2009.

Ms Raffel was appointed Deputy Director and Director of Collections of Australia’s Art Gallery of New South Wales in 2013. During her tenure, she has participated in the expansion plans of the Gallery, the ‘Sydney Modern Project’, and established a collection-based exhibition development for the Gallery, helping to transform it into a 21st century art museum.

Mr Pescod, quoted in the press release, said of the new appointed Executive Director of M+:

I am delighted we have been able to enhance the executive team of WKCDA with the appointment of Ms Raffel. She brings a wealth of international experience and proven success to this critical role. Having served in senior positions in various galleries in Australia, as well as being involved with exhibitions mounted around the world, Ms Raffel is ideally placed to direct the curatorial development of M+, as well as lead on the acquisition of artworks, design and architecture, and moving image pieces for the growing collection.

C. A. Xuan Mai Ardia

1222

Related Topics: directors, news, museums, events in Hong Kong

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Mr.’s otaku culture and Neo-Pop on view at New York’s Lehamann Maupin

Japanese Mr.’s happy-go-lucky Neo-Pop aesthetic merges with an intimate reflection on today’s oppressive occurrences.

“Sunset in My Heart”, running until 12 August 2016, is a solo show by the Japanese visual artist at New York’s Lehmann Maupin gallery.

Mr., "As It Was That Day", 2016, acrylic and pencil on canvas, 200.7 x 431.2 x 5.7 cm. © 2015 Mr. /Kaikai Kiki Co., Ltd. All Rights Reserved.

Mr., ‘As It Was That Day’, 2016, acrylic and pencil on canvas, 200.7 x 431.2 x 5.7 cm. © 2015 Mr. /Kaikai Kiki Co., Ltd. All Rights Reserved. Image courtesy the artist and Lehmann Maupin, New York and Hong Kong.

Think of Japan, think of the Japanese culture, not the country. Extreme, flamboyant and yet minimalistic, imperial and of ancient history and traditions yet afflicted by what Los Angeles-based art critic and journalist Hunter Drohojowska-Philp defined on Artnet as “the shallow emptiness of its consumer culture”A culture that incorporates video games, manga and a distorted idea of the body, particularly the female one, which appears by turns Westernised and “cutesized”. 

Ubiquitous childish heroines wearing revealing sailor uniforms populate the dreams and fantasies of teens and adults to the extent that such fetish has been defined as Lolicon, a portmanteau for the “Lolita Complex”. It tips over into the exploitation of moe (Japanese word for adorable and innocent young girls), schoolgirls in the sex industry as investigated in VICE’s short documentary Schoolgirls for Sale in Japan (2015) denouncing men looking for the big-eyed cutest teenagers to cuddle, chat or hang out with.

Mr., 'Small Fairies have Arrived', 2016, acrylic, pencil, and collaged linen on cotton mounted on wood panel, 146.1 x 146.1 x 5.7 cm. © 2015 Mr. /Kaikai Kiki Co., Ltd. All Rights Reserved.

Mr., ‘Small Fairies have Arrived’, 2016, acrylic, pencil, and collaged linen on cotton mounted on wood panel, 146.1 x 146.1 x 5.7 cm. © 2015 Mr. /Kaikai Kiki Co., Ltd. All Rights Reserved. Image courtesy the artist and Lehmann Maupin, New York and Hong Kong.

Japanese artist Mr. (b. 1969, Cupa, Japan) produces pop art, representing Japanese mass culture as it is, with no filter, censorship or translation. His fictitious name comes from Japanese baseball player Shigeo Nagashima playing for the Yomiuri Giants and commonly known as “Mr. Giants”.

Mr.’s work visually assaults the viewer, manifesting through a variety of media: video, performance, sculpture and installation. Undeniable is the influence of Takashi Murakami, with whom Mr. worked for a long time, and artist Paul McCarthy as well as Superflat aesthetics.

Mr., "Sunset in My Heart", Installation view, Lehmann Maupin, 536 22nd Street, New York, June 23 - August 12, 2016. Photo: Max Yawney. Image courtesy the artist and Lehmann Maupin, New York and Hong Kong.

Mr., “Sunset in My Heart”, Installation view, Lehmann Maupin, 536 22nd Street, New York, June 23 – August 12, 2016. Photo: Max Yawney. Image courtesy the artist and Lehmann Maupin, New York and Hong Kong.

In the exhibition, Mr. favours large paintings on which he overlaps manga- and comic book-style drawings, graffiti and Japanese texts. His favourite subjects are teenage, almost androgynous schoolgirls, which appear in works like In Style This Year (2009), I Know Her Secret (2007), 15 minutes from Chiki-Station (2003). His artistic, and even personal, obsession for little girls’ cuteness and purity is explained by Mr. himself in an interview with Kaleidoscope Asia Founder and Editor-in-chief Alessio Ascari published in January 2015:

These things are the self-portrait of Japan in its defeated, puppet state. It’s a special state that perhaps can only be understood by actually living here and directly experiencing the unique and disgustingly muddy waters of self deception and self hatred that seem through our daily life (sic). I’ve encountered my share of unreasonableness and conflict in interactions with my blood relatives. The world of otaku culture was a place where I could soothe these wounds. For me, images of cute young girls carry the same sort of healing beauty and love that many people find in religion.

Mr., "Time Gently Passing", 2016, acrylic, pencil, and collaged linen on cotton mounted on wood panel, 160.3 x 130.2 x 5.7 cm. © 2015 Mr. /Kaikai Kiki Co., Ltd. All Rights Reserved.

Mr., ‘Time Gently Passing’, 2016, acrylic, pencil, and collaged linen on cotton mounted on wood panel, 160.3 x 130.2 x 5.7 cm. © 2015 Mr. /Kaikai Kiki Co., Ltd. All Rights Reserved. Image courtesy the artist and Lehmann Maupin, New York and Hong Kong.

Mr., "I'm Back! Welcome Home! I'm Back! Welcome Home!...", 2016, inkjet print, acrylic, and pencil on canvas, 198.1 x 468.6 x 5.7 cm. © 2015 Mr. /Kaikai Kiki Co., Ltd. All Rights Reserved.

Mr., ‘I’m Back! Welcome Home! I’m Back! Welcome Home!…’, 2016, inkjet print, acrylic, and pencil on canvas, 198.1 x 468.6 x 5.7 cm. © 2015 Mr. /Kaikai Kiki Co., Ltd. All Rights Reserved. Image courtesy the artist and Lehmann Maupin, New York and Hong Kong.

As the title “Sunset in My Heart” delicately suggests, Mr.’s art digs into the exploration of society’s, and his own, pursuit of idealised and innocent beauty, with undertones of sadness. Such works as Time Gently Passing (2016) and I’m Back! Welcome Home! I’m Back! Welcome Home!… (2016) depict feelings rather than situations with a lonely intimacy. In Mr.’s work sadness and joy, reclusion from social life, public personas and unrealistic constructions dramatically coexist. On the one hand, the viewer’s attention is caught by the brightness of the colours and the cuteness of the feminine figures depicted; on the other hand, at a closer look, one can perceive the subject’s psychological conditions, which appear far from being easy and cheerful. In the very tradition of the anime style, vivid colours like pink, yellow, bright green and blu, twinkles, flowers and bubbles emphasise moments of goofiness, astonishment, puzzlement, happiness and depression that one may remember from cartoons like Sailor Moon (Bishōjo Senshi Sērā Mūn) and Orange Road (Kimagure Orenji Rōdo).

Mr., "Sunset in My Heart", Installation view, Lehmann Maupin, 536 22nd Street, New York, June 23 - August 12, 2016. Photo: Max Yawney. Image courtesy the artist and Lehmann Maupin, New York and Hong Kong.

Mr., “Sunset in My Heart”, Installation view, Lehmann Maupin, 536 22nd Street, New York, June 23 – August 12, 2016. Photo: Max Yawney. Image courtesy the artist and Lehmann Maupin, New York and Hong Kong.

Mr., "Pinkish Gold", 2016 acrylic and pencil on canvas mounted on wooden panel, 162.7 x 130.4 x 5.5 cm. © 2015 Mr. /Kaikai Kiki Co., Ltd. All Rights Reserved.

Mr., ‘Pinkish Gold’, 2016 acrylic and pencil on canvas mounted on wooden panel,
162.7 x 130.4 x 5.5 cm. © 2015 Mr. /Kaikai Kiki Co., Ltd. All Rights Reserved. Image courtesy the artist and Lehmann Maupin, New York and Hong Kong.

Mr.’s full-coloured, explosive and chaotic illustrations of doe-eyed wide smiling female figures also hint at a frightened society after the catastrophic earthquake and tsunami that originated off the Pacific coast in 2011. The theme of post-disaster fear was approached more directly by the artist in the show “Live On: Mr.’s Japanese Nep-Pop” held at the Seattle’s Asian Art Museum in 2015. On that occasion, besides painting, the artist had constructed a large-scale installation using garbage, found objects and scraps he collected over months. For his New York show, he traces a not dissimilar process with the canvases; as the press release (PDF) describes,

For Sunset in My Heart, Mr. has returned to his expressive and experimental roots as a young artist, incorporating abstract elements like graffiti, and using distressed and sullied canvases. Mr. prepares the canvases by burning them, walking over them, and leaving them on his studio floor to collect dirt and debris. This new treatment of the canvas is directly connected to the artist’s early interest in the 1960s Italian art movement Arte Povera that inspired his first manga paintings he produced on store receipts, takeout menus, and other scraps of transactional detritus.

Despite the devastating and unstable appearance of both the museum’s massive sculpture and the latest paintings on view at Lehmann Maupin, Mr.’s work speaks the language of hope. His manically filled canvases, happy faces and corresponding palette of colours suggest the positive possibilities when we incorporate more fantasy into our daily realities.

Carmen Stolfi

1221

Related topics: Japanese artists, painting, drawing, manga, anime, cartooncomicpop artgallery shows, events in New York

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A Beautiful Disorder: Chinese diaspora sculpture in the English countryside

Cass Sculpture Foundation in Goodwood, near Chichester has spent the last three years commissioning new work by 18 emerging Chinese diaspora artists.

On 3 July 2016 the works were unveiled as “A Beautiful Disorder”, an exhibition that will remain on display until November 2016. Art Radar had the opportunity to travel to Chichester and see the show as it was about to open to the public.

Song Ta, 'Why do they never take colour photos?', 2016.Photo: Barney Hindle, 2016 © Cass Sculpture Foundation.

Song Ta, ‘Why Do They Never Take Colour Photos?’, 2016. Photo: Barney Hindle, 2016. © Cass Sculpture Foundation.

The ethos of Cass Sculpture Foundation originated with the feeling of its co-founder Wilfred Cass that sculpture parks were too static. Along with his wife Jeanette, they wanted to create a more dynamic model where every commissioned sculpture was for sale and could potentially leave the site. Once sold and the production costs are deducted, they split the profit between the artist and the foundation. Almost 25 years on, they have commissioned over 400 pieces by 200 artists, although this project is the first time they have supported international artists.

The Chinese artists, including Xu Zhen, Wang Yuyang and Cui Jie, were invited to visit the sculpture park last year to understand its unique challenges, spirit and opportunities. They returned home to conceive and fabricate the works before having them shipped to the UK in the run up to the exhibition opening. The grounds of Cass Sculpture are prevented from being entirely wild by a team of two gardeners; however, as curator Wenny Teo attested, no-one could stop it raining throughout the installation period, which took place in one of the wettest Junes on record.

Cui Jie, 'Pigeon's House (rendering)', 2016. Photo: Barney Hindle, 20162016 © Cass Sculpture Foundation.

Cui Jie, ‘Pigeon’s House (rendering)’, 2016. Photo: Barney Hindle, 2016. © Cass Sculpture Foundation.

That the sculpture park represents both systems and the uncontrollable is conceptually resonant with this group of works. For visitors, “A Beautiful Disorder” is a complex journey through a range of perspectives on China, politics, globalisation and modern life, interweaving with unrelated previous commissions, against a backdrop of the English countryside and the elements.

The title for the show, as the press release describes, was taken from

an 18th-century term used to describe the ability of the Chinese garden to provoke violent and often opposing sensations through a series of theatrical framing devices, which had a huge effect on garden culture.

Works by Zheng Bo, Wang Wei and Jennifer Wen Ma reference landscape and even gardens more directly. But amongst the work of the 18 artists there are many that explore the tension of wildness and order, as well as a sub-theme of testing boundaries and traversing borders. This is epitomised by Li Jinghu’s Escape (My Family History) (2016) comprising two high chain fences illuminated by searchlights, evoking his childhood in Dongguan on the border between Mainland China and Hong Kong.

Art Radar will focus on 8 of the artworks and artists in A Beautiful Disorder in more detail.

Jennifer Wen Ma, 'Molar', 2016. Photo: Barney Hindle, 2016 © Cass Sculpture Foundation.

Jennifer Wen Ma, ‘Molar’, 2016. Photo: Barney Hindle, 2016. © Cass Sculpture Foundation.

1. Jennifer Wen Ma

As Claire Shea, the foundation’s Curatorial Director points out, the opportunity to work with Cass came at a pivotal point in the career of Jennifer Wen Ma (b. 1973 Beijing). Ma has been based between New York and Beijing since 1986 and incorporates installation, drawing, video, public art, design, performance, and theatre in her work. The artist was in the process of directing her first opera, which debuted at an arts festival in South Carolina in 2015, when Cass approached her.

The foundation encourages artists to depart from their previous work or push it further and for Ma this meant a chance to produce an interdisciplinary installation, using music composed by her collaborator Huang Ruo, part of the stage set from Paradise Interrupted (2016), blown glass she describes as being “healthy and cancerous cells”, and landscapes painted on screens enclosing an intimate topology of water, stone, ink and pathways. Ma says that her piece at Cass titled Molar (2016) “picks up the story after Eve’s eviction from paradise”.

Lu Pingyuan, 'Ghost Trap', 2016. Photo: Barney Hindle, 2016 © Cass Sculpture Foundation.

Lu Pingyuan, ‘Ghost Trap’, 2016. Photo: Barney Hindle, 2016. © Cass Sculpture Foundation.

2. Lu Pingyuan

The work of Lu Pingyuan (b. 1984 Jinhua, Zhejiang province) more overtly uses the woodland as the stage or film set for his narrative – a ghost story. According to the story etched onto three sides of a nearby rock, a burnt out car in a slightly spooky clearing is presented as the very car that

A young man named Raymond found himself driving to the woods not far from his house… As soon as he entered, dark clouds began to gather overhead, covering the entire sky. A heavy rain started to fall…

Documentation and storytelling characterise the work of this artist, now based in Shanghai, who according to MadeIn Gallery has been involved with the digital art publication PDF and since 2012 has “started to collect and edit various mysterious or extraordinary stories that happened in the art world”. Lu is also exhibiting at Liverpool Biennial, launching July 2016, where his work will be shown across three venues and in the biennial book.

Wenny Teo says that she and co-curators Ellen Liao and Claire Shea deliberately selected younger artists to participate in this show; the majority were born in the 1970s and 1980s and did not live through the Cultural Revolution. Despite this, many of the artists use their practice to understand and process 20th-century Chinese history.

Wang Yuyang, 'Identity', 2016. Photo: Barney Hindle, 2016 © Cass Sculpture Foundation.

Wang Yuyang, ‘Identity’, 2016. Photo: Barney Hindle, 2016. © Cass Sculpture Foundation.

3. Wang Yuyang

Wang Yuyang (b. 1979, Harbin) presents for this exhibition a six-metre-high sculpture that at first glance looks a little dated, maybe even inspired by the colour palette and idiosyncratic forms of the Memphis Group. But this appearance belies its origins in the world of computer science, as Wang has used 3D rendering and modelling software to translate the book Capital: Critique of the Political Economy by Karl Marx into sculptural form. Wang’s work Identity (2016), Teo says, questions authorship and the role of the artist. The software dictated its shapes, colours, materials and structure. The book, of course, was one of the texts that informed the ideology of Maoism and the ‘Socialism with Chinese Characteristics’ that the Communist Party of China practices to this day.

Song Ta, 'Why do they never take colour photos?' (fabrication), 2015. Photo: JJYPHOTO, 2016© Cass Sculpture Foundation.

Song Ta, ‘Why do they never take colour photos?’ (fabrication), 2015. Photo: JJYPHOTO, 2016. © Cass Sculpture Foundation.

4. Song Ta

Elsewhere, Mao himself makes an appearance in the work of Song Ta (b. 1988, Guangzhou). Rendered in fibreglass atop a brick wall, Mao is looking typically heroic, many metres across with hair flying free. The artist says that this grey facsimile represents the way that Mao is both present and hazy in the lives of the “post-80s” generation who were born after the Communist Party leader died in 1976.

Further referencing the teenage condition, young people from West Dean College in Chichester are performing underneath the sculpture as nonchalant zombies with grey faces, dancing in the mud as though they have just emerged from a music festival. They are seemingly oblivious to the Chinese historical figure above them and therefore say something about both global interconnection and ignorance. Humour and critique are hallmarks of Song’s work, which is described by Beijing Commune as

rooted in the artist’s observations and sampling of reality […]. Song’s artworks do not emphasize refinement of traditional aesthetics or expression of visual beauty; rather, he adopts a relaxed, comical attitude, enjoying the conceptual freedom art allows him.

Tu Wei-Cheng, 'Bu Num Civilisation Wheel', 2016. Photo: Barney Hindle, 2016 © Cass Sculpture Foundation.

Tu Wei-Cheng, ‘Bu Num Civilisation Wheel’, 2016. Photo: Barney Hindle, 2016. © Cass Sculpture Foundation.

5. Tu Wei-Cheng

Tu Wei-Cheng (b. 1969, Kaohsiung City, Taiwan) also exhibits a piece that involved the participation of the local community. Bu Num Civilization Wheel (2016) is described in the press release as

the most recent iteration in a long-term project in which the Taiwanese artist investigates the relationship between technology, cultural identity, historical memory and myth-making.

Directly into the ground at Cass, the artist has produced five partially dug up excavation pits in which we see fragments of a large futuristic (Teo calls it “cyber punk”) object. He wants this to prompt questions about how digital technologies and our networked lives make it “increasingly difficult to separate fiction from reality”. In a nice touch, the complete object from Tu’s archaeological dig is presented in maquette form in a gallery space that draws together preparatory pieces by all the artists, along with videos by Cao Fei and her sister Cao Dan, Executive Editor of Leap magazine, that explore the idea of artistic inheritance.

Zhang Ruyi ‘Pause’, Concrete Dimensions variable, 2016. Photo: Barney Hindle

Zhang Ruyi ‘Pause’, Concrete Dimensions variable, 2016. Photo: Barney Hindle

6. Zhang Ruyi

Several miles from the bustling metropolis of London, the subject of our reliance on technology and networks is bought into sharp focus. Zhang Ruyi (b. 1985, Shanghai) has installed in “A Beautiful Disorder” “perhaps the smallest sculptures to have ever been produced by Cass Sculpture Foundation” in the form of several Chinese-style power sockets, which she has mounted on the trees. Often combining the discipline of installation with drawing or painting, Zhang’s work is concerned with social systems, architecture, ecology and the natural world. Teo was keen to reassure visitors on the artist’s behalf that the concrete power sockets would not hurt the trees.

Wang Wei 'Panorama 2', 2016. © Cass Sculpture Foundation.

Wang Wei, ‘Panorama 2’, 2016. © Cass Sculpture Foundation.

7. Wang Wei

Wang Wei (b. 1972 Beijing) complements Zhang’s ecological message and shares her interest in architecture, but instead his starting point is “animal enclosures and their relationship to social organisation”. For Cass, Wang has produced a curved mosaic wall, evoking those at Beijing zoo, decorated with a design inspired by the landscape of the sculpture park. The artist, who also works in performance, invites the audience to view Panorama 2 (2016) from a bench some distance away. This enables the viewer to see both the wall and the real landscape beyond, juxtaposing two environments with different levels of human intervention.

Zheng Bo, 'Socialism Good', 2016. Photo: Barney Hindle, 2016 © Cass Sculpture Foundation.

Zheng Bo, ‘Socialism Good’, 2016. Photo: Barney Hindle, 2016. © Cass Sculpture Foundation.

8. Zheng Bo

Entering and leaving the park the same way means that “A Beautiful Disorder” is both introduced and concluded by Zheng Bo’s Socialism Good (2016). The piece depicts this slogan in Chinese characters made from red flowers against a backdrop of yellow ones. Zheng (b. 1974, Beijing) teaches at City University of Hong Kong, although most of his projects are realised in China. He says:

For the past few years, I have been working with weeds — marginalized plants — in order to understand the human condition in the Anthropocene… the division between human history and natural history is collapsing

The press release for the show at Cass explains that “Zheng has focussed on how even plants have been mobilised in the service of politics” as he recreates genuine flower displays in China from the 1990s. Zheng says that the piece will stay in situ (it would be hard to sell this particular work) indefinitely. It will not be kept in pristine condition, meaning that weeds will gradually overtake the message. In addition, the changing of the seasons will reap unpredictable consequences. Zheng’s piece, in combining ideas around history, memory and human intervention in the natural world is both an apt beginning and a poignant end to this show.

Linda Pittwood

1216

Related posts: Chinese art, Taiwanese artists, environmental art, landscape, sculpture, galleries/art spaces, events in the UK

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Fumio Nanjo, Officier de L’Ordre des Arts et des Lettres, curates “The Universe and Art” at Mori Art Museum

Mori Art Museum’s Director receives prestigious French title shortly before the opening of his latest grand curatorial endeavour in Tokyo.

As the Mori Art Museum prepares the launch of “The Universe and Art”, an ambitious exhibition connecting past and present through the exploration of the cosmos, its director Fumio Nanjo is awarded Officier de L’Ordre des Arts et des Lettres by the French Republic for his commitment and contribution to art.

teamLab, 'Crows are Chased and the Chasing Crows are Destined to be Chased as well, Blossoming on Collision - Light in Space', 2016, interactive digital installation, 4 min. 20 sec. Sound: Takahashi Hideaki. Image courtesy the artists.

teamLab, ‘Crows are Chased and the Chasing Crows are Destined to be Chased as well, Blossoming on Collision – Light in Space’, 2016, interactive digital installation, 4:20 min. Sound: Takahashi Hideaki. Image courtesy the artists.

On 27 June 2016, the French Republic awarded Mori Art Museum’s Director Fumio Nanjo with the prestigious title of Officier de L’Ordre des Arts et des Lettres (PDF download), an award established in 1957 to recognise eminent artists and writers as well as people who have contributed significantly to furthering the arts in France and throughout the world.

There are three grades under this order, including Chevalier (Knight), Officier (Officer) and Commandeur (Commander). Prior to Fumio Nanjo’s appointment, Japan had other appointees, including artists Yayoi Kusama (2003, Officier) and Hiroshi Sugimoto (2013, Officier) among others.

Fumio Nanjo's Officier Award. Photo: Mikuriya Shinichiro. Image courtesy Mori Art Museum.

Fumio Nanjo’s Officier Award. Photo: Mikuriya Shinichiro. Image courtesy Mori Art Museum.

Mr. Paul-Bertrand Barets, Chargé d’ Affaires ad interim of the Embassy of France in Japan, commented on Nanjo’s award, as quoted in the press release:

Through curating creative and ingenious exhibitions such as the ‘Simple Forms: Contemplating Beauty’ exhibition at the Mori Art Museum and planning public art projects, Mr. Nanjo has worked over many years to introduce French contemporary art to Japan, an effort which is highly evaluated. Moreover, he has constantly worked to internationalize Japan’ s art scene and made a substantial contribution to international exchange in the field of arts and culture. It is no exaggeration to say that it was Mr. Nanjo’ s endeavors that enabled the contemporary art world of Europe and North America to discover non-Western perspectives.

Fumio Nanjo. Photo: Nawa Makiko. Image courtesy Mori Art Museum.

Fumio Nanjo. Photo: Nawa Makiko. Image courtesy Mori Art Museum.

Fumio Nanjo (b. 1949) has been Director of Tokyo’s Mori Art Museum since 2006. Prior to his directorship, he was Deputy Director of the Museum between 2002 and 2006, after having worked for other organisations such as the Japan Foundation (1978-1986). His most recent international curatorial appointment was to Artistic Director of the new Honolulu Biennial to be launched in 2017.

Among his major achievements are Commissioner of the Japan Pavilion at the Venice Biennale (1997), Commissioner at the Taipei Biennale and Jury for the Turner Prize (1998), Member of the Selection Committee of the Biennale of Sydney (2000), Artistic Co-Director of the Yokohama Triennale 2001, Tokyo-Section Co-Curator of the São Paulo Biennale (2002), Jury Member of the Golden Lion Prize of the Venice Biennale (2005) and Artistic Director of the Singapore Biennale (2006 and 2008).

Mandala of the Two Realms, Kamakura period (14th century). Pair of hanging scrolls, colour on silk, 235.5 x 197.2 cm (each). Collection: Mimuroto-ji Temple, Kyoto.

Mandala of the Two Realms, Kamakura period (14th century). Pair of hanging scrolls, colour on silk, 235.5 x 197.2 cm (each). Collection: Mimuroto-ji Temple, Kyoto.

The Universe and Art

Nanjo’s latest curatorial project at the Mori Art Museum will open on 30 July 2016 as “The Universe and Art: Princess Kaguya, Leonardo Da Vinci and teamLab”. Running until 9 January 2017, the exhibition will feature historical artefacts from ancient times as well as contemporary art, in a seamless presentation that focuses on the universe and our relationship to it, offering “novel, future-oriented views of the cosmos and mankind”, as the press release writes.

On display will be a diverse selection of around 200 items from across the globe, spanning centuries of history and multiple genres, from meteorites and fossils to historic astronomical material by Leonardo da Vinci and Galileo Galilei, Buddhist mandalas, the Taketori Monogatari (‘The Tale of the Bamboo Cutter’), Japan’s oldest sci-fi novel, installations by contemporary artists, and the latest advances from space development.

Okayoshi Kunimune, Meteorite Sword, 1898, meteoric iron, 68.6 cm (length), 1.5 cm (curvature). Collection: Tokyo University of Agriculture Library Photo: Kioku Keizo.

Okayoshi Kunimune, Meteorite Sword, 1898, meteoric iron, 68.6 cm (length), 1.5 cm (curvature). Collection: Tokyo University of Agriculture Library Photo: Kioku Keizo.

The exhibition is divided into four sections. The first section entitled “How Have Humans through the Ages Viewed the Universe?” focuses on human views of the universe spanning millennia, looking at myths and religious art objects from East and West, as well as priceless astronomy material.

Included are Leondardo Da Vinci’s sheets from Codex Atlanticus and astronomy books by Galileo de Galilei and Ptolemy, as well as two precious mandalas (the Star Mandala and the Mandala of the Two Realms), the Taketori Monogatari (The Tale of the Bamboo Cutter) handscroll, and Renaissance and Edo period astronomy materials, such as an Edo era telescope. On show will also be the legendary meteorite sword forged in the Meiji period with metal from a meteorite that fell on Toyama prefecture at the time.

Wolfgang Tillmans, 'Transit of Venus', 2012, inkjet print on paper, 44 x 33 cm (approx.). Collection: Wako Works of Art.

Wolfgang Tillmans, ‘Transit of Venus’, 2012, inkjet print on paper, 44 x 33 cm (approx.). Collection: Wako Works of Art.

In “The Universe as Space-Time”, works of contemporary art will engage with “the wonders of space […] and astounding advances in astral observation that have revolutionized our perceptions of space and time”. Among the artists in this section are Andreas Gursky and Mori Mariko. Wolfgang Tillmans’ photographic works of deep space stars captured by ultrasensitive telescope are juxtaposed with images of computer pixels, and large-scale paintings produced for the exhibition by Jia Aili.

Semiconductor’s three-channel video installation Brilliant Noise shows thousands of overlapping documentary images of solar activity. The work expresses the sun’ s intensity in sound, offering an experience akin to sensing the very pulse of the sun.

Semiconductor, 'Brilliant Noise', 2006, multi-channel video installation, 10 min. (loop). Image courtesy the artists and Mori Art Museum.

Semiconductor, ‘Brilliant Noise’, 2006, multi-channel video installation, 10 min. (loop). Image courtesy the artists and Mori Art Museum.

The third section entitled “A New View of Life – Do Aliens Exist?” includes works by artists such as Vincent Fournier, Pierre Huyghe and Hiroshi Sugimoto, among others. The artworks on show here reference images of aliens as imagined by people throughout history, as well as the latest genetic engineering and A.I. technologies.

Manjudō, 'The Strange Boat Drifted Ashore on Fief of Lord Ogasawara', from "Hyoryu-ki-shu" ("Archives of Castaways"), Late Edo period (19th century), Book, 26 x 77 cm (approx.). Collection: Iwase Bunko Library, Nishio, Aichi.

Manjudō, ‘The Strange Boat Drifted Ashore on Fief of Lord Ogasawara’, from “Hyoryu-ki-shu” (“Archives of Castaways”), Late Edo period (19th century), Book, 26 x 77 cm (approx.). Collection: Iwase Bunko Library, Nishio, Aichi.

There are archival materials from Utsurobune no Banjo (A Woman on the Hollow Boat), an Edo period UFO story, Patricia Piccinini’s strange, hybrid creatures, and a three-dimensional piece by Sorayama Hajime – a life-size female robot.

Sorayama Hajime, 'Sexy Robot', 2016, FRP, iron, silver, gold plating air brush paint, LED neon light, 182 x 60 x 60 cm. Courtesy NANZUKA. Photo: Tanaka Shigeru.

Sorayama Hajime, ‘Sexy Robot’, 2016, FRP, iron, silver, gold plating air brush paint, LED neon light, 182 x 60 x 60 cm. Courtesy NANZUKA. Photo: Tanaka Shigeru.

The final section, “Space Travel and the Future of Humanity”, includes Jules de Balincourt, Nomura Hitoshi, Osaka Takuro, Tom Sachs and teamLab among others.

Artists speculate on the future relationship between mankind and the universe, and how our lives will change. The show will present the history of the US and Soviet space programmes, as well as the latest from the frontline of modern space development, including JAXA’ s International Space Station (ISS)/Kibo Educational Payload Observation Pilot Mission, Mars Ice House, and Project by Team Hakuto.

Space Exploration Architecture and Clouds Architecture Office, 'MARS ICE HOUSE', 2015, 3D printed resin model with wood base, internal light, slideshow. Collection of the artist. Image courtesy Clouds AO/SEArch.

Space Exploration Architecture and Clouds Architecture Office, ‘MARS ICE HOUSE’, 2015, 3D printed resin model with wood base, internal light, slideshow. Collection of the artist. Image courtesy Clouds AO/SEArch.

Among the items on show is a maquette of a New York architectural group’s potential habitat on Mars that won first prize in a NASA contest, ahead of its plan to have four astronauts live on and explore the planet for a year in the 2030s.

The exhibition will be accompanied by a programme of talks on cosmology and art, as well as a programme of screenings of single-channel video works from around the globe on the themes explored by the exhibition.

Sputniko!, 'The Moonwalk Machine - Selena's Step', 2013, video, 5 min. 4 sec. Photo: Rai Royal. Image courtesy SCAI THE BATHHOUSE.

Sputniko!, ‘The Moonwalk Machine – Selena’s Step’, 2013, video, 5 min. 4 sec. Photo: Rai Royal. Image courtesy SCAI THE BATHHOUSE.

Curated by Tsubaki Reiko (Associate Curator, Mori Art Museum) “MAM Screen 004” will include works such as Semiconductor’s Black Rain (2009), Shezad Dawood’s Towards the Possible Film (2014), Sputniko!’s The Moonwalk Machine – Selena’s Step (2013), Ho Tzu Nyen’s NEWTON (2009) and Zhan Wang’s Lunar Economic Zone (2014).

C. A. Xuan Mai Ardia

1219

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Culture clash: Congolese artist Eddy Kamuanga Ilunga at the October Gallery

Congolese artist launches first solo show in London with portraits of endangered Mangbetu people. 

Clash between traditional way of life and rapid shift towards modernity populates Eddy Kamuanga Ilunga’s vibrant canvases.

Eddy Kamuanga Ilunga, 'Reconnaissance', 2016, acrylic and oil on canvas, 170 x 150 cm. Image courtesy the artist and October Gallery. 

Eddy Kamuanga Ilunga, ‘Reconnaissance’, 2016, acrylic and oil on canvas, 170 x 150 cm. Image courtesy the artist and October Gallery.

Congolese artist Eddy Kamuanga Ilunga‘s lush canvases underscore the realities of an ethnic group thrown amidst the Democratic Republic of Congo’s (DRC) rush to capitalise as the world’s largest exporter of coltan, a product used in miniature circuit boards found in cellular phones, laptops and other electronic devices.

Eddy Kamuanga Ilunga, 'Duty of Memory', 2016, acrylic and oil on canvas, 200 x 200 cm. Image courtesy the artist and October Gallery.

Eddy Kamuanga Ilunga, ‘Duty of Memory’, 2016, acrylic and oil on canvas, 200 x 200 cm. Image courtesy the artist and October Gallery.

The artist’s work has been well received by the international art scene and as Fraser Brough of the October Gallery relayed to Art Radar, Ilunga’s “fresh” narrative is underscored by the young artist’s “remarkably sophisticated” creations:

Ilunga’s work is remarkably sophisticated for such a young artist. Take the robes his figures wear: the quality of painting is exquisite, but there is also a geo-cultural balancing act at play, with vibrant, African cloths painted as though they are the draperies of 19th century Europe.

Both references suggest the interplay of power and beauty, and when brought together in this way form an insightful exploration into the legacy of colonialism, and the cultural effects it continues to have today. While this is an idea that has been explored by other artists (Yinka Shonibare, El Anatsui), Ilunga’s manner of doing so is so wonderfully fresh and new, and it is this originality that was particularly interesting for us.

Eddy Kamuanga Ilunga, 'Lost', 2015, acrylic and oil on canvas, 180 x 180 cm. Image courtesy the artist and October Gallery.

Eddy Kamuanga Ilunga, ‘Lost’, 2015, acrylic and oil on canvas, 180 x 180 cm. Image courtesy the artist and October Gallery.

Ilunga was born in the Democratic Republic of Congo in 1991 and attended courses at the Académie des Beaux-Arts in Kinshasa. The artist quickly become part of the flourishing contemporary African art scene. As the artist told Art Radar, he co-founded artist studio M’Pongo in 2007 because he “wanted to create a space for the development of creativity and critical discourse that would convey our contemporary reality” – with the organisation continuing to expand nearly a decade on:

The plan is to develop it in a new site, where we could offer tuition to younger artists, as well as invite guests from the international scene to enrich Kinshasa’s art conversation. Our vision for M’pongo is to turn it into an alternative pedagogical project.

Eddy Kamuanga Ilunga, 'Identity Victim', 2016, acrylic and oil on canvas, 180 x 180 cm. Image courtesy the artist and October Gallery.

Eddy Kamuanga Ilunga, ‘Identity Victim’, 2016, acrylic and oil on canvas, 180 x 180 cm. Image courtesy the artist and October Gallery.

The artist’s work is currently being shown in Ilunga’s first solo exhibition in the United Kingdom at the October Gallery in London until 30 July 2016 and has been exhibited at the Armory Show in New York City, the 1:54 Contemporary African Art Fair, the “Pangaea II” exhibition at the Saatchi Gallery and Senegal’s Dak’Art Biennale.

Eddy Kamuanga Ilunga, 'Oubliez le passe et vous perdez les deux yeux', 2016, acrylic and oil on canvas, 200 x 220 cm. Image courtesy the artist and October Gallery.

Eddy Kamuanga Ilunga, ‘Oubliez Le Passe et Vous Perdez Les Deux Yeux’, 2016, acrylic and oil on canvas, 200 x 220 cm. Image courtesy the artist and October Gallery.

The stars of Ilunga’s canvases are the Mangbetu people, found in the northeastern region of the DRC. Originally warriors, the Mangbetu were well known worldwide for their adaptation of lipombo, or the elongation of the head through a process that traditionally began by wrapping a baby’s head in pieces of cloth, which was eventually outlawed by the colonial Belgian government.

As Ilunga told Art Radar, he became interested in learning more about the Mangbetu as a way of uncovering his country’s past while confronting his family’s own feelings about his own ethnicity:

In 2014, I began developing an interest in the Mangbetu people, after I came back from the Dakar Biennale, where I participated in a group show organised by artist Bill Kouelany from Brazzaville. At the time, like most people of my generation, I did not have much information about traditional Congolese cultures. Somebody told me that the work I was doing was futurist and high tech, with a city speed and rhythm in it, and that I should also research the past.

Up until then, I was aware of the negative aspect of the word ‘Mangbetu’, used as an insult meaning ‘big empty head’ and I was intrigued. So I began studying their culture, which although taught in school, is largely unknown to us. When I went to meet the Mangbetu in their territory, I encountered people who had lived in Kinshasa. They told me that they suffered intense discrimination during the 1970s when they went to study in the city, but still at that time they were able to preserve their unique culture. Those who go to the city nowadays renounce their culture completely. My own family is Christian and does not agree with a revisionist approach of our own Luba traditions.This history is haunting me, and I want to study it and own it, so will be looking into it in my future work despite the opposition of the family.

Eddy Kamuanga Ilunga, 'Influence', 2016, acrylic and oil on canvas, 170 x 150 cm. Image courtesy the artist and October Gallery.

Eddy Kamuanga Ilunga, ‘Influence’, 2016, acrylic and oil on canvas, 170 x 150 cm. Image courtesy the artist and October Gallery.

Ilunga’s juxtaposition of lost traditions alongside the increasingly techno-centred present strikes a powerful chord, particularly with consumers in the West seeking transparency regarding goods and materials procured outside of their home turf. For Ilunga, however, this accountability for the goods processed in Africa and “the obvious effect that exhaustive mining has on the violation of human rights” is not the raison d’être for this series. What is of paramount interest for him, however, is the “predicament” of a people who are stuck between their traditions and an ever-voracious desire of consumerism.

Lisa Pollman

1218

Related Topics: art and the community, Congolese artists, historical art, identity art, profiles

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The Fabric of Reality: Iran’s Mehrdad Sadri – artist profile

Mehrdad Sadri depicts fabric with oil paint to explore the realm of desires and dreams.

Iranian artist Mehrdad Sadri’s paintings comment on the connection between fabric and Islamic culture and express a sense of yearning. To Sadri, fabric is an artistic language that can speak of the human condition, both philosophical and bodily.

Mehrdad Sadri, 'Der Anfang', 2010, oil on canvas, 120 x 140 cm. Image courtesy the artist and Galerie Huit.

Mehrdad Sadri, ‘Der Anfang’, 2010, oil on canvas, 120 x 140 cm. Image courtesy the artist and Galerie Huit.

During May and June 2016 Galerie Huit, Hong Kong, presented Mehrdad Sadri’s debut solo exhibition in Greater China, “Images of Reality”. Viewers had a chance to appreciate Islamic art and mysterious beauty in the hidden messages of the artist’s works.

Yas Mostashari Chang, one of the four directors of Galerie Huit, is also Iranian. Chang like Sadri was born in Tehran, Iran’s capital. Iranian art has become of great interest to Middle Eastern buyers and the prices are rising, led by the super rich art collectors in Dubai. An annual art auction in Tehran in May 2016 hit a record sales total of USD7.4 million, 12% higher than the previous year’s USD6.6 million.

The founding of Galerie Huit in 2010 and now Sadri’s exhibition have occurred at a time when demand for Iranian art and interest in art of the Middle Eastern region is steadily growing globally. Yas Mostashari Chang says of Sadri:

It is part of a great leap in Iranian art which still inspires the young generation of artists in Iran. Sadri’s work is widely collected in Europe and the Middle East. Since the exhibition at the Museum of Contemporary Iran in 2015, there has been new interest from a younger generation of collectors.

Mehrdad Sadri. Image courtesy the artist and Galerie Huit.

Mehrdad Sadri. Image courtesy the artist and Galerie Huit.

Mehrdad Sadri (b. 1944) belongs to the first generation of Iranian artists to travel and study art in Vienna in the 1960s, where he has lived since 1968. In 1984, he was awarded an Austrian honorary citizenship. Since 1989, Sadri has had numerous exhibitions in Austria and abroad, including in places as far flung as Switzerland and Japan. As an Iranian artist, Persian culture has profoundly influenced his works and he has continued to depict Islamic art through images of fabric, following Islamic dictates on iconography. Sadri explains:

In Islam, it is not acceptable to draw images of what God has created. It’s even more sensitive to draw images of humans.

Mehrdad Sadri, 'Sighting', 2000, oil on canvas, 120 x 120 cm. Image courtesy the artist and Galerie Huit.

Mehrdad Sadri, ‘Sighting’, 2000, oil on canvas, 120 x 120 cm. Image courtesy the artist and Galerie Huit.

Islamic art is based on the depiction of patterns, mainly the repetition of geometric patterns. Drawing the human figure is forbidden in Islamic culture, because the depiction of the human form is idolatry – a sin against God. Sadri chooses fabric as a subject and tool in his art, to express his deepest, inner feelings, desires and dreams.

Sadri’s works show his mastery of Islamic art, using fabric as a means of expression instead of geometric patterns. His unique artistic skill is nourished by a palette of flesh tones and pastel hues that collapse into stimulating elliptical folds. Yas Mostashari Chang comments:

As traditional Persian art is mostly based on geometrical forms derived from nature, Sadri extracts folds from its everyday triviality, and uses folds as a tool which could symbolize a spiritual transcendence of materiality over the years.

Mehrdad Sadri, 'Josephine', 1998, oil on canvas, 120 x 90 cm. Image courtesy the artist and Galerie Huit.

Mehrdad Sadri, ‘Josephine’, 1998, oil on canvas, 120 x 90 cm. Image courtesy the artist and Galerie Huit.

Ironically, Sadri represents eroticism and sexuality through his art. His fabric paintings express these themes in a very subtle way. Sadri uses creases and folds in silk fabric as a metaphor for human physiognomies, the natural forces of change and biological responses. Sadri expresses the relationship between objective worlds and the artist’s states of mind. As he writes in his website statement,

My works of art are not so much inspired by the external world in which I live but rather by subjective needs: the world of dreams, wishes and desires. For me, art is the translation of a thought, an idea or an illusion, that becomes real.

According to Sadri, his work responds to modern society via abstract depictions of human physiognomies:

Creases and folds in a silk fabric can help with expressing the complicated layers and curtains of the human mind and showing never ending experiences. In a sense, the paintings are about how one processes, internally, the outside world.

Mehrdad Sadri, 'Verheissung', 2006, oil on canvas, 140 x 120 cm. Image courtesy the artist and Galerie Huit.

Mehrdad Sadri, ‘Verheissung’, 2006, oil on canvas, 140 x 120 cm. Image courtesy the artist and Galerie Huit.

“I received my art education in Europe but I grew up in Iran. And that part is more influential than my European training,” says Sadri. He is influenced by his Persian heritage, its rich textiles and colours also seen in the nation’s furniture and in cultural artefacts.

Persian language and literature have also been a source of inspiration for the artist. He says that “one word can carry different meanings which the reader can decide from the written text.” The word ‘yaar’, for example, can be used to describe a friend, a lover or even God. His abstract paintings are intentionally ambiguous, thus encouraging an open interpretation of the work, much in the same guise as a Persian word.

Mehrdad Sadri, 'Um Fangen', 2008, oil on canvas, 140 x 120 cm. Image courtesy the artist and Galerie Huit.

Mehrdad Sadri, ‘Um Fangen’, 2008, oil on canvas, 140 x 120 cm. Image courtesy the artist and Galerie Huit.

Mehrdad Sadri, 'Animus', 2003, oil on canvas, 140 x 100 cm. Image courtesy the artist and Galerie Huit.

Mehrdad Sadri, ‘Animus’, 2003, oil on canvas, 140 x 100 cm. Image courtesy the artist and Galerie Huit.

Somehow Sadri’s folds and creases in his works are easily associated by viewers with the niqab and burqa, often worn by Muslim women. As if recalling the skin covered by the niqab or burqa, there is a mysterious palette of flesh tones in Sadri’s fabric paintings. Sadri reveals:

It’s more interesting to show the beauty of the human body indirectly, as it lets viewers discover what’s hidden behind the folds without constraining their interpretations of the work.

Like other Iranian contemporary artists who have been living outside Iran, Sadri looks beyond Iranian culture and religion, but also reflects back on his origins, offering a unique take on his heritage and creating important, timelessly and culturally universal works of art created in a European environment.

Grace Ko

1217

Related Topics: Iranian artists, abstract art, painting, artist profiles, gallery exhibitions, events on Hong Kong

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Art jobs and opportunities | Art Institute of Chicago, Princeton Arts Fellowship… 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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JOB | London | Director | Institute of Contemporary Arts (ICA) – 15 August 2016

Founded in 1946, the ICA is one of the world’s best known multi-disciplinary arts organisations dedicated to contemporary art and culture. Through a vibrant programme of exhibitions, films, performance, talks and events, the ICA examines art as it happens and has been at the forefront of contemporary art and culture for the past 70 years. The new Director, who will succeed Gregor Muir, will work closely with the ICA Council, the Senior Management Team and staff to develop, articulate and deliver the ICA’s vision and strategy for the next decade and beyond. They will set the agenda for the next chapter of the ICA’s history, which includes the delivery of the exciting, well-advanced capital project that will create a world class space for artists and audiences alike. Candidates for this role will have a track record of innovative programming and will also be compelling communicators with excellent people, stakeholder, financial and resource management skills. MORE HERE

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OPEN CALL | New Jersey | Princeton Arts Fellowship | Princeton University – 19 September 2016

Princeton Arts Fellowships, funded in part by The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, will be awarded to artists whose achievements have been recognised as demonstrating extraordinary promise in any area of artistic practice and teaching. Applicants should be early career poets, novelists, choreographers, playwrights, designers, performers, directors, filmmakers, composers and performance artists. Princeton Arts Fellows spend two consecutive academic years (1 September – 1 July) at Princeton University and formal teaching is expected. A USD80,000 a year stipend is provided. Fellowships are not intended to fund work leading to an advanced degree. One need not be a US citizen to apply. Holders of PhD degrees from Princeton are not eligible to apply. MORE HERE

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OPEN CALL | Azerbaijan | Call for Artists | YARAT Contemporary Art Space – 30 September 2016

YARAT Contemporary Art Space invites artists to apply for the residency programme of 2017. The programme is divided into three periods (January–April, April–July, September–December) and grants selected artists an opportunity to live and work in Baku for up to three months. Each period hosts three international and two local residents. YARAT Residency is open for artists who are engaged in open, research-based practice across disciplines and show an interest in discovering the Caucasus region. The programme engages residents in discussions with fellow artists and international arts professionals, as well as travel around Azerbaijan. Artworks resulting from the residence are exhibited at the ARTIM Project Space, Baku. YARAT Residency programme is predominantly conducted in English. MORE HERE

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JOB  | New York | Assistant Curator | Whitney Museum of American Art – apply by unspecified

Reporting directly to the Nancy and Steve Crown Family Chief Curator, this newly created position for an assistant curator will work closely on the organisation of various large-scale monographic and thematic exhibitions from concept to installation. This is an exciting opportunity for a talented candidate with the appropriate art historical background and excellent writing skills. Responsibilities include: extensive scholarly research, including archival work and meetings with artists; negotiation of loans; writing didactic texts, with the possibility for contributions to catalogues; act as liaison for the Chief Curator in addition to working independently with other curatorial staff and departments in the museum, including Conservation, Exhibitions, Education, Publications and Advancement. MORE HERE

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JOB  | Chicago | Deputy Director for Collections and Research | The Art Institute of Chicago – apply by unspecified

Working closely with the President and Director, the Deputy Director for Collections and Research is responsible for developing objectives, policies, budgets and long-range plans for the Museum’s curatorial departments, Conservation and Conservation Science, Libraries and Archives, Publishing and Design and Academic Programmes. The Deputy Director’s primary responsibilities include: managing staff, budgets and project needs in the four direct reporting areas, and with dotted-line supervisory authority for the curatorial departments; establishing priorities; evaluating staffing resources; defining collection policies and priorities, and developing curatorial long-range plans. The Art Institute of Chicago’s next Deputy Director for Collections and Research should have a minimum of eight to ten years of experience in a curatorial position in an art museum. A PhD in Art History, with a record of scholarly publications in areas of specialty is highly preferred, or equivalent professional experience/high-level reputation in the field. MORE HERE

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JOB | Hong Kong | Executive Assistant | Lehmann Maupin Gallery – apply by unspecified

Founded in 1996 by partners Rachel Lehmann and David Maupin, Lehmann Maupin has fostered the careers of a diverse group of internationally renowned artists, both emerging and established, working in multiple disciplines and across varied media. For the position of Executive Assistant, the ideal candidate should possess: a degree in Art Administration or related discipline; 5-7 years work experience in Executive Assistance/Business Administration/Hospitality; strong writing and communication skills in English, Mandarin and Cantonese. Please email cover letter, resume and expected salary to hongkong@lehmannmaupin.comMORE 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 | New York | Arts Administration Internship | Asia Contemporary Art Week – 25 July 2016

ASIA CONTEMPORARY ART WEEK (ACAW) is a dynamic platform that brings together leading New York and Asia-based art institutions, museums and galleries to present cutting-edge exhibitions, networking opportunities, innovative projects and provocative dialogues on current topics. ACAW is announcing an internship opportunity for interested candidates in the arts management / administration field. This position, available immediately, offers coordination assistance to a renowned annual/biennial event in New York City this fall, which involves the participation of over 30 Museums and Galleries in a season-long programme of exhibitions, lectures, screenings, receptions and more. Tasks may include overall project coordination, marketing, promotions, and general office and administrative support, such as maintaining schedules, managing files, entering data, preparing mailings, researching for outreach/sponsorship, and developing content for website and website maintenance. Applicants must be available to work a minimum of 20 hours per week – at least 2 full days in the organisation’s office, as well as offsite work in certain cases when needed and possible. A six month commitment is required. MORE HERE

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