Painting “Epochs”: Turkish painter Gazi Sansoy – artist profile

Anna Laudel Contemporary presents “Epochs”, a solo exhibition of recent works by Turkish painter Gazi Sansoy.

“Epochs” brings together a selection of Sansoy’s thought-provoking paintings, produced over a ten-year period between 2008 and 2018. Art Radar profiles the artist on the occasion of his latest show.

Installation view, "Epochs" by Gazi Sansoy, at Anna Laudel Contemporary, Istanbul. Photo: Kayhan-Kaygusuz, courtesy Anna Laudel Contemporary

Gazi Sansoy, “Epochs”, installation view at Anna Laudel Contemporary, Istanbul. Photo: Kayhan-Kaygusuz. Image courtesy Anna Laudel Contemporary.

One of Turkey’s top contemporaries

Gazi Sansoy was born in Istanbul in 1968, and is one of Turkey’s top contemporary painters. Sansoy graduated from the Graphic Department in the Faculty of Fine Arts at Marmara University in 1993, where he also completed his master’s degree in 1996. In 2007, the artist founded and ran the Ütopya Platform Art Gallery until 2015. Sansoy has exhibited widely in Turkey, holding many solo shows and participating in numerous group exhibitions across the country. He continues to live and work in Istanbul.

“Epochs” is his first solo show at Anna Laudel Contemporary, which was founded in 2012. The gallery is situated next to SALT Galata public art space in Istanbul.

Gazi Sansoy. Image courtesy Anna Laudel Contemporary

Gazi Sansoy. Image courtesy Anna Laudel Contemporary.

Painting as social commentary

Gazi Sansoy comes from a well-established artistic Turkish family, who are known for their involvement with the creation of satirical political caricatures during the late Ottoman Empire. Inspired by his satirist grandfathers, Sansoy has developed a unique approach to painting that brings together appropriation and social commentary. He is best known for multilayered, large-scale paintings that mix the painterly languages of Western art history and Ottoman culture, as well as erotic representations of contemporary female figures taken from the media. His paintings are visually dense, eccentric tableaux and reflect his sardonic sense of humour.

Gazi Sansoy, "Fikirtepe Square Battle" (2012-2013), 170 x 290 cm, oil on canvas. Image courtesy Anna Laudel Contemporary

Gazi Sansoy, ‘Fikirtepe Square Battle’, 2012-2013, oil on canvas, 170 x 290 cm. Image courtesy Anna Laudel Contemporary.

Synthesising tradition and modernity

In particular, Sansoy uses the miniature figures that populated the canvases of Abdulcelil Levni, a court painter and miniaturist in the so-called Tulip Era of the history of the Ottoman Empire. The Tulip period lasted between 1718 and 1730, during which time the Empire held a less politically antagonistic relationship with Europe. The name derives from the craze among Ottoman court society for tulips (like the Dutch before them), and symbolises a period of relative peace, economic prosperity, social liberty and flourishing support for arts and culture. Sansoy’s paintings combine the stylistic influence of Levni with that of his Western contemporaries, such as Rembrandt and Ingres, and the tropes of Renaissance painting.

Installation view, "Epochs" by Gazi Sansoy at Anna Laudel Contemporary. Work: "Harem" (2014), 147 cm, oil on canvas. Photo: ayhan Kaygusuz, courtesy Anna Laudel Contemporary

Gazi Sansoy, ‘Harem,’ 2014, oil on canvas, diameter 147 cm. Photo: Kayhan Kaygusuz. Image courtesy Anna Laudel Contemporary.

Articulating the tension between tradition and the contemporary, Sansoy’s works further bring together disparate images from popular culture, arranged in raucous compositions and painted in a photorealist style. His visual humour is both absurd and subversive; he paints each figure with an equally democratic and ahistorical brush, irrespective of culture, time or location. As he has said of his attitude to iconography,

It’s intuitive. When you put a picture of Kim Kardashian next to an Ottoman miniature, the humour’s there already. I don’t have to work on it a lot.

In spite of this, the process by which Sansoy creates his works is intricate. The artist stores a folder of visual inspiration on his computer of images gleaned from the internet, which he adds to daily. From there, he makes the collages digitally, an extended development of design and editing which can take up to two months, before finally rendering the work in paint once he has settled on the final composition. Even at this stage, Sansoy remains open to chance and creative license.

Gazi Sansoy, Anna Laudel Contemporary, Photo by_Fotoğraf Kayhan Kaygusuz(32)

Gazi Sansoy, “Epochs”, installation view at Anna Laudel Contemporary. Work: Balamir Nazlica, ‘Unconcealment’ (2017). Photo: Kayhan Kaygusuz. Image courtesy Anna Laudel Contemporary.

Speaking to Art Radar, Sansoy discussed the role of the artist:

I don’t believe that a painting, which is produced with 100% consciousness can be beautiful. It is much better to proceed with little planning. It is necessary so that I can look at the painting again and again with the same excitement, I should be wondering why I painted that way. Like the mystery of Mona Lisa smile, just like we have been wondering why she smiled that way…

Sansoy further reflected upon the influence of the Renaissance and Ottoman history:

Renaissance painting has an immense importance in the enlightenment of humanity and in accepting the value of science but also with its exceptional and unique art pieces, Renaissance has a big impact on art history and on many artists of our time including myself.

I enjoy Ottoman History as much as I enjoy painting. It is not just my physical appearance looking similar to my grandfathers but also our spirits are alike. In addition to my father’s skill in painting and music, I received his emotional and psychological attitudes. That’s why I feel like I live both in the past and in the current time and feel like I lived during the Ottoman Period.

Gazi Sansoy, Anna Laudel Contemporary, Photo by_Fotoğraf Kayhan Kaygusuz(26)

Gazi Sansoy, “Epochs”, installation view at Anna Laudel Contemporary, Istanbul. Photo: Kayhan Kaygusuz. Image courtesy Anna Laudel Contemporary.

Painting “epochs”

“Epochs”, Sansoy’s inaugral exhibition at Anna Laudel gallery, is organised around five bodies of work installed across all three floors of the gallery. Produced between 2010 and 2015, the show includes several examples of his iconic “Miniatures” series, which combine pastoral and religious scenes from the history of art with human forms of the present day. One such work is entitled Attack on Rice (Who are we?) (2012-13), reflecting the artist’s questioning of history and culture.

Gazi Sansoy, "Attack on Rice (Who are we?)" (2012-13), oil on canvas, 150 x 196 cm. Image courtesy Anna Laudel Contemporary

Gazi Sansoy, ‘Attack on Rice (Who are we?)’ (detail), 2012-13, oil on canvas, 150 x 196 cm. Image courtesy Anna Laudel Contemporary.

These are displayed alongside the “Faceless” works, in which Sansoy takes portraits by European artists such as Raphael or Leonardo, and colours over the flesh of the figures with bright, block colours. This creates a marked chromatic contrast between the temporalities of the works’ creation, the figures and the present day.

Installation view, "Epochs" by Gazi Sansoy, Anna Laudel Contemporary, Istanbul. Photo: Kayhan Kaygusuz, courtesy Anna Laudel

Gazi Sansoy, “Epochs”, installation view at Anna Laudel Contemporary, Istanbul. Photo: Kayhan Kaygusuz. Image courtesy Anna Laudel Contemporary.

“Nude and Covered Up Tales / Arabex” (2008-10) are a series of paintings that incorporate photographs taken by Sansoy himself of the anonymous people he encounters on a day-to-day basis.

Two further recent bodies of work, “Divine Milk” and “Yesterday, Today, Tomorrow, Istanbul, Dervishes” make reference to Sansoy’s family history, and its imbrication with the social and architectural fabric of Istanbul. In these works, Sansoy has been influenced by the legacy of his forebears: in particular by his grandfather Muderris Ziya Bey, a satirist who dared to mock Abdulhamid II – one of the most enigmatic and vengeful sultans of the late 19th century.

Gazi Sansoy, "Turbine's Crazy" (2016-17), oil on canvas, 89 x 135 cm. Image courtesy Anna Laudel Contemporary

Gazi Sansoy, ‘Turbine’s Crazy’, 2016-17, oil on canvas, 89 x 135 cm. Image courtesy Anna Laudel Contemporary.

The exhibition also features a short video portrait of Sansoy, filmed by the photographer, video artist and composer Balamir Nazlıca. The film is part of Nazlıca’s series of video portraits of contemporary artists in their studios, entitled Unconcealment (2017). Through these films, Nazlıca presents the world as if through the eyes of the artist, and reflects upon the poetic nature and political potential of the creative act.

Gazi Sansoy, "The End of Fikirtepe" (2012-2013), 175 x 380 cm, oil on canvas. Image courtesy Anna Laudel Contemporary

Gazi Sansoy, ‘The End of Fikirtepe’, 2012-2013, 175 x 380 cm, oil on canvas. Image courtesy Anna Laudel Contemporary.

In its position as a nexus of the historical and the contemporary, Istanbul itself plays an important role within Sansoy’s work. In conversation with Art Radar, he said: 

I have a longing for old Istanbul, that’s why historical buildings of the city have always inspired me. The old buildings in my paintings mostly exist in real life but most of them are demolished and disappeared. I have always wondered who lived in those houses and what kind of lives they had. In my paintings, there is always a crowd in front of the houses; maybe my mind tried to bring out the life inside of the houses.

Gazi Sansoy, "3rd Vienna Siege And Refugees" (2017, oil on canvas, 285 × 350 cm. Image courtesy Anna Laudel Contemporary

Gazi Sansoy, ‘3rd Vienna Siege And Refugees’, 2017, oil on canvas, 285 x 350 cm. Image courtesy Anna Laudel Contemporary.

Through their humorous and ironic appropriations, Sansoy’s paintings mock the decadent state of contemporary politics. As in one painting, where religious figures bow to piles of Euros, Sansoy likens our present moment to that of the late Ottoman Empire. In a period of increasing cultural censorship, the works and their subversive underpinnings hold particular resonance to artistic life in contemporary Turkey.

Jessica Clifford

2074

“Epochs” by Gazi Sansoy is on view from 11 January until 23 February 2018 at Anna Laudel Contemporary, Bankalar Caddesi 10, Karaköy, Beyoğlu, 34421 Istanbul, Turkey.

Related Topics: Turkish artistspaintingevents in Istanbul, political, art in Turkey, gallery shows

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Play-acting the everyday: Indian photographer Gauri Gill at Nature Morte, New Delhi

The Indian photographer collaborates with papier-mâché artists from a small village in Maharashtra in her most recent series.

In “Acts of Appearance”, the faces of people are concealed by quirky masks of their own making. Art Radar explores what hides behind Gauri Gill’s mystery faces.

Gauri Gill, Untitled, from "Acts of Appearance" (2015—ongoing). Image courtesy the artist.

Gauri Gill, ‘Untitled’, from “Acts of Appearance”, 2015-ongoing. Image courtesy the artist.

Gauri Gill (b. 1970, Chandigarh) often documents and collaborates with minority communities, as well as local artists, in her work. For “Acts of Appearance” (2015-ongoing), she involved a traditional Adivasi artist community belonging to the Konkana tribe in Maharashtra’s Jawhar district. A part of this series premiered at Documenta 14 in Kassel in 2017.

A community of artists

The idea for the series arose when Gill came across the locals of villages in Rajasthan and Maharashtra wearing masks during festivals and rituals. She commissioned the artist brothers Subhas and Bhagvan Dharma Kadu, as well as their fellow craftsmen and -women, to create assorted masks of characters they wished to embody. Eventually, these masks were donned by the villagers and artists to create diverse tableaux, with the village as the backdrop, photographed by Gill.

Gauri Gill, Untitled, from "Acts of Appearance" (2015—ongoing). Image courtesy the artist.

Gauri Gill, ‘Untitled’, from “Acts of Appearance”, 2015-ongoing. Image courtesy the artist.

This is not the first time that Gauri Gill is collaborating with communities for a project. According to the press release for “Acts of Appearance”, she “chronicles the life of those rendered powerless by state forces and societal structures”, frequently working with them to amplify their voices, stories and ways of representation. Previously, in “What Remains” (2007-2011), she included photographs and texts created by adults and children of the Sikh community in Afghanistan alongside her own photographs, while “Ruined Rainbow” comprised images developed from a roll of film used and rejected by children in a Barmer village.

In “Acts of Appearance”, not only did the community’s artists create the masks, they were also involved in the staging of the photographs. Gill told Art Radar:

The entire process was very improvisatory, there were many people involved, lots of interaction between everyone, and a constant stream of suggestions.

Gauri Gill, Untitled, from "Acts of Appearance" (2015—ongoing). Image courtesy the artist.

Gauri Gill, ‘Untitled’, from “Acts of Appearance”, 2015-ongoing. Image courtesy the artist.

Beyond tradition

The masks usually made for the ritualistic Bahora procession depict various gods and mythological figures, both Hindu and tribal, portraying paradigms of good and evil. However, for this project, Gill asked the artists to create masks portraying contemporary life and the creatures, emotions and things that impacted their daily lifeworlds.

Made of a paper pulp base, as always, these new masks represent a whole range of characters, from animals that talk and make cheeky faces to expressions of horror, glee and surprise. Some went even further to portray valued – or perhaps desired – objects, such as a television, a mobile phone and a bottle of mineral water. As Natasha Ginwala writes in the accompanying essay “A Multitudinous Cast”, these masks and images

[…] virtually [rewrite] the rules of masquerade in accordance with local festivity, mythological role-play, kinship with the animal kingdom and daily conundrums performed as civic dramaturgy […].

Gauri Gill, Untitled, from "Acts of Appearance" (2015—ongoing). Image courtesy the artist.

Gauri Gill, ‘Untitled’, from “Acts of Appearance”, 2015-ongoing. Image courtesy the artist.

Acts of concealment

Perhaps the most interesting aspects for a viewer are the apparent investment and enjoyment of the participants being photographed. As the title of the exhibition suggests, they are very aware of their roles as performers, probably more so than if they had bared their faces to the camera, and their body language complements the emotions that the masks convey. A woman portraying a cobra lies confidently on a bench, a horrified man stares at his grotesque reflection in the mirror, two birds seem deep in conversation, all playing parts of their own choosing. Yet, though concealed by masks, they “might arguably be as fully revealed and unselfconscious as they will ever be”.

Gauri Gill, Untitled, from "Acts of Appearance" (2015—ongoing). Image courtesy the artist.

Gauri Gill, ‘Untitled’, from “Acts of Appearance”, 2015-ongoing. Image courtesy the artist.

Visualising rural communities

Interspersed through the exhibition with this series are two older but ongoing series that Gill shot in Western Rajasthan, entitled “Notes from the Desert” (1999-) and “The Mark on the Wall” (1999-). These black-and-white images in smaller frames contextualise rural life, depicting the contents of blackboards in classrooms and advertisement posters plastered on walls.

These media of literacy lend a realism and contemporaneity to the portrayal of life in villages, and through them, Gauri Gill creates still another sensitised visual language to represent rural and remote communities.

Kriti Bajaj

2069

“Acts of Appearance” by Gauri Gill is on view from 20 January to 27 February 2018 at the Nature Morte, A-1, Neeti Bagh New Delhi-110049.

Related Topics: Indian artists, community art, art and the community, photography, gallery shows, events in New Delhi

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5 highlights from Asian Art Biennial 2017

The 6th edition of the Asian Art Biennial is currently on show at the National Taiwan Museum of Fine Arts.

Titled “Negotiating the Future”, the Biennial addresses universal issues confronting human society. 

Art Labor, Jrai Dew Sculpture Garden, 2015 - 2017, wood, paint, dimensions variable. Image Courtesy Kapui Gloh, Rcham Jeh, Siu Lon and Art Labor.

Art Labor, Jrai Dew Sculpture Garden, 2015 – 2017, wood, paint, dimensions variable. Image courtesy Kapui Gloh, Rcham Jeh, Siu Lon and Art Labor.

Open until 25 February 2018, the Asian Art Biennial explores the interplay between Asia and other regions of the world. This year, the biennial is curated jointly by one in-house curator – Hsiao-Yu Lin, a research fellow of the NTMoFA – and three international curators, Kenji Kubota (Japan), Ade Darmawan (Indonesia), Wassan Al-Khudhairi (Iraq/USA).

Now in its 6th year, the Asian Art Biennial cites its mission as exploring “how a multiplicity of perspectives have come to inform our contemporary reality, and how such a reality, characterized by high degrees of equivocality, has in turn enriched the cultural perspectives of Asia”. Taking place at the National Taiwan Museum of Fine Arts, the Biennial functions to foster and facilitate intercultural dialogues through the Asian contemporary arts, serving as a site of exchange between Taiwan and the international arts community.

 LO Yi Chun, Voyage to the Homeland - Chapter 1 – Aspiration, 2015, dried banana peels, banana carton box, bamboo splits, nails, raw lacquer, Arches. Raft: 320 x 45 x 30 cm. Crown: 19 x 20 x 12.5 cm, A3 document. Private collection. Image courtesy Asian Art Biennale.

Lo Yi Chun, “Voyage to the Homeland – Chapter 1 – Aspiration”, 2015, dried banana peels, banana carton box, bamboo splits, nails, raw lacquer, Arches. Raft: 320 x 45 x 30 cm. Crown: 19 x 20 x 12.5 cm, A3 document. Private collection. Image courtesy Asian Art Biennial.

This year’s theme – “Negotiating the Future” – has been chosen as it underpins each curator’s curatorial practice. Whilst Hsiao-Yu Lin explores the ways in which contemporary art expresses concern for public affairs, Kenji Kubota is concerned with Asian regions that have been struck by political or ecological struggles, in the form of natural disasters, and how art can aid contemporary society to imagine the future. Ade Darmawan’s practice looks at the rapid development and transformation of urban cities, and Wassan Al-Khudhairi focuses on the geographical significance of the Middle East, illustrating the ways in which artists employ various methods of negotiation to challenge, examine and rewrite geography.

mixrice, Badly Flattened Land 2, 2016, soil, wooden signs, silk screened photos, lime powder, 80 x 120 cm (4 Silk screens), 25 x 360 x 700 cm (soil). Image courtesy the artists. Sponsored by the SBS Cultural Foundation.

Mixrice, “Badly Flattened Land 2”, 2016, soil, wooden signs, silk screened photos, lime powder. Image courtesy the artists. Sponsored by the SBS Cultural Foundation.

Featuring a total of 63 artists by 36 different artists and collectives, the Artists Forum has invited 16 artist groups from Taiwan, Japan, Korea, Iraq, Indonesia, Vietnam, Jordan, Palestine and Bangladesh. Art Radar picks this year’s highlights.

Jatiwangi art Factory, Supranatural Farming Investment Package, 2017, performance and mix media installation. Image courtesy the artist.

Jatiwangi art Factory, Supranatural Farming Investment Package, 2017, performance and mix media installation. Image courtesy the artist.

1. Jatiwangi Art Factory — Supranatural Farming Investment Package

Invited by Indonesian curator Ade Darmawan, the Jaiwangi Art Factory collective create their work in collaboration with local communities via festivals, performances, visual art, music, video, ceramics, radio broadcast and artist in residencies.

Based in Indonesia and founded in 2005, they have specially produced the Supranatural Farming Investment Package for the Biennial. Taking the form of a performative business meeting, this project is “not only designed as an artistic gesture but also imagined as a political gesture able to give citizens great bargaining leverage in negotiations.” The project consists of a performative business meeting, between investors from Taiwan and villagers from a tiny hamlet, called Wates.

An urban-rural fringe area in Majalengka, Indonesia, the Jatiwangi District is the biggest producer of roof tiles in Indonesia, but has faced difficulties after the financial crisis of 1997, leading to many of the roof tile factories closing done. The work Claynialism refers to the district’s gradually evolving character as a manufacturing industrial area, using clay as common, shared ground, an effort to redesign the relationship between various parties in the context of village development. The work is a collaborative agreement between Jatiwangi art Factory and other groups and communities. As they explain,

It is important in this kind of project for us to involve new partners and come to know the public and our friends when shaping our artistic practice, in particular so that we can better understand how to contextualize our existence in our own space with the help of readings, research, and methods. The arts have always played a large role in forming society’s ways of thinking and in guiding public negotiations.

LIU Ho-Jang, Infantry Company, 2017, casting with sorghum distillery residue, plaster, paper pulp and plant starch. Dimensions variable. Image courtesy the artist.

Liu Ho-Jang, Infantry Company, 2017, casting with sorghum distillery residue, plaster, paper pulp and plant starch. Dimensions variable. Image courtesy the artist.

2. Liu Ho-Jang — Infantry Company

The provoking and political work of Liu Ho-Jang takes the origins of rifle making as its starting point, focusing on weapon trades and systems that arose from the Cold War, and questioning the empire that expanded its network into East Asia. Specifically, Infantry Company examines the relationship between the “historical landscapes” of past and the history of the local Kaoliang liquor business, a key material used when making rifles. Ho-Jang has previous run workshops making life-size models of Taiwan Type 57 rifles by mixed sorghum starch, or kaoliang les, allowing groups of school students to question and criticise the issues and ethics surrounding economic machinery.

In the artwork, we see the Taiwan Type 57 rifles stacked in rows, utilizing the “remains” of materials affiliated with weapon production. As the Biennial explains, “with the intervention, participation and operation of the workshop, the various historical landscapes made by different trade methods were again connected with these materials.”

Leonardiansyah ALLENDA, Home, 2015, traditional house features, dimensions variable. Image courtesy the artist.

Leonardiansyah ALLENDA, ‘Home’, 2015, traditional house features, dimensions variable. Image courtesy the artist.

3. Leonardiansyah Allenda — Home

Bringing together ideas surrounding the sense of belonging, body, material and capital, Home thinks about these ideas alongside the animist traditions from Banyuwangi, East Java in Indonesia. Allenda’s work discusses the tension between ecotourism, infrastructure and natural landscapes, with her object installation at the Biennial consisting of the remains of residential houses, excess work from development projects, hanging from the ceiling. Here, both the exterior and interior of these homes are displayed, but done so in a precarious, almost menacing fashion, alluding to the lack of substance within these projects.

Shuruq HARB, Samah HIJAWI and Toleen TOUQ, The River Has Two Banks, 2012-2017, multi-media site specific installation, video, artist publication, photographs, dimensions variable. Image Courtesy The River Has Two Banks.

Shuruq HARB, Samah HIJAWI and Toleen TOUQ, The River Has Two Banks, 2012-2017, multimedia site-specific installation, video, artist publication, photographs, dimensions variable. Image Courtesy The River Has Two Banks.

4. Shuruq Harb, Samah Hijawi and Toleen Touq — The River Has Two Banks

Ideas surrounding segregation inform this work, which looks at the impossibility of collective, shared realities across the east and west banks of the River Jordan. Referred to as “the Bridge”, the border between the Jordan and Palestine is rife with political and social connotations, connecting, but also deeply complicating, the city and its spaces with its past. A symbol of the divide between the two places and its people, the work of Harb, Hijawa and Toug addresses this growing distance.

The River Has Two Banks discusses the ways that a political divide can impact geographical surroundings, through a mixed-media, immersive and experimental installation that visually considers ideas of mirroring. This is one of a number of iterations, with the project beginning in 2012 and has often included a programme of events with a wider circle of artists and practitioners involved to address these issues.

This project reveals the Biennial’s aim to tackle questions about how artists can “interfere, intervene or infiltrate in the existing systems by virtue of different negotiation skills.” As the Biennial explains,

This project is dedicated not only to further investigating their geopolitical realities but also to exploring how local communities and ethnic groups overcome contemporary social, economic and political challenges of every stripe by forming alliances with one another.

Tayeba Begum LIPI, Agony, 2015, Stainless steel razor blades and stainless steel, 104 x 66 x 92 cm; 107 x 51 x 92 cm; 110 x 28 x 92 cm. Image courtesy Sundaram Tagore Gallery.

Tayeba Begum Lipi, ‘Agony’, 2015, stainless steel razor blades and stainless steel, 104 x 66 x 92 cm; 107 x 51 x 92 cm; 110 x 28 x 92 cm. Image courtesy Sundaram Tagore Gallery.

5. Tayeba Begum Lipi — Agony

The multifaceted and highly original work of Bangladeshi artist Tayeba Begum Lipi takes numerous forms at the Biennial. Playing with conflicts and paradoxes, she considers the grim realities of life through her work; war, miscarriages and hospitals are all themes that we see in her work, as do issues which seem more lighthearted, such as I Do Not Wear This, which explores the symbolic significance of the bikini in Bangladesh, but which also has important, wider social connotations in terms of what it represents to Bangladeshi culture and modern consumerism.

In AgonyLipi makes wheelchairs which explore notions of pain and suffering. Taking her starting point as her mother’s traumatic relationship with a wheelchair due to a serious illness which led to her death, Lipi considers the function and symbolism of the wheelchair, and the impact of creating a composition with multiple chairs, looking ideas surrounding the appearance, presentation, and disappearance of the human body.

Anna Jamieson

1931

The Asian Art Biennial is on view from 30 September 2017 to 25 February 2018 at Gallery 101-108, Gallery Street, National Taiwan Museum of Fine Arts, 2, Sec. 1, Wuchuan W. RD., Taichung 403 Taiwan, R.O.C.

Related Topics: Indonesian artistsSingaporean artists, Taiwanese artistsIndian artistsFilipino artistsbiennalesbiennialsevents in Taichung

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ArtMarketGuru Founder Frédéric de Senarclens on the African art market – interview + report discount offer

ArtMarketGuru’s founder Frédéric de Senarclens talks about their new report on African art’s main collectors.

ArtMarketGuru launches the African Top Collectors Report. Art Radar talks to Frédéric de Senarclen about the report and its key findings.

Portrait of ArtMarketGuru Frédéric de Senarclens.

Portrait of ArtMarketGuru Frédéric de Senarclens. Image courtesy ArtMarket Guru.

ArtMarketGuru offers a 20% discount on the purchase of the African Top Collectors report for Art Radar readers for two weeks from today. Scroll down for details.

ArtMarketGuru is a website that offers analysis and region-specific research on the global art market. Founded in 2017 by Swiss art dealer Frédéric de Senarclens, ArtMarketGuru defines itself as an alternative source of art market research, analysis and statistics.

The first report released by ArtMarketGuru focused on the Southeast Asian art market, a region the founder knows well (de Senarclens founded and ran Singapore’s Art Plural Gallery between 2011 and 2016, and in 2016 he founded ArtAndOnly, a platform for art collectors). This fourth release from ArtMarketGuru, entitled Africa Top Collectors (December, 2017) includes extensive lists of African art collectors, containing the major buyers across the continent.

Art Radar talks to Frédéric de Senarclens about ArtMarketGuru, this new report’s key findings and what it means to say African art is “hotter than gold”.

This is the fourth report to be released by ArtMarketGuru, and it focuses specifically on the African art market and its collectors. What kind of image of the African art market does the report draw? Are we seeing an upturn or downturn in the African art market?

We are at a very interesting crossroads for the African art market where traditional, tribal art is gathering as much attention as contemporary art coming out of the region. In recent years, there have been expansions of interest in African art both within Africa and in the wider international art world. Across the world, sales of African contemporary art at auction have risen substantially, with sales of top artists combined with more emerging and relatively unknown artists across the region.

Africa is developing at a rate far steeper than that of other markets. The number of millionaires in Africa rose dramatically between 2000 and 2014, at a rate of 145% according to New World Wealth. This increase has fed the luxury economy of Africa, which in turn has fuelled the art market of the region. There are definite upturns in the African art market and a growing interest amongst collectors the world over. There has been particular interest emerging from the region itself, with African collectors dedicated to supporting and promoting African art and culture.

The report focuses on the collectors themselves. Where do the majority of collectors of African art hail from, and to what extent is the dominance of Northern European and North American collectors giving way to a more diverse selection of African art enthusiasts and collectors?

That’s a great question. The European Summit are set to meet this year to discuss the return of looted African artefacts to their original regions, with political figures and stalwarts of the arts leading the way in re-establishing African heritage that has been appropriated in the Western world. One major example of this is French President Emmanuel Macron’s recent call for the restitution of African artworks currently held in France, an act that will have a great impact in the art world. A number of wealthy African businessmen and women have passionately fought to bring African art collections back to Africa and support museums and organisations that strengthen the artistic economy of the African region.

I think really there are a few angles to consider with this, one is the politically engaged stream of wealthy African art collectors who wish to put Africa first when purchasing contemporary art, ultimately helping to promote African culture. There are also a few European patrons engaged in supporting these actions, helping to invest in emerging and established talent from the region. Both of these elements combine to strengthen the current African art market. An example of this patronage comes from Congolese art collector and businessman, Sindika Dokolo, son of renowned African bank owner and art collector, Augustin Dokolo and husband of Africa’s richest woman, Isabel dos Santos. Among other actions aimed at promoting African art and culture, Dokolo started the Sindika Dokolo Foundation with the aim of promoting local arts and culture festivals, and creating a centre for contemporary art in Luanda (Angola).

Birds Eye View of Cape Town. Image courtesy ArtMarketGuru.

Birds Eye View of Cape Town. Image courtesy ArtMarketGuru.

What other findings were particularly unexpected?

Overall, the report provides a good overview of the key players such as Serge Tiroche, Robert Devereux, Sindika Dokolo and Theo Danjuma among many others, with insights into key collecting habits and associations with prominent museums and foundations. As part of this, the reader can start to see the interconnected nature of the art market, but you’ll have to read the report for further insights!

Could you tell us about how the information was gathered and verified this time? Who headed the research team?

ArtMarketGuru work as a team to provide the best in-depth research possible, researching and verifying information through various tools, from insight reports to interviews with collectors. As founder of the company, I have direct experience from living in Luanda and managing an important tribal art collection as well as contributing to the publication of L’Ame de l’Afrique.

On the website, ArtMarketGuru features a quote from a 2016 CNN article declaring that African art is “hotter than gold”. This statement makes a rather concerning link between art investment and the mining of gold as part of the 16th century colonial economy. Should we assume that you agree with such analysis that departs from a link between 16th century colonialism and 21st century finance economics? In your opinion, to what extent can we endorse practices of art investment that see a mirror image of themselves in colonial extraction?

It’s an interesting comparison, but we don’t share that view and rather see the statement as an expression of the fact that a lot of collectors, gallerists and auctioneers are looking at African art as a place to find future leading figures. Just as gold, real estate and bonds are viewed as financial asset classes, and art has recently emerged as a collectible asset by itself under this same classification. In this way, the comparison between art and gold is meant first and foremost as an expression of the interest in art as something financially valuable yet still inherently tied to flux in the market. Just as gold is being bought as an investment opportunity, so art is seen as being something that accumulates wealth as collections and interest in the artists grow.

Rebecca Close

2049

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Art jobs and opportunities |National Sculpture Factory, Project Anywhere, A4 Art Museum, The Morris Museum… 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 | Cork, Ireland | Director | National Sculpture Factory – 26 February 2018

The Board of National Sculpture Factory (NSF) seeks applications for the position of director. The successful candidate will manage and develop an established national visual arts organisation with a significant workshop and a dynamic creative programme facility in Cork City, Ireland. The NSF is a national organisation that advances the creation and understanding of contemporary art. Specifically, it provides and promotes a supportive environment for the making of art, opportunities for commissioning new works, collaborations, residencies and other artistic interventions. The candidates should be specialists in contemporary visual art, with at least 5 years experience of working in management within an arts organisation. Please send a full CV, an application statement that gives details of how your experience to date makes you eligible for this job and why this is the right time for you to take on this role and outline, based on what you know, what attracts you to this post, to Elma O’Donovan, elma@nationalsculpturefactory.com in the title of “Director APPLICATION”. MORE HERE

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JOB | Amsterdam | Artistic Director | Amsterdam University of the Arts  – 5 March 2018

DAS Graduate School at Amsterdam University of the Arts is seeking a new colleague to serve as Artistic Director of the DAS Theatre master’s programme as of July 2018. It is the first institute in the Netherlands to bring master’s, doctorate and research programmes together under one roof in order to strengthen the development of advanced education in the performing arts. The Artistic Director of DAS Theatre has a vibrant international network and in-depth knowledge of current developments in the contemporary performing arts scene in the Netherlands and abroad, extensive experience with and knowledge of giving support to emerging artists and a professional track record within or collaboration with educational institutions, and/or a convincing view of art education. MORE HERE

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JOB | Morristown, US | Director of Exhibition | The Morris Museum – 5 March 2018

The Morris Museum curates beauty, experience, thought and conversation centred in its collections of art, music, history and science. Founded in 1913 in Morristown, New Jersey, the Museum serves both a local and international constituency through its wide variety of collections, exhibitions and performing arts productions. The Director of Exhibits is a newly-created position whose goal will be to deepen exhibition content, elevate exhibition design and broaden exhibition perspectives. He or she will provide curatorial leadership and, as part of the Museum’s senior management team, articulate a clear and unique curatorial voice for the Museum. The director’s essential job is to occupy the role of chief curator, providing curatorial leadership as a member of the museum’s senior management team. The ideal candidate should hold an MA or equivalent in Art History or Curatorial Studies, preferably with a demonstrated interest in kinetic art and/or sound art, and have a minimum seven to ten years of curatorial experience, well-grounded in good scholarship, in a museum or related arts setting. MORE HERE

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JOB | Boston | Art Consultant | Boston Art – 1 June 2018

Boston Art is seeking a full-time Art Consultant to join its fun, hardworking and growing team. Art consultants occupy a creative, client-facing leadership role and exist as ambassadors for the entire form to industry professionals, clients and vendors. This position is in charge of managing the design, acquisition, framing and delivery of art programmes to corporate, healthcare, hospitality and private clients, working closely with the client and designer and sustaining relationships with re-occurring client base, etc. The ideal candidates should be extremely comfortable giving presentations to large groups and have passion for and strong familiarity with contemporary art and interior design, with experiences with a design firm, art gallery or other high-end product sales preferred. MORE HERE

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OPEN CALL | Global | Call for Proposals | Project Anywhere 2019 – 1 September 2018

Project Anywhere is a vehicle for hosting and disseminating art and research undertaken outside traditional exhibition circuits. It is perhaps best imagined as a project space comprising the entire globe (and beyond) in which the role of curator is replaced with the type of peer review model typically endorsed by a refereed journal. Project Anywhere’s evaluation criteria stress that all project proposals must make a clear and compelling case for the proposed project’s potential to contribute to knowledge in an identified field of creative practice. It is also expected that all proposals identify relevant literature and related artistic precedents. Projects can be speculative or discursive in nature and may extend or contradict existing methodologies. All proposals received by Project Anywhere are reviewed by 4 artist academics of international standing. All applicants will receive a comprehensive compilation of feedback for future consideration. 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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JOB | New Delhi | Gallery Assistant | Art Explore – 19 February 2018

Established in 2016, Art Explore strives to change the way art is presented to the viewers, collectors and art enthusiasts. By presenting a well researched, curated and relatable point of view, it aspires to reach out to the younger generation with art that they can enjoy and understand. Art Explore is now looking for a Gallery Assistant who is passionate and articulate, able to manage exhibitions, archives and public relations at the gallery. The candidate is required to have good communication and organisational skills. He/She should also be adept at Microsoft Office and Excel. Knowledge of the Arts is a plus but not a necessity. A Bachelor degree is a minimum requirement. Send your CV and cover letter to via info@artexplore.in. MORE HERE

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OPEN CALL | Chengdu, China | Call for Residencies | ARIE 2018  – 25 February 2018

ARIE 2018 in Chengdu is calling for Chinese and artists abroad to apply for a two months residency at the A4 Art Museum. The programme mainly targets at artists or art groups with over 3 years of experience in art creation or curation, who have independent ideas and have breakthrough practices in their fields. Artists or curators should mainly come from the field of contemporary art, with no limitation on the media used for creation. The programme is flexible. In terms of the A4 residency project the important part is to participate in local events and exchanges, not to only confine yourself to your own art. At the same time, the work of A4 is not limited to the city; ARIE 2018 also casts its sights on greater China, Asia, and the world in terms of the projects which they are initiating and promoting. Applicants should provide their latest CV in English and Chinese, collections of representative work with picture and description, the programme plan for residence, the programme application form and other materials. 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 feed of opportunities.

Art Radar wishes you a Happy New Year of the Dog

Dear Readers,

 

Art Radar is on holiday for the Lunar New Year 2018, and will not be publishing any content from Thursday 15 to Sunday 18 February 2018, returning with new articles from Monday 19 February. The last newsletter of the Year of the Rooster goes out tomorrow, on New Year’s Eve, with a shorter version, but not less engaging!

We have selected a video artwork by Chinese artist Zhang Xiaotao 張小濤, The Adventure of Liangliang — 量量历险记 (2013), to wish you a wonderful New Year full of surprises and adventures like Liangliang’s, the little dog in Zhang’s work.

 

 

We would like to thank you all for your continued support and interest in our content and for contributing to making Art Radar a must-read publication on contemporary art from Asia, Middle East and Africa.

We are looking forward to be back and engage you again with more exciting articles on the art world, its artists and upcoming contemporary art exhibitions and events of 2018 in Asia and beyond.

 

Happy New Year of the Dog!

恭喜发财!新年快乐!

MaiArdia_DigitalSignature

C. A. Xuan Mai Ardia

Managing Editor, on behalf of Chief Editor Kate Cary Evans and The Art Radar Team

 

“Earth Families”: Indian artist Reena Saini Kallat at the Manchester Museum

In a hybridity characteristic of her practice, Kallat’s works interact with the Museum’s collection in a thought-provoking dialogue about identity, memory, history and the natural world.

Art Radar spoke to the artist to learn more about her work on show at the Manchester Museum.

Reena Saini Kallat, “Earth Families”, 30 September 2017 - 25 February 2018, Manchester Museum. Image courtesy the artist and Manchester Museum.

Reena Saini Kallat, “Earth Families”, 30 September 2017 – 25 February 2018, Manchester Museum. Image courtesy the artist and Manchester Museum.

A confluence of science and human culture

The art of acclaimed artist Reena Saini Kallat has always celebrated the multiplicity that is our reality – in the social, political and cultural diversity of India, the sub-continent and the world. Her paintings and installations have always skilfully woven a myriad of ideas relating to identity, memory and history resulting in works of art that have engaged diverse materials and technology in order to conflate beauty and embellishment with serious contemplations and conceptual underpinnings.

 Reena Saini Kallat, 'Hyphenated Lives (De-on)', 2017, gouache, charcoal, ink and electric wire on handmade paper, 36 x 42 in, 91x107cm. Image courtesy the artist and Manchester Museum.

Reena Saini Kallat, ‘Hyphenated Lives (De-on)’, 2017, gouache, charcoal, ink and electric wire on handmade paper, 36 x 42 in, 91 x 107 cm. Image courtesy the artist and Manchester Museum.

It is fitting therefore that an artist who has used her practice to comment on the impact of manmade boundaries and the unbounded natural world is exhibiting at the 150-year-old Manchester Museum, United Kingdom’s largest university museum, which displays works of archaeology, anthropology and natural history. Kallat’s solo exhibition is a part of the New North and South network that includes eleven arts organisations across the North of England and South Asia, who have come together in a three-year programme of commissions, exhibitions and intellectual exchange to celebrate shared heritage across continents and develop artistic talent.

Kallat’s show titled “Earth Families” explores the linkages between the human and the natural world, bridging the divide between them with a masterful use of diverse media such as drawing, sculpture, photography, audio and video.

 Reena Saini Kallat, 'Light Leaks, Winds Meet Where The Waters Spill Deceit', 2008-10, 30 September 2017 -25 February 2018, installation view at Manchester Museum. Image courtesy the artist and Manchester Museum.

Reena Saini Kallat, ‘Light Leaks, Winds Meet Where The Waters Spill Deceit’, 2008-10, 30 September 2017 -25 February 2018, installation view at Manchester Museum. Image courtesy the artist and Manchester Museum.

“Earth Families”, 30 September 2017 -25 February 2018, installation view at Manchester Museum. Image courtesy the artist and Manchester Museum.

Reena Saini Kallat, “Earth Families”, 30 September 2017 -25 February 2018, installation view at Manchester Museum. Image courtesy the artist and Manchester Museum.

In a series of works on display, juxtaposed brilliantly amidst the Manchester Museum’s rich and varied natural science and human culture collection, Kallat extrapolates meaning out of the institution’s own narrative to project complex histories of conflict and co-existence. Speaking about her thought process behind “Earth Families”, Kallat tells Art Radar:

This has come out of years of my work – years of thinking about communities, the communalisation of politics and my own deep, personal feelings about the legacy of events such as the partition in the Indian subcontinent. I have always been concerned about these long, shared histories that countries have had and how unlike manmade geographies, nature has no borders.

Reena Saini Kallat, 'Hyphenated Lives (Man-yan)', 2016, gouache, charcoal, ink and electric wire on Fabriano paper, 30 x 41 in, 76 x 104 cm. Image courtesy the artist and the Manchester Museum.

Reena Saini Kallat, ‘Hyphenated Lives (Man-yan)’, 2016, gouache, charcoal, ink and electric wire on Fabriano paper, 30 x 41 in, 76 x 104 cm. Image courtesy the artist and the Manchester Museum.

Promoting peaceful coexistence through symbolism

In “Hyphenated Lives” (2015), a collection of artworks that resemble zoological and botanical drawings, Kallat has created hybrid birds, animals, trees and flowers by artistically fusing species appropriated as national symbols in conflicted countries – symbolically unifying the divided nations which are their habitat, through fictive wildlife. The paintings invite viewers to think of the many bonds and borders that make up our complex existence in this world and how we must attempt to resolve the ensuing tensions that have erupted. About the series the artist tells Art Radar:

I felt the need to turn to species other than the human race to tell us how to cohabit the planet, where the existence of one depends on the other or the disappearance of one species affects the other adversely. I often think of these conjoined forms as an allusion to nature’s defiance of artificially imposed, man-made divisions on the ground; a poetic provocation from the past or a proposition for an imagined future where indeed they may reunite.

Reena Saini Kallat, 'Cy-oak', from "Hyphenated Lives" series, 2017, gouache, charcoal, ink and electric wire on Fabriano paper, 22 x 30 in. Image courtesy the artist and Manchester Museum.

Reena Saini Kallat, ‘Cy-oak’, from “Hyphenated Lives” series, 2017, gouache, charcoal, ink and electric wire on Fabriano paper, 22 x 30 in. Image courtesy the artist and Manchester Museum.

Reena Saini Kallat, 'Ti-khor', 2017. “Earth Families”, 30 September 2017 -25 February 2018, installation view at Manchester Museum. Image courtesy the artist and Manchester Museum.

Reena Saini Kallat, ‘Ti-khor’, 2017. “Earth Families”, 30 September 2017 -25 February 2018, installation view at Manchester Museum. Image courtesy the artist and Manchester Museum.

One of the paintings in the “Hyphenated Lives” series is Ti–khor (2017), which Kallat has conceptualised by combining the tiger, the national animal of India, with the markhor goat, the national animal of neighbouring Pakistan. 
The work has been placed atop a display case that exhibits ‘Maude’, the Manchester Museum’s tigon specimen, which is a cross between a male tiger and a female lion. With Ti–khor, Kallat uses an animistic metaphor to promote the possibility of unifying apparently incompatible national identities through the dissolution of divisions of species, caste, creed, nations and race.

Reena Saini Kallat, 'Ti-khor', from "Hyphenated Lives" seriec, 2017, gouache, charcoal, ink and electric wire on handmade paper,
 16 x 20 in. Image courtesy the artist and Manchester Museum.

Reena Saini Kallat, ‘Ti-khor’ from “Hyphenated Lives” series, 2017, gouache, charcoal, ink and electric wire on handmade paper,
 16 x 20 in. Image courtesy the artist and Manchester Museum.

The juxtaposition of the Ti–khor with the tigon is an intriguing comment by the artist on the meeting of the Museum’s past with her own utopian dream for the future. Kallat says:

It was wonderful to be at the Manchester Museum with my works in dialogue with the exhibits on location. In a way, it was like creating a museum within a museum with my imagined species of hybrids having found their home here. An onlooker might see them in the context as a species that either existed in the past or a proposition for a future where indeed they may reunite.

Reena Saini Kallat, 'Cleft' (dyptich), 2017, gouache, charcoal, ink and electric wire on handmade paper, 110 x 58 x 3 in. Image courtesy the artist and Manchester Museum.

Reena Saini Kallat, ‘Cleft’ (dyptich), 2017, gouache, charcoal, ink and electric wire on handmade paper, 110 x 58 x 3 in. Image courtesy the artist and Manchester Museum.

Reena Saini Kallat, 'Cleft' (dyptich), 2017, gouache, charcoal, ink and electric wire on handmade paper, 110 x 58 x 3 in. Image courtesy the artist and Manchester Museum.

Reena Saini Kallat, ‘Cleft’ (dyptich), 2017, gouache, charcoal, ink and electric wire on handmade paper, 110 x 58 x 3 in. Image courtesy the artist and Manchester Museum.

It is from this series that Kallat has gone on to produce Cleft (2017), a new work commissioned by the Manchester Museum, where her hybrid fantastical species roam the earth’s geographies of conflict, through intersecting wires made of cables representing the cross-purposes of communication lines and barbed-wired fences – the former bringing us together and the latter keeping us apart.

Reena Saini Kallat, 'Garden Of Forking Paths', 2017, gouache, charcoal, ink and electric wire on handmade paper, 58 x 58 x 3 in, 147 x 147 x 8 cm each (in four panels). Image courtesy the artist and Manchester Museum.

Reena Saini Kallat, ‘Garden Of Forking Paths’, 2017, gouache, charcoal, ink and electric wire on handmade paper, 58 x 58 x 3 in, 147 x 147 x 8 cm each (in four panels). Image courtesy the artist and Manchester Museum.

Reena Saini Kallat, 'Shifting Ecotones', 2017. “Earth Families”, 30 September 2017 - 25 February 2018. Installation view at Manchester Museum. Image courtesy the artist and Manchester Museum.

Reena Saini Kallat, ‘Shifting Ecotones’, 2017. “Earth Families”, 30 September 2017 – 25 February 2018, installation view at Manchester Museum. Image courtesy the artist and Manchester Museum.

The cables, a recurring motif in the artist’s practice also appear in Garden of Forking Paths (2016), a panoramic view of a desolate landscape inhabited by the same conjoined species, and in Anatomy of Distance (2014) and Half Oxygen (2014), both of which represent the barriers that we construct in the Indian subcontinent, despite our shared histories. Kallat follows through with her theme of convergence and unification in the newly commissioned sound sculpture Chorus (2017), which has been modelled on pre-radar acoustic devices used during World War II. Viewers are invited to step between the large dishes to hear the national birds of border-sharing countries singing in unison.

Reena Saini Kallat, (left) 'Anatomy of Distance', 2014, electric wire, metal rings, motion sensor, LED buzzer alarm and indicator pilot lamp; (right) 'Half-Oxygen', 2014, electric wire, metal ring, speaker with built-in micro-SD card sound playback. Image courtesy the artist and Manchester Museum.

Reena Saini Kallat, (left) ‘Anatomy of Distance’, 2014, electric wire, metal rings, motion sensor, LED buzzer alarm and indicator pilot lamp; (right) ‘Half-Oxygen’, 2014, electric wire, metal ring, speaker with built-in micro-SD card sound playback. Image courtesy the artist and Manchester Museum.

Reena Saini Kallat, 'Chorus (Wavelength Frequency Amplitude) ', 2017, painted FRP, 107 x 119 x 41in, 272 x 302 x 104 cm. Image courtesy the artist and Manchester Museum.

Reena Saini Kallat, ‘Chorus (Wavelength Frequency Amplitude)’, 2017, painted FRP, 107 x 119 x 41in, 272 x 302 x 104 cm. Image courtesy the artist and Manchester Museum.

A pensive explorer of human existence

It is interesting how the diversity and multiplicity that has existed in Kallat’s own practice, from materials and media to ideas and meanings, is also evident in both the Museum’s centuries-old exhibits as well as the artist’s works on display – thereby making “Earth Families” a befitting stage to showcase the oeuvre of one of India’s most significant contemporary artists, whose work is part of several public and private collections across the world.

Kallat (b. 1973) graduated from the Sir J.J. School of Art, Mumbai in 1996 with a BFA in painting and her practice has spanned drawing, photography, sculpture and video by engaging diverse materials while communicating thought-provoking concepts and ideas.

 Reena Saini Kallat, 'Saline Notations (Ode to Waris Shah)', 2015, digital print on Hahnemühle photorag archival paper + DIBOND, 29 x 29 x 1 in, 74 x 74 x 3 cm (left panel). 43 x 29 x 1 in, 109 x 74 x 3 cm (right panel). Image courtesy the artist and the Manchester Museum.

Reena Saini Kallat, ‘Saline Notations (Ode to Waris Shah)’, 2015, digital print on Hahnemühle photorag archival paper + DIBOND, 29 x 29 x 1 in, 74 x 74 x 3 cm (left panel). 43 x 29 x 1 in, 109 x 74 x 3 cm (right panel). Image courtesy the artist and the Manchester Museum.

She has widely exhibited at institutions worldwide such as Museum of Modern Art (MOMA), New York; Mori Art Museum, Tokyo; Vancouver Art Gallery; Saatchi Gallery, London; National Taiwan Museum of Fine Arts; Tel Aviv Museum of Art, Israel; National Museum of Contemporary Art, Seoul; ZKM Karlsruhe in Germany; and Museum of Contemporary Art, Shanghai amongst many others. Her works are currently on show inAsymmetrical Objects” at the Dr Bhau Daji Lad City Museum, “India Re-Worlded: Seventy Years of Investigating a Nation” curated by Dr Arshiya Lokhandwala at Gallery Odyssey and The Sculpture Park at the Madhavendra Palace, Jaipur. Some of her key upcoming exhibitions in 2018 are at various international locations, including Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney; Kunstmuseum Wolfsburg, Germany; Tate Exchange, London; and City University of Hong Kong amongst others.

Reena Saini Kallat, 'Saline Notations (Echoes)', 2015, digital print on Hahnemühle photorag archival paper + DIBOND, 42 x 29 in, 107 x 74 cm each (Set of 6). Image courtesy the artist and the Manchester Museum.

Reena Saini Kallat, ‘Saline Notations (Echoes)’, 2015, digital print on Hahnemühle photorag archival paper + DIBOND, 42 x 29 in, 107 x 74 cm each (Set of 6). Image courtesy the artist and the Manchester Museum.

Kallat is interested in the role that memory plays, in not only what we choose to remember but also how we think of the past. Kallat has often used in her work several motifs that have characterised her practice – from rubber stamps signifying bureaucratic apparatus to electrical cables that morph into barbed wires. In many of her current artworks, she uses salt as a medium to explore the relationship between the body and the oceans, while highlighting the fragility and unpredictability of existence.

Reena Saini Kallat, 'Garden of Forking Paths', 2017. “Earth Families”, 30 September 2017 -25 February 2018, installation view at Manchester Museum. Image courtesy the artist and Manchester Museum.

Reena Saini Kallat, ‘Garden of Forking Paths’, 2017. “Earth Families”, 30 September 2017 -25 February 2018, installation view at Manchester Museum. Image courtesy the artist and Manchester Museum.

Reena Saini Kallat, 'White Birds', 2015. “Earth Families”, 30 September 2017 -25 February 2018, installation view at Manchester Museum. Image courtesy the artist and Manchester Museum.

Reena Saini Kallat, ‘White Birds’, 2015. “Earth Families”, 30 September 2017 -25 February 2018, installation view at Manchester Museum. Image courtesy the artist and Manchester Museum.

Speaking about the evolution of her practice, Kallat tells Art Radar:

A turning point for me was when I was invited to be a part of ‘The River Biennale’ at the Campbelltown Art Centre in Sydney in 2010. The River Indus and its multiple tributaries was once the centre of the Indus Valley Civilization and an important trading route in the centuries that followed. Today by partitioning the waters of the Indus into India and Pakistan, we are ruling over these rivers, controlling them. Despite this difference, the waters, the sounds the rivers make and their basic characteristics are the same. I collected audio clips from the rivers at various places to highlight this similitude. This started my interest in shared histories that are at the core of my current work.

 Amita Kini-Singh

2057

“Earth families” by Reena Saini Kallat is on view from 30 September 2017 to 25 February 2018 at the Manchester Museum, The University of Manchester, Oxford Road, Manchester M13 9PL.

Related Topics: Indian artists, memory, historical art, museum shows, mixed media, installation, events in Manchester

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Busan Biennale appoints Cristina Ricupero and Jörg Heiser as Artistic Directors for 2018 edition

The organisation committee of the Busan Biennale has announced curator Cristina Ricupero and writer Jörg Heiser as joint Artistic Directors for the 11th Busan Biennale .

The Busan Biennale organisation committee, headed by Executive Director Choi Tae Man, selected Ricupero and Heiser’s proposal after an Open Call recruitment process.

Busan Biennale 2016, exhibition site under construction. Image courtesy Busan Biennale.

Busan Biennale 2016, exhibition site under construction. Image courtesy Busan Biennale.

Busan Biennale

Held every two years on even years since 1998, the Busan Biennale is an international contemporary art exhibition based in Busan (previously Pusan), South Korea’s second most-populous city after Seoul.

With its first edition in 1998, the Biennale integrated three different festivals that had been held in the city: the Busan Youth Biennale (which first emerged as a self-organised event by young artists in 1981), the Busan Sea Festival and the Busan Outdoor Sculpture Symposium.

With a long history of serving as a hub of contemporary art in Asia, the Busan Biennale acts as an arena for local and international communication and exchange. As an independent event, the Busan Biennale has distinguished itself from other biennials with its expression of Busan’s city identity – and its experimental and dynamic exhibitions.

Previous artistic directors include, among others, Yun Cheagab, How Art Museum, China (“Hybridising Earth, Discussing the Multitude”, Busan Biennale 2016); Olivier Kaeppelin, Director of Fondation Maeght, France (“Inhabiting the World”, Busan Biennale 2014); and Roger M. Buergel, Artistic director of Documenta XII, (“The Garden of Learning”, Busan Biennale 2012).

Open Call for Artistic Directors

In selecting the 2018 artistic directors, the organisation committee adopted a different format, with an open recruitment approach designed to identify curators capable of offering new discourses in contemporary art. In December 2017, the committee assembled an initial candidate pool with Korean and international curators from a range of backgrounds, applying as individuals and as co-directors. After careful consideration by the committee, Ricupero and Heiser’s appointment was announced in February 2018.

Cristina Ricupero and Jörg Heiser , Artistic Directors for the 2018 Busan Biennale. Image courtesy Busan Biennale

Cristina Ricupero and Jörg Heiser , Co-Artistic Directors for the 2018 Busan Biennale. Image courtesy Busan Biennale

2018 Artistic Directors: Cristina Ricupero and Jörg Heiser

Cristina Ricupero is a globally active independent curator based in Paris. She has close ties to the Korean art world, having served as European section commissioner for the Gwangju Biennale 2006, jury member for the 2012 Hermès Foundation Missulsang, and curatorial adviser for SeMA Biennale Mediacity Seoul 2016. Her major projects include Nuit Blanche Monaco (2016, with Heiser) and the exhibitions “Secret Societies” (2011-12) and “The Crime Was Almost Perfect” (2014). Her relationship with the Busan Biennale dates to 2011, when she was a presenter at an academic symposium, “Contemporary Art and Its Social Practices”. She previously worked as a curator at NIFCA (the Nordic Institute for Contemporary Art) in Helsinki from 2000 to 2005 and also as Associate Director of Exhibitions at the ICA in London from 2000 until 2004.

Jörg Heiser is a Berlin-based writer and editor. For almost twenty years, he has worked for the London-based global art magazine frieze, from 1998 to 2003 as Berlin-based associate editor, from 2003 to 2016 as co-editor, and also from 2011–16 as co-publisher of frieze d/e. Since 1997, he has been a regular contributor to the German national newspaper Süddeutsche Zeitung and is a frequent contributor to art catalogues and publications. Heiser has been the Director of the Institute for Art in Context at the University of the Arts (UdK) in Berlin since 2016, where he is also a Professor. He curated the exhibitions “Romantic Conceptualism”, Kunsthalle Nürnberg and BAWAG Foundation Vienna (2007), and “Funky Lessons”, BüroFriedrich Berlin and BAWAG Foundation Vienna (2004/2005).

As the appointment announcement notes,

The exhibition plan submitted by Ricupero and Heiser was consistently praised [throughout the process], from the academic committee screening to the selection committee review, raising hopes for an artistic discussion of Korea’s situation and Busan’s regionality while using contemporary art to pinpoint the core of the psychological issues precipitated by conflict and antagonism, which are currently emerging as worldwide issues.

More details on the Busan Biennale 2018 exhibition theme, participating artists and other important details are to be announced shortly. One of a multitude of art world events that will take place across the globe this year, the Busan Biennale is scheduled to open in September 2018.

Jessica Clifford

2067

Related topics: curatorsbiennalesconnecting Asia to itselfevents in Koreanews

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