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Highlights from Asia Contemporary Art Week 2017 in New York

Asia Contemporary Art Week pulls together some of New York’s biggest museums, galleries and institutions to shine the spotlight on the visual arts in Asia.

Art Radar puts together a list of 4 highlights at this year’s edition, running from 5 to 26 October 2017.

"After Darkness: Southeast Asian Art in the Wake of History", 8 September 2017 - 21 January 2018, Asia Society Museum, New York. (Left) FX Harsono, 'Burned Victims', 1998, burned wood, metal, shoes, and performance video with sound, dimensions variable; Video duration: 8:41min. Singapore Art Museum Collection. (Right) Dinh Q. Lê, 'Scroll #1' and 'Scroll #4, WTC' from "Four Perspectives", 2016, C-print scrolls, each 164 ft. x 50 in. (50 m x 127 cm). Courtesy the artist and Shoshana Wayne Gallery. Photo: Perry Hu. Image courtesy Asia Society Museum.

“After Darkness: Southeast Asian Art in the Wake of History”, 8 September 2017 – 21 January 2018, Asia Society Museum, New York. (Left) FX Harsono, ‘Burned Victims’, 1998, burned wood, metal, shoes, and performance video with sound, dimensions variable; Video duration: 8:41min. Singapore Art Museum Collection. (Right) Dinh Q. Lê, ‘Scroll #1’ and ‘Scroll #4, WTC’ from “Four Perspectives”, 2016, C-print scrolls, each 164 ft. x 50 in. (50 m x 127 cm). Courtesy the artist and Shoshana Wayne Gallery. Photo: Perry Hu. Image courtesy Asia Society Museum.

Curated by Leeza Ahmady, New York’s Asia Contemporary Art Week this year boasts over 30 symposia, panels and exhibition-related events for those looking to explore the best in the Asian visual arts scene in New York City. In its 12th edition, the art platform provides a comprehensive survey of Asia-focused exhibitions happening in the city, as well as a schedule of moments of discussion and confrontation. This year’s partners include Asia Society, the Asia Art Archive and the SVA MA in Curatorial Practice programme. Participating galleries include C24 Gallery, Chambers Fine Art, Owen James Gallery, and Sundaram Tagore. Art Radar picks four highlights at this year’s Asia Contemporary Art Week.

Simon Fujiwara, 'The Personal Effects of Theo Grunberg', 2010, mixed media installation, performance, dimensions variable. Courtesy Hamburger Kunsthalle.

Simon Fujiwara, ‘The Personal Effects of Theo Grunberg’, 2010, mixed media installation, performance, dimensions variable. Courtesy Hamburger Kunsthalle.

“Field Meeting Take 5: Thinking Projects”, 14-15 October

A two-day forum hosted at the Asia Society Museum, as well as the SVA Theatre, across the past weekend, Field Meeting Take 5: Thinking Projects” brought together New York- and US-based museum directors, arts professionals, artists and scholars to explore current themes and works in Asian art. Field Meeting is a series of newly conceived performances, lecture-performances and discussion panels. Check back on ACAW’s YouTube channel for uploads of this edition’s talks and presentations.

This year, 25 artists, scholars and art professionals took part in the programme, including  Brian Kuan Wood (New York), Nancy Adajania (Mumbai), Hera Chan (Hong Kong), Tiffany Chung (Ho Chi Minh City) and Simon Fujiwara (Berlin). The programme, curated by Leeza Ahmady, aims to provide a platform through which artists and arts professionals can get together to reflect on ideas, works and artistic processes collectively.

Hajra Waheed, 'Artist in Studio', 2016. Image courtesy the artist. Photo: Kaveh Nabatian.

Hajra Waheed, ‘Artist in Studio’, 2016. Image courtesy the artist. Photo: Kaveh Nabatian.

Aiming to bring the studio visit experience to the next level, this year’s “Field Meeting Take 5” was based on a curatorial narrative that looked at the state of art and the art landscape in a world fraught by political tensions in a globalised environment. As Leeza Ahmady writes,

“Field Meeting” presentations traverse between disciplines of visual arts, art history, science, social history, philosophy, architecture, mythology, film, folklore, subculture, medicine and self-development, to reflect on a variety of significant and timely topics including feminism as ecological consciousness; Lenin’s rendezvous with Jesus; telepathic animal communication; links between Chinese ink painting and global warming; cosmic speculation; the transformation of ancient symbols in the digital age, and much more.

Addressing a smorgasbord of issues in one gasp, Ahmady’s programme attempted to present a panoramic sweep of Asia’s visual arts scene. An interesting point about the programme is that it prioritised unfinished works, and works in progress. Placing emphasis on the platform as a means of reflecting, contemplating and developing ideas, works and resources, the platform appeared to be a good way of creating conversations and networks through an educational and curatorial programme. For the complete programme of “Field Meeting Take 5: Thinking Projects”, click here.

Song Dong, 'Eating the City in Beijing', 2003, installation view. © Song Dong. Image courtesy Pace Beijing.

Song Dong, ‘Eating the City in Beijing’, 2003, installation view. © Song Dong. Image courtesy Pace Beijing.

ACAW, “Thinking Projects x Creative China Festival”: Song Dong and Li Jun, 15 October

Held at Mana Contemporary in New Jersey, ACAW highlights two exhibitions ongoing by China’s contemporary visual artists Song Dong and Li Jun.

Established artist Song Dong will present his edible installation Eating the City. Made out of thousands of edible cookies, sweets and other snacks, Song Dong builds the structure of the city, inviting visitors to participate in its destruction by, literally, eating the city. Created as a means of commenting on the exponential growth of Asian cities and the similarities between global cities in today’s day and age, the installation encourages people to explore the topology of the urban environment. Song Dong has created many “biscuit cities” before, including some modelled after Beijing, Shanghai and Paris, amongst others, all of which are meant to be eaten by viewers.

Li Jun, 'Free to Go', 2012, performance. Image courtesy the artist.

Li Jun, ‘Free to Go’, 2012, performance. Image courtesy the artist.

Emerging artist Li Jun presents another exhibition alongside Song Dong entitled “Zi Jie at East Lake”. A pop-up show addressing issues of urbanisation and gentrification, the two projects speak to each other in complementary ways. “Zi Jie at East Lake” is inspired by the artist’s engagement with an environmental awareness initiative that he co-organised since 2010, known as “Everyone’s East Lake Project”. The exhibition will showcase videos, writings, illustrations and installations, and looks at the real-estate boom that is currently changing the East Lake areas in Wuhan, China. Meant to be an archive of sorts of the rapid eradication of communal recreational and public spaces, the exhibition provides a more personal, poetic look at the topic of urbanisation in China today.

"After Darkness: Southeast Asian Art in the Wake of History", 8 September 2017 - 21 January 2018, Asia Society Museum, New York. Dinh Q. Lê, 'Light and Belief: Sketches of Life from the Vietnam War', 2012, 70 drawings in pencil, watercolour, ink, and oil on paper and single-channel video with sound, dimensions variable. Video duration: 35 minutes. Courtesy the artist, Shoshana Wayne Gallery, and 10 Chancery Lane Gallery. Photo: Perry Hu. Image courtesy Asia Society Museum.

“After Darkness: Southeast Asian Art in the Wake of History”, 8 September 2017 – 21 January 2018, Asia Society Museum, New York. Dinh Q. Lê, ‘Light and Belief: Sketches of Life from the Vietnam War’, 2012, 70 drawings in pencil, watercolour, ink, and oil on paper and single-channel video with sound, dimensions variable. Video duration: 35 minutes. Courtesy the artist, Shoshana Wayne Gallery, and 10 Chancery Lane Gallery. Photo: Perry Hu. Image courtesy Asia Society Museum.

Asia Society, “Negotiating Change: Art from Societies in Transition”, 20 October

Held in conjunction with the current exhibition at Asia Society, entitled “After Darkness: Southeast Asian Art in the Wake of History, Negotiating Change”, “Negotiating Change: Art from Societies in Transition” is conceived as a day-long symposium that looks at Southeast Asian contemporary art.

“After Darkness” explores contemporary art from societies in transition, examining the relationship between individual artistic practices and the sociopolitical contexts that they sprang from. Looking at points of tension between art, politics and history, the exhibition serves as a means of exploring the Southeast Asian contemporary art landscape, and the roles that the artists play in their respective countries’ histories and political narratives. With an additional performance entitled Passport In/Passport Out: Stories of Dinh Q. Le and Tintin Wulia, the symposium will comprise a staged reading from the accounts of the two artists, Le and Wulia, followed by a question and answer session.

Tintin Wulia, 'Violence Against Fruits' (still), 2000, single channel video with sound, duration: 2:56min. Image courtesy the artist and Milani Gallery Image courtesy of the artist and Milani Gallery.

Tintin Wulia, ‘Violence Against Fruits’ (still), 2000, single channel video with sound, duration: 2:56min. Image courtesy the artist and Milani Gallery.

Dinh Q. Le is known as one of Vietnam’s foremost contemporary artists engaging with the themes of identity, memory and history, often working with photographs, images and material in his research-driven projects. Tintin Wulia is best-known for her works that deal with the issues of global citizenship, nationality and cultural identity. Both artists have exhibited in major institutions and art platforms. Wulia has exhibited at the Yokohama Triennale, Istanbul Biennale and Sharjah Biennale, and is a recipient of the Australia Council for the Arts’ Creative Australia Fellowship 2014-2016. Le has exhibited in the Mori Museum, Japan, dOCUMENTA(13) in Kassel, Germany, and Singapore Art Museum, amongst others.

Raghubir Singh. 'Subhas Chandra Bose statue, Calcutta', 1986, C-Print. Image from 121 clicks © Raghubir Singh

Raghubir Singh. ‘Subhas Chandra Bose statue, Calcutta’, 1986, C-Print. Image from 121 clicks © Raghubir Singh

The Metropolitan Museum of Art, “Reflections on Raghubir Singh”, 27 October

Held at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, Ruth and Harold D. Uris Centre for Education, the panel discussion will feature screenwriter Sooni Taraporevala and photographer Ketaki Sheth sharing their experiences working with Raghubir Singh. The discussion will bring together Taraporevala and Sheth, inviting them to reflect on their memories of Singh, and what it was like to work with him in an informal conversation-style format.

Raghubir Singh is known as a pioneer of colour street photography in India, tirelessly capturing life in India through his gaze. Lauded for melding traditional Indian aesthetics with the new technology, Singh managed to create a distinct, yet arresting and highly vibrant photographic style that set him apart from other photographers. Singh also influenced many generations of photographers and filmmakers, including Henri Cartier-Bresson, William Gedney and Lee Friedlander. The exhibition ongoing at The Met (running until 2 January 2018), “Modernism on the Ganges: Raghubir Singh Photographs”, is a retrospective exhibition that traces the trajectory of his career from the late 1960s to the 1990s, examining the unfolding of his creative pursuits.

Junni Chen

1900

Related topics: curatorial practice, events in New York, Asian artists, museum shows, Asia expands

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Reliance Foundation provides landmark gift to The Met in New York

Oil company’s philanthropic arm Reliance Foundation donates gift to The Met in New York to Support Indian Art Programming.

The Indian philanthropic organisation founded by Nita and Mukesh Ambani has promised to fund a series of exhibitions that explore ancient, modern and contemporary art from India. Art Radar takes a look at the plans and the history of the collection of Indian art at The Met.

Isha Ambani with Mia Fineman, curator of the Raghubir Singh exhibit, at The Met. Image courtesy the Metropolitan Museum of Art.

Isha Ambani with Mia Fineman, curator of the Raghubir Singh exhibit, at the Met. Image courtesy the Metropolitan Museum of Art.

New York’s Metropolitan Museum of Art collects and exhibits art made between 3000 BC to the present. Over the next few years, visitors to The Met will encounter an increasing number of exhibits focusing on India’s art due to a generous gift from the Mumbai-based Reliance Foundation. In a press statement, President and CEO of The Met, Daniel H Weiss, thanked the founders of the organisation, Nita and Mukesh Ambani, commenting:

This is an outstanding commitment that will have a direct impact on The Met and the exhibitions it presents to its millions of yearly visitors.

Raghubir Singh. 'Subhas Chandra Bose statue, Calcutta', 1986, C-Print. Image from 121 clicks © Raghubir Singh

Raghubir Singh, ‘Subhas Chandra Bose statue, Calcutta’, 1986, C-print. Photo: Art Blart. Image courtesy © Raghubir Singh.

The new fund will support a range of exhibitions examining the accomplishments and influence of the arts and artists of India from ancient times to the present. The series of exhibitions will traverse religious art from the 1st century BC to 17th century Mughal art to contemporary Indian sculpture and photography. Nita Ambani, Founder and Chairperson of Reliance Foundation, said:

India has a rich heritage of art and culture that can be traced back to the 3rd-4th century BC. At Reliance Foundation, it has been our ongoing mission to recognise and promote this valuable tradition by offering opportunities and platforms for Indian art locally in India and at various institutions around the globe.

The Reliance Foundation is the philanthropic arm of Reliance Industries Limited, a company that has been extracting and refining petroleum across India since its foundation in 1966. The company also participates in the retail, telecommunications, petrochemicals and textile industries.

Plate no. 973, "Cotton," from J. Forbes Watson, Collection of Specimens and Illustrations of the Textile Manufactures of India, London: The India Museum, 1873–1880. Image from Metropolitan Museum of Art website.

Plate no. 973, “Cotton”, from J. Forbes Watson, Collection of Specimens and Illustrations of the Textile Manufactures of India, London: The India Museum, 1873–1880. Image: Metropolitan Museum of Art website.

The Met has been collecting art from India since 1891. The Indian collection consists of some 1,250 works of art, 350 of which are on view in the nine Herbert and Florence Irving Galleries of South Asian Art, the most extensive of such displays outside of India. Indian art dating from 1500 to 1900 is represented by more than 1,300 pieces in all media in the Department of Islamic Art.

In 2014 The Met organised an exhibition entitled “An Industrial Museum: John Forbes Watson’s Indian Textile Collection” that displayed a collection of textile samples brought from India to Europe in the 1860s by the Scottish physician John Forbes Watson. The information regarding modes of textile production trafficked back to Britain by Watson was key in the development of the British colonial economy, which relied on taking over control of the global textile markets originally presided over by India since the 1750s.

Raghubir Singh, 'Marwaris bidding outside the Calcutta stock exchange, Calcutta', 1988, From the series Calcutta. The Home and the Street Color print, 40 x 50 cm. Image from Art Blart © Raghubir Singh.

Raghubir Singh, ‘Marwaris Bidding Outside the Calcutta Stock Exchange, Calcutta’, 1988, from the series “Calcutta. The Home and the Street”, colour print, 40 x 50 cm. Image from Art Blart. Image courtesy © Raghubir Singh.

The funds from Reliance Foundation will also be directed towards supporting exhibitions of contemporary and modern art from India. The first exhibition in the series to benefit from the funds is the current “Modernism on the Ganges: Raghubir Singh Photographs”, which opened at The Met on 11 October 2017. Raghubir Singh was a pioneer of colour street photography who worked and published prolifically from the late 1960s until his death in 1999. The exhibition traces the full trajectory of Singh’s career from his early work as a photojournalist in the late 1960s through his last unpublished projects of the late 1990s. The exhibition is open until 2 January 2018.

Rebecca Close

1903

Related Topics: Indian artists, photography, museum shows, market watch, business of art, events in New York

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Hikaru Fujii wins Nissan Art Award 2017

The Nissan Art Award 2017 Grand Prix announces its prize winner.

In its third edition, the Biennial prize has been awarded to artist and filmmaker Hikaru Fujii.

Hikaru Fujii. Photo: Keizo Kioku. Image courtesy Nissan Art Award.

Portrait of Hikaru Fujii. Photo: Keizo Kioku. Image courtesy Nissan Art Award.

Nissan Motor Co., Ltd, Yokohama, Japan, has announced Japanese artist Hikaru Fujii as the winner of the Nissan Art Award 2017 Grand Prix. Other finalists include Motoyuki Daifu, Ryuichi Ishikawa, Yuichiro Tamura and Nami Yokoyama, chosen in the initial round in May 2017. Their work is currently on display in Yokohama.

Inaugurated in 2013, the Nissan Art Award was created as part of Nissan’s 80th anniversary celebrations, and aims to support emerging Japanese contemporary artists and develop Japan’s cultural community for the benefit of future generations. It selects artists from a variety of disciplines, with subjects ranging from the familiar to historical interpretation.

Along with receiving JPY5 million in prize money, the prize winner is also given a trophy and awarded a special residency. Fujii will be given the opportunity to participate in a three-month residency at the International Studio & Curatorial Program in New York.

Hikaru Fujii, ‘Playing Japanese’, Installation, photo, video, 2017. Photo: Keizo Kioku, Image courtesy Nissan Art Award.

Hikaru Fujii, ‘Playing Japanese’, 2017, installation, photo, video. Photo: Keizo Kioku, Image courtesy Nissan Art Award.

The Winner: Hikaru Fujii

Born in 1976 in Tokyo, Hikaru Fujii graduated from the University of Paris, where he started his career in new media art. Returning to Japan in 2005, his work examines Japanese history alongside contemporary world affairs, often using archive material, particularly film and video to reinterpret social events, memory, history and relationships.

Photo: Keizo Kioku. Image courtesy Nissan Art Award.

Nissan Art Award 2017 exhibition venue. Photo: Keizo Kioku. Image courtesy Nissan Art Award.

His work is interdisciplinary, often comprising of workshops and documentaries, as well as writing for theatre and film. Recent exhibitions include “MOT Annual 2016: Loose Lips Save Ships” at the Museum of Contemporary Art Tokyo (2016) and the “Aomori City Archives Exhibition: The construction of history is dedicated to the memories of the unnamed”.

Playing Japanese is a multi-channel video installation, developed from material gathered during a workshop. The artist invited members of the public to “perform” what it means to be Japanese, exploring social identities and constructions, alongside political problems within Japanese culture.

Hikaru Fujii, ‘Playing Japanese’, Installation, photo, video, 2017. Photo: Keizo Kioku, Image courtesy Nissan Art Award.

Hikaru Fujii, ‘Playing Japanese’, 2017, installation, photo, video. Photo: Keizo Kioku, Image courtesy Nissan Art Award.

For the Nissan Art Award, Fujii’s work Playing Japanese was selected from five finalists. Fujii comments on his winning entry:

This is an artwork that couldn’t have been realized without the cooperation of the performers and dozens of others who were involved. Through an artwork and a workshop recreating actual events from around 100 years ago, I want viewers to examine carefully the ways we are the same as people in the past, and the ways that we are different.

Hikaru Fujii. Image courtesy Nissan Art Award.

Portrait of Hikaru Fujii. Image courtesy Nissan Art Award.

Of this year’s selection, the chair of the Nissan Art Award 2017 jury Fumio Nanjo explains:

What was impressive about the award this year was how all of the finalists sincerely confronted their works of art. Among them, Fujii’s artwork broaches an extremely complex period of Japanese history from around when the nation started to interact with other cultures, and then, through the means of a workshop, presents us with a strong message and questions. Responding also to the state of affairs in the world today, his superb work transcends cultures and nationalities to resonate with all kinds of people.

Motoyuki Daifu, Installation view at Nissan Art Award 2017 Exhibition. Photo: Keizo Kioku, Image courtesy Nissan Art Award.

Motoyuki Daifu, installation view at Nissan Art Award 2017 Exhibition. Photo: Keizo Kioku. Image courtesy Nissan Art Award.

Artist Name: Ryuichi Ishikawa, Installation view at Nissan Art Award 2017 Exhibition, Photo: Keizo Kioku, Image courtesy Nissan Art Award.

Ryuichi Ishikawa, installation view at Nissan Art Award 2017 exhibition. Photo: Keizo Kioku. Image courtesy Nissan Art Award.

The Nissan Art Award Exhibition 2017

The five finalists were selected among 25 candidates, who were nominated for the first selection round in May of this year. The finalists then took part in at BankART Studio NYK in Yokohama, which runs from 16 September until 5 November 2017. The exhibition focuses on the diversity and range of media offered by its five participants, which spans from film, installation and photography. This year is especially significant, as the Nissan Art Award exhibition coincides with the Yokohama Triennale.

Yuichiro Tamura, Installation view at Nissan Art Award 2017 Exhibition, Photo: Keizo Kioku, Image courtesy Nissan Art Award.

Yuichiro Tamura, installation view at Nissan Art Award 2017 Exhibition. Photo: Keizo Kioku. Image courtesy Nissan Art Award.

The work of finalist Yuichiro Tamura samples existing images, or his own photographs, to compose “new landscapes and narratives that transcend time and space by eliciting and reconstructing original relationships”. In 2011, his film Night Less – created only with images from Google Street View – won an Excellence Prize at the Art Division of the 14th Japan Media Arts Festival.

Nami Yokoyama, Installation view at Nissan Art Award 2017 Exhibition. Photo: Keizo Kioku, Image courtesy Nissan Art Award.

Nami Yokoyama, installation view at Nissan Art Award 2017 Exhibition. Photo: Keizo Kioku. Image courtesy Nissan Art Award.

Tokyo-born Motoyuki Daifu explores the everyday in his work with a strong sense of irony, using images that traverse the ordinary and extraordinary. In contrast, Okinawan photographer Ishikawa captures portraits of Okinawan life – people, landscapes and streets – showing the multi-dimensional and layered landscape of contemporary Japan. Finally, Nami Yokoyama’s oil paintings of empty toilet rolls, chicken bones or telephone cards are imbibed with an inarticulable strangeness, as the banality of everyday objects is given stark representation in unnerving detail.

Anna Jamieson

1902

Related Topics: Japanese artistsemerging artistsart prizesaward ceremoniesevents in Japannews

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Preview: ASIA NOW Paris 2017 highlights

ASIA NOW spotlights Korean art scene in its third edition.

ASIA NOW art fair is open between 18-22 October 2017. Art Radar previews a few must-sees.

Asia Now 2017. Image courtesy Asia Now Paris.

Asia Now 2017. Image courtesy Asia Now Paris.

Now in its third edition, the Paris boutique art fair ASIA NOW presents a packed programme that aims to explore the diversity of the Asian art scene. This year the fair has successfully attracted a new cohort of galleries, including Chambers Fine Art (Beijing, China / New York, United States), PIFO Gallery (Beijing, China), Gallery SoSo (Gyeonggi-do, South Korea), Gallery Su (Shanghai, China) and Galerie Liusa Wang (Paris, France). Among the numerous special projects is a platform dedicated to the Korean arts scene. Art Radar previews a few highlights from among the gallery presentations and special project programming.

Bae Bien-U, 'SNM7A-002H', 2017. Framed silver print, 210 x 110 cm, 5 pieces. Image courtesy the artist and Galerie RX.

Bae Bien-U, ‘SNM7A-002H’, 2017, framed silver print, 210 x 110 cm, 5 pieces. Image courtesy the artist and Galerie RX.

The Korean Platform

The Korean Platform at Asia Now is a programme of talks, exhibitions and screenings that spotlights the work of emerging and established Korean artists. It consists of a number of collaborations with institutions and galleries such as Galerie RX, who are presenting a solo show of Bae Bien-U, Kukje Gallery who are presenting a solo show of Ham Kyungah entitled “Mona Lisa and the others from the North”, the Korean Arts Management Service (KAMS) who are presenting a film screening programme entitled “Non-Sense Music”, and the Busan Biennale who are presenting “an/other avant-garde performance « Nomadism » by Jooyoung Kim”.

A number of galleries will present work of Korean artists, including 313 Art Project, CHOI&LAGER Gallery, The Columns Gallery, Kukje Gallery, Galerie Maria Lund, Gallery SoSo and Gallery SU. The Korean Platform is curated by Seoul-born, Berlin-based independent curator Joanne Kim. Talking about the programme at Asia Now, Joanne Kim commented:

ASIA NOW is the one of the best venues to introduce these new faces of the Korean Contemporary art scene in a specifically Asian art context which allows for the richer understanding of their artworks not only individually but also in their social context. In the project venue, the visitors will encounter the artists’ most recognised works, a vision of the promising potential and the new directions of contemporary Korean art scene.

Jooyoung Kim, 'Nirvana de l'Âme', 2012, performance in UK supported by Projet Nomade, Busan Biennale. Image courtesy the artist.

Jooyoung Kim, ‘Nirvana de l’Âme’, 2012, performance in UK supported by Projet Nomade, Busan Biennale. Image courtesy the artist.

Jooyoung Kim curated by Busan Biennale

This year, ASIA NOW joins forces with the 2018 Busan Biennale’s curatorial team to host the second part of the “an/other avant-garde china-japan-korea” project, which was presented during the 2016 Busan Biennale. The Busan Biennale is Korea’s first biennale and has been organised by local artists since 1981. Their 2016 project “an/other avant-garde china-japan-korea” was co-curated by five curators from China, Japan and Korea, and featured autochthonous experimental avant-garde art of China, Japan and Korea from the 1960s to the 1980s.

The exhibition included 148 artworks by 65 artists (and collectives) and was accompanied by joint archives and supporting materials on the China, Japan and Korea historical and political contexts. At ASIA NOW the Busan team has chosen to focus on the works of Jooyoung Kim, a leading figure amongst the first generation of Korean artists engaging in performance art. A pioneer of the “Nomadism” concept as a form of artistic activism, Jooyoung Kim is renowned for her projects and installations through which she frees herself from institutional constraints.

Ayoung Kim, 'Zepheth, Whale Oil from the Hanging Gardens to You', Shell 1, 2014. Still image. Image courtesy of the artist.

Ayoung Kim, ‘Zepheth, Whale Oil from the Hanging Gardens to You, Shell 1’, 2014, still image. Image courtesy the artist.

Artists’ Films and Talks programme: Non-Sense Music, presented by Korean Arts Management Service (KAMS)

ASIA NOW has teamed up with the Korean Arts Management Service (KAMS) for its Artists’ Films and Talks programme. The fair will present films by three leading lights of the contemporary Korean art scene: Kelvin Kyung Kun Park, Ayoung Kim and Lee Wan. Seoul-based artist Kelvin Kyung Kun Park’s A Dream of Iron (2014) opened the Berlin International Film Festival and was also shown at the Museum of Modern Art in New York and the Sharjah Biennial. The documentary is a series of film sequences, in which the artist recounts the end of a love story and the quest of a woman who sets out in search of God. The unhappy narrator also attempts to find love amongst whales, at sea, with the Pohang Steel Company and at a Hyundai construction site.

Ayoung Kim’s Zepheth, Whale Oil from the Hanging Gardens to You (2015) was presented at the main exhibition of the 56th Venice Biennale and is the result of extensive research into a fossil fuel that has become a central motif of globalisation: oil. Zepheth, Whale Oil from the Hanging Gardens to You recounts the development of the oil industry in the Middle East. Lee Wan’s Made In Series (2017) represents South Korea at the 2017 Venice Biennale. The film explores the hidden lives of people exploited by the dynamics of global power, in both Asia and the rest of the world.

Yang Li, 'Kindergarten-1', 2016, Photography series, 100 x 75 cm, 50 x 37.5 cm. Image courtesy of the artist.

Yang Li, ‘Kindergarten-1’, 2016, photography series, 100 x 75 cm, 50 x 37.5 cm. Image courtesy the artist.

“Migration” curated by ZETO ART

ZETO ART is a curatorial team dedicated to promoting young Asian artists based all over the world. At Asia Now they have curated an exhibition entitled “migration (迁徙)”, which brings together young artists who work across France, China and Japan in various media. Either forced or by their own will, all the participating artists emigrated from their original cultural contexts to new civilisations, where they now live and explore through works of art. As the phenomenon is directly related to the difference between the social status of their homelands and the adopted countries, their works reveal different perspectives and offer both aesthetic and sociologic value to the discussion on “migration”.

Abdul Abdullah, 'Journey to the west', 2017, Digital print, 120 x 208 cm. Image courtesy the artist.

Abdul Abdullah, ‘Journey to the West’, 2017, digital print, 120 x 208 cm. Image courtesy the artist.

Gallery Highlights

1. Yavuz Gallery — Singapore

Established in 2010 in Singapore, Yavuz Gallery is dedicated to the promotion of contemporary art from the Asia-Pacific region. For ASIA NOW 2017 Yavuz Gallery will present works by Abdul Abdullah, Lucas Grogan, Pinaree Sanpitak, and Isabel and Alfredo Aquilizan. The exhibition focuses on the work of leading Australian artist Abdul Abdullah and his newest photographic body of work entitled The Wedding Series (2017). As an Australian Muslim, Abdullah’s sharp and provocative work often uses his body and personal experiences as potent material to explore the politicisation of Muslim identity in the post 9/11 world.

Chen Qiulin, 'Being, Film Photography', 2012, Giclee Print, Hahnemuehle Photo Rag Baryta 315g, 120x80cm. 
Image courtesy the artist and A Thousand Plateaus Art Space.

Chen Qiulin, ‘Being, Film Photography’, 2012, giclee print, hahnemuehle photo rag baryta 315 g, 120 x 80 cm. 
Image courtesy the artist and A Thousand Plateaus Art Space.

2. A Thousand Plateaus Art Space — Chengdu

A Thousand Plateaus Art Space will present art works by Chen Qiulin, Feng Bingyi, Wang Chuan, Wang Jun and Yang Shu, of various media including painting, photography, video and installation. Born in the period between the 1950s to the 1990s, these artists and their works are important in offering a glimpse into Chinese contemporary art. Chen Qiulin’s works often combine social problems and her personal experience in the process of the rapid development in China, showing her consistent awareness about society and the deepening exploration of the contemporary video languages, at the same time guiding the audience to think about changes in social environment and living space. Chen Qiulin’s works are exhibited and collected by many domestic and international museums and art institutions.

Min Jung Yeon, ‘Lumière de 17h’, 2017, Acrylic and oil paint, 40 x 30cm. Image courtesy the artist and Galerie Maria Lund.

Min Jung Yeon, ‘Lumière de 17h’, 2017, acrylic and oil paint, 40 x 30 cm. Image courtesy the artist and Galerie Maria Lund.

3. Galerie Maria Lund — Paris

Galerie Maria Lund will present three Korean artists, whose works share great sensuality and a form of animality through different approaches. Min Jung-Yeon (b. 1979) explores the fluctuating space of memory through recollections of places and specific situations that feed a parallel universe where onirism, the imaginary and very precise incursions of reality coexist. You Hye Sook (b. 1964) is guided by intuition and instinct, using very few means in order to let shapes and statements emerge from matter. A sensorial world, both anonymous and familiar, arises through the artist’s gaze, in which a game of appearance and disappearance takes place. An expression of personal mythologies, the works of Shoi (b. 1983) are marked by humor. They allow one to live again, exorcise, overcome a past experience in the spirit of a shamanic rite of passage. Here, the aquatic element is the symbol of an elsewhere, a libertarian and liberating journey.

Anne Samat, 'Huntsman Series (Portrait of a Man 3)', 2016, Pattern drafted weaving structures, rattan sticks, yarns, ceramic and wooden beads, wall washers, kitchen and garden utensils, 152 x 76 cm. Image courtesy the artist.

Anne Samat, ‘Huntsman Series (Portrait of a Man 3)’, 2016, pattern drafted weaving structures, rattan sticks, yarns, ceramic and wooden beads, wall washers, kitchen and garden utensils, 152 x 76 cm. Image courtesy the artist.

4. Richard Koh Fine Art — Kuala Lumpur, Singapore

Richard Koh Fine Art will present a group show by Malaysian artists Anne Samat, Haffendi Anuar, Hasanul Isyraf Idris and Yeoh Choo Kuan. Through their unique use of icons, these artists address their understanding of culture and identity in an increasingly globalised environment. Anne Samat presents Huntsman from her “Tribal Chief” series to reflect upon one’s identity and role in a time of progress. Through contemporary interpretations, Samat creates a dialogue between the masculine and feminine through the weaving of industrial, domestic and everyday objects. She explores refreshed identities and contemporary culture through the socio-ecological and the neo-colonial cultural history of Malaysia. Also building on the language of object-based work is Haffendi Anuar’s Migratory Objects, an immersive installation of painted “flocks” on boards. These shapes, often standing for faces, allude to a managed green paradise which reminds the artist of a home that was simultaneously foreign. Anuar investigates the consumption and dissemination of cultural debris as by-product of commercial tourism and trade through his “transformed” mask sculptures.

Rebecca Close

1901

Related topics: Korean artistscuratorial practiceemerging artistsconceptual artinstallation, art fairs, gallery shows, events in Paris

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“Captive of Love”: exploring urbanity with Danwen Xing at Red Brick Art Museum, Beijing

Drawing its title from French writer Jean Genet’s Un Captif Amoureux, the exhibition looks at Danwen Xing’s personal relationships with herself, her peers and her city.

Art Radar takes a look at the highlights of the exhibition, running until 29 October 2017.

Poster of Danwen Xing's exhibition "Captive of Love", 10 September - 29 October 2017 at Red Brick Art Museum, Beijing.

Poster of Danwen Xing’s exhibition “Captive of Love”, 10 September – 29 October 2017, at Red Brick Art Museum, Beijing.

Curated by Tarek Abou El Fetouh, whose curatorial practice often involves in-depth explorations of contemporary Chinese art, Danwen Xing‘s solo exhibition at Red Brick Art Museum in Beijing is one of the biggest to date. Boasting a range of photography, installations and videos, as well as never-before-seen works, “Captive of Love” is a poignant and personal look at the urban environment of China, and the human relationships that develop within it. Taking us through a myriad of scenes that unfold in and around the buildings that make up the city, Danwen Xing’s works construct narratives of urban life in the city.

Now known as one of the few pioneering artists that began experimenting with the photographic medium, the Xi’an-born artist began her photographic practice in the late 1980s. Her early works began grappling with issues of femininity and sexuality, with the black and white series I am a Woman (1994-1996) and Born with Cultural Revolution (1995) counted as some of her earlier photographic works. Xing’s artistic practice has since developed, later including installation and video works. Alongside that expansion in medium is also the range of issues that she engages with in her works. In this exhibition, Xing deals with the urban sprawl of the city, closely examining the ways in which it now affects our lives and relationships. Identity renegotiation, tensions between tradition and progressiveness, and the meaninglessness of truth have also been some of the themes largely associated with her works.

Danwen Xing, 'Urban Fiction, image 26', 2006. Digital photograph. Image courtesy the artist and Red Brick Museum

Danwen Xing, ‘Urban Fiction, Image 26’, 2006, digital photograph. Image courtesy the artist and Red Brick Art Museum.

This show brings together Danwen Xing’s major series of works, including Wall House (2007), Urban Fiction (2004-present) and Sleep Walking (2001) amongst others on view. Aiming to give a fuller picture of the artist, her practice and the trajectory of her creative pursuit, the exhibition shines a spotlight on her oeuvre, allowing visitors to closely approach her research and intimate perspectives.

Danwen Xing, 'Wall House, Image 1', 2007. Digital photograph. Image courtesy the artist and Red Brick Art Museum.

Danwen Xing, ‘Wall House, Image 1’, 2007, digital photograph. Image courtesy the artist and Red Brick Art Museum.

Danwen Xing, 'Wall House, Image 2', 2007. Digital photograph. Image courtesy the artist and Red Brick Art Museum.

Danwen Xing, ‘Wall House, Image 2’, 2007, digital photograph. Image courtesy the artist and Red Brick Art Museum.

Wall House (2007) is a multimedia installation series, comprising four photographic lightboxes, as well as an video animation. Much of the work centres around a particular house designed by John Hejduk, an American architect, artist and designer. Hejduk’s house, also called Wall House, featured a pastel-coloured façade, with a mix of curvilinear faces and straight planes. Often called a cross between Surrealist sculpture and Cubist paintings, the architectural form is a study of a relationship between the inside and the outside of the house itself.

Wall House sees Danwen Xing playing the main character as the inhabitant of this house. Although the house has been built in the Netherlands, Xing’s version of the Wall House is located in China, with scenes of the city seen out of the windows of the house. Xing’s rendition of the Wall House is a personal, close look at life today; ensconced within the form of the house itself, looking out into the city, Xing’s character plays out a certain feeling of isolation and ennui. In as much as the house appears part of the landscape of the city, Xing’s character appears far removed from the society that she is physically located in, hidden away in what can almost be seen as an ivory tower. Questioning the boundaries between private and public space, Xing’s Wall House explores the very landscapes of society itself and our relationships within it.

Danwen Xing, 'Urban Fiction, Image 8', 2004. Digital photograph. Image courtesy the artist and Red Brick Art Museum.

Danwen Xing, ‘Urban Fiction, Image 8’, 2004-present, digital photograph. Image courtesy the artist and Red Brick Art Museum.

Urban Fiction (2004-present) is a humorous take on the real estate development of cities. With the exponential boom in real estate developments, often comprising luxury apartments, high-rise office buildings and complexes, Xing chooses to look at the accompanying marketing materials of real estate projects. Using the language of real estate advertisements, with mock-ups of apartments and showroom aesthetics, Xing stages her own interventions in the form of inserting strange scenes that play out in the buildings themselves. Often dramatic, surreal and unnerving, Xing’s insertions seem to be a play on the very unreality of the prospective buildings and how they are portrayed. Blurring the line between fantasy and reality, Xing also highlights the brutal emptiness of these projected landscapes, heightening the sense of growing detachment that governs life in urban cities today.

Danwen Xing, 'disCONNEXION, Image a7', 2002-2003. Digital photograph. Image courtesy the artist and Red Brick Art Museum.

Danwen Xing, ‘disCONNEXION, Image a7’, 2002-2003, digital photograph. Image courtesy the artist and Red Brick Art Museum.

Xing approaches the concerns of urban life in a different way in disCONNEXION (2002-2003). A photographic series that takes its viewers on an ecological journey through China’s Guangdong province, disCONNEXION was the result of Xing’s research into electronic trash recycling and its effects on villages along the Pearl River Delta. Revealing the vast volumes and quantities of electronic waste, and highlighting the struggle to contain and manage such refuse matter, the series communicates an anxiety about the sustainability of such hyperconsumption through the lens of aesthetic representation. disCONNEXION shows snarls of wire, tangled, matted and piled together, becoming an amorphous mass itself.

Danwen Xing, 'disCONNEXION, image a1', 2002-2003. Digital photograph. Image courtesy the artist and Red Brick Art Museum.

Danwen Xing, ‘disCONNEXION, image a1’, 2002-2003, digital photograph. Image courtesy the artist and Red Brick Art Museum.

Perhaps one of the most provocative works in the show is Xing’s Sleep Walking (2001), a video installation that combines the images of different Western cities, accompanied by the sounds of traditional Chinese instruments and life in Chinese cities. Xing confronts the viewer with a sense of dislocation. Caught between the evocations of two different times and places, the work itself is almost jarring and discomforting. Although Xing’s work gives an illusion of intimacy, by including personal footage from Xing’s own travels, the work remains an unnerving, uncomfortable one to watch. A meditation on cross-global consciousness, the work is reflective of the artist’s own experiences of being transplanted from one culture to another, and questions the distinctions between particular spaces and times.

Danwen Xing, 'Sleep Walking', 2001. Video installation view at Queens Museum of Art, New York, 2002. Image courtesy the artist and Red Brick Museum of Art.

Danwen Xing, ‘Sleep Walking’, 2001, video installation view at Queens Museum of Art, New York, 2002. Image courtesy the artist and Red Brick Museum of Art.

Focused on the urban environment, whilst teasing out the complexities surrounding our experiences of living within the cityscape and how we relate to one another through it, the exhibition foregrounds many questions about the lived human experience in the age of the city boom. A poetic exploration of the city sprawl, Danwen Xing’s exhibition at the Red Brick Museum shines a spotlight on our environment today.

Junni Chen

1908

Related topics: Chinese artists, museum shows, identity art, urban, events in Beijing

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What to see in Paris during FIAC 2017

Art Radar selects a few events and highlights not to miss at and during FIAC 2017 in Paris.

Running from 19 to 22 October 2017, FIAC is the largest art fair in France dedicated to international contemporary art. Galleries and institutions around Paris are also opening new exhibitions during FIAC week. Art Radar brings you a few highlights from Asia, the Middle East and Africa.

Malick Sidibe, 1973, gelatin silver print, 50 x 60 cm. Courtesy succession Malick Sidibe. © Malick Sidibé

Malick Sidibe, 1973, gelatin silver print, 50 x 60 cm. Courtesy succession Malick Sidibe. © Malick Sidibé

FIAC is this year at its 44th edition, taking place at the Grand Palais, accompanied by a plethora of exhibitions and events around the city of Paris, including the smaller satellite Asia Now art fair, which will present fresh new perspectives from Asian art scenes. France’s largest international art fair, in 2017 FIAC brings together 193 galleries from 30 countries. This year will also see the second iteration of On Site, a sector inaugurated in 2016, dedicated to the presentation of site-speficic and large-scale installations at Petit Palais and Avenue Winston Churchill. The Hors Les Murs programme presents other monumental installations at the Jardins des Tuileries.

FIAC also features a programme of performances and conversations. Art Radar takes a look at some gallery highlights, selected On Site and Hors Les Murs artworks at the art fair, as well as a few not-to-miss exhibitions in Paris during FIAC this October.

Taro Izumi, 'Tickled in a dream ... may be ? (The destination of breath)', 2017, assemblage of varied elements, wood, metal, diverse objects, accompanied by a double video projection, dimensions variables. Photo: André Morin. Work displayed by Georges-Philippe & Nathalie Vallois. Image courtesy the artist and Georges-Philippe & Nathalie Vallois.

Taro Izumi, ‘Tickled in a dream … may be ? (The destination of breath)’, 2017, assemblage of varied elements, wood, metal, diverse objects, accompanied by a double video projection, dimensions variables. Photo: André Morin. Work displayed by Georges-Philippe & Nathalie Vallois. Image courtesy the artist and Georges-Philippe & Nathalie Vallois.

Art at FIAC

Galleries

In the Galleries sector, Georges-Philippe & Nathalie Vallois are presenting the work of Taro Izumi (b. 1976, Nara, Japan), a Japanese artist who had his first large-scale solo show in France this year at Palais de Tokyo in Paris. He uses black humour, a sense of irony and the absurd, creating a world out of exhibition spaces merging images, sounds and objects. He has developed a world expressed in installations, sculptures and videos, whose appearance processes are associated with accidents, play or perturbation.

Sammy Baloji, 'Tales of the Copper Cross', 2017, 41 min 48 sec. Installation composed of: 'Les petits Chanteurs à la Croix de Cuivre', black and white photographs; archival photographs, courtesy of Musée Royal de Centre Afrique (Tervueren) HP.1961.74.353), negative: 1960; impression: 2017; 'Reproduction of a commemorative medal', copper etching, 11,5 cm x 8,5 cm; 'Monsignor de Hemptinne 1876 - 1958', 'Préfet apostolique du Haut Katanga 1910-1932', 'Vicaire apostolique'. Dimensions variables. Work exhibited by Imane Farès. Image courtesy the artist and Galerie Imane Farès.

Sammy Baloji, ‘Tales of the Copper Cross’, 2017, 41 min 48 sec. Installation composed of: ‘Les petits Chanteurs à la Croix de Cuivre’, black and white photographs; archival photographs, courtesy of Musée Royal de Centre Afrique (Tervueren) HP.1961.74.353), negative: 1960; impression: 2017; ‘Reproduction of a commemorative medal’, copper etching, 11,5 cm x 8,5 cm; ‘Monsignor de Hemptinne 1876 – 1958’, ‘Préfet apostolique du Haut Katanga 1910-1932’, ‘Vicaire apostolique’. Dimensions variables. Work exhibited by Imane Farès. Image courtesy the artist and Galerie Imane Farès.

Imane Farès will feature the work of Sammy Baloji (b. 1978, Lubumbashi, DR Congo), and in particular, Tales of the Copper Cross (2017), a video depicting the hard labour of the Congolese in a copper factory, connected with the angelic voices of a church choir, and a blown-up photo of a Congolese Christian choir.

At STPI, Do Ho Suh‘s (b. 1962, Seoul, Korea) cyanotype images of his fabric objects – like the toilet from his New York apartment – appear side by side with works by fellow Korean artists Ja Hyuk Yim and Haegue Yang. Do Ho Suh has made life-sized environments made of pop coloured fabrics, including his New York apartment. In a collaboration with STPI, he created cyanotypes of these fabric objects and furniture components that look like X-rays. In an interview with Wallpaper, the artist said of these works: “I think ultimately I am seeking something intangible, to see something that I cannot see, a sort of residue.”

Do Ho Suh, 'Toilet Bowl-04, Apartment A, 348 West 22nd Street, New York, NY 10011, USA', 2016 Cyanotype on Saunders 638g paper, 138.8 x 105.5 cm. Work exhibited by STPI. Image courtesy the arist and STPI.

Do Ho Suh, ‘Toilet Bowl-04, Apartment A, 348 West 22nd Street, New York, NY 10011, USA’, 2016, cyanotype on Saunders 638g paper, 138.8 x 105.5 cm. Work exhibited by STPI. Image courtesy the arist and STPI.

Korean artist Kim Sooja‘s A Needle Woman-Kitakyushu (1999) will appear at Galleria Raffaella Cortese. The work is a silent performance video in which the artist lied horizontally with her back to the camera on top of a rock formation. Subsequently she shot a performance video where she stood still in the middle of the passing crowd in Tokyo, thus juxtaposing opposites like the urban setting and nature.

Kim Sooja, 'A Needle Woman-Kitakyushu (Video Stills Print Production)', 1999, Giclée (Inkjet) print on Hahnemüle paper, 51,94 x 76,20 cm (95 x 71 cm framed). Work exhibited by Raffaella Cortese. Image courtesy the artist and Galleria Raffaella Cortese, Milano.

Kim Sooja, ‘A Needle Woman-Kitakyushu (Video Stills Print Production)’, 1999, Giclée (Inkjet) print on Hahnemüle paper, 51,94 x 76,20 cm (95 x 71 cm framed). Work exhibited by Raffaella Cortese. Image courtesy the artist and Galleria Raffaella Cortese, Milano.

Experimenter features a solo presentation by Ayesha Sultana (b. 1984, Jessore, Bangladesh), who works with sound, drawing, object, painting and photography. Sultana is interested in the poetics of space and the relationship between material and process in notions of making. Recently, her drawing practice investigates the rudiments of form through architectural constructions, often derivative of the landscape.

Ayesha Sultana, 'Untitled (Fragments) IV'. 2017, ink, gouache and graphite on paper, 30 x 42 cm, Suite of 9. Work exhibited by Experimenter. Image courtesy the artist and Experimenter.

Ayesha Sultana, ‘Untitled (Fragments) IV’. 2017, ink, gouache and graphite on paper, 30 x 42 cm, Suite of 9. Work exhibited by Experimenter. Image courtesy the artist and Experimenter.

Green Art Gallery also presents the work of a South Asian artist, Seher Shah (b. 1975, Pakistan), who was trained as an architect and is interested in the intersection between the field of art and architecture. Through drawing, printmaking and sculpture, she conducts explorations on space, landscape, objects and aesthetics.

Seher Shah, 'Untitled (upright grid)', 2015, cast iron, 29.4 x 15.9 x 12.5 cm, Ed. of 2. Work exhibited by Green Art Gallery. Image courtesy the artist and Green Art Gallery.

Seher Shah, ‘Untitled (upright grid)’, 2015, cast iron, 29.4 x 15.9 x 12.5 cm, Ed. of 2. Work exhibited by Green Art Gallery. Image courtesy the artist and Green Art Gallery.

Galleria Continua, alongside Ai Weiwei and Kader Attia, will display Subodh Gupta‘s work. From Iran, FIAC will feature important artists like Kamrooz Aram (Green Art Gallery), Shirazeh Houshiary (Lisson), Nairy Baghramian (Marian Goodman) and Farhad Moshiri (Perrotin).

Farhad Moshiri, 'Gaze in black and orange', 2017, hand embroidered beads on canvas on board, 122.5 x 157.5 cm. Work exhibited by Perrotin. Image courtesy the artist and Galerie Perrotin.

Farhad Moshiri, ‘Gaze in black and orange’, 2017, hand embroidered beads on canvas on board, 122.5 x 157.5 cm. Work exhibited by Perrotin. Image courtesy the artist and Galerie Perrotin.

Laurent Godin presents work by Taiwanese feminist artist Hsia-Fei Chang (b. 1973, Taipei), who is concerned with challenging the stereotypes constraining women in Western societies. In her work, which encompasses performance, installation, photography, video and writing, she appropriates different female profiles to disrupt viewers’ assumptions.

Hsia-Fei Chang, 'Pin up', 2001, C-print, 120 x 80 cm. Work exhibited by Laurent Godin. Image courtesy the artist and Laurent Godin.

Hsia-Fei Chang, ‘Pin up’, 2001, C-print, 120 x 80 cm. Work exhibited by Laurent Godin. Image courtesy the artist and Laurent Godin.

Laurent Godin will also feature Chinese artist Wang Du‘s (b. 1956, Wuhan, China) painted sculptures, which reflect upon an era of tightly controlled media. He was one of the artists who exhibited in the China Avant-Garde 1989 exhibition in Beijing and was arrested and imprisoned for nine months after speaking out against corruption. He subsequently left for France in 1990.

Wang Du, 'Reliques', 1994, installation of ten sculptures, plaster and gouache, dimensions variables. Work exhibited by Laurent Godin. Image courtesy Galerie Laurent Godin.

Wang Du, ‘Reliques’, 1994, installation of ten sculptures, plaster and gouache, dimensions variables. Work exhibited by Laurent Godin. Image courtesy Galerie Laurent Godin.

Another Chinese artist to look out for is exhibited by Vitamin Creative Space. Yuan Jai (b. 1941, Sichuan) is a contemporary ink artist who paints tableaux inspired by traditional Chinese painting and her interest in Art Deco, Art Nouveu, Cubism and Surrealism. Her work merges classical forms with geometric, contemporary contaminations and vibrant colours.

Nicholas Hlobo, 'Mphephethe uthe cwaka', 2017, brass, bronze, copper and rope various dimensions. Image courtesy the artist and Lehmann Maupin New York and Hong Kong. © Athena Pokroy

Nicholas Hlobo, ‘Mphephethe uthe cwaka’, 2017, brass, bronze, copper and rope
various dimensions. Image courtesy the artist and Lehmann Maupin New York and Hong Kong. © Athena Pokroy

On Site

The On Site sector was launched in 2016, and presents large-scale sculptural works and installations at Petit Palais and on the Avenue Winston Churchill, in collaboration with Christophe Leribault, Curator and Director of the Petit Palais, and Eva Wittocx, Associate Curator of On Site.

South African artist Nicholas Hlobo‘s (b. 1975) Mphephethe uthe cwaka is a silent orchestra, exploring themes of transformation, fluidity and ritual. In his native Xhosa language, the title of the work means “blowing them in silence”. The installation references the power of music and sound, and particularly the universality of the horn, but also has sexual connotations, echoed through the phallic bronze mouthpieces attached to each sculpture. Hlobo makes a parallel between the act of playing the instruments and oral sex.

Otobong Nkanga, 'In A Place Yet Unknown', 2017, woven fabric, metal reservoir, ink, dye, 266 x 180 cm. © Philippe De Gobert. Image courtesy BelgianArtPrize, the artist and In Situ - fabienne leclerc, Paris.

Otobong Nkanga, ‘In A Place Yet Unknown’, 2017, woven fabric, metal reservoir, ink, dye, 266 x 180 cm. © Philippe De Gobert. Image courtesy BelgianArtPrize, the artist and In Situ – fabienne leclerc, Paris.

Otobong Nkanga (b. 1974, Nigeria) presents In A Place Yet Uknown, a tapestry that displays a poem written by the artist. The end of the woven textile is dipped in ink, which over time rises through the tapestry. The work grows through a process of chromatographic contamination, floating “in the place between stillness and motion”, effacing itself through time.

Barthélémy Toguo, 'Crazy City IV', 2000/2017, lime tree, 100 x 25 x 67 cm. Image courtesy the artist and Lelong & Co., Paris, New York.

Barthélémy Toguo, ‘Crazy City IV’, 2000/2017, lime tree, 100 x 25 x 67 cm. Image courtesy the artist and Lelong & Co., Paris, New York.

Barthélémy Toguo (b. 1967, Cameroun) revisits an installation created in 2000 that was never exhibited. Ten totemic wooden sculptures, carved directly from tree trunks, feature silhouettes that evoke fantastical creatures recalling those with pointed horns and beaks often seen in his work. The scultpures are placed on a checkerboard of African carpets, and embody the violence of our contemporary world.

Seung-taek Lee, 'Sound of Wind', late 1970s, vinyl, dimensions variable. Image courtesy the artist and Gallery Hyundai, Seoul.

Seung-taek Lee, ‘Sound of Wind’, late 1970s, vinyl, dimensions variable. Image courtesy the artist and Gallery Hyundai, Seoul.

Interdisciplinary artist Seung-taek Lee (b. 1932, Seoul) works with sculpture, installation and performance, and he was an advocate of “anti-concept”, “anti-art” in the Korean art scene. At On Site, he re-enacts Sound of Wind, originally created in the late 1970s. Lee uses red, blue and silver vinyl strips to create a sculpture that responds to breezes, allowing the spectator both to visualise and to hear the wind.

Wang Wei, 'Natural History 4 (square)', 2017, mosaic tiles. 12 x 12 m. Image courtesy the artist and Edouard Malingue, Hong Kong, Shanghai.

Wang Wei, ‘Natural History 4 (square)’, 2017, mosaic tiles. 12 x 12 m. Image courtesy the artist and Edouard Malingue, Hong Kong, Shanghai.

Wang Wei (b. 1972, Beijing, China) presents Natural History 4 (square), a work intended for a public setting. Wang is interested in creating immersive installations that introduce artifice in real life settings. The work in Avenue Winston Churchill can be viewed and interacted with. It is a mosaic tile platform, with a pattern identical to those found in Dongguan, Guangdong. Wang Wei thus creates a parallel between modes of construction, decor and personal living styles by transporting a material typically used in China to the streets of Paris.

Hera Büyüktaşçıyan, 'Freely You Have Received, Freely Give', 2016, Ceramic, acrylic, wood, 455 x 412 x 2.5 cm. Image courtesy artist and Green Art Gallery Dubai. Photo: Murat Germen.

Hera Büyüktaşçıyan, ‘Freely You Have Received, Freely Give’, 2016, Ceramic, acrylic, wood, 455 x 412 x 2.5 cm. Image courtesy artist and Green Art Gallery Dubai. Photo: Murat Germen.

Hors Le Murs

Since 2006, FIAC and the Louvre’s Hors les Murs programme exhibits monumental, outdoor works at Jardins des Tuileries. Architectural projects, sculptures, performances and sound pieces are installed for one month on the alleys, lawns, ponds and fountains of the garden.

Hera Büyüktaşçıyan (b. 1984, Istanbul) presents Freely You Have Received, Freely Give, a proposal for an archaeological garden that was inspired by the detail of a relief at the entrance gate of the Constantine and Helena Church in Sinasos, a village in Cappadocia, Turkey. The motif chosen by the artist is the grape pattern found on the church’s barrel vault ceiling, historically a symbol of abundance and benevolence. Through the appropriation of the motif in a contemporary context, the artist draws attention to the transformations occuring to our experience of life on a global scale.

Ali Cherri, 'The Flying Machine', 2016, taxidermied crow wings, bamboo, wood, ropes, 700 x 270 x 200 cm. Image courtesy the artist and Galerie Imane Farès, Paris.

Ali Cherri, ‘The Flying Machine’, 2016, taxidermied crow wings, bamboo, wood, ropes, 700 x 270 x 200 cm. Image courtesy the artist and Galerie Imane Farès, Paris.

Ali Cherri‘s (b. 1976, Beirut) The Flying Machine is a tribute to the work of inventors and artists and their early attempts to fly, from Abbas Ibn Firnas to Leonardo da Vinci and the Wright brothers. Cherri’s hybrid machine imitates the flight of birds, bringing together elements that “trespass the nature/culture divide”, like organic materials such as bamboo and crow wings now used as construction materials. The work takes the form of an unfinished project, like that of a dreamer.

Navid Nuur, 'Untitled', 2017, aluminium cast, outdoor bench, breadcrumbs, occasionally a bird, 5 x 10 x 6 cm. Martin van Zomeren, Amsterdam; Max Hetzler, Berlin, Paris; Plan B, Cluj, Berlin. © We Document Art

Navid Nuur, ‘Untitled’, 2017, aluminium cast, outdoor bench, breadcrumbs, occasionally a bird, 5 x 10 x 6 cm. Martin van Zomeren, Amsterdam; Max Hetzler, Berlin, Paris; Plan B, Cluj, Berlin. © We Document Art

Navid Nuur (b. 1976, Teheran, Iran) presents an installation of an ordinary park bench, onto which lies a crumpled aluminium foil sandwich wrap with breadcrumbs on it. The crumbs attract the birds in the garden, as well as the attention of visitors, who are both participants and spectators in what is a quasi-performative work. Nuur’s work brings attention to the relationships that exist between time, living beings, the transformation of matter and the ongoing performance.

Nalini Malani, 'Hamletmachine', 2000 four-channel video play, sound, 20:00 min. Three video projections on screen: 330 x 440 cm (each). One video projection on platform of white salt : 360 x 270 cm. Black reflective floor. Centre Pompidou, Musée national d’art moderne, Paris. Photo: © Arario Gallery.

Nalini Malani, ‘Hamletmachine’, 2000 four-channel video play, sound, 20:00 min. Three video projections on screen: 330 x 440 cm (each). One video projection on platform of white salt : 360 x 270 cm. Black reflective floor. Centre Pompidou, Musée national d’art moderne, Paris. Photo: © Arario Gallery.

Exhibitions around Paris

Centre Pompidou

At Centre Pompidou, the Prix Marcel Duchamp 2017 finalists exhibition is ongoing until 8 January 2018, while the winner will be announced on 16 October 2017. Among the finalists are the Lebanese duo Joana Hadjithomas and Khalil Joreige.

During FIAC week, the museum is also launching Nalini Malani’s “The rebellion of the dead retrospective 1969-2018” (18 October – 8 December2017) and “Cosmopolis” (18 October – 18 December 2017). Nalini Malani‘s (b. 1946, Karachi, Pakistan) retrospective is organised in collaboration with Castello di Rivoli, Turin, Italy, and is the first for the artist both in France and Italy. The pioneering artist works in film, video, photography, installation and performance, and this exhibition features her work from 1969 to now.

Arquitectura Expandida / Ateliers Medicis. © DR

Arquitectura Expandida / Ateliers Medicis. © DR

“Cosmopolis” is a new biennial platform devoted to research-based artistic practices that also reflect a renewed engagement with theories of cosmopolitanism. Its first edition, “Cosmopolis #1: Collective Intelligence”, brings together the work of artist collectives from around the world, whose practices revolve around research and the sharing of knowledge, and who engange in dialogue and discussion with their social, political and urban environs. The exhibition focuses on the collaborative practices of Asia, Africa and Latin America, with the work of young collectives such as Vietnam’s Art Labor, Colombia’s PorEstosDias and South Africa’s Chimurenga.

Ali Kazma, 'Tea Time', 2017, three-channel synchronised HD video , colour, sound, 7:17min. Image courtesy the artist. © Ali Kazma

Ali Kazma, ‘Tea Time’, 2017, three-channel synchronised HD video , colour, sound, 7:17min. Image courtesy the artist. © Ali Kazma

Jeu de Paume

Jeu de Paume features Ali Kazma‘s (b. 1971, Istanbul) solo exhibition “Subterranean” (17 October 2017 – 21 January 2018), which reveals the evolution of Kazma’s work over the past ten years. The show includes an important number of his recent works, with around 20 video works and a photographic publication, as well as two works made specifically for this exhibition. Kazma’s oeuvre constitutes a kind of archive of human activity, raising fundamental questions about it in the economic, industrial, scientific, medical, social and artistic spheres.

Malick Sidibé, 'Nuit de Noel', 1963, gelatin silver print, 100.5 x 100 cm. Collection Fondation Cartier pour l’art contemporain, Paris. © Malick Sidibé

Malick Sidibé, ‘Nuit de Noel’, 1963, gelatin silver print, 100.5 x 100 cm. Collection Fondation Cartier pour l’art contemporain, Paris. © Malick Sidibé

Fondation Cartier

At Fondation Cartier, Malick Sidibé‘s retrospective “Mali Twist” (20 October 2017 – 28 February 2018) presents a vast collection of vintage photographs and portraits from the artist’s archives, one year after his death in 2016. Nicknamed “the eye of Bamako”, Sidibé captured the vitality of the youth of Bamako since the 1960s.

Krishna Reddy, 'Sitting figure', undated. O,age courtesy the artist.

Krishna Reddy, ‘Sitting figure’, undated. O,age courtesy the artist.

Villa Vassilieff

Villa Vassilieff presents “Punascha Parry” (14 October – 23 December 2017), an exhibition curated by Pernod Ricard Fellow 2017 Samit Das, with Research Curator Sumesh Sharma. The show features the work of artists such as M. F. Husain, Tyeb Mehta, Krishna Reddy, Nirode Mazumdar and N. F. Souza, examining the visual vocabulary of Indian modern art in an attempt to re-evaluate the idea of Modernism through the lives and works of Indian artists in Paris.

C. A. Xuan Mai Ardia

1909

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The Space by Advocartsy opens in Los Angeles with Iranian artist show

New space dedicated to Iranian contemporary art opens in Los Angeles.

Advocartsy, founded by Roshi Rahnama, launches its exhibition programme in its new art space with a solo show by Iranian artist Shadi Yousefian, running until 22 October 2017.

Advocartsy founder Roshi Rahnama and artist Shadi Yousefian at Advocartsy space in October 2017. Image courtesy Advocartsy.

Advocartsy founder Roshi Rahnama and artist Shadi Yousefian at Advocartsy space in October 2017. Image courtesy Advocartsy.

Well located in a busy downtown Los Angeles location, Advocartsy proves the potential of new art spaces to shake up the local art scene. The venue is dedicated to supporting Iranian contemporary artists and opens with a solo exhibition of emerging artist Shadi Yousefian. The Space will act as the permanent home for the nomadic curatorial project Advocartsy Art Brief – a series of exhibitions dedicated to promoting the work of artists born in Iran or of Iranian heritage. Art Radar talked to Advocartsy Founder Roshi Rahnama and the artist Shadi Yousefian, showcasing in the inaugurating exhibition space.

Shadi Yousefian, ‘Self-Portrait #15’, 2003, C print, 20inches x 16 inches. Image courtesy the artist and Advocartsy.

Shadi Yousefian, ‘Self-Portrait #15’, 2003, C-print, 20 x 16 in. Image courtesy the artist and Advocartsy.

Asked how the Advocartsy space fits into the wider network of institutions supporting Iranian contemporary art in North America, Roshi Rahnama explained:

In the US there are very few platforms that dedicate their programming exclusively to Iranian contemporary arts, considering the depth of this work. Being situated in Los Angeles, with the largest community of Iranians outside of Iran, we felt the need to address the void and lack of representation for these community of artists, with a dedicated and focused program to not only benefit the Los Angeles art community but the international art world as well. […] We feel that we are trailblazing in that sense, as we deal with a body of work within a region that can only benefit from being introduced to a broader and more diverse range of collectors.

Shadi Yousefian, ‘Duality’, 2003, Chromogenic Print (Printed by the artist) on wood panels, 48 inches x 90 inches. Image courtesy the artist and Advocartsy.

Shadi Yousefian, ‘Duality’, 2003, chromogenic print (printed by the artist) on wood panels, 48 x 90 in. Image courtesy the artist and Advocartsy.

Shadi Yousefian, ‘Self-Portrait #22’, 2003, C print, 20inches x 16 inches. Image courtesy the artist and Advocartsy.

Shadi Yousefian, ‘Self-Portrait #22’, 2003, C-print, 20 x 16 in. Image courtesy the artist and Advocartsy.

Shadi Yousefian was born in Tehran in 1978 and received both her Bachelor’s (2003) and Master’s (2006) of Fine Arts in Photography from San Francisco State University. Her work engages personal and social issues of contemporary life, particularly, cultural identity and the immigrant experience. Yousefian moved to the United States when she was sixteen.

Throughout the following decade, art practice became fo her a vital means of negotiating experiences of displacement, alienation and loss. Her training in photography provided a formal frame through which to express and experiment with these notions. The works on display in the current exhibition at The Space by Advocartsy are a mix of photography, collage and larger sculptural or installation pieces that incorporate other materials such as wood panels, glue, canvas and lightboxes.

Shadi Yousefian, ‘Memories #3’, 2014, Original album photos / Translucent paper / Ziplock bags / Nails / Wood, 36 x 36 inches. Image courtesy the artist and Advocartsy.

Shadi Yousefian, ‘Memories #3’, 2014, original album photos, translucent paper, ziplock bags, nails, wood, 36 x 36 in. Image courtesy the artist and Advocartsy.

In her most recent work, the “Memories” series, her subject matter and formal decisions have shifted  towards more abstract modes of working. Shadi Yousefian explained to Art Radar how the portrait-based and figurative work intersects with the repetition and abstraction methods she is currently exploring:

My earlier figurative works such as Self-portraits series reflect the identity crisis that I experienced as an immigrant. These pieces are full of scratches, textures, and burns conveying the inner conflict and frustration that I felt at the time.   Perhaps, after working on my Universal Identity series, I started to make sense of my identity and realize how one’s identity is affected and shaped by universal experiences and not just by moving from one culture to another.

My minimalistic style started with my Letters series in 2006 when I had reached an inner peace and I was ready to let go of all the memories that for years had been defining my identity and connecting me back to my home country. For me, my letters, photo albums and diaries were the objects that connected me to my past and so they were the ideal materials to incorporate into my new series. The tedious and repetitive process of reading through piles of letters, cutting them into small fragments and organizing them in a composition lent itself to a minimalistic style.

Shadi Yousefian, ‘Letters #17 (Sinking Memories)’, 2017, Original letters pasted on wood / Epoxy resin, 48 x 48 inches. Image courtesy the artist and Advocartsy.

Shadi Yousefian, ‘Letters #17 (Sinking Memories)’, 2017, original letters pasted on wood, epoxy resin, 48 x 48 in. Image courtesy the artist and Advocartsy.

Shadi Yousefian, ‘Diaries #2’, 2017, Original diaries / Mirror film / Sleeves / Nails / Wood 34 x 36 inches. Image courtesy the artist and Advocartsy.

Shadi Yousefian, ‘Diaries #2’, 2017, original diaries, mirror film, sleeves, nails, wood, 34 x 36 in. Image courtesy the artist and Advocartsy.

In both the “Memories” series and the “Letters” series, Shadi Yousefian uses techniques that involve partially destroying a material (photographs, panels, canvas or negatives) in order to create it anew. The aforementioned work “Letters” (2006–2017) uses real letters from family and friends received and sent over twenty years. Art Radar asked if the impetus to work with original and historical documents came from a desire to rewrite and fragment history or rather to memorialise it. Shadi Yousefian responded:

For me, it’s almost a therapeutic ritual to destroy something so near and dear to my heart, yet preserve and memorialize it in a different form, an abstract minimalist composition.   The tedious physical act of cutting, gluing and nailing of all of these letters is itself a meditative therapeutic ritual for me. In two of these pieces, Letters 5 (Sinking Memories) and Letters 17 (Sinking Memories), I also introduced another element, epoxy resin, to convey a sense of sinking of the words and bursting of fragile bubbles of memories.

Portrait of Shadi Yousefian in her studio. Image courtesy the artist.

Portrait of Shadi Yousefian in her studio. Image courtesy the artist.

Asked why Shadi Yousefian was selected to inaugurate the Advocartsy permanent space, Founder Roshi Rahnama commented thus:

I chose Shadi Yousefian’s Solo Exhibition as the inaugural show for the space because of her expansive body of work directly dealing with cultural identity and the immigrant experience, which is both universally relevant and timely. Her intimate combination of personal experience with social and political issues results in a skillfully confrontational energy while utilizing minimalism, photography and collage as a way to mediate that encounter.

With her photography, sculpture and installation Shadi Yousefian explores formally what characterises the experience of migration and displacement: interrupted affect, narrative diversion and the sometimes painful interplay between destruction and creation. Her work, like the work of the Advocartsy platform and art space, contributes to a deeper understanding of the “diasporic” as the practice of knowledge creation and creativity as well as loss.

Rebecca Close

1886

Related Topics: Iranian artists, mixed media, calligraphy, paper, events in Los Angeles

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