Asian art highlights at Frieze in New York – in pictures

Art Radar gives you some highlights of Asian art at this year’s Frieze in New York.

Frieze art fair in New York City opens its doors on 9 May until 12 May 2014. Participating galleries from Asia are few, but the works by Asian artists on offer are a must-see. Art Radar gives you some highlights of the contemporary Asian art on show.

Yosuke Takeda, '060700', 2014, photography, 20 x 30 cm. Image courtesy Taka Ishii Gallery.

Yosuke Takeda, ‘060700’, 2014, photography, 20 x 30 cm. Image courtesy Taka Ishii Gallery.

The third edition of Frieze New York will launch on 9 May 2014 at Randall’s Island Park. This year’s fair features over 190 participating galleries from across the globe, with 53 coming from New York alone. The fair includes its critically acclaimed Projects, Talks, Sound and Education Programmes. Main presenting established galleries, Frame featuring solo presentations by galleries under eight years old, and Focus with curated projects and solo stands by galleries founded in or after 2003 make up the three sections of the fair.

The 2014 New York edition has a handful of participants from Asia, while the majority are galleries from the West. Nonetheless, the Asian galleries this year are presenting works by some exciting artists from across Asia. Art Radar selected some highlights that are featured by Asian galleries in the main section of the fair.

Takashi Homma, 'Tokyo and My Daughter', 1999-2010, set of 27, photography, type C-print, face mounted on acrylic. © Takashi Homma Image courtesy Taro Nasu.

Takashi Homma, ‘Tokyo and My Daughter’, 1999-2010, set of 27, photography, type C-print, face mounted on acrylic. © Takashi Homma Image courtesy Taro Nasu.

Ai Weiwei, 'Crystal Hanger', 2013
, crystal, 
51 x 23 x 1 cm. Photo by Ela Bialkowska, OKNO STUDIO. Image courtesy Galleria Continua, San Gimignano / Beijing / Les Moulins.

Ai Weiwei, ‘Crystal Hanger’, 2013
, crystal, 
51 x 23 x 1 cm. Photo by Ela Bialkowska, OKNO STUDIO. Image courtesy Galleria Continua, San Gimignano / Beijing / Les Moulins.

Galleria Continua

The Beijing/San Gimignano/Le Moulin-based gallery features works by Chinese artists Ai Weiwei and Chen Zhen along with Indian artist Shilpa Gupta.

Activist artist Ai Weiwei presents his work Crystal Hanger (2013), a crystal reproduction of a plastic clothes hanger. In April 2011, Ai was detained at Beijing International Airport and was then later held at a military police base in Beijing’s suburbs. The room, devoid of any comfort, even lacked storage for clean laundry. Upon Ai’s request, guards provided him with six plastic hangers. This work evokes memories of Ai’s secret detention.

Chen Zhen, 'Citizen LC-510', 1990
, metal, wood, glass, Plexiglas, rice paper, black acrylic paint, chinese red stamp pad, sand, water, objects
, 69 x 40 x 15 cm. Photo by: Ela Bialkowska. Image courtesy Galleria Continua, San Gimignano / Beijing / Les Moulins

Chen Zhen, ‘Citizen LC-510’, 1990
, metal, wood, glass, Plexiglas, rice paper, black acrylic paint, chinese red stamp pad, sand, water, objects
, 69 x 40 x 15 cm. Photo by: Ela Bialkowska. Image courtesy Galleria Continua, San Gimignano/Beijing/Les Moulins.

Chen Zhen (1955, Shanghai – 2000, Paris) was one of the first generation of Chinese avant-garde artists who travelled abroad to study art in the mid-1980s. Chen developed a pluralistic artistic style that explored the conjunction of eastern and western thought. He searched for a common ground between the world’s different perspectives, to created what he referred to as “trans-experience”, which dominated his sculpture and installation work.

Shilpa Gupta, 'Untitled', 2012
, object, airplane seat belts
, diameter 50,8 cm. Image courtesy Galleria Continua, San Gimignano / Beijing / Les Moulins.

Shilpa Gupta, ‘Untitled’, 2012
, object, airplane seat belts
, diameter 50,8 cm. Image courtesy Galleria Continua, San Gimignano/Beijing/Les Moulins.

Shilpa Gupta (b. 1976) is interested in perception and how we understand and transmit information. She works in various media, incorporating found objects into her video works, installations and performances. Gupta is drawn to how objects, places, people and experiences are defined, and questions how these definitions are played out through the processes of classification, restriction, censorship and security. Her works communicate how dominant forces across cultures act on communities and encourages a re-evalution of social identity and status.

Sang-Hwa Chung, 'Untitled, 86-2-7', acrylic on canvas, 162 x 130 cm. Image courtesy the artist and Gallery Hyundai.

Sang-Hwa Chung, ‘Untitled, 86-2-7’, 1986, acrylic on canvas, 162 x 130 cm. Image courtesy the artist and Gallery Hyundai.

Lee Ufan, 'From Point no. 790127', 1972-1984, pigment on canvas, 145.5 x 112.1 cm. Image courtesy the artist and Gallery Huyndai.

Lee Ufan, ‘From Point no. 790127’, 1972-1984, pigment on canvas, 145.5 x 112.1 cm. Image courtesy the artist and Gallery Hyundai.

Gallery Hyundai

The Seoul-based gallery presents six artists from Korea, including Sang-Hwa Chung, Seung-taek Lee, Lee Ufan, Beom Kim, Moon Kyungwon and Jeon Joonho.

Lee Ufan (b. 1936) is a prominent Korean minimalist painter and sculptor. The artist, who has been based in Japan for much of his life, was honoured with the Order of the Rising Sun in 2009 by his host country’s government for having “contributed to the development of contemporary art in Japan.” He was part of the Mono-ha movement, a group of twentieth century Japanese artists known for anti-modernist sculptures and installations that incorporated natural materials as well as ephemeral elements, with a minimal artist intervention. Often, the site-specific works were destroyed after being created.

Moon Kyungwon, 'Mirage City I, II', 2014, oil on canvas, 91 x 91 cm (each). Image courtesy the artist and Gallery Hyundai.

Moon Kyungwon, ‘Mirage City I, II’, 2014, oil on canvas, 91 x 91 cm (each). Image courtesy the artist and Gallery Hyundai.

Lee Seung-taek Lee, 'Untitled(Cords)', 1965, cords, canvas, 131 x 420 cm. Image courtesy the artist and Gallery Hyundai.

Lee Seung-taek Lee, ‘Untitled(Cords)’, 1965, cords, canvas, 131 x 420 cm. Image courtesy the artist and Gallery Hyundai.

Lee Seung-taek (b. 1932) is a pioneer of the Korean Avant-Garde and is part of the first generation of Korean experimentalists of “non-materialisation”. Lee’s art explores disorders in cultural consciousness and the ruptures between reality and traditions in Korean culture, after its transformation due to the western influx in the twentieth century. The artist embraces contingency and ephemerality, trying to involve natural phenomena like fire, wind, water and smoke in his work. This concept, which is the essence of Lee’s art, is referred to as “Anti-Materialisation” or “Non-Sculpture”.

Jeon Joonho, 'Composition of Poetry', 2014, polished stainless steel cast, mirror, LED light, 153 x 59 x 70 cm. Image courtesy the artist and Gallery Huyndai.

Jeon Joonho, ‘Composition of Poetry’, 2014, polished stainless steel cast, mirror, LED light, 153 x 59 x 70 cm. Image courtesy the artist and Gallery Hyundai.

Koichi Enomoto, 'Artist', 2013, oil on canvas, 162.0 x 130.0 cm. © Koichi Enomoto. Image courtesy Taro Nasu.

Koichi Enomoto, ‘Artist’, 2013, oil on canvas, 162.0 x 130.0 cm. © Koichi Enomoto. Image courtesy Taro Nasu.

Taro Nasu Gallery

This year, Taro Nasu from Tokyo brings to its booth Japanese artists Koichi Enomoto and Takashi Homma and British-Japanese Simon Fujiwara, along with two Western artists, Ryan Gander and  Djordje Ozbolt.

Simon Fujiwara (b. 1982) is a young British-Japanese artist whose works often deal with autobiographical explorations of identity and sexuality and blend fact and fiction into rich, absorbing narratives. He mounts complex installations that incorporate sculpture, performance, video and photographic elements to create fully imagined scenarios that explore the interdependence of personal history and more universal narratives.

Simon Fujiwara, 'Rebekkah', 2012, terracotta dyed, life sized, cast plaster female figures; mixed media installation, dimensions variable; Video: 07 min 23 sec, making process at studio. © Simon Fujiwara. Image courtesy of Taro Nasu.

Simon Fujiwara, ‘Rebekkah’, 2012, terracotta dyed, life sized, cast plaster female figures; mixed media installation, dimensions variable; video: 07m:23s, making process at studio. © Simon Fujiwara. Image courtesy of Taro Nasu.

His work Rebekkah (2012) is inspired by a 16-year-old girl from Hackney, who was one of the protagonists of the 2011 London Riots. The 100 terracotta statues of the girl are made on the model of the terracotta warriors in Xi’an, China and stand as a representative symbol of a new breed of British-born warrior and a soldier for social change.

Yosuke Takeda, '073536', 2012, photography, 90 x 60 cm. Image courtesy Taka Ishii Gallery.

Yosuke Takeda, ‘073536’, 2012, photography, 90 x 60 cm. Image courtesy Taka Ishii Gallery.

Kunie Sugiura, 'Blue Shade', 1981, works on paper, 56 x 76 cm. Image courtesy Taka Ishii Gallery.

Kunie Sugiura, ‘Blue Shade’, 1981, works on paper, 56 x 76 cm. Image courtesy Taka Ishii Gallery.

Katsuhiro Yamaguchi, 'Butterfly', 1963, sculpture, 85 x 108 x 6 cm. Image courtesy Taka Ishii Gallery.

Katsuhiro Yamaguchi, ‘Butterfly’, 1963, sculpture, 85 x 108 x 6 cm. Image courtesy Taka Ishii Gallery.

Ei Arakawa and Henning Bohl, 'Helena and Miwako', 2013, sculpture, diameter 22 cm. Image courtesy Taka Ishii Gallery.

Ei Arakawa and Henning Bohl, ‘Helena and Miwako’, 2013, sculpture, diameter 22 cm. Image courtesy Taka Ishii Gallery.

Taka Ishii Gallery

Tokyo-based Taka Ishii Gallery presents the work of six Japanese artists: Ei Arakawa, Koji Enokura, Yuki Kimura, Kunie Sugiura, Yosuke Takeda, Katsuhiro Yamaguchi.

Brooklyn-based Japanese artist Ei Arakawa (b. 1977, Fukushima) produced a collaborative film and installation with German filmmaker Henning Bohl for 2013 Carnegie International. Entitled Helena and Miwako, the work talks about a post-nuclear future without football, where the sport has suffered disappearance after too much commercialisation and footballs are used as money. Set in Arakawa’s hometown, Fukishima, the film shows the abandoned football fields and the sci-fi landscapes of a not-so-impossible future. Along with the film are decorated footballs made by other participants in the project.

Koji Ekonura, 'Intervantion (Story No. 20)', painting, 112 x 162 x 2cm. Image courtesy Taka Ishii Gallery.

Koji Enokura, ‘Intervention (Story No. 20)’, painting, 112 x 162 x 2cm. Image courtesy Taka Ishii Gallery.

Koji Enokura (1945 – 1995) is one of the central figures of the Mono-ha movement in Japan. He first came to prominence in the 1971 Biennale de Paris with his work Wall – a three-metre high concrete wall installed in the gap between two trees. The artist is known for his artistic interventions that put in sharp relief spatial and material relationships by making only minimal alterations to the environment.

Koji Enokura, 'P.W. - No. 2', 1972, photography, 26 x 34 cm. Image courtesy Taka Ishii Gallery.

Koji Enokura, ‘P.W. – No. 2’, 1972, photography, 26 x 34 cm. Image courtesy Taka Ishii Gallery.

The act of creating these interventions was an existential one that asserted the simple fact of Enokura’s own presence in this world, as one agent among many others, as well as a specific form of testimony to the artist’s own embodied existence. Blum and Poe in New York held the artist’s first solo exhibition in the United States in June 2013.
Koji Enokura, 'P.W. - No. 8', 1972, photography, 25 x 33 cm. Image courtesy Taka Ishii Gallery.

Koji Enokura, ‘P.W. – No. 8’, 1972, photography, 25 x 33 cm. Image courtesy Taka Ishii Gallery.

C. A. Xuan Mai Ardia

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Related Topics: Japanese artists, Chinese artists, Korean artists, galleries, art fairs, picture feasts, events in New York

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