Asia looks West – 7 exhibitions to see in June 2014

Art Radar profiles 7 exhibitions this June that explore the relationship between Asia and the West.

Asia and the West have influenced each other through centuries of co-existence, with artists from both sides of the world looking at their counterparts for inspiration. Art Radar selects some of the best exhibitions happening in June 2014 that feature the interconnection and cross-pollination between Asia and the West.

Zhu Jinshi, 'Work', 2014, ink on Xuan paper, dimensions variable. Installation view of "Simplicity", 2014, at Pearl Lam Galleries, Singapore. Image courtesy Pearl Lam Galleries.

Zhu Jinshi, ‘Work’, 2014, ink on Xuan paper, dimensions variable. Installation view of “Simplicity”, 2014, at Pearl Lam Galleries, Singapore. Image courtesy Pearl Lam Galleries.

Zhu Jinshi: “Simplicity” | Singapore

Chinese artist Zhu Jinshi’s latest solo exhibition “Simplicity” is on at Pearl Lam Galleries in Singapore from 28 May to 13 July 2014. The exhibition features two of the most iconic categories of Zhu’s oeuvre, installation and painting, in conversation. Zhu, who moved to Germany, was one of the first avant-garde artists to leave China in the 1980s. His dual cultural influences are visible in the constant development and innovation in his practice, which bridges aesthetic and cultural theories from East and West.

In the exhibition, the artist explores the possibilities of “simplicity”, in relation to the artistic theories of Minimalism, Arte Povera and Mono-ha. Simplicity, for the artist, is bringing simple and uncomplicated objects into art, allowing them to generate creativity.

Xenia Hausner, 'Cage People', 2014, oil on Dibond, 260 x 350 cm. Image courtesy the artist and the Ministry of Art.

Xenia Hausner, ‘Cage People’, 2014, oil on Dibond, 260 x 350 cm. Image courtesy the artist.

Xenia Hausner: “Look Left – Look Right” | Hong Kong

Austrian artist Xenia Hausner’s solo exhibition “Look Left – Look Right” is on view at the Hong Kong Arts Centre from 6 to 29 June 2014, and marks the first time the artist exhibits in Hong Kong.

Hausner’s new series of works explore the cultural space between East and West. The artist reflects on the mutual perceptions between East and West, and on life in a world where the two cultures increasingly intertwine. Her works present a new, fragmented reality in which the artist manipulates a variety of elements from different regions and cultural environments.

Chen Shaoxiong, 'Ink City', 2006, single channel video, black and white, sound, 3-minute loop. Image courtesy the Bruce Museum.

Chen Shaoxiong, ‘Ink City’, 2006, single channel video, black and white, sound, 03m:00s-minute loop. Image courtesy the Bruce Museum.

“Tale of Two Cities: New York and Beijing” | Connecticut

The Bruce Museum in Greenwich, Connecticut (United States) is holding a group exhibition of artists from East and West, entitled “Tale of Two Cities: New York and Beijing”, from 3 May to 31 August 2014. The show features the pairing of five New York-based artists with five Beijing-based artists:

  • Michelle Fornabai (New York) and Qin Feng (Beijing)
  • Joan Snyder (New York) and Wei Jia (Beijing)
  • Alois Kronschlaeger (New York) and Lin Yan (Beijing)
  • Jorge Tacla (New York) and Li Taihuan (Beijing)
  • Simon Lee (New York) and Chen Shaoxiong (Beijing)

The five pairs of artists have engaged in five different global, cultural and artistic dialogues over the course of two years, through conversations via email, Skype, in person and, at times, with translators. The issues they discussed ranged from political and social upheaval to the concept of global culture and questions about materials and techniques.

The artist pairs were selected by the curator based on the type of dialogue the artists might be likely to engage with in their respective urban environments. Some of the artists have created new specific works for the exhibition, while others have put their existing works in conversation.

Lalan, '145', 1991, mixed media on paper, 64 x 45 cm. Image courtesy Eslite Gallery.

Lalan, ‘145’, 1991, mixed media on paper, 64 x 45 cm. Image courtesy Eslite Gallery.

“Breeze from Paris” | Taipei

Eslite Gallery in Taipei is holding an exhibition of works by Lalan, T’ang Haywen, Hsiung Ping Ming, Pan Yuliang, and Sanyu, entitled “Breeze from Paris”, from 31 May to 29 June 2014. The exhibition is a presentation of 30 works by Lalan, who is less known in Asia as an artist than as the first wife of Zao Wou-ki. Lalan started painting after her divorce with Zao. She was heavily influenced by his style of painting but later integrated her own personal style mixing calligraphic and abstract strokes with the graceful qualities of poetry and rhythm.

The show also presents the work of other artists who represent the intermingling of cultural influences between the West and the East during the same period of time as Lalan’s life and career.

MatthieuRicard, 'Les Moines Volants' (The Flying Monks), 1997. On a bright winter morning, Tibetan and Bhutanese monks jump for joy at the sight of the ocean. They will throw themselves up in the air again this evening, on the stage of a theatre in Brittany, France, defying gravity. This image is not a multiple exposure, but a single shot of seven monks jumping. Image courtesy YellowKorner.

Matthieu Ricard, ‘Les Moines Volants’ (The Flying Monks), 1997. On a bright winter morning, Tibetan and Bhutanese monks jump for joy at the sight of the ocean. They will throw themselves up in the air again this evening, on the stage of a theatre in Brittany, France, defying gravity. This image is not a multiple exposure, but a single shot of seven monks jumping. Image courtesy YellowKorner.

Le French May 

Le French May is a two-month long festival that celebrates the Sino-French cultural relationship and is organised by the Consulate General of France in Hong Kong and Macau. Its 22nd edition, running from 2 May to 28 June 2014, presents a selection of performances, exhibitions and screenings, which feature a blend of arts and culture from East and West.

This year, the festival also celebrates the fiftieth anniversary of diplomatic relations between China and France. The following three exhibitions are part of this year’s Le French May programming.

Sarah Lai, 'Sparkly', 2014, oil on canvas, 71.5 x 107 cm. Image courtesy Mur Nomade.

Sarah Lai, ‘Sparkly’, 2014, oil on canvas, 71.5 x 107 cm. Image courtesy Mur Nomade.

“Radiance” | Hong Kong

Radiance”, an exhibition of works by Sarah Lai of Hong Kong and Beijing-based French artist Sébastien Mahon, curated by Caroline Ha Thuc, is on view at The Pulse in Hong Kong from 31 May to 1 July 2014. In November 2013, the two artists were invited by curatorial office and gallery Mur Nomade to enter a six-month conversation, sharing their thoughts about their creative processes and artworks from their different cultural perspectives.

The artists, through still life and landscapes, explore how light shapes reality and how it alters and moulds our perception of the world. Radiance refers to the sunlight that shines from their works. It also functions as a metaphor for the revelations, expressed through painting, of the artists’ inner landscapes and their vision of the world.

Wang Keping, 'Daughter', 1996. Image courtesy UCCA.

Wang Keping, ‘Daughter’, 1996. Image courtesy UCCA. (This is just an example of Wang Keping’s work, not included in the exhibition on Artshare.com).

“Mutual Influences” | Online

Artshare.com presents an intimate selection of works by Chinese artists Wan Keping and Yang Jiechang, entitled “Mutual Influences” and on view on the website from 15 May to 14 June 2014. Both artists lived in France, and their careers were profoundly affected by their experience outside of their native country. The exhibition explores the connections and ways in which the two artists have been influenced by their Western environment, while also referring to and being inspired by their Chinese traditions.

Yang worked in painting, in a style influenced by Minimalism and Abstraction, but also heavily indebted to Chinese spirituality and Taoism. Wang, a sculptor, is best known for his wooden pieces that are inspired by the figurative form but are rendered with extreme simplicity as symbols of human nature and sensuality.

Eric Lafforgue, 'Police Woman'. There are no traffic lights in Pyongyang. The intersections are  guarded by traffic officers ,mostly young and pretty women who do robotic movements, even if there are no cars around!  Private cars are almost unheard of in North Korea. For a large part of the population the only option is walking, and thousands of people can be seen walking or riding to their offices everyday on very long streets. Image courtesy YellowKorner.

Eric Lafforgue, ‘Police Woman’. There are no traffic lights in Pyongyang. The intersections are guarded by traffic officers, mostly young and pretty women who do robotic movements, even if there are no cars around! Private cars are almost unheard of in North Korea. For a large part of the population the only option is walking, and thousands of people can be seen walking or riding to their offices everyday on very long streets. Image courtesy YellowKorner.

“France-China: Heritage, Tradition and Modernity” | Hong Kong

Paris-based gallery YellowKorner presents an exhibition at the Hong Kong Central Library, from 21 May to 9 June 2014, entitled “France-China: Heritage, Tradition and Modernity”. The exhibition features the gallery’s oldest photographs of the Paris Universal Exhibition in the 1900s, alongside its most contemporary prints, such as those by Laurent Dequick.

The show aims at presenting the transformations over the years of French and Chinese visions, analysed through the eyes of some of the best French photographers including David Hamilton, Eugène Atget, George Hoyningen-Huene, Horst P. Horst, Jean Dieuzaide and Nadar. Views of Hong Kong by French artists and photographers will also be on show, such as images by Nicolas Jacquet.

C. A. Xuan Mai Ardia

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Related Topics: Chinese artists, Hong Kong artists, French artists, American artists, gallery shows, museum shows, art festivals, events in the United States, events in Hong Kong, events in Singapore, events in Taipei, event alerts

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