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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