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

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

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

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

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

Busan Biennale

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

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

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

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

Open Call for Artistic Directors

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

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

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

2018 Artistic Directors: Cristina Ricupero and Jörg Heiser

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

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

As the appointment announcement notes,

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

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

Jessica Clifford

2067

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ArtPrice launches new index: ArtPrice100®

The French art market database creates a new index focusing on blue-chip artists exclusively.

Touted as a scientific index, ArtPrice100® represents the latest tool in ArtPrice’s kit for art buyers and investors alike. Aimed at helping the decision-making process of buying or investing in art, ArtPrice100® was launched by ArtPrice on 31 January 2018.

Jean-Michel Basquiat, 'Infantry', 1983. Image courtesy Sotheby's.

Jean-Michel Basquiat, ‘Infantry’, 1983. Image courtesy Sotheby’s.

ArtPrice100® is an index that monitors and measures the gradual, long-term growth of the art market, by focusing on 100 blue-chip artists. ArtPrice determines these blue-chip artists by identifying the 100 top-performing artists at auction across the past five year-period who also meet an additional criteria, with stipulations such as that at least ten works of comparable quality are sold per year. Each artist is weighted in the index proportionately to his or her annual auction turnover during the past five years.

The top five artists that sit atop the ArtPrice100® list published in 2017 are, in order, Pablo Picasso, Andy Warhol, Zhang Daqian, Qi Baishi and Gerhard Richter. Other artists that were ranked amongst the top 100 include Jean-Michel Basquiat, Roy Lichtenstein, Zao Wou-ki, Xu Beihong and Wu Guanzhong. A work by Jean-Michel Basquiat had recently made headlines in May 2017 for selling for USD110.5 million at Sotheby’s, becoming the sixth most expensive work ever sold at auction. ArtPrice had previously reported Basquiat as the highest-grossing American artist at auction, with 80 of his works fetching USD171.5 million.

Zao Wou-Ki, '29.09.64', 1964, oil on canvas 230 x 345 cm. Image courtesy Christie's Hong Kong.

Zao Wou-Ki, ‘29.09.64’, 1964, oil on canvas, 230 x 345 cm. Image courtesy Christie’s Hong Kong.

ArtPrice hopes that the identification of the top 100 artists for the market, based on its analysis of their performance over a five year period, will allow the quantifying of the “most stable segment of the Art Market”. Much of this analysis is derived from the market information that it gathers; ArtPrice boasts a complete index of 673,081 artists listed on the database. The result, ArtPrice hopes, is a “new benchmark in a financial world constantly searching for new investment opportunities in efficient markets”.

Making a comparison to major stock indices such as the S&P 500 and the FTSE 100 in its announcement, ArtPrice’s Artprice100® aims to provide a reliable and durable benchmark for art investment. CEO Thierry Ehrmann remarks that the new index ignores the most volatile artists (those most subject to the price impact of fashion and speculation) and focuses exclusively on the art market’s blue-chip artists”, resulting in the ability to show “that art is an extremely competitive financial investment over the longer term”.

Wu Guanzhong, 'Peach Blossoms', 1973, oil on canvas, 61.1 x 46.3 cm. Image courtesy Sotheby's.

Wu Guanzhong, ‘Peach Blossoms’, 1973, oil on canvas, 61.1 x 46.3 cm. Image courtesy Sotheby’s.

ArtPrice was founded in 1987 by CEO Thierry Ehrmann, who is also the founder of its parent company The Server Group. The Server Group manages databases of art auction quotations, one of which is ArtPrice. To date, ArtPrice reports over 30 million indices and auction results covering more than 700,000 artists; it also provides a library of 126 million images or prints of artworks from the year 1700 to the present day, accompanied by annotations by art historians. It currently has over 400 million members.

Junni Chen

2061

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The power of “Healing Chromosomes”: Japanese artist Hiromi Tango – in conversation

Hiromi Tango’s latest exhibition features her recent body of textile work reflecting on technology and today’s society.

Art Radar explores the solo show “Healing Chromosomes” at Singapore’s Sullivan + Strumpf in an interview with the artist.

Hiromi Tango, 'Bleached Genes (Fuji) - Uncover my Soul', 2017, opening performance. Image courtesy Sullivan + Strumpf, Singapore. Photo: Greg Piper.

Hiromi Tango, ‘Bleached Genes (Fuji) – Uncover my Soul’, 2018. Pictured during ‘Full Moon’, 2018, performance ritual. Photo: Greg Piper. Image courtesy Sullivan + Strumpf, Singapore.

Centred around a series of textile sculptural works boldly executed in neon colours and organic forms,Chromosomes” at Singapore-based Sullivan + Strumpf probes at society’s relationship with technology, and the effect that it has on our mind, soul and relationships. First shown at Sullivan + Strumpf in Sydney as “Healing Chromosomes” from 1 to 29 April 2017, this exhibition is arrived in Singapore on 26 January and runs until 18 February 2018. The exhibition includes works from three different series that Tango has developed: Bleached Genes, Healing Chromosomes and Red Moon. 

Tango’s exhibition shares the same name as her body of work Healing Chromosomes, which takes its point of departure from the ubiquitous wires and cables that now appear to shape our lives. Beginning with the observation that our daily lives have become so dependent on the devices that we carry around with us, the works probe at the infrastructure that connects us all together: wires and cables.

Hiromi Tango, 'Electric Human Chromosomes 1', 2017, pigment print on paper, 80 x 114 cm, Edition of 6 + 2AP. Image courtesy Sullivan + Strumpf, Singapore.

Hiromi Tango, ‘Electric Human Chromosomes 1’, 2017, pigment print on paper, 80 x 114 cm, edition of 6 + 2AP. Image courtesy Sullivan + Strumpf, Singapore.

Fascinated with the notion of connection and interconnectivity, Hiromi Tango explores the emotional implications that this technological infrastructure has on our lives. As she remarks about her exhibition with Sullivan + Strumpf,

This work is about my search for the invisible life line. We are bound by cables and our fragile and complex attachment to technology. What is this dependency doing to our mind, soul and relationships? I am concerned that we are changing dramatically, even at the epigenetic level.

Known for her intricate and brightly coloured textile works, much of Hiromi Tango’s practice evolves from project to project. Often engaging ideas of community, social connections and the environment, Tango’s practice develops complex dialogues that quest towards making sense of these ideas in the context of a global world.

Some of her recent projects include Wrapped (2016), which was commissioned by the City of Melbourne for Queen Victoria Market as part of the Public Art Melbourne Biennial Lab, and was curated by Natalie King. Responding to the landscape of the Queen Victoria Market at night, Tango’s textile-based, site-specific installation sprawled across a disused market stall, evoking the colours and vibrancy of the market. Insanity Magnet (2013), a series of works exhibited with Sullivan + Strumpf in 2013, also involved Tango’s characteristic use of rich textiles to create dramatic, breathtaking images. Depicting a person wrapped in a wild, rambling robe of textile materials against the backdrop of flowers, the work explored the mental states of hope and hopelessness.

For this exhibition, striking wall-mounted textile sculptures, that take the form of spiraling, helix-like structures, that. Speaking to Art Radar about the works on show, her processes and her practice, on the occasion of her latest exhibition, Hiromi Tango also shares what being an artist means to her.

Hiromi Tango, 'Bleached Genes (Moss) - Endless silent tears', 2018, neon and mixed media. 35 x 25 x 23. Image courtesy Sullivan + Strumpf, Singapore. Photo: Greg Piper.

Hiromi Tango, ‘Bleached Genes (Moss) – Endless silent tears’, 2018, neon and mixed media, 35 x 25 x 23 cm. Photo: Greg Piper. Image courtesy Sullivan + Strumpf, Singapore.

“Chromosomes” centres around the “tangle of cables” that our lives have become. What provoked you to think about this complex relationship that we have with technology?

“Healing Chromosomes” begins in a space where many of us are feeling the intense pressure created by constant connection to work, social media, and world affairs, with little time to slow down and just be. The simple notion of being present is a luxury, and it seems that we now need to make an effort to achieve it. Given that it should be our natural instinct, it seems ridiculous that we have lost this innate ability; however, personal and intimate engagement has been taken over by our connection to technology.

These works were inspired by the tangle of cables and devices that have become an integral part of daily life, and questions around what this kind of connectivity is doing to us as human beings. Healing Chromosomes asks what might happen if we disentangle ourselves from this constant onslaught of connectivity, and reconnect with each other on a human level. 

I worry about what we are doing to our brains and bodies – particularly for young people whose brains are still undergoing rapid development. And what are we missing out on when we are looking at a screen instead of one another? Are we stunting our own social and emotional development as human beings?

Hiromi Tango, 'Full Moon', 2018, neon and mixed media, 78 x 78 x 21. Pictured during 'Full Moon,' 2018, performance ritual. Image courtesy Sullivan + Strumpf, Singapore. Photo: Greg Piper.

Hiromi Tango, ‘Full Moon’, 2018, neon and mixed media, 78 x 78 x 21 cm. Pictured during ‘Full Moon,’ 2018, performance ritual. Photo: Greg Piper. Image courtesy Sullivan + Strumpf, Singapore.

The works in this series are largely made out of dense, colourful textiles that wind, wrap and twist around each other. What inspired you to make works using such a unique structure?

The works are inspired by the complex structures of DNA, referring to an undercurrent that has been running through my work for a number of years around human characteristics that are hard-wired through our genetic make-up (nature), and the environmental influences that can affect gene expression, or effectively lead to code-switching (nurture).

Previous projects that you have worked on, including Wrapped (2016), Traces Blue (2013) and Hiromi Hotel (2009), saw the utilisation of your art practice to draw critical links to places, communities and social issues. Do you see Healing Chromosomes as a continuation of your previous projects?

My works always organically evolve from one project to another, and there are many connective threads between Healing Chromosomes and community engagement projects such as the Hiromi Hotel series, Traces Blue, and others. As a starting point, I always approach a concept through my personal and subjective experience, whether it is a solo project or a community engagement project. However, the difference between projects like Healing Chromosomes and community-engaged projects is that with a collaborative community project, my subjective interpretation is used as a gateway to invite other participants to enter in and unpack an idea or feeling through their own experiences. In this way I act as a facilitator, and create space for others to explore.

Solo projects such as “Healing Chromosomes” remain intently focused on the personal and subjective gaze that I bring to it – in effect I am holding space for my own experiences, memories, and needs. It enables me to dive deep into my own world of thoughts, without the responsibility of guiding others to a safe space where arts engagement can assist in processing their own memories and emotions. Sometimes I go to quite a dark place when it is my own work rather than a community project. With community engagement you are focused on a social outcome, and must work within tight timeframes to achieve project objectives. With my solo work, the process is slower – I have much more control over the outcome, and work at whatever pace I need to for my own purposes. But the process of exploration and unwrapping remains consistent — considered engagement. responding to geographical locations and audience, connecting with the personal to provide a gateway to exploring universal experiences as humans.

Hiromi Tango, 'Bleached Genes (Mikan) - Open my vulnerability,' 2018, neon and mixed media. 37 x 37 x 25 cm. Image courtesy Sullivan + Strumpf, Singapore. Photo: Greg Piper.

Hiromi Tango, ‘Bleached Genes (Mikan) – Open my vulnerability,’ 2018, neon and mixed media, 37 x 37 x 25 cm. Photo: Greg Piper. Image courtesy Sullivan + Strumpf, Singapore.

What is one thing, thought or idea that you count as absolutely crucial to your process of art making?

It is very difficult to choose one, however, if I have to choose one – it would be “Nature – Nurture”: an exploration and celebration of our individuality and humanity, but also a rumination on the constant struggle to reconcile ourselves with our world.

Every day, every moment I ask questions around “What is it to be a human? How do we choose to relate? Are our engagements deeply meaningful? Can we heal ourselves – soul, spirit, mind, brain and body – our past, present and future? If so, how?”

When we strip away everything, clothes, language, culture, house, money, status, politics, religion, nationality, etc., we may realise how close we are to nature. We are animals, yet don’t always realise that we are really part of nature. When we swim in the ocean, our senses all wake up and thank us. When we interact with nature, listening to the sound of wildlife – birds for instance, it gives us great joy and comfort. I am fundamentally interested in engaging the nature within us, then creating a nurturing space that allows for that nature to exist and flourish.

While my goal is simple and clear, I wonder why we make everything so complex, and feel terribly upset by all of the inhumanity and injustice in the world. My work is at once a way of screaming silently for urgent help to bring humanity back into balance with nature, as well as trying to create a nurturing space in hopes that we can reconnect as human beings.

Hiromi Tango, 'Bleached Genes (Sakura) - Hold me to be free', 2018, neon and mixed media. Image courtesy Sullivan + Strumpf, Photo: Greg Piper.

Hiromi Tango, ‘Bleached Genes (Sakura) – Hold me to be free’, 2018, neon and mixed media. Photo: Greg Piper. Image courtesy Sullivan + Strumpf, Singapore.

Tell us more about what we can expect from you in the upcoming years.

As I mentioned above, I would like to celebrate individuality and humanity through my art. I would like to keep screaming silently in the hope that my art will reach someone deeply and provide them some strength to be who truly they are.

As an artist, I intend to engage more with the rawness that has been hidden deep within me, to excavate the layers of fear, vulnerability, ugliness, and complexity of life, in hopes of ultimately uncovering fundamental truths about my own journey as a human being. It requires courage to be honest, open, and acknowledge our vulnerability as individuals. But now more than ever it is important to share our vulnerability, so that we can be present for one another. If you have the courage to uncover your nature, then we can begin to engage deeply.

Junni Chen

2013

“Chromosomes” by Hiromi Tango is on view from 26 January to 18 February 2018 at Sullivan + Strumpf Singapore, 5 Lock Road, Singapore 108933.

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“Bruchstücke/Fragments”: an archaeological excavation of history by Lebanese artist Rayyane Tabet at Kunstverein in Hamburg

Rayyane Tabet presents “Bruchstücke/Fragments“, focusing on the history of the Syrian settlement of Tell Halaf.

Discovered by German diplomat and Orientalist Max von Oppenheim, Lebanese artist Tabet explores the history behind the historical site in connection with his own personal narrative, as Tabet’s great-grandfather, Faek Borkhoche, worked for a period of six months as von Oppenheim’s secretary during his 1929 expedition.

Rayyane Tabet, "Bruchstücke/Fragments" - installation view at Kunstverein in Hamburg, 2017. Photo ©: Fred Dott.

Rayyane Tabet, “Bruchstücke/Fragments”, 25 November 2017 – 18 February 2018, installation view at Kunstverein, Hamburg. Photo: © Fred Dott.

When in 1899 the German diplomat and Orientalist Max von Oppenheim was travelling across present day Syria, then the Mesopotamian region of the Ottoman Empire, he came upon the fragments of Tell Halaf, a Neolithic archaeological site whose location was disclosed to him by local villagers. In 1911, with the encouragement of archaeologist Ernst Herzfeld and the financial backing of his father Albert Oppenheim, Max von Oppenheim returned to Tell Halaf with five archaeologists, uncovering the ruins of the town of Guzana, large statues, tombs and Neolithic pottery. Oppenheim returned to Germany in 1913, and was delayed from returning to Tell Halaf by the First World War.

Following the war’s end, and the formation of the League of Nations and the subsequent French Mandate of Syria, Oppenheim returned to Tell Halaf in 1927, where he shared his findings with the French government and sent much excavated material back to Berlin. Yet, initial discovery set off a chain of political intrigue and espionage: the British and French feared that Oppenheim was as a covert operative who used archaeological interest as a guise to radicalise Bedouin natives against colonial authority.

Rayyane Tabet, "Bruchstücke/Fragments", installation view at Kunstverein in Hamburg, 2017. Photo ©: Fred Dott.

Rayyane Tabet, “Bruchstücke/Fragments”, 25 November 2017 – 18 February 2018, installation view at Kunstverein, Hamburg. Photo: © Fred Dott.

At Kunstverein in Hamburg, Rayyane Tabet incorporates the complicated history of Tell Halaf as the conceptual basis for a series of sculptures and installations in his exhibition “Bruchstücke/Fragments”. Tabet is notable for his research-based approach to creating sculptural work; his 2013 exhibition “The Shortest Distance Between Two Points” at Sfeir-Semler Gallery in Beirut, examined the geopolitical implications of the Trans-Arabian Pipeline, a joint venture between American oil companies that would transport Saudi oil to Haifa, Palestine.

In his most recent works, Tabet turns his attention to the political intrigue of von Oppenheim’s excavation, to which the artist has a personal connection: his great-grandfather, Faek Borkhoche, was appointed by French Mandate authorities in Beirut to serve as von Oppenheim’s personal secretary, in order to gather intelligence for the colonial government. Espionage played a key role in the tense relationship between the British, French and German occupation of the Levant and North Africa, and archaeological expeditions were often subterfuge for gathering important geographic information for military attacks.

Rayyane Tabet, "Bruchstücke/Fragments", installation view at Kunstverein in Hamburg, 2017. Photo ©: Fred Dott.

Rayyane Tabet, “Bruchstücke/Fragments”, 25 November 2017 – 18 February 2018, installation view at Kunstverein, Hamburg. Photo: © Fred Dott.

Weaving together the personal history of his great-grandfather with the intricate histories of the region, Rayyane Tabet conducts his own version of an excavation, examining the connections between the state and its subjects, the museum and its collection, and the archive and its artefacts. A selection of Ernst Herzfeld’s papers from the collection of the Metropolitan Museum of Art, where the exhibition will travel in 2018, is put on display to call attention to the close and often accidental links between Tabet, Oppenheim, and the imperial project. The letters include a postcard identical to one sent by von Oppenheim to Tabet’s great grandfather, as well as a copy of Oppenheim’s book, Der Tell Halaf from which Herzfeld cut out portions in order to examine objects separately. The cutouts speak to the overall conceit of the exhibition: that the fragmented nature of the past drives curiosity and spurs new questions in the present, serving as a motivating and creative force for Tabet and contemporary artists.

Rayyane Tabet, "Bruchstücke/Fragments", installation view at Kunstverein in Hamburg, 2017. Photo ©: Fred Dott.

Rayyane Tabet, “Bruchstücke/Fragments”, 25 November 2017 – 18 February 2018, installation view at Kunstverein, Hamburg. Photo: © Fred Dott.

Genealogy (2017) is made from pieces of a Bedouin goat-hair rug owned by Borkhoche. The rug was cut into pieces and passed heirlooms among Borkhoche’s children, and in turn, their grandchildren, tracing the history of the heirloom and materialising the blood connection to Borkhoche, and by extension, to Tell Halaf. Where it was not possible to borrow these fragments, there are linen replicas and gaps, emphasising the fragmented nature of connection. In a similar fashion, a display of objects belonging to Borkhoche, including a suitcase, nine photographs documenting the six months that Borkhoche spent at the archaeological site, and notecards, as well as a copy of Der Tell Halaf.

Rayyane Tabet, "Bruchstücke/Fragments", installation view at Kunstverein in Hamburg, 2017. Photo ©: Fred Dott.

Rayyane Tabet, “Bruchstücke/Fragments”, 25 November 2017 – 18 February 2018, installation view at Kunstverein, Hamburg. Photo: © Fred Dott.

Elsewhere in the exhibition, Tabet moves from the literal to the abstract, trading direct lineages of history for objects that index power relations between European and colonised groups. Exquisite Corpse (2017) consists of seven military tents, used by European forces in the Middle East in the 20th century to house soldiers. These tents are aesthetically and structurally similar to bisht, a type of Bedouin jacket that unfolds to form a single-occupancy tent with the addition of two wooden poles.

Alongside these pieces of fabric, Tabet places a genealogical tree of a Bedouin tribe and a volume of von Oppenheim’s ethnography of these peoples, published between 1939 and 1968. These additions to the military tents amplify the colonial connection to the native population, suggesting that the cultural interactions between the two groups were simultaneously one of anthropological study and domination, but also of survival.

Rayyane Tabet, "Bruchstücke/Fragments", installation view at Kunstverein in Hamburg, 2017. Photo ©: Fred Dott.

Rayyane Tabet, “Bruchstücke/Fragments”, 25 November 2017 – 18 February 2018, installation view at Kunstverein, Hamburg. Photo: © Fred Dott.

Rayyane Tabet, "Bruchstücke/Fragments", installation view at Kunstverein in Hamburg, 2017. Photo ©: Fred Dott.

Rayyane Tabet, “Bruchstücke/Fragments”, 25 November 2017 – 18 February 2018, installation view at Kunstverein, Hamburg. Photo: © Fred Dott.

The archaeological elements of Tabet’s exhibition is put into relief most literally in Ah, My Beautiful Venus! (2017). Central to this work is the Tell Halaf Venus, the highlight of Oppenheim’s initial discovery and the treasure of the museum he built to house his discoveries in 1931, which served as the foundation of the present day National Museum in Aleppo. In Ah, My Beautiful Venus!, Tabet places foil pressings made from the mold of the Tell Halaf Venus on sculpture stands, which viewers can examine in the round.

These pressings are incomplete, broken shards, echoing both the literal process of piecing together broken artefacts but also the epistemic process of trying to reconstruct, bit by bit, forgotten histories. Behind these sculptural fragments are 6.5 tons of black basalt tiles that were imported from a quarry in Swaida, in southern Syria via Rotterdam and finally arriving in Hamburg. The volume reflects the original volume of the Tell Halaf Venus, echoing further the centrality of this object to the research and aims of von Oppenheim.

Rayyane Tabet, "Bruchstücke/Fragments", installation view at Kunstverein in Hamburg, 2017. Photo ©: Fred Dott.

Rayyane Tabet, “Bruchstücke/Fragments”, 25 November 2017 – 18 February 2018, installation view at Kunstverein, Hamburg. Photo: © Fred Dott.

Tabet’s exhibition, in addition to displaying the cultural artefacts of colonial history and the legacy of the archaeological site of Tell Halaf in material terms, also emphasises the importance of the trace: the spectres of history that haunt and inform contemporaneity. Orthostates (2017- ongoing) consists of 27 framed charcoal rubbings on paper of low-relief carvings of animals, vegetation and deities that Oppenheim discovered on the back wall of the Tell Halaf temple in his initial 1911 expedition. Tabet’s ongoing project is to copy this process in the available sections of Tell Halaf, and in this processual reenactment, the artist emphasises that the labour of archaeological work is one of the most resonant traces of history.

Similarly, Basalt Shards (2017), a series of 1000 charcoal rubbings of unidentified basalt shards, remnants of objects destroyed during a 1943 bombing raid on Oppenheim’s Tell Halaf Museum, accentuates the painstaking process of artefact reconstruction. Tabet’s attention to the nuances of history, and their resonance in the present, allows his work to take on a multidimensional and compelling ethos, one that allows the artist to bridge personal and broader political histories into compelling and challenging work.

Tausif Noor

2011

Bruchstücke/Fragments” by Rayyane Tabet is on view from 25 November 2017 to 18 February 2018 at Kunstverein in Hamburg, Klosterwall 23, 20095 Hamburg, Germany.

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The global cross-roads of Southeast Asian art: ART STAGE Singapore – fair round-up

The 8th edition of ART STAGE Singapore ran a series of programmes from 25 to 28 January 2018 designed to promote Asian art to a global audience.

ART STAGE prides itself as the flagship show of the Southeast Asian art world. Art Radar
briefly rounds up the 2018 edition of the art fair.

 Manit Sriwanchipoom (Thailand), 'Pink Men vs. Pink Buddha', 2007, mixed medi, acrylic, resin, metal, wood, glass and four florescent lights, approx. 100 x 220 x 60 cm. Image courtesy ART STAGE.

Manit Sriwanchipoom (Thailand), ‘Pink Men vs. Pink Buddha’, 2007, mixed medi, acrylic, resin, metal, wood, glass and four florescent lights, approx. 100 x 220 x 60 cm. Image courtesy ART STAGE.

ART STAGE Singapore “acts as a catalyst for driving international interest in and understanding of Southeast Asian art and igniting heightened market activity”, making the Singapore-based event a key voice in representing the interests of Asian art in the global arena. 

This event serves as a platform to showcase the best art and ideas in Asia to local and international collectors alike. A key pillar of ART STAGE is bridging regional art scenes to create a stronger and more unified Southeast Asian market. One of the transformative ways it does this is by encouraging dialogue between markets and artists. ART STAGE hosted a series of talks and the third Southeast Asia Forum, which focused on cross-disciplinary practices in art and design. Over the four days, a slew of panels covered topics ranging from Fernando Botero’s works to Southeast Asian design. 

ART STAGE’s rich programme represents its efforts to not only create spaces to display diverse works but also to create opportunities to stimulate dialogue and critical thought in the region.

Agus Suwage (Indonesia), The Kiss #4, 2011. Oil and acrylic on canvas, 200 x 250 cm (Mai, I took this from their website).

Agus Suwage (Indonesia), ‘The Kiss #4’, 2011, oil and acrylic on canvas, 200 x 250 cm.

The key topic of the Southeast Asia Forum was “To see opportunity in diversity, and define identity through creativity.” A cross-disciplinary panel discussed practices in art and design. The panel, titledArt Meets Design: Cultural Trend or Fashionable Lifestyle?”, examined the growth of Southeast Asia’s design scene and dissected how each market is equipped for the future given its current context. Speakers from Hong Kong, the Philippines and Indonesia discussed creativity in their local contexts. The Global Creativity Index helped frame their discussion with talent, technology, and tolerance serving as indicators of creativity. Speakers shared insights on the regional art landscape including challenges and opportunities. They highlighted how regulation, infrastructure and labour differ across the region and identified opportunities for improvement. Panelist Suzy Annetta, Co-founder and Editor-in-Chief of Design Anthology magazine, critiqued the scope of Western influence on Asian art. She pointed out that

Asia is in and of itself a Western concept. It’s a word used to describe a region that’s highly and richly diverse, which is home to nearly half the world’s population.

Panelists at the Southeast Asia Forum discuss design and art trends in Asia, 28 January 2018. Image Courtesy ART STAGE.

Panelists at the Southeast Asia Forum discussing design and art trends in Asia, 28 January 2018. Image courtesy ART STAGE.

Regional and international galleries presented artists from across Asia and the world. Although the number of participating galleries was lower than previous years, with Singapore’s strategic location, ART STAGE serves as an effective crossroads of Southeast Asian and global art. Despite fewer participants, the fair saw stronger sales results in all price categories than previous years. ART STAGE attributes this success to “The selection of top quality artworks in this year’s edition.

Chen Fei, See for Yourself, 2013. Acrylic on canvas, diameter 240 cm. Image courtesy ART STAGE.

Chen Fei, ‘See for Yourself’, 2013, acrylic on canvas, diameter 240 cm. Image courtesy ART STAGE.

A rich array of programmes including performances, installations, tours of private collections and talks gave attendees a unique opportunity to immerse themselves in art. Both exhibitors and visitors were excited about their ART STAGE experiences. Mr Sundaram Tagore, Gallery Director of Sundaram Tagore Gallery, explained:

I am very pleased with the Fair this year. ART STAGE has exerted a prodigious influence on Singapore’s contemporary artistic life. It has become the anchor for the city’s annual art week, and Sundaram Tagore Gallery is proud to have been associated with the Fair since its inception.

Tours of private local collections were a highlight of the program. Image Courtesy ART STAGE.

Tour of private local collections. Image courtesy ART STAGE.

Yifei Xiao, a Singaporean attendee, commented:

ART STAGE is like walking through snapshots of galleries and art museums. You could be anywhere around the world because the artworks are so diverse. But take a closer look and you realize the subtle references and styles that are distinctive of different parts of Asia. It’s a technicolor oasis, Just like Fernando Botero believes in direct art, most pieces at ART STAGEspeak directly to the viewer—they delight and disturb, it’s a refreshing treat for the eyes.

ART STAGE’s refreshing experiences will be back in Jakarta from 7 to 9 September 2018.

Claudia Acha

2065

Related Topics: Asia expands, promoting art, forums, lecture and talks, conference, curatorial practice, round up, events in Singapore

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Art internships and opportunities |Singapore Art Museum, Nanyang Technological University, Chelsea International Fine Art Competition… and more

Looking for new career options in the arts? Art Radar Opportunities is an archive of openings in the visual art world. 

Whether you are an artist or an aspiring curator, a market analyst or a scholar, Art Radar Opportunities has listings that will pique your interest. Every week we add new positions suitable for a variety of backgrounds and levels of experience. 

Reader offer! We’re offering free job listings to all of our readers. If you would like to advertise your opportunity to 25,000 visitors a month, fill out our Internships or Opportunities submission form.

New this week!

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INTERNSHIP | Singapore | Intern | Singapore Art Museum – apply by unspecified

The Singapore Art Museum focuses on international contemporary art practices, specialising in Singapore and Southeast Asia. It has internship opportunities throughout the year within different departments of the museum. The internship programme offers participants in-depth exposure to the workings of individual departments and practical training in visual art and museum practices.  To apply for internships, please email internship@singaporeartmuseum.sg with your interests. MORE HERE

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INTERNSHIP | Singapore | Intern | NTU Centre for Contemporary Art Singapore – apply by unspecified

NTU CCA Singapore’s internship programme offers insights into one of the most experimental art spaces in the world. NTU CCA Singapore internship will provide an immersive work experience where candidates can apply for attachments to one of the following departments: exhibitions, residencies, research & education, and communications & development. An internship at NTU CCA Singapore will expose you to various networking opportunities as well as mentoring and training by its professional team. Applicants with interest in the visual arts, excellent organisational and communication skills, and backgrounds in visual arts, arts management, theatrical production or architecture will be preferred. This is a full-time position with a minimum commitment of three months. An internship stipend will be provided. MORE HERE

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INTERNSHIP | Hong Kong | Paid Gallery Intern| Puerta Roja – apply by unspecified

Puerta Roja has pioneered the promotion of established and emerging contemporary artists as the only gallery to specialise in Latin American and Spanish art in the region. Located in Hong Kong’s most up-and-coming art district, SOHO 189 Art Lane, Puerta Roja prides itself on having both a strong influence in the development of the local contemporary art scene as well as a growing footprint across Asia-Pacific. The gallery participates in the top international art fairs in the region, including Taipei, Seoul, Jakarta and Hong Kong, now seeking gallery interns with an opportunity to obtain a permanent position of Gallery Assistant with exceptional performance. The interns are expected to provide hands-on support to the Gallery Owner and the Gallery Manager in the day-to-day operation, including planning and logistical support for exhibitions/fairs, gallery management, administration, web and systems development, supplier relationships as well as responsibility for specific strategic projects. Please send your CV and cover letter to info@puerta-roja.com. MORE HERE

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INTERNSHIP | Singapore | Intern| LASALLE College of the Arts – apply by unspecified

LASALLE College of the Arts (LCA) in Singapore is a leading tertiary institution in cutting-edge contemporary arts and design education and practice. An LCA Singapore internship presents a unique opportunity to experience a contemporary arts institution first-hand. Interns work with curatorial and exhibitions staff to support the planning and delivery of exhibitions. They assist with research and fact-checking for exhibitions, publications and the collection, undertake administrative tasks such as archiving and correspondence, and support installations. Placements are for a minimum of half a day per week and normally run for six months to a year. Internships suit university or postgraduate students with knowledge of contemporary international art and a desire to pursue a career in curating or arts administration. Successful candidates will have the ability to work independently and as part of a team, and should possess excellent interpersonal skills. They will also pay close attention to details, demonstrate good verbal and written communication skills, and possess sound all-around computing skills (Mac). To apply, please email your CV, and a letter outlining relevant skills and your interest in the role of Melanie Pocock, Assistant Curator: icas@lasalle.edu.sg. MORE HERE

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OPEN CALL | New York | Call for Artists | The Chelsea International Fine Art Competition – 12 March 2018

For the past 33 years, the CIFAC has provided artists with an invaluable opportunity to present their art in New York City and gain critical exposure in the international art world. With awards valued at USD70,000, including cash prizes, magazine profiles, PR opportunities and an exhibition in New York City’s famed Chelsea art district. The competition is open to visual artists from around the world at any stage of their careers. Artists are invited to submit in any of the following media: painting, sculpture, photography, drawing, mixed media and print. Art submitted to the competition will be reviewed by a panel of expert jurors, each representing a different field in the art world, ensuring a fair and balanced judgment process. MORE HERE

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OPEN CALL | Global | Call for Artists | Fusion Art – 20 March 2018

Fusion Art invites submissions for its 6th quarterly group online art competition. All artists are encouraged to submit their best work in any subject matter using any of the accepted media. The best in Show will be awarded to one winner in each category (Traditional Art, Digital Art & Photography, and 3-Dimensional Art) and will receive invitations to the 3rd annual group show in Palm Springs. A three-month group online exhibition will be featured on the Fusion Art website starting on 15 April until 14 July 2018. The winners will be marketed and promoted extensively through Fusion Art’s website, in hundreds of press release announcements, email marketing, online event calendars, art news websites and through the gallery’s social media outlets. MORE HERE

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Did you know that Art Radar runs its very own online art writing course? Click here to find out more about Art Radar‘s Diploma in Art Journalism & Writing.

Looking for more opportunities in the contemporary art world? For Art Radar’s complete list of jobs, internships, residencies, courses and open calls, click here.

Closing this week!

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JOB | Mumbai | Art Teacher | The Akanksha Foundation – ASAP

The Akanksha Foundation is a non-profit organisation with a mission to provide children from low-income communities with a high-quality education, enabling them to maximise their potential and transform their lives. It now seeks an art teacher to work in Mumbai. The responsibilities of an art teacher in an Akanksha school includes curriculum design, planning and implementation, developing and maintaining cooperative working relationships with students, parents, community and the school team. To know more or apply, send your CV and cover letter to via disha.mehta@akanksha.org. MORE HERE

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OPEN CALL | New York | Call for Artists | Dacia Gallery 15 February 2018

Dacia Gallery invites artists to submit artwork for an opportunity to have a Two-Week Solo Exhibition in April 2018 at Dacia Gallery. The selected artist for the Solo Exhibition will receive USD1,000 cash from Dacia Gallery. All visual artists, national and international artists may apply. We are looking for new talented artists to exhibit and represent. If you are looking for gallery representation and to have a solo show in New York City, submit your art so that we may discover your compelling work and present it to the public, gallery directors, curators and collectors. MORE HERE

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This is just a sample of art world opportunities we gather each week. If you’d like to see more, click here to sign up for more information on how to get full access and feed of opportunities.

The “gold standard” for art in South Asia: Dhaka Art Summit 2018

The 4th Dhaka Art Summit runs for nine days in 2018, with more than 300 artists and 10 curated exhibitions.

Art Radar explores some of the highlights of the programme of Dhaka Art Summit 2018, which runs until 10 February 2018.

Raqib Shaw at Dhaka Art Summit 2018, co-curated by Diana Campbell Betancourt and Maria Balshaw. Courtesy the artist, White Cube, the Whitworth, Bangladesh National Museum and Samdani Art Foundation Photo by: Pablo Bartholomew.

Raqib Shaw at Dhaka Art Summit 2018, co-curated by Diana Campbell Betancourt and Maria Balshaw. Courtesy the artist, White Cube, the Whitworth, Bangladesh National Museum and Samdani Art Foundation. Photo: Pablo Bartholomew.

A growing platform for South Asian art

The Dhaka Art Summit (DAS) has been running at the Bangladesh Shilpakala Academy every two years since 2012, when it was founded by the Samdani Art Foundation in collaboration with the Ministry of Cultural Affairs, People’s Republic of Bangladesh. The Samdani Art Foundation (SAF) is a private arts trust established in 2011 by collector couple Nadia and Rajeeb Samdani to support the work of contemporary Bangladeshi artists and architects, and is the principal funding body for DAS, covering 90 percent of its costs that amount to around USD2 million for each edition. The Foundation is led by Artistic Director and Curator Diana Campbell Betancourt, who has also been Chief Curator of the Dhaka Art Summit for its past three editions including 2018’s.

The right section of the Pablo Bartholomey's 'Untitled' work, with images of people and landscape in the Chakma region of Rangamati, in the Chittagong Hill Tracts, Bangladesh. In "Bearing Points", Dhaka Art Summit 2018, curated by Diana Campbell Betancourt. Photo: © Pablo Bartholomew.

The right section of the Pablo Bartholomey’s ‘Untitled’ work, with images of people and landscape in the Chakma region of Rangamati, in the Chittagong Hill Tracts, Bangladesh. In “Bearing Points”, Dhaka Art Summit 2018, curated by Diana Campbell Betancourt. Photo: © Pablo Bartholomew.

Although taking place biennially, DAS is not a biennale, as instead is the well established Asian Art Biennale, which has been running at the same venue as DAS for 17 editions so far. The Summit rejects the traditional biennale format to create a “more generative space for art and exchange”. The biennial event aims to foster dialogue and create new lines of inquiry on South Asian art and architectural practice, and to promote the work of local contemporary artists to an international audience, which is growing year on year.

Bunty Chand, Director of Asia Society, India has said that “Dhaka art summit has set the gold standard for the visual arts in South Asia.” This year, DAS has grown from four to nine days, running from 2 to 10 February 2018, with a rich programme of events in collaboration with 12 guest curators that includes 10 curated exhibitions.

Legong Keraton Dance, Balinese Gamelan and Traditional Dances (Persepolis, 1969). Image courtesy Festival of Arts - Shiraz-Persepolis, Malie Letrange, Archa.

Legong Keraton Dance, Balinese Gamelan and Traditional Dances (Persepolis, 1969). Image courtesy Festival of Arts – Shiraz-Persepolis, Malie Letrange, Archa.

DAS this year presents the work of over 300 artists from South Asia of which 65 percent are from Bangladesh only, with some participants from Southeast Asia and the Indian Ocean Belt as well. On this latest expansion of scope of the Summit, Betancourt told The Art Newspaper:

We had to [widen it]. This all started from the Rohingya [refugee] crisis [in 2015], so when you look at this block, you see how it connects to south-east Asia. I also run a foundation full-time in the Philippines, which is where I’m based, and I’m on flights with all the migrant workers. There are millions of south Asians in south-east Asia and they are invisible. If you look at Indonesia, there is a huge Indian influence but this is from ages back. These regions are political terms, and they are not just cultural terms.

Raja Umbu, skirt with Kadu motif, 2010, private collection, Hong Kong.

Raja Umbu, skirt with Kadu motif, 2010. Private collection, Hong Kong.

Reetu Sattar, 'Lost Tune', 17th Asian Art Biennale at the Bangladesh Shilpakala Academy December 2016, 65 Harmoniums & 65 musicians, 1 hour duration. Image courtesy the artist.

Reetu Sattar, ‘Lost Tune’, 17th Asian Art Biennale at the Bangladesh Shilpakala Academy December 2016, 65 Harmoniums & 65 musicians, 1 hour duration. Image courtesy the artist.

Almost one third of the work on show has been newly commissioned and funded by SAF and international partners for DAS 2018, including works by Rasheed Araeen, Sheela Gowda, Zihan Karim, Htein Lin, Ramesh Mario Nithiyendran, Randhir Singh and Seher Shah and Reetu Sattar.

The Summit this year has introduced the Art Mediation Programme, which presents content in English and Bangladeshi and helps engage the public with the art on show and the programming of the Summit. DAS 2018 also includes a rich programme of talks, two symposia, illustrated lectures by major artists, a forum for artist-led initiatives in Bangladesh, a critical writing presentation, a screenings and performances programme, as well as an educational programme presented in the Educational Pavilion, a structure built on the winning project of the Samdani Architecture Award 2018 by Maksudul Karim, called Chhaya Tori, utilising traditional Shampan boatbuilding techniques, synonymous with fishing communities in Southern Bangladesh.

Rendering of Chhaya Tori (Shadow Boat), 2017, Maksudul Karim for the Dhaka Art Summit 2018 Education Pavilion. Image courtesy Maksudul Karim and the Samdani Art Foundation.

Rendering of Chhaya Tori (Shadow Boat), 2017, Maksudul Karim for the Dhaka Art Summit 2018 Education Pavilion. Image courtesy Maksudul Karim and the Samdani Art Foundation.

Seher Shah and Randhir Singh, 'Studies in Form', 2017-2018, commissioned and Produced by Samdani Art Foundation for DAS 2018. Courtesy the artists and Nature Morte. Photo: Pablo Bartholomew.

Seher Shah and Randhir Singh, ‘Studies in Form’, 2017-2018, commissioned and Produced by Samdani Art Foundation for DAS 2018. Courtesy the artists and Nature Morte. Photo: Pablo Bartholomew.

Bearing Points: finding South Asian art’s compass

Curated by Dhaka Art Summit’s Chief Curator Diana Campbell Betancourt with Maria Balshaw and Alexie Glass Kantor & Michelle Newton as co-curators on Raqib Shaw and Ramesh Mario Nithiyendran’s contributions, the exhibition “Bearing Points” is the main part of the Summit, which this year comes as a substitute to the previous Solo Projects section. Organised in five parts, the exhibition frames the various group exhibitions at DAS 2018 and connects to DAS’s public programme, while reorienting us towards how we consider art and South Asia. The viewer navigates the five large-scale thematic presentations that include several commissions from artists and architects, engaging lesser-explored transcultural histories of South Asia.

"There Once Was a Village Here", installation view in "Bearing Points", curated by Diana Campbell Betancourt, Dhaka Art Summit 2018. Featuring works by Munem Wasif, Khadim Ali, and Htein Lin. Photo by: Pablo Bartholom ew.

“There Once Was a Village Here”, installation view in “Bearing Points”, curated by Diana Campbell Betancourt, Dhaka Art Summit 2018. Featuring works by Munem Wasif, Khadim Ali and Htein Lin. Photo by: Pablo Bartholom ew.

The first section, titled “Politics: The Most Architectural Thing to Do”, presents works by Dayanita Singh, Seher Shah, Randhir Singh and Rasheed Araeen among others. Karachi-born, London-based Araeen’s blood-red bamboo sculpture Rite/Right of Passage (2016-18) installed in the forecourt of the Academy nod to the Summit’s interest in highlighting the the migration routes of contemporary art, and of the contemporary world’s population. His work, in its minimalist aesthetic, references both the ubiquitous use of bamboo in the region, as well as the influence of Islamic architecture and western art history on the artist’s practice.

“Bearing Points” then continues on with its four remaining sections, all with evocative titles like “Dozakh-I-Puri Nimat (An Inferno Bearing Gift)”, with works by The Otolith Group and Zihan Karim, “An Amphibious Sun” with Ho Tzu Nyen and Omer Wasim and Saira Sheikh, “There Once Was a Village Here” with Munem Wasif, Veer Munshi, Raqib Shaw and Ramesh Mario Nithiyendran, and “Residence Time” including works by Charles Lim Yi Yong, Liu Xiaodong and Pratchaya Phinthong, among many others in all five sections.

"There Once Was a Village Here", installation view in "Bearing Points" curated by Diana Campbell Betancourt, Dhaka Art Summit 2018. Featuring works by Jakkai Siributr and Amin Taasha. Photo: Pablo Bartholomew.

“There Once Was a Village Here”, installation view in “Bearing Points” curated by Diana Campbell Betancourt, Dhaka Art Summit 2018. Featuring works by Jakkai Siributr and Amin Taasha. Photo: Pablo Bartholomew.

In the last section of “Bearing Points”, Bangkok-based Jakkai Siributr addresses the plight of the Rohingya, of whom close to 700,000 have fled to Bangladesh from Myanmar since August 2017. The Outlaw’s Flag (2017) is an installation of hanging, imaginary flags embroidered with debris lifted from beaches in Myanmar and Ranong in Thailand, where the Rohinga arrived during a previous exodus in 2015, during a wave of Buddhist fundamentalism in Thailand.

Integral to Bangladesh’s art history and development of its art scene is another exhibition curated by Betancourt, which presents an archive of the Asian Art Biennale, “The Asian Art Biennale in Context”. This presentation sheds light on Dhaka’s role as a place of innovation for art production in Bangladesh, and the history of the Asian Art Biennale, founded in 1981, as one of the longest standing biennials in Asia today. The show draws works from the Bangladesh Shilpakala Academy’s collection, and the archive of the Fukuoka Asian Art Museum, and focuses on the first four editions of the Biennale.

Runa Islam, 'This Much Is Uncertain', 2009, production still. Image courtesy the Fiorucci Art Trust

Runa Islam, ‘This Much Is Uncertain’, 2009, production still. Image courtesy the Fiorucci Art Trust.

"There Once Was a Village Here", installation view in "Bearing Points", curated by Diana Campbell Betancourt, Dhaka Art Summit 2018. Featuring works by Soe Yu Nwe, Shahid Sajjad, Htein Lin, Minam Apang and Kanak Chanpa Chakma. Photo by: Pablo Bartholomew.

“There Once Was a Village Here”, installation view in “Bearing Points”, curated by Diana Campbell Betancourt, Dhaka Art Summit 2018. Featuring works by Soe Yu Nwe, Shahid Sajjad, Htein Lin, Minam Apang and Kanak Chanpa Chakma. Photo by: Pablo Bartholomew.

Bangladesh’s artistic talent: Past and Present

One of the many exhibitions presented at DAS is “Expression of Time”, curated by Mohammad Muniruzzaman, Director of the Department of Fine Arts, Bangladesh Shilpakala Academy, who brings together the work of older and younger generations of artists in Bangladesh, to show a cross-section of the country’s artistic production and an overview of its development over time. The show features early works by now prominent artists, juxtaposed to works by younger and emerging artists who will be representing the future of Bangladeshi art history. In addition to its focus on visual art practice, the exhibition also explores Bangladesh’s diverse practice of urban and folk art, from cinema banner painting to the centuries old tradition of kantha embroider.

"There Once Was a Village Here", installation view in "Bearing Points", curated by Diana Campbell Betancourt, Dhaka Art Summit 2018. Featuring works by Soe Yu Nwe, Shahid Sajjad, Htein Lin, Minam Apang and Kanak Chanpa Chakma. Photo by: Pablo Bartholomew.

“There Once Was a Village Here”, installation view in “Bearing Points”, curated by Diana Campbell Betancourt, Dhaka Art Summit 2018. Featuring works by Soe Yu Nwe, Shahid Sajjad, Htein Lin, Minam Apang and Kanak Chanpa Chakma. Photo by: Pablo Bartholomew.

Kannan Arunasalam, 'Paper', 2011, film still. Image courtesy the artist.

Kannan Arunasalam, ‘Paper’, 2011, film still. Image courtesy the artist.

Exploring history through art

Some shows within DAS heavily focus on exploring historical events, such as “One Hundred Thousand Small Tales” and “A Utopian Stage”, curated by Vali Mahlouji.

The first is an exhibition that addresses the art produced in response to many narratives, episodes and accounts of Sri Lanka’s recent history. It is part archive and part inventory, featuring the country’s art production from the lead up to Sri Lanka’s independence in 1948 to the present. The exhibition includes several generations of artists and incorporates archival materials alongside works on paper, paintings, photographs, film, sculpture and animation by Anoli Perera, Bandu Manamperi, Godwin R. Constantine, Kannan Arunasalam, Laleen Jayamanne and Ruhanie Perera, among many others.

Ramesh Mario Nithiyendran, 'Big idol', 2016, earthenware, glaze, lustre, mixed media, 495 x 258 x 125 cm. Image courtesy the artist and Sullivan+Strumpf.

Ramesh Mario Nithiyendran, ‘Big idol’, 2016, earthenware, glaze, lustre, mixed media, 495 x 258 x 125 cm. Image courtesy the artist and Sullivan+Strumpf.

“A Utopian Stage” explores another history, that of the Festival of Art, Shiraz-Persepolis (1967-1977) and its radical ‘Third World-ism’. This performance festival situated Iran in relation to Asia and juxtaposed Asian and African artists with the international avant-garde. The exhibition uncovers the festival’s archives for the first time in Asia, and is accompanied by live performances, musical interventions and film screenings responding to the festival’s spirit of exchange. Included in the programme is late Pakistani artist and activist Lala Rukh‘s Rupak (2016), an installation of drawing, sound and animation, taking the form of a “monumental denouement” of every strand of thought that passed through her drawings, photographs, videos and sound pieces.

Lala Rukh, 'Mirror Image II- a, b' (diptych), 2011, graphite on carbon paper, 20.32 x 50.8 cm (each). Courtesy the estate of Lala Rukh and Grey Noise, Dubai.

Lala Rukh, ‘Mirror Image II- a, b’ (diptych), 2011, graphite on carbon paper, 20.32 x 50.8 cm (each). Image courtesy the estate of Lala Rukh and Grey Noise, Dubai.

Planetary Planning: South Asia as axis mundi

Curated by Devika Singh, “Planetary Planning” draws from the 1969 Nehru memorial lecture titled “Planetary Planning”, delivered in New Delhi by architect and designer Buckminster Fuller. The exhibition explores notions of world-making through the work of three generations of artists from South Asia, whose lives have been marked by stories of travel and migration. They engage with notions of identity and hierarchies, while looking at key international and cross-regional exchanges from the 1960s until now.

Ayesha Sultana, 'Threshold' (2012-13), solarised, scratched photographs with glue. Image courtesy the artist and Experimenter, Kolkata.

Ayesha Sultana, ‘Threshold’ (2012-13), solarised, scratched photographs with glue. Image courtesy the artist and Experimenter, Kolkata.

Rukh’s drawings deconstructing landscapes from her 2011 “Mirror Image” and “Nightscape” series are included in this section, alongside Zarina Hashmi‘s “Letters from Home” (2004) and Ayesha Sultana‘s found photographs series “Threshold” (2012-13) featuring scratched and distorted skies, seas and cityscapes, among others. Many of the latter photographs were taken by Sultana’s father while he was posted in Kuwait with the Bangladesh Air Force in the years leading up to the 1991 Gulf War.

Seher Shah & Randhir Singh, 'Studies in Form - Akbar Bhavan #20', 2017, cyanotope monoprint on Arches Aquarelle paper, 22 x 30 in. Commissioned by Samdani Art Foundation for DAS 2018, courtesy the artists, Samdani Art Foundation and Nature Morte.

Seher Shah & Randhir Singh, ‘Studies in Form – Akbar Bhavan #20’, 2017, cyanotope monoprint on Arches Aquarelle paper, 22 x 30 in. Commissioned by Samdani Art Foundation for DAS 2018, courtesy the artists, Samdani Art Foundation and Nature Morte.

Seher Shah reflects on remembrance and disapperance, with her record of Brutalist architecture across the globe, translated into drawings based on photographs. The otherwise heavy-built structures are transformed into light, airy constructions on paper, rendered in layers of broad horizontal lines and appearing as spectres of the past.

This exhibition also includes the work of a Turkish artist, Istanbul-based Hera Büyüktascıyanl, whose collages explore the social memory of architecture and its connection to power. On show is her recent series “Reconstructors” (2017), as well as new works further exploring the historical conscience of architecture, collective memory, fluvial routes and aquatic landscapes.

Zihan Karim, 'Various Way of Departure', 2017, still image from video. Image courtesy the artist.

Zihan Karim, ‘Various Way of Departure’, 2017, still image from video. Image courtesy the artist.

Rakib Ahmed, 'Untitled' (2016), negative from artist's collection. Image courtesy the artist.

Rakib Ahmed, ‘Untitled’ (2016), negative from artist’s collection. Image courtesy the artist.

Bengal and its surrounding geographical networks

“A beast, a god, and a line” is curated by Para Site’s Cosmin Costinas and is co-produced by DAS, Para Site, Hong Kong and the Museum of Modern Art, Warsaw and will tour to TS1 Yangon in 2018. The exhibition considers Bengal’s position at the core of different geographical networks, reflecting the circulation of people and ideas in different historical times. The exhibition unfolds in several chapters, exploring the maritime geographies of the Austronesian world and the histories of globalisation from the early 16th century onwards. The show positions the material histories of textiles as a central thread carrying the traces of these historical exchanges.

Munem Wasif, 'Machine Matter', 2017, single channel, 14m:6s, BW, stereo, loop, variable sizes. Image courtesy the artist and Project 88.

Munem Wasif, ‘Machine Matter’, 2017, single channel, 14m:6s, BW, stereo, loop, variable sizes. Image courtesy the artist and Project 88.

For instance, Zamthingla Ruivah revives a traditional weaving technique to remember the violence inflicted by the Indian army against her native Naga community. Sarat Mala Chakma preserves and builds on the weaving tradition of the Chakma people, a mark of cultural identity within Bangladesh, while Raja Umbu weaves an ancestral story of migration to Sumba, a collective foundational myth of her native island.

The show includes the work of both South and Southeast Asian artists, such as Charles Lim Yi Yong, Anida Yoeu Ali, Apichatpong Weerasethakul, Jimmy Ong, Munem Wasif, Nabil Ahmed, Nguyen Trinh Thi, Praneet Soi, among many others. The exhibition also introduces the works of a some key modernist figures who have shaped the language of art during the past half century in South Asia, like Rashid Choudhury (b. 1932, d. 1986) and Mrinalini Mukherjee (b. 1949, d. 2015).

Khadim Ali, 'The Arrivals', 2017, inkjet, gouache and gold leaf on Hahnemühle paper, 100 x 70.5 cm. Image courtesy the artist and Milani Gallery.

Khadim Ali, ‘The Arrivals’, 2017, inkjet, gouache and gold leaf on Hahnemühle paper, 100 x 70.5 cm. Image courtesy the artist and Milani Gallery.

The Samdani Art Award 2018

A highlight of the Dhaka Art Summit is the Samdani Art Award, Bangladesh’s most prestigious art prize presented by DAS’s major funding body biennially, now in its fourth edition, dedicated to honouring Bangladeshi artists between the ages of 22 and 40. Past winners of the award are Rasel Chowdhury (2016), Ayesha Sultana (2014), and Khaled Hassan and Musarrat Reazi (2012). An international jury chaired by Delfina Foundation Director Aaron Cezar and composed of artists Sheela Gowda, Runa Islam, Subodh Gupta and Mona Hatoum selected the winner from among 11 shortlisted artists.

Mizanur Rahman Chowdhury, 'JUMP', 2012, mixed-media installation including mannequins, popcorn and car. Image courtesy the artist.

Mizanur Rahman Chowdhury, ‘JUMP’, 2012, mixed-media installation including mannequins, popcorn and car. Image courtesy the artist.

In association with the Liverpool Biennial, each of the shortlisted artists received curatorial mentoring support from the New North and South network, and submitted a newly commissioned artwork which is now on show at DAS. This year’s winner is Mizanur Rahman Chowdhury (b. 1981), whose work sits between installation and assemblage of everyday objects. He creates unfamiliar situations for familiar things, creating new ways of perceiving the obvious and exploring uncharted territories, opening up new possibilities for experiencing life.

C. A. Xuan Mai Ardia

2062

Dhaka Art Summit 2018 runs from 2 to 10 February 2018 at Bangladesh Shilpakala Academy, 14/3 Segunbagicha, Segun Bagicha Rd, Dhaka, Bangladesh.

Related Topics: South Asian artists, Southeast Asian artists, art festivals, art prizes, biennales, events in Dhaka

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The Leonardo Effect: ArtTactic’s Raw Facts Auction Review 2017 – key findings

The London-based analytics company ArtTactic has released its 2017 Raw Facts Auction Review report on the global auction market.

Art Radar looks at its findings, which suggest growth across all aspects and locations of the auction business.

ArtTactic's 'Raw Facts - Auction Review 2017. Screenshot by Art Radar.

ArtTactic’s ‘Raw Facts – Auction Review 2017’. Screenshot by Art Radar.

The London-based analytics company ArtTactic has released its 2017 Raw Facts Auction Review report, which reviews the year in art auctions across the globe for the three major houses – Christie’s, Sotheby’s and Phillips.

In brief

Global auctions sales were up 25 percent in 2017. Sales volume in USD from Christie’s, Sotheby’s and Phillips ended up at USD11.21 billion in 2017, up 25 percent from 2016. The rise in turnover was particularly notable in the final quarter of 2017, which raised USD4.91 billion in total sales across the three auction houses, up 35 percent from the fourth quarter of 2016.

ArtTactic Raw Facts - Auction Review 2017. © ArtTactic. Screenshot by Art Radar.

ArtTactic Raw Facts – Auction Review 2017. © ArtTactic. Screenshot by Art Radar.

Average auction price jumps 38.3 percent in 2017. With a 25 percent increase in sales combined with a 9.3 percent fall in the number of sold lots (approximately 10,300 lots less sold in 2017) – the average auction price across all categories ended up at USD110,651, up from USD79,951 in 2016.

ArtTactic Raw Facts - Auction Review 2017. Sales value by auction house. © ArtTactic. Screenshot by Art Radar.

ArtTactic Raw Facts – Auction Review 2017. Sales value by auction house. © ArtTactic. Screenshot by Art Radar.

Christie’s, Sotheby’s and Phillips

Christie’s saw the highest sales growth last year. All three auction houses monitored by ArtTactic experienced a positive increase in auction sales during last year. Christie’s saw the highest growth rate of 34 percent in annual auction sales, compared to 15 percent increase in public auction sales for Sotheby’s and 28 percent for Phillips. It was Christie’s fourth quarter (which included the record USD450 million sale of Leonardo da Vinci’s Salvator Mundi) that accelerated the final tally of the year. The final quarter raised USD2.81 billion for Christie’s, up from USD1.71 billion in 2016, a 64.1 percent jump in sales.

Further, despite a drop in market share at the expense of Sotheby’s in the second quarter of 2017, Christie’s ended the year back in top position, the result of the record-breaking sales season in November. Christie’s ended the year with a market share of 52.6 percent, against 41.9 percent for Sotheby’s (down from 45.5 percent in 2016) and 5.6 percent for Phillips (up minutely from 5.5 percent in 2016).

A global business?

Asian art sales have picked up momentum over last 12 months. ArtTactic notes that one of the fastest growing auction sales categories in 2017 was the Chinese & Asian auctions, which raised USD1.74 billion against USD1.46 billion in 2016, a 21 percent increase. The Chinese and Asian auction category accounted for 15.5 percent of worldwide sales in 2017.

Christies Auction (January 2016). Image courtesy Christies Asia.

Christies Auction (January 2016). Image courtesy Christie’s Asia.

London is also maintaining its market share of the auction business despite Brexit uncertainty. London ended the year with 24.2 percent market share by sales value, marginally lower than 25 percent registered in 2016. Despite Brexit looming over the future of the UK art market, auction sales grew from USD2.24 billion in 2016 to USD2.71 billion in 2017, a 21.3 percent growth in sales value. This is possibly attributable to the global growth in average sales price pushing the value of the auction market up as a whole.

However, it was New York that was the clear winner, with a 41.7 percent jump in overall sales, lifting its market share to 48.7 percent (up from 43 percent in 2016).

ArtTactic Raw Facts - Auction Review 2017. Auction sales by category. © ArtTactic. Screenshot by Art Radar.

ArtTactic Raw Facts – Auction Review 2017. Auction sales by category. © ArtTactic. Screenshot by Art Radar.

Contemporary on top

Post-War & Contemporary art sales accounted for 29.3 percent of total auction sales last year. The Post-War and Contemporary segment was the clear winner in 2017, accounting for 29.3 percent of the auction total for the year.

The Old Master market total was fuelled by the da Vinci sale, although the underlying market remains steady. The Old Master market came in at USD797 million in 2017, up from USD357 million in 2016. ArtTactic notes that this “total was heavily skewed by the $450 million da Vinci, and excluding this sale, the sales turnover would have been marginally lower than the previous year.”

What this statement potentially overlooks is that whilst Leonarda da Vinci is unquestionably an Old Master, the painting in question, Salvator Mundi, was actually sold through Christie’s Post-War and Contemporary department, and was the highlight of its November Evening Sale. What this would mean, of course, is that whilst the Old Masters category continues to languish steadily in unfashionability, Post-War and Contemporary would be pushed to even more stratospheric heights.

Auction scene. Image courtesy Sothebys.

Auction scene. Image courtesy Sotheby’s.

The Leonardo Effect

One thing of note in ArtTactic’s report is just how much the record-smashing sale of Leonardo da Vinci’s previously unattributed portrait of Christ, Salvator Mundi, distorts the data in favour of the auction house that sold it – Christie’s New York.

At USD450 million, not only it is the most expensive painting ever sold at auction, but its price tag is also a significant enough proportion of the market as a whole to skew the data in the categories that ArtTactic is reporting on. Previous record sales of USD170.4 million for Modiglinai’s Reclining Nude, or USD179.4 million for Picasso’s Femme D’Algiers (incidentally both of which were sold at Christie’s in 2015) are priced at less than half of the da Vinci’s record and so hold less power to spike market reporting.

For example, Christie’s New York auction sales accounted for USD3.16 billion (or 53.7 percent of total global sales at Christie’s over the last 12 months). With its sale price of USD450,312,500, the da Vinci accounts for 14.2 percent of all New York sales, or 7.6 percent of Christie’s total annual worldwide sales. The total sales for the Post War & Contemporary Evening Sale on 15 November 2017, at which the painting was hammered down its record price, were USD788.9 million – meaning the da Vinci accounted for just over 57 percent of the evening’s total sales value.

As the most important auction market event of 2017, or indeed of recent years, the “Leonardo effect” can be seen in the primacy of Christie’s, New York and the Post-War and Contemporary sector across the global auction market in 2017.

Jessica Clifford

2054

Related topics:reportsauctionsmarket transparencymarket watch

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