Prudential presents the third edition of START, a fair for emerging artists and new art scenes.

Art Radar takes a peek at some of the highlights of the 2016 edition of START, which draws gallerists from all over the world to Saatchi Gallery London.

Mahmoud Obaidi, 'Peace, Project Confusionism', 2013. Image courtesy the artist.

Mahmoud Obaidi, ‘Peace, Project Confusionism’, 2013. Image courtesy the artist.

Open to the public from 15 to 18 September 2016, START art fair focuses on emerging artists and new art scenes. This year there are 70 galleries taking part in the show, which is presented at Saatchi Gallery in London. Now in its third edition, START is flourishing and attracting galleries from all over the world.

START incorporates a mix of solo and group presentations with four curatorial projects. These projects include START Solo featuring artists Caterina Silva, Amin Montazeri, Kim Eull and S. Mark Gubb; “Baghdad Manifesto”, the debut London solo exhibition by Iraqi-born artist Mahmoud Obaidi; “Future Island”, which is a START Project that focuses on a new generation of Taiwanese artists curated by Mehta Bell Projects; and finally In the Garden, an immersive installation by Indian artist Sumakshi Singh.

Lai Chiu-Chen, ‘The Raijin Rolls the Thunders till His Face Turns Purple’, 2014-2015. Image courtesy Lin & Lin Gallery.

Lai Chiu-Chen, ‘The Raijin Rolls the Thunders till His Face Turns Purple’, 2014-2015. Image courtesy Lin & Lin Gallery.

START fair Director Niru Ratnam cited the diversity of the programme in the press release, stating:

I’m really excited by the range of this year’s START Projects, which go from in-depth presentations of one artist’s practice through to a vibrant group show of Taiwanese art and an artist-curated project. I was also delighted to bring Sumakshi Singh’s project to London having initially seen it in India earlier this year. Each project strongly links back to our aim of introducing artists and art scenes that are new to London’s audiences.

Below is a selection of projects and galleries that can be found in the 2016 START programme.

Su Yu-Xin, ‘Reading the Moon’, 2015. Image courtesy Mehta Bell Projects.

Su Yu-Xin, ‘Reading the Moon’, 2015. Image courtesy Mehta Bell Projects.

1. “Future Island”: Taiwanese artists in focus

“Future Island” is a project curated by Mehta Bell Projects and involves a group of up-and-coming Taiwanese artists. The catalogue explains the artists’ concern with contemporary issues such as identity, environment and contemporary Taiwanese culture.

Combining both Eastern and Western elements, and references to their cultural heritage, some of these works hint at a subversivism and encourage an investigation into the current status quo of Taiwan. This showcase captures the essence of an artistic generation that is outward looking and energetic, and highlights the compelling art coming out of this region.

Su Yu-Xin, ‘The End #2’, 2014. Image courtesy Mehta Bell Projects.

Su Yu-Xin, ‘The End #2’, 2014. Image courtesy Mehta Bell Projects.

The works include large-scale sculptures by Ban-Yuan Chang, self-designed machines of Ting Tong Chang; drawings by Serra Shih; photographs by Ting Cheng and Kuo-Chun Chiu; paintings by Hua Yeh, Peihang Huang, Su Yu-Xin, Mingchun Huang, Kuo-Wei Kuo, Meng Ju Shih and Teng-Yuan Chang; and an installation by Hsaio-chi Tsai and Kimiya Yoshikawa (Japan).

The threat to the environment is a theme in much of the work, reflecting the concern over the rapid development that is present on the island. Su Yu-Xin for example explores environment through vibrant colours and an almost otherworldly quality. She investigates the meaning of time, teasing our sense of reality.

Sumakshi Singh, ‘In The Garden’, 2016, installation view, details of the stop-motion animation. Image courtesy Exhibit320.

Sumakshi Singh, ‘In The Garden’, 2016, installation view, details of the stop-motion animation. Image courtesy Exhibit320.

2. Sumakshi Singh: In the Garden

Another special project is In the Garden, an immersive installation by Sumakshi Singh (b.1980 New Delhi). The animation is a garden of light that grows and morphs with fleeting fireflies and hummingbirds. It is based on two gardens researched by the artist. The work was developed from an earlier exhibition featured at the Exhibit320 gallery in Delhi. Singh often works on projects involving manipulating the perception of space through paintings, interactive installations, sculpture, video and performance.

Mahmoud Obaidi, ‘Make War Not Love’, 2013, mixed material on fabric, 257 x 247 cm. Image courtesy the artist.

Mahmoud Obaidi, ‘Make War Not Love’, 2013, mixed material on fabric, 257 x 247 cm. Image courtesy the artist.

3. Mahmoud Obaidi: “Baghdad Manifesto”

“Baghdad Manifesto” is a solo exhibition by Iraqi-born artist Mahmoud Obaidi (b.Baghdad, 1966). Obaidi works in a number of media including conceptual objects, installations, video and paintings. His work uses humour to explore themes of politics, war and death. Obaidi has exhibited in a number of museums and galleries around the world.

For START, Obaidi also has curated an exhibition titled “Identity, Construction and Deconstruction”, drawing together works by emerging artists from the Fire Station Artists in Residence programme in Doha, Qatar.

Mahmoud Obaidi, ‘Struggling Thrones’, 2013, steel and wood, 100 x 90 x 50 cm. Image courtesy the artist.

Mahmoud Obaidi, ‘Struggling Thrones’, 2013, steel and wood, 100 x 90 x 50 cm. Image courtesy the artist.

Yu Wai-Luen, ‘Orange pearl milk tea’, 2015. Image courtesy a.m. space.

Yu Wai-Luen, ‘Orange pearl milk tea’, 2015. Image courtesy a.m. space.

4. a.m. space from Hong Kong

At START a.m. space is exhibiting artists Tam Wai-Ping and Yu Wai-Luen. Established in January 2013, a. m. space is a platform that presents cultural projects in order to explore contemporary issues. Within a short time the gallery has participated in international fairs such as Art Taipei in 2013 and 2015, and Art Basel Hong Kong 2015 and 2016.

Tam Wai-Ping, from Hong Kong, is a conceptual artist who works in a range of media such as installation, environmental art and photography. He pays particular attention to the relationship between individuals and the land. Yu Wai-Luen, also from Hong Kong, is a painter who brings together image, text and objects.

Lai Chiu-Chen, ‘The Little Bear Who is Pouring Out All the Stars in the Sky’, 2015. Image courtesy Lin & Lin Gallery.

Lai Chiu-Chen, ‘The Little Bear Who is Pouring Out All the Stars in the Sky’, 2015. Image courtesy Lin & Lin Gallery.

5. Lin & Lin Gallery from Taiwan

Lin & Lin Gallery, based in Taiwan, is exhibiting Chinese artists Lai Chiu-Chen and Liu Shih-Tung. Lin & Lin Gallery has worked with Chinese artists for many years, creating a well-established platform for the promotion of local culture.

Painter Lai Chiu-Chen uses pop culture references and a comic book aesthetic to reflect upon contemporary fashions and the artist’s distinct worldview. Liu Shih-Tung works on large-scale installation art, where he develops a process of these ongoing deconstructions and reassembling. He uses various textures, densities, colourings and printing techniques that give depth and richness to his work.

Liu_Shih-Tung, ‘Rhyme’, 2012-2016. Image courtesy Lin & Lin Gallery.

Liu_Shih-Tung, ‘Rhyme’, 2012-2016. Image courtesy Lin & Lin Gallery.

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Some other galleries of note include Khaas Gallery (Islamabad), which focuses on emerging to mid-career Pakistani artists; Mookji Art Collaboration (Shanghai), which has contemporary focus specialising in painting and sculpture; One East Asia (Singapore), which focuses on contemporary Southeast Asian art; and Dastan’s Basement (Tehran) exhibiting emerging Iranian art and experimental art projects.

Claire Wilson

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Related topics: art fairs, market watch, round-up, Taiwanese artists, Hong Kong artists, Korean artists, Indian artists,

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Brittney

By Brittney

Brittney is a writer, curator and contemporary art gallerist. Born in Singapore and based in New York City, Brittney maintains a deep interest in the contemporary art landscape of Southeast Asia. This is combined with an equally strong interest in contemporary art from the Asian diasporas, alongside the issues of identity, transmigration and global relations.

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