May/June 2015

May/June 2015


May 4, 2015

May/June 2015

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When contemplating what to cover in the May/June issue of ArtAsiaPacific, we were naturally compelled to consider the upcoming Venice Biennale. For this issue, the editors gaze back at some of the recent participants at Venice, and look forward to figures who merit inclusion in future Biennales.

Our cover Feature introduces the Chinese collective Polit-Sheer-Form, comprised of artists Song Dong, Xiao Yu, Hong Hao and Liu Jianhua and dealer-critic Leng Lin. Guest contributor Ingrid Dudek writes about the group’s ephemeral projects: “The works are confounding, elusive, full of contradictions and easily given to one-liners. At the same time … their oeuvre presents one of the more subtle and sincere articulations of political experience by this generation of Chinese artists … they cautiously celebrate the unsung pleasures of the communist period, while also providing a critical corrective to their own highly individualistic era.”

After Singapore opted out of Venice in 2013, the country returns this year with artist and filmmaker Charles Lim at the helm. AAP reviews editor Hanae Ko speaks to Lim and curator Shabbir Hussain Mustafa, as they prepare to install the new pavilion in the Arsenale.

Elsewhere, Latin America desk editor Inti Guerrero considers the founding figures of Brazilian modernism by reviewing the influence of Japanese-Brazilian artists in São Paulo. In the 1950s, while most Brazilian artists embraced Bauhaus-inspired geometric and constructivist abstraction, the first and second generations of Japanese-Brazilian artists, who pursued “informal abstraction,” played a key role in fostering the country’s cultural modernity.

Also in Features, AAP editor-at-large HG Masters discusses the works of Nevin Aladağ. Kurdish and Turkish by birth and German by upbringing, Aladağ explores the hybrid nature of contemporary culture in Europe—particularly among minorities—through sculptural installations, mixed-media assemblages, videos and performances.

Wrapping up the Features is our special column Inside Burger Collection. In this issue, we look at Khoj, the influential artists’ association based in South Delhi that has catalyzed and enabled experimental and challenging practices of contemporary art-making in India.

In our Profiles section, we focus on some of the curators who are collaborating with artists taking part in this year’s Venice Biennale. The major facilitators include Sheikha Hoor bint Sultan al-Qasimi, who is presenting little-known yet influential figures from the United Arab Emirates; Tate’s Sook-Kyung Lee, who will oversee the Korea Pavilion; Robert Leonard, chief curator of City Gallery, Wellington, New Zealand; and Patrick D. Flores, curator of the Vargas Museum, at the University of the Philippines, and the country’s second exhibition in Venice after a 51-year absence.

In Essays, both concerned with West Asia, Jeddah-based artist Ahmed Mater articulates the challenges of initiating arts education in conservative Saudi Arabia, and AAP Dubai desk editor Kevin Jones begins a three-part series considering the fledgling arts infrastructure in the UAE.

In The Point, Catherine Levene, CEO of online platform Artspace, explains how the internet can connect the art world and generate greater visibility and audiences. Koki Tanaka pens a One on One in admiration of the late, Cuban-born Félix González-Torres, while artist Sutthirat Supaparinya files a Dispatch from Chiang Mai, Thailand. In Where I Work, AAP Hong Kong desk editor Siobhan Bent visits performance and ink artist Frog King’s eclectic studio.

And finally, we review Playing with Slippery Lubricants: Apinan Poshyananda, Selected Writings, 19932004, an anthology of essays and texts by Thailand’s acclaimed scholar, curator and now secretary for the Thai Ministry of Culture. His collection covers everything from anthropophagy to performance art in Asia, while offering reflections on artists Marina Abramović and Yasumasa Morimura. Reading these texts makes us wish Apinan were back in curatorial action at a major international art event—the Venice Biennale, perhaps.

Select articles now online in Arabic and Chinese here.

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