July 9, 2010 - ArtAsiaPacific - issue #69 available now
July 9, 2010

issue #69 available now

Issue #69 July/August

With the advent of Google, Wikipedia and the global embrace of an easy-share, watered-down aesthetic in everything from architecture to graphic design, so-called innovations to connect the world and make it seem smaller also raise the question of what constitutes “collective memory.” Artists are often early barometers of change, and an interest in archiving and reclaiming one’s own history has recently become a prominent topic. By unearthing overlooked themes in the art of the Asia-Pacific region, ArtAsiaPacific‘s July/August issue makes its own contribution to the archives of the future.

This issue’s cover illustrates the enigmatic and rarely discussed work of Lee Seung-taek. Features editor Ashley Rawlings explores Lee’s 50-year career, during which he has made huge, experimental “non-sculptures” in the Korean landscape, often with nobody there to witness them. Similarly, contributing editor Murtaza Vali examines the restrained practice of Siah Armajani, an Iranian sculptor with political, poetic and formalist concerns who has lived in the United States since the early 1960s and who recently began creating art in response to periods of social upheaval in his native country. Christina Yu discusses how the zongti yishu, or “total art,” of Beijing’s Qiu Zhijie encompasses “not only different art forms … but also sociology, anthropology, philosophy, psychology and other branches of the humanities” as a means of interpreting the world.

Elsewhere in features, managing editor William Pym reappraises the controversial Indigenous Australian painter and video artist Richard Bell and his alter ego, “Richie,” while editor-at-large HG Masters gets together with Tel Aviv’s Sigalit Landau, just prior to the announcement that she will represent Israel at the 2011 Venice Biennale. Masters considers Landau’s predilection for the “morbid, masochistic and postapocalpytic,” and anticipates the shape her work might take in the unfortunate event of a second Gaza War.

In Essays, Daniel Fuller unreels meaning behind a short film about a Kuala Lumpur apartment block by Chris Chong Chan Fui, and Andrew Berardini explores the hazy origins of the United States’ postwar repackaging of Polynesian culture through a discussion of Californian conceptualist Jeffrey Vallance. In Profiles, leading Chinese painter Fang Lijun discusses the difficulty of achieving an objective understanding of art, and assistant editor Hanae Ko talks with Tran Luong, who reflects on creating a community of new-media artists in Vietnam during the 1990s. Sophie Richard looks at a two-decade art project that aims to revive remote island economies in Japan’s Seto Inland Sea, Nadim Abbas considers Shahzia Sikander‘s radical departures from the Indo-Persian miniatures for which she is revered, and Hemant Sareen studies the work of New Delhi-based graphic novelist and artist Sarnath Banerjee.

Among our commissioned projects, Rina Banerjee shares her eight favorite source materials for her ethnographic-fantasy-inspired installations, while Noor Effendy Ibrahim, the newly appointed artistic director of Singapore’s Substation, jots us a postcard from home. Tokyo’s Akira Yamaguchi sketches out an idea for a neo-nihonga painting on a napkin, and for Where I Work, Emily Cormack visits the studio of Melbourne’s Sally Smart.

In our long-form review, Malcolm Cossons takes a look at “When Three Dreams Cross,” a sweeping photographic survey spanning 150 years at London’s Whitechapel Gallery, and senior editor Don J. Cohn covers two new publications on film and visual culture in India and Pakistan, as well as a surprising artist’s book by Aisha Khalid that is at once delightfully blank and full of persuasive, subliminal narrative.

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