May 7, 2010 - ArtAsiaPacific - Issue #68 available now
May 7, 2010

Issue #68 available now

Issue #68 May/June

Out now

In the lead-up to major cultural events including the Shanghai Expo and the Biennale of Sydney, ArtAsiaPacific adopts an optimistic view of the future in our May/June issue. Inspired by the mission of the World’s Fair to promote cross-cultural gatherings not as contests but as opportunities for human advancement through the exchange of ideas, we explore how artists pursue aesthetics and politics in the hope of seeing their way through a world that is both dizzy with change and mired in old fears and assumptions.

Features include managing editor William Pym’s rumination on the 17th edition of the Biennale of Sydney with artistic director David Elliott, who touches on the ways that contemporary art finds beauty in our differences, and how artists’ uses of irony, illusion and distance can shed light on societal inequalities. Features editor Ashley Rawlings navigates the practice of Melbourne-based artist Brook Andrew, a participant in the Biennale, whose prints and vibrant installations rework archival ethnographic imagery to attest to the abuse of power and the displacement of Indigenous peoples in the 19th century. Editor-at-large HG Masters celebrates the 50-plus-year practice of Iranian artist Monir Shahroudy Farmanfarmaian, whose intricate mirror works unite hard-edged 20th-century abstraction with traditional Persian craftsmanship and the legacy of decorative and symbolic Islamic geometry. James Trainor mines the work of Jerusalem-born video artist Omer Fast, hailed for his investigations into the mediated experiences of film, television and narrative storytelling, and contributing editor Olivier Krischer examines the controversial career of Beijing-based artist duo Sun Yuan and Peng Yu.

For Essays, independent curator Eliza Tan reads between the lines of Ming Wong‘s new video installation, Life and Death in Venice, and finds the young Singaporean artist, recently awarded a Special Mention at the 2009 Venice Biennale, discreetly reflecting on the challenges of international recognition. Contributor Joseph Newland considers a 1960s reprint of a 15th-century Japanese scroll, and proposes how a publication might function, reborn, as a contemporary artwork. In Profiles, Irina Makarova speaks to Kazakhstan’s Erbossyn Meldibekov about themes of Central Asia’s post-Soviet “collapse of culture” in his performative work, while Meg Maggio interviews Chinese photographer and video artist Wang Qingsong about his elaborate working methods, and Shanay Jhaveri introduces the work of 26-year-old Filipino filmmaker Raya Martin, whose Independencia was selected for the Un Certain Regard section of last year’s Cannes Film Festival.

Reviews include Alexander Keefe’s culturally contextualized read of “Hanging Fire,” a landmark group exhibition of contemporary art from Pakistan at Asia Society in New York; contributing editor Murtaza Vali’s close look at the intricate installation work of Danh Vo in Basel; and reviews of significant historical shows and festivals in Baku, Darwin, Tel Aviv and Shanghai. In Books, senior editor Don J. Cohn compares two compendiums of interviews in China by roving European curators Hans Ulrich Obrist and Jérôme Sans.

In commissioned projects, Wish You Were Here brings us a candid postcard from Massimiliano Gioni, director of special exhibitions at the New Museum in New York and the artistic director of the forthcoming Gwangju Biennial, during one of his many research trips to South Korea. For Ideas on a Napkin, Cary Kwok considers the finer elements of style while sitting in a London coffee shop. And in My Eight, Raqib Shaw reminds us to take time and smell the flowers in our dogged search for peace and progress.

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