Almanac 2024

Almanac 2024


Design: Joyce Wong.

January 3, 2024
Almanac 2024
Volume XIX
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Getting back to business was a top priority for countries across the world in 2023, no more so than for countries across Asia that continue to address numerous challenges—from economic slowdowns and technological transitions, geopolitical and internal conflicts, and the diverse impacts of climate change.

In this 19th edition of the annual ArtAsiaPacific Almanac, we survey the events of an art world back in action and gearing up for more major events in 2024. In our 15 City Reports, we hear from artists, writers, and curators who have been deeply involved in cultural activities in the places where they live and work. We speak with artist Jonathan Jones, whose mid-December exhibition opened in Artspace’s newly renovated building in Sydney, about how his works connect historical and contemporary Australia. From Seoul, we track the dynamic development of Korea’s art scene and hear about Shanghai’s reemergence for its annual November art week. The Philippines’ art scene was able to reconnect across islands, as Portia Placino recounts from Manila, while, from Ho Chi Minh City, curator Hung Duong portrays the art community’s resilience and can-do attitude. Artist Shubigi Rao reflects on her curatorial and artistic projects spanning the 2022–23 Kochi-Muziris Biennale and major exhibitions in Hong Kong and Shanghai. From Beirut, filmmaker and artist Ahmad Ghossein reveals the emotional tolls of Lebanon’s unfolding disasters in an essay adapted from his recent exhibition. We also cover the fraught cultural conditions in Istanbul, and hear about challenges facing cultural organizations in London under the UK’s austerity regime.

Along with the world’s metropolises, this year’s City Reports take on less prominent localities. From the largely inaccessible Fukushima Exclusion Zone, curator Jason Waite reports from an exhibition site amid a long-duration disaster. Artist duo Enzo Camacho and Ami Lien reflect on their latest project about the legacy of a violent massacre on Negros Island in the Philippines. Jakkai Siributr recounts working with minority and stateless communities across Thailand, as well as unraveling his own family’s history. Photographers Shahidul Alam, Tanzim Wahab, and Munem Wasif respond to German authorities who canceled the photo biennial they had curated for March 2024 due to social media posts by Alam. Sim Chi Yin, an artist from Singapore who works across geographies and colonial histories, relates the evolution of her archival-based practice. 

In the News section, we survey major triumphs and challenges, from awards to career transitions and controversies. Our Cultural Currency section looks at emerging trends in art fairs and auctions amid a year of modest recovery. For the Exhibitions of the Year, we highlight the major showcases that marked institutions’ full return to programming, from midcareer surveys of important contemporary artists, to break-out shows of emerging figures, and historical reviews that spotlight important cultural figures. In similar fashion, the Festivals section marks the reprisal of mega-events in Dhaka, Sharjah, Gwangju, Shanghai, Taipei, and Chiang Rai. Meanwhile, our Artists of 2023—Tuan Andrew Nguyen, Simone Fattal, Hajra Waheed, Tromarama, Tishan Hsu, and Farah Al Qasimi—exhibited in prominent venues and inspired conversations throughout the year. 

While returning to normal has been a challenge, the ArtAsiaPacific Almanac 2024 would not be possible without the generous support of Burger Collection, Jean-Marc Bottazzi, CL3 Architects, Kukje Gallery, Mapletree, Soluna Fine Art, and Simon Suen Foundation. We are very grateful to the many people who support ArtAsiaPacific throughout the year, including the contributors and organizations that share their time, thoughts, images, and information with us. As always, we look forward to a new year of engaging with artists and cultural communities around the world.

A digital edition of the full ArtAsiaPacific Almanac 2024 is now available for purchase on Zinio, Google Play, iTunes, and Magzter.

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