ArtAsiaPacific 25th anniversary issue
ArtAsiaPacific’s special 25th anniversary edition is focused on the future. With contributions by game-changing artists, curators, gallerists and other cultural figures who resist face-value analyses of what seems imminent, issue 110 is part science-fiction, part historiography and part pragmatic stock-taking of current realities. This begins with our cover image by Singaporean artist Heman Chong. What at first appears to be a checkerboard grid of futuristic doorways or thresholds to the unknown is in fact a duplicated photograph of the back entrance to a foreign embassy—which for legal reasons must remain anonymous—taken in 2018. The future offers many potentials, albeit bounded by the regimes of the nation-state, historical cultures and the security apparatuses of here and now.
In three anniversary-exclusive Features, we look toward the year 2050 from all angles. In Future Institutions, Rhana Devenport argues for transparent funding models for private, public and hybrid museums, while Lee Yongwoo advocates for the institution as an ecological platform. Aric Chen, Sarah Kenderdine, and Binna Choi, examine, respectively, architectural practices, acts of digital archiving that art spaces are tasked with, and the politics of the commons. For Future Cities, we invited artists Ahmed Mater, Heman Chong, Tallur LN, Liu Chuang and Zian Chen, and art critic Sumi Kang, to speculate on what cultural life might look like from various points on (and sometimes above) Planet Earth. Future Markets features sketches and notes by 25 gallerists from around the world, predicting how selling, acquiring and trading art will morph in the next few decades.
The theme of what lies ahead extends to Essays, where curators Yung Ma and Clara Kim discuss how current curatorial practices can be radicalized. Indonesian collector Wiyu Wahono contrasts the historical significance of Western art and culture with that of his home country, urging present and future collectors to challenge their perspectives on artworks in a world that is constantly relocating its centers.
Our regular columns and articles are similarly concerned with new forms of storytelling in an era of hyperinflated change and transition. In this issue’s Young and Emerging feature, we study the new narratives emerging from a post-Internet generation through the works of Part-time Suite, Morehshin Allahyari, Soda_Jerk, Pannaphan Yodmanee and Özgür Kar. We haven’t forsaken the past entirely, as our feature Then and Now revisits seminal archival texts in previous issues of AAP. In Inside Burger Collection, curator Gianni Jetzer explores the exhibition How to See [What Isn’t There], re-examining the immaterial aspects of our lives that shape our realities.
Elsewhere in the magazine, lawyer Ryan Su warns of acquiring artworks with questionable provenance at auction houses. In One on One, Hong Kong-based duo MAP Office pay tribute to Japanese-Vietnamese artist Jun Nguyen-Hatsushiba, whose underwater films parallel their own studies of ocean culture. In The Point, Hong Kong artist Samson Young pens a semi-fictional column discussing depictions of gay Asian men in film and subversions of gaze in a futuristic, VR adult-film industry. In Where I Work, AAP heads to the technicolored Chiang Mai studio of Mit Jai Inn, who is equally entranced with the raw materiality of paint as well as the practices of a new generation of young artists who herald Thailand’s cultural future.
In 1993, no one could have predicted, or even imagined, what contemporary art would be like in the second decade of the 21st century. Across so many cities on the move, from Istanbul to Beirut, Shanghai to Seoul, there is a wealth of images, news and social-media posts about the future—as it appears today. But day in and out, month by month, year to year, to wrap your head around this multi-headed beast that is our wondrous future, you can confidently turn to the digital and printed pages of ArtAsiaPacific.
Subscribe to the print edition or buy digital copies on iTunes, Google Play, Zinio or Magzter. Subscribers can access our entire back-issue catalog in ArtAsiaPacific’s Digital Library. Download the ArtAsiaPacific City Guide app today to be in the know about events and openings in 53 countries and territories across Asia, the Pacific and the Middle East!