ArtAsiaPacific Almanac 2016
For ArtAsiaPacific‘s first issue of 2016 we present Almanac XI, a compendium of the most significant art events of 2015 and a look ahead at what’s next in 2016. In addition to spotlighting the 53 countries that constitute our active footprint, the Almanac extends to the rest of the world—wherever the artists of Asia, the Pacific and the Middle East work and wherever their work is shown, traded and critiqued.
This year’s Almanac marks our 11th edition of this particular endeavor, ushering us into the second decade of this enormous project. In following the people, institutions, organizations and businesses that shape the art world, as well as statistics on arts funding, education and even GDP, the Almanac has become a critical record of art ecosystems during a transformative time. Looking back on the decade since we embarked on the very first Almanac, in 2005, there is no denying how the artistic landscape in many countries has changed, for better or worse.
The complex undertaking of compiling the Almanac is only made possible by the joint efforts of our editors and contributors, who themselves are spread around the world and whose access to and knowledge of these countries stem from personal experience and interviews with influential figures and active participants. Hunting and gathering facts, figures and opinions that accurately reflect the art world across the globe—including for such countries as Bahrain, East Timor, Iran, Kyrgyzstan, Laos and Macau—requires a special kind of patience, persistence and perspicacity that can only be honed by vigorous trekking through galleries, poring through print sources and the pursuit of high-wire searches online.
We’ve also invited influential art-world figures to reflect on the major cultural events of 2015 and the year to come in 2016, including Joselina Cruz, director and curator of the Museum of Contemporary Art and Design, Manila; mixed-media artist Rashid Rana from Lahore; Tehran-based collector, curator and gallerist Nazila Noebashari; Cosmin Costinas, executive director and curator of Hong Kong’s nonprofit art space Para Site; and Mono-ha artist Kishio Suga from Japan. The Five Plus One section, in which our editors have selected five artists who made a significant impact in 2015 and one who promises to do so in 2016, features profiles of artists as varied in outlook as Etel Adnan, Simon Denny, Yang Fudong, Dinh Q. Lê, Jitish Kallat and Maria Taniguchi. The editors have also picked the ten best gallery and museum shows of the year, and 12 of our favorite books.