For the July/August issue of AAP, we look at visual artists whose practice intertwines elements of other creative disciplines—such as music, philosophy, writing, design or activism—and whose following extends beyond the confines of the art world.
Our Features begin with painter Tomoo Gokita, a boho-geek and hero on the zine and indie-music scenes. Last November, AAP visited the modest Tokyo studio of the jovial 46-year-old illustrator-turned-artist, who discussed his love of vintage magazines, wrestling and paint itself.
AAP contributing editor Michael Young delves into the life and artistic methods of Zhao Zhao, the young self-proclaimed hooligan-style artist who shot Ai Weiwei’s politically sensitive documentaries when serving as his amanuensis and has continued to cause trouble ever since. Young reveals how Zhao’s innate radicalism shines through, whether he is stealing remnants from famous works of art to incorporate into his own, or reconstituting ancient, stone Buddhist sculptures into tidy minimalist cubes that look just right in a gallery setting.
We also examine the provocative practice of 36-year-old Lebanese artist Raed Yassin, whose medley of media encompasses music, sound, text, installation and film. Guest contributor Stephanie Bailey examines Yassin’s prolific career to date, as an accomplished experimental musician and artist, whose works run from playful musical compositions accompanying food recipes to his more personal whimsical embroideries based on lost family photographs.
Rounding out the Features, for our special column Inside the Burger Collection, artist, critic and educator Quddus Mirza interviews Mumbai-based artist Reena Kallat. Together they discuss Kallat’s use of quotidian materials such as salt, flowers and birds as a way of engaging the public in questions about political issues such as national boundaries and historical truth.
In Profiles, AAP contributing editor Jyoti Dhar sits down with Neha Choksi in Mumbai to discuss how existentialist concepts seep into her performances and installations. AAP Manila desk editor Marlyne Sahakian and Jennifer Baum Lagdameo meet with Patricia Perez Eustaquio, a fashion designer turned artist who has won two prestigious Filipino art prizes in recent years. And on the eve of his first solo show in Hong Kong, Amani Vassiliou catches up with Japan’s Yoshitomo Nara, who discusses how the 2011 Tōhoku earthquake focused his current artistic output on the impermanence of life. Wrapping up the section, we meet the entrepreneurial David Chau, a young Shanghai-based art enthusiast with an affinity for buying art and backing commercial art projects.
In Essays, AAP Dubai desk editor Kevin Jones offers the second installment of our three-part exploration of the United Arab Emirates’ developing cultural landscape—this time focusing on the dynamic visions of the commercial, institutional and nonprofit art organizations in Dubai, Sharjah and Abu Dhabi. And Paul Serfaty composes an in-depth study of Hong Kong ink painter Wai Pongyu’s recent ballpoint-pen sketches based on visits to Japanese Buddhist temples.
For the Point, Dorsey Waxter, longtime gallerist and current president of the Art Dealers Association of America, confronts the growing trend of online art consumption, arguing in favor of the need to keep looking at art up close, offline and in real time. From Beijing, independent curator and critic Feng Boyi files a Dispatch report, offering a thorny diagnosis of the market-plagued state of the city’s art scene. In One on One, conceptual Korean-American sculptor Michael Joo reminisces about his unfolding encounters over two decades with the absurdist works of Seoul-based artist Kim Beom. For Where I Work, AAP contributing editor Chin-Chin Yap visits the Jeddah studio of Ahmed Mater—a surgeon, artist and curator, who has helped build a homegrown arts community in Saudi Arabia. Mater’s life is just one of the remarkable stories in this issue that reveals how identity-shifting brings new life to old forms.
Select articles now online in Arabic and Chinese: artasiapacific.com