For the July/August issue of ArtAsiaPacific, we focus on the practice of Pio Abad, whose work—a silk scarf printed with a silhouette of Imelda Marcos, former First Lady of the Philippines—is featured on the cover. The London-based Filipino artist is obsessed with the Marcos family and the power they misused while ruling the Philippines for two decades. AAP‘s Philippines desk editor Marlyne Sahakian talked with Abad in his London studio, where, Sahakian writes, “Abad has since uncovered many of the items associated with the infamous family, from both their public and private lives, from the precious to the mundane, and painstakingly examined them to lay bare the power structures at play in the creation of national identities and political regimes such as the Philippines.”
In Istanbul, AAP editor at large HG Masters surveys the career of Hale Tenger, one of Turkey’s most daring and politically engaged artists. Born in 1960, Tenger grew up during the political violence of the 1970s that eventually led to the military coup in the 1980s. She belongs to a generation of artists who spoke out against the culture of violence that the country endured up through the Kurdish conflicts of the 1990s and 2000s—and which has returned with a new ferocity in the past year—and her commentary often appeared visually in her installations of charged symbols and oppressive environments. As Masters revisits some of her most controversial pieces, he notes how Tenger’s work feels eerily relevant today.
Japanese independent curator Hitomi Hasegawa spotlights the growing number of artists and curators working in Japan who choose to reject government support in order to sidestep potential censorship when commenting on life, post-Fukushima. Similarly, in our special feature Inside the Burger Collection, Tra Nguyen, general manager of leading nonprofit Sàn Art in Vietnam, pens a short story about an uncanny conversation with a mysterious character.
In Profiles, former AAP editor Susan Acret meets Japanese installation artist Chiharu Shiota, known for her elaborate works often involving thread, beds and keys. From Manila, Jennifer Baum Lagdameo sits down with video artist Martha Atienza to discuss her socially engaged practice that often delves into economic and environmental issues. Rounding out the section, Amsterdam-based independent curator Kerstin Winking introduces the work of another video artist, Pallavi Paul of New Delhi, who weaves together archival footage with her own documentary recordings of political protests.
In Essays, HG Masters looks at what an “indigenized” paradigm might mean after spending time at curator Stephen Gilchrist’s exhibition “Everywhen: The Eternal Present in Indigenous Art from Australia,” recently hosted at the Harvard Art Museums. AAP assistant editor Denise Tsui reflects on Sharjah Art Foundation’s 2016 March Meeting and the strategies proposed during the conference for safeguarding the role of art education in an increasingly market-driven art ecology.
Elsewhere in the issue, for The Point, video artist Paul Pfeiffer contemplates the idea of home from the position of a transnational artist working today. Kyoto-based artist Teppei Kaneuji, known for his sculptures made of unconventional materials, explains his love of noise-punk musician EYヨ in One on One. Allegorical characters from Persian literature are the focus of works by Afghan artist Khadim Ali, whom AAP contributing editor Michael Young visits in his new Sydney studio for Where I Work. Reviews include: Olafur Eliasson at Long Museum, Shanghai; Fearless: The Next Wave of Artists from Iran at Total Arts at the Courtyard, Dubai; plus much more.
Select articles now online in Arabic and Chinese: artasiapacific.com