For the May/June 2017 issue of ArtAsiaPacific, the editors consider the politicization and commercialization of exhibition-making, and spotlight international artists who will present works at Documenta 14 and the 57th Venice Biennale.
This issue’s cover features the work of Samson Young, Hong Kong’s representative at the Venice Biennale this year who will also take part in Documenta 14’s radio program. AAP managing editor Ysabelle Cheung examines his 13-year career, during which he has investigated the cultural and historical associations of specific sounds. Young discusses the story behind his ambitious new work—inspired by pop music, online myths and cultural imperialism—which he will debut at Hong Kong’s collateral event for Venice.
Also exploring family legends, geopolitical borders and imbalances in today’s globalized world is Tintin Wulia. Independent curator Eva McGovern-Basa sits down with Wulia to discuss notions of migration in her project for the Indonesia Pavilion, 1001 Martian Homes. Wulia reflects: “It’s interesting to hear people comment that my works on the border are so relevant now. Haven’t these issues been relevant since Plato’s Laws (300 BCE)?”
From Manila, AAP contributor Dominic Zinampan revisits the work of enfant terrible Manuel Ocampo, who along with Lani Maestro will present work in the Philippines Pavilion. Zinampan explains the artist’s legacy on the Philippines’ art scene: “He retains a deep affinity with the ever-shifting circumstances arising from within his native country. Ocampo’s message is that we must arm ourselves with humor in order to transcend the traumas of history.”
Similarly targeting social conformity in a materialistic world is Lee Wan. The 38-year-old artist from Seoul will represent South Korea in Venice, along with Cody Choi. Guest contributor Yujin Min walks us through the up-and-coming artist’s work, from his unusual sculptures and assemblages—including hyperrealistic baseballs made of dried, ground chicken meat—to his most recent “Made In” video series that looks at the political implications of capitalism and urbanization in the region.
Capping the Features section is our special column Inside Burger Collection. London-based curators Nicolas de Oliveira and Nicola Oxley focus on Belgian artist Hans Op de Beeck, whose work has appeared in previous editions of the Venice Biennale.
In Profiles, AAP reviews editor Brady Ng goes backstage with Syrian-German “sound scientist” Rashad Becker on the eve of his performance for Documenta 14′s radio program. In Los Angeles, Vietnam desk editor Ruben Luong meets up with filmmaker and artist Tuan Andrew Nguyen to discuss his new film The Island (2017), which debuted at the Whitney Biennial. In Beijing, Olivia Wang interviews ink artist Li Jin, who has captivated audiences with his humorously sensual imagery of lovers, food and prosaic aspects of life.
Elsewhere in the issue, in Essays, Thomas Mouna escorts readers through the quickly vanishing hutong lanes of Beijing, where many creative clusters are mounting engaging art projects. From Kazakhstan, regular contributor Lesley Ann Gray considers sustainable art initiatives for post-oil economies. For The Point, Manu Park, curator and director of Platform-L Contemporary Art Center in Seoul, reflects on how nonprofit and commercial art ventures are increasingly blurred—especially in Asia.
In Reviews, we feature “Postwar: Art Between the Pacific and the Atlantic, 1945–1965” at Munich’s Haus der Kunst and Siah Armajani‘s mini-retrospective exhibition in Hong Kong, while senior editor Don J. Cohn looks at the legacy of Ren Hang and the work of Mao Ishikawa, two photographers whose monographs feature glimpses into the private lives of their friends and contemporaries. In Where I Work, UAE desk editor Kevin Jones travels to the studio of Sahand Hesamiyan in Tehran, where he views the artist’s large-scale geometric sculptures.
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