ArtAsiaPacific‘s November/December issue begins with a look at artistic life in China in the 1970s, specifically through the small landscape paintings of Li Shan. One of the youngest members of the No Name Painting Society, or Wuming Huahui, Li was widely admired by her peers for her gentle, luminous paintings of Beijing. Together this loose band of largely self-taught artists would gather for clandestine group outings and paint exquisite, pocket-sized landscapes. Li’s innocent paintings of park benches, vistas through archways, plant life and snowscapes have now become a visual record of a China long since forgotten.
Also taking inspiration from nature and confrontations with history is Australian artist Nicholas Mangan. AAP guest contributor and curator Pedro de Almeida paid a visit to Mangan’s Melbourne studio and attended his exhibition in September at Artspace in Sydney to investigate his enigmatic works, which encompass installation, sculpture, collage, photography and video. Meanwhile, AAP editor-at-large HG Masters headed to Zürich, where he discussed visibility, the nature of perception, and belief in the paranormal world with New Zealander Dane Mitchell, known in his home country for his irreverent art-world antics: In 1999, he rummaged through the trash of Auckland’s Gow Langsford Gallery and displayed the memos, shredded paper and other discarded materials he found there in order to spotlight a commercial gallery’s unseen activities.
In our special column Inside the Burger Collection, guest contributor Thorsten Albertz sat down with artist and filmmaker Pierre Bismuth to discuss his forthcoming film Where Is Rocky II?, which features detectives searching for American artist Ed Ruscha’s artificial rock, hidden in the American Mojave Desert in the 1970s, while Hollywood screenwriters conjure up facts about the mysterious fabricated stone. Finally, turning her attention to Dhaka, art historian Melia Belli Bose introduces the work of three leading women artists—Tayeba Begum Lipi, Dilara Begum Jolly and Nazia Andaleeb Preema—who explore their identities in a postcolonial, patriarchal and increasingly globalized Bangladesh.
For our Profiles section, AAP reviews editor Hanae Ko met Tibetan artist Tsherin Sherpa in California’s Bay Area as he was putting the finishing touches on work that will be included at the 8th Asia Pacific Triennial of Contemporary Art in Brisbane. In Singapore, AAP associate editor Sylvia Tsai interviewed Eugene Tan, founding director of the new National Gallery Singapore, which will be unveiled in late November. AAP contributing editor Chin-Chin Yap flew to Amsterdam in search of Aarnout Helb, eccentric collector and founder of the unconventional Greenbox Museum of Contemporary Art from Saudi Arabia. From Sydney, AAP contributing editor Michael Young painter and animator Del Kathryn Barton’s love of fantastical creatures.
In Essays, HG Masters considers the painful artistic legacy of the 1915 genocide of 1.5 million Armenians by the Ottoman government in this year of centennial commemorations. From Shanghai, Arthur Solway of James Cohan Gallery reflects on the many foreign galleries that have established operations in China and their impact on a shrinking and increasingly mature playing field.
Rounding out the issue, Simon Wright of Queensland Art Gallery | Gallery of Modern Art drafts a Dispatch report from Brisbane; in Fine Print, Hong Kong-based art lawyer Antony Dapiran reminds collectors of the importance of getting things down in black and white, whether in the form of a contract or an email; and AAP contributor Simon Frank visits the studio of British-Iranian artist Shirazeh Houshiary in the pastoral outskirts of London. Reviews for this issue include: Dinh Q. Lê at Mori Art Museum, Tokyo; Aki Sasamoto at Harmony Murphy, Los Angeles; and much more.