For the September/October issue of ArtAsiaPacific, AAP contributing editor Jyoti Dhar considers New Delhi-based Bengali artist and poet Mithu Sen’s surrealistic imagery and text-based practice. Exploring universal notions of gender and beauty, Sen employs a variety of means, from watercolor paintings and collaged readymades to video and spoken word performances. As Dhar notes, “Fearless, vulgar and antagonistic, Mithu Sen’s work has a way of stopping you in your tracks.”
Similarly challenging expectations is the work of Fahrelnissa Zeid (1901–1991), whose abstract paintings were revered in her native Turkey, as well as in Jordan, and spanned many decades, cities, styles and cultural influences. AAP UAE desk editor Kevin Jones explores Zeid’s lesser-known figurative works created during her time in Jordan in the late 1970s and ’80s.
In another career-spanning feature, we look at the oeuvre of New Zealand’s Billy Apple. Art historian and critic Martin Patrick takes readers from the key moment in the artist’s career in 1962, when young Barrie Bates “rebranded” himself as Billy Apple, to examine the prominent themes underlying his enormous body of work, which comprises 1960s Pop, 1970s conceptualism, institutional critique from the 1980s, and art incorporating cutting-edge science.
We also focus on the work of Hong Kong sculptor Annie Wan Lai-Kuen, who uses clay to disrupt expectations of familiar objects like bricks, cups and books. Paris-based curator Daniel Kurjaković explains that Wan “thins” her ceramic forms, equating the act to “homeopathic dilution, in which, paradoxically, potency is gained through a process of reducing concentration.”
Concluding the Features section is Julian Rosefeldt’s “I Am at War with My Time,” written for our special column Inside Burger Collection. Rosefeldt excerpts and samples 14 different renowned manifestos to create a “manifesto of manifestos.” Intrigued to learn that men authored most of these texts, Rosefeldt restaged these public declarations in a film starring Australian actress Cate Blanchett. Originally captured on video, the work has been specially adapted as still images for print in AAP.
Meanwhile, in Profiles, AAP‘s Almanac contributor Stefan Tarnowski meets with Lebanese-American photographer George Awde to discuss his series on Syrian migrant workers in Lebanon. AAP assistant editor Denise Tsui sits down with Vietnam’s Dinh Q. Lê to hear about his ongoing projects that focus on communities affected by war and upheaval. Singaporean curator Annie Jael Kwan introduces the work of Khmer-American artist Anida Yoeu Ali, whose provocative performances look at race and religion-based conflict. AAP editor-at-large HG Masters met with collector Haro Cümbüşyan to learn more about the formation of his Istanbul-based micro-nonprofit Collectorspace, which exhibits exemplary works from private collections from around the world.
Rounding out the issue, Taiwanese artist Charwei Tsai pens a One on One in admiration of the 20th-century Pakistani modern master Ustad Allah Bakhsh (1895–1978); art scholar Melia Belli Bose files a Dispatch report from Dhaka; and in the Point, Sedition Art founder Harry Blain explains why limited edition digital artworks constitute the most exciting platform for today’s artists and collectors. In Essays, AAP contributing editor Chin-Chin Yap looks at the legal challenges unfolding in the field of drone art, while Taiwan desk editor David Frazier ruminates on a recent initiative to auction off the naming rights to a garbage landfill in Manila. From Dubai, Kevin Jones concludes his three-part series on the UAE’s arts infrastructure with an analysis of its various local collectors.
Finally, in Fine Print, Hong Kong-based attorney Antony Dapiran discusses the urgent need to sign contracts when making high-value art transactions, while the Where I Work section finds AAP visiting the Beijing studio of Xu Bing. Reviews include: Sheela Gowda at Para Site, Hong; Anicka Yi at the MIT List Visual Arts Center, Cambridge; plus much more.
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