March/April 2015


March 3, 2015

March/April 2015

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M is for March, money and madness. The art world is in for a dizzying month that includes the Sharjah Biennial, the Armory Show and Asia Week in New York, TEFAF in Maastricht, followed by Art Basel and Art Central in Hong Kong, which close on the heels of Art Dubai and Art Fair Tokyo. This issue of ArtAsiaPacific looks at the personalities who nurture the market and the local conditions that create and sustain dynamic art communities. 

The Features section presents a poignant tribute to the late Robert H. Ellsworth, penned by curator Alexandra Munroe of the Guggenheim Museum. Ellsworth, who passed away in August 2014, was a legendary self-taught art dealer, philanthropist, collector and mentor in the field of Chinese and Asian art.

From Hong Kong, M+ chief curator Doryun Chong reflects on the eschatological universe of Paris-based Chinese artist Huang Yong Ping. Chosen for next year’s Monumenta commission at the Grand Palais in Paris, Huang’s allegorical works, incorporating taxidermied animals, religious iconography, and Duchampian ideas of the readymade, continue to fascinate viewers.

Storytellers looking at the past, present and future include Palestinian artists Basel Abbas and Ruanne Abou-Rahme, whose densely layered multimedia work has been favored by curators in recent years. Dubai desk editor Kevin Jones met them in their New York studio to discuss their practice, which is centered around sampling and fusing sounds, images and multiple narratives to create an archive of the now. 

London-based artist Chosil Kil is also described as a storyteller, and story-creator, by Dallas Museum of Art’s Gabriel Ritter. Kil, who uses personal artifacts and unlikely objects in her installations, weaves together tales that are part fictional, part real. Resulting in charmingly bewildering situations, Kil invites audiences to inject their own interpretations and associations, fulfilling the conceptual potential of objects.

Wrapping up the Features is our special column, Inside Burger Collection, where on the eve of his inclusion in the group exhibition More Konzeption Conception Now at the Museum Morsbroich, Berlin-based artist Fiete Stolte conducts an interview with himself through a mirror. 

In Essays, Stephanie Bailey reflects on artistic life in Hong Kong prior to the arrival of Art Basel, and Ashley Rawlings of Blum & Poe elucidates a compelling argument for setting up shop in Tokyo—a city that has spawned many important 20th-century art movements and served as home to a dynamic art market until the Japanese recession of the 1990s.  

Our Profiles section looks at collectors whose support for the arts extends beyond simple buying: David Walsh, founder of the Museum of Old and New Art in Tasmania; Jakarta’s Wiyu Wahono, who aims to help educate young collectors in Indonesia; Alan Lau, a noted advocate of the Hong Kong art scene; Chen Bo-Wen from Taipei, a portion of whose collection will be on view at the Hong Kong Arts Centre in March; Füsun Eczacıbaşı, co-founder of the Istanbul-based nonprofit Saha; and New York’s Thea Westreich Wagner and Ethan Wagner, who will soon donate significant holdings of their collection to the Whitney Museum of Art and the Centre Pompidou. 

In One on One, Hong Kong artist Ho Sin Tung explains her admiration for author Zhong Ling Ling, and contributing editor Hendro Wiyanto files a dispatch from Indonesia’s artistic center, Yogyakarta. In Fine Print, Antony Dapiran discusses “illegal” street art, the issues surrounding their preservation and finding a balance between respecting both art and law. In Where I Work, AAP visits Thai artist Yuree Kensaku in Bangkok, and for the Point, Dslcollection’s Sylvain Levy shares why he and his wife decided to place their art collection on public view online. So if March isn’t mad enough for you, with its blitz of biennials, auctions and fairs, it’s good to know that more, more, more is just a few clicks away!

Select articles now online in Arabic and Chinese here. Subscribe to the print edition, buy digital copies on iTunesZinio or Magzter.