ArtAsiaPacific March/April 2013


March 5, 2013

Out now

The March/April issue of ArtAsiaPacific examines the work of artists who attempt to capture the fleeting and quotidian. For our cover feature, AAP’s managing editor John Jervis met Lee Kit—who makes painted tablecloths and cardboard clones of brand-name goods—for an interview, only to discover the next day that he had lost his voice recorder at a bar. Jervis reveals that somehow the sequence of events seemed fitting when writing about the Hong Kong artist. He sums up, “Lee is seeking to capture what he feels are inexplicable emotions and memories through the exploration of familiar yet uncertain spaces, and the brands and songs that are the backgrounds to so much of our lives.”

From Sydney, guest contributor Michael Fitzgerald delves into the work of Simryn Gill. Of Indian descent, born in Singapore, raised in Malaysia and now based in Sydney, Gill often examines the “experience of in-between-ness.” In the project titled May 2006, Gill set out to shoot one roll of black-and-white film every day for a month. She took photographs of, among other things, a frangipani tree draping a Spanish Mission-style house and dusk peeking through a railway overpass. Other works, such as her text-based works in which all the spaces between words are omitted in her typed manuscript, have been too conveniently labeled by some as minimalist. But, as Fitzgerald points out, her works are “drenched in their own precise sense of time and place,” although that doesn’t exclude the charge of minimalism.

From Beirut, independent curator Nat Muller discusses how violence and history are remembered and forgotten in the work of Lebanese artists Joana Hadjithomas and Khalil Joreige. The duo’s most recent project, The Lebanese Rocket Society, rekindles a lost dream by uncovering a neglected moment in 1960s history, when Lebanon entered the international space race with the development of their first rocket program.

Capping off our features, editor-at-large HG Masters looks at new and less familiar forms of abstract art produced by six contemporary artists. Byron Kim and Etel Adnan walk the line between realism and the nonrepresentational. The paintings of Fahd Burki and Raafat Ishak deploy inscrutable yet uncanny iconographies, while Masood Kamandy and Palden Weinreb both explore the many variations on abstract art facilitated by digital technology. 

In Profiles, we interview Palestinian-American art historian and curator Salwa Mikdadi, who looks back on 40 years of meeting artists and organizing exhibitions from the West Asia region. Our reviews editor, Hanae Ko, meets Chadraabal Adiyabazar, artist and director of the Mongolian National Modern Art Gallery, who shares his hopes for the fledgling art scene in the landlocked nation. Manila desk editor Marlyne Sahakian takes a detailed look at the practice of Kawayan de Guia and his efforts to revitalize the artistic community in his hometown in the Philippines.

In Essays, artist Liu Ding tells the story of his friend Wang Luyan of the New Measurement Group—a three-member initiative of avant-garde Chinese artists—and Wang’s recollection of going to the makeshift Democracy Wall in Beijing in 1978, where he saw a large, captivating banner painting of a poplar tree. Also contemplating recent histories, Madrid desk editor Rebecca Close considers the historical meta-narratives found in museum exhibitions and displays by Iranian duo Nasrin Tabatabai and Babak Afrassiabi. And contributing editor Chin-Chin Yap examines the longtime copyright love affair between Campbell’s Soup Company and Andy Warhol. 

Rounding out the issue, New York lawyer Enrique Liberman walks us through the due diligence process when contemplating the purchase of a new work of art in Fine Print. For The Point, independent curator Shinya Watanabe views the art market through the Buddhist lens of life after free will. In Questionnaire, Indian artist LN Tallur explains that if he wasn’t an artist he would be living in the Himalayas as an astrologer. And in One on One, Singapore’s Song-Ming Ang spells out his fascination for the mundane performances captured on video by Yamashita and Kobayashi.

Select articles now online in Arabic and Chinese:

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