ArtAsiaPacific March/April 2012


March 5, 2012

ArtAsiaPacific March/April 2011

Out Now

In our March/April issue, ArtAsiaPacific explores ideas of creative self-determination and examines some of the leading artist-run collectives in the Asia region. For the cover feature, editor-at-large HG Masters considers the work of Berlin-based Vietnamese artist Danh Vo. Masters takes a close look at the artist’s ongoing fascination with the United States and concepts of birthright, assimilation and freedom, and describes Vo’s process as “thinking about objects as vessels of history, and as a result of certain legal relationships (owned, inherited, borrowed, appropriated, stolen), between the artist and their owner, is more akin to how an archaeologist or anthropologist approaches found artifacts.” Also mining modern history, contributing editor Andrew Cohen travels to Beijing to examine the early influences of Political Pop artist Wang Guangyi, particularly his largely unknown work created while he was a member of the Northern Art Group. Here, Cohen investigates the impact of the frigid climes of Wang’s hometown of Harbin, French Revolutionary paintings and Taoism on Wang’s lesser-known works. 

In China, Japan, Korea, Taiwan and Hong Kong, a group of young artists has started to question what constitutes “community.” Managing editor Olivier Krischer sits down with the directors of several artist-run initiatives, such as Woofer Ten in Hong Kong and LAB39 in Seoul’s Mullae Artist Village, to discuss their strategies for survival, including their special brand of art activism, which they dub “artivism,” and the networks between these artists that are forming in these Asian megalopolises. Sandhini Poddar, Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum associate curator for Asian Art, traces the social activism that spurred the development of India’s new-media art community, beginning with artists such as Navjot Altaf, the late Rummana Hussain, Nalini Malani and Vivan Sundaram, and brings us up to the present through the politically astute work of Amar Kanwar, Raqs Media Collective and Desire Machine Collective. 

In Essays, Julia Holderness files a report from Christchurch, one year after the 7.1-magnitude earthquake rocked the New Zealand city, and talks with local residents about how the role of art and artists aids reconstruction efforts. Rachel Kent, senior curator of the Museum of Contemporary Art, Sydney, questions the meaning and purpose of national survey shows through the recent exhibition “Paris-Delhi-Bombay” at the Centre Pompidou in Paris. In her column, Case Study, contributing editor Chin-Chin Yap sifts through the copyright quandary that surrounds artists Pierre Huyghe and Philippe Parreno’s doe-eyed manga character Annlee, who was so adored by the international art world that her French creators decided to emancipate, or terminate, her in 2002. Among Profiles, in New Delhi, Jyoti Dhar interviews Sheba Chhachhi, whose large-scale public projects in the Indian capital carry compelling messages about feminism and water conservation to city residents.

For the Point, Amman-based Palestinian artist Ala Younis reflects on what it means to live, and survive, in a time of revolution, one year after the first stirrings of the Arab Spring. In Dispatch, contributing editor Sara Raza travels to Tashkent to witness the burgeoning Uzbek art scene. And from Japan, Edan Corkill’s Last Word discusses the latest cultural initiatives that are rekindling a love affair between East and West Asia.

Reviews take us from Darwin to Los Angeles. Our lead review mulls over the recent Istanbul Biennial, while in Doha, we attend Cai Guo-Qiang’s first solo exhibition at Mathaf: Arab Museum of Modern Art; and in London we visit Iniva (Institute of International Visual Arts) to see “Entanglement: the Ambivalence of Identity,” a group show that reflects on the complexities of living in more than one culture. Senior editor Don J. Cohn reviews three books dedicated to women artists—monographs on Sarah Sze and Chiharu Shiota, along with a survey of Singaporean female artists. From evoking New York Harbor to contemplating the role of independent art spaces, this issue demonstrates the geographical and conceptual reach we pride ourselves in sharing with our readers.

Select articles now online in Arabic and Chinese: 

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