March/April 2011 out now


March 7, 2011

March/April 2011
Out now

As protests spread rapidly across the Arab world, organized largely through online networks such as Twitter and Facebook, ArtAsiaPacific‘s March/April issue looks at how artists both cultivate and critique the communities they operate in, be they local, regional or international, in real life or online.

Features editor Ashley Rawlings examines the work of new-media and performance artist Wafaa Bilal, who recently had a small camera surgically implanted into the back of his head, where it will remain for one year, taking a photograph each minute and uploading it to the web. In his article, Rawlings looks at how Bilal has frequently placed his own body in physically grueling circumstances to raise awareness of the catastrophic predicament of civilians in post-invasion Iraq. Meanwhile, managing editor William Pym takes a renewed look at the community-based practice, and critical reception, of Rirkrit Tiravanija. Pym offers an updated analysis of the artist’s strategic spice box—in painting, sculpture, curation and artist-run organizations, from his native Thailand to New York—beyond the confines of his iconic early years.

From the Netherlands, editor-at-large HG Masters discusses how Turkish conceptualist Ahmet Öğüt communicates with local and international audiences alike in an age of global travel. Masters describes Öğüt as a “post-studio” artist and explains a strategy in which “references to traditional ethnic or religious culture are absent, though microevents in political history and personal experience remain important sources of ideas.” Also exploring other worlds is Beijing-based Cao Fei, who is celebrated for her work that exists exclusively in the online gaming universe, Second Life. Assistant editor Hanae Ko examines the subcultures that Cao seeks to support, as well as her recent meditations on the banality and comfort of everyday life.

In Essays, AAP‘s Beijing-based contributing editor Angie Baecker investigates the Mansudae Art Studio, the largest state-run atelier in North Korea, whose various construction projects of monuments in Africa have proved an efficient means of generating foreign currency for the regime. In Profiles, Rachel Kent, senior curator of the Museum of Contemporary Art, Sydney, reflects on Hiroshi Sugimoto‘s recent series of large-scale photographs that capture surges of electricity, and independent curator Shinya Watanabe interviews Armenian video and installation artist Azat Sargsyan about his direction of the Gyumri Biennial. AAP contributing editor Andrew Cohen talks to Sichuan painter Mao Xuhui about the 1990s Chinese art scene on the eve of his retrospective at the Minsheng Art Museum in Shanghai.

Reviews include an early ground-level critique of the inaugural shows at Mathaf, the Arab Museum of Modern Art, in Doha, and Ai Weiwei‘s massive sun-flower seeds installation at Tate Modern in London. In this issue’s Book Review, senior editor Don J. Cohn carefully dissects all 1,288 pages of art historian Lü Peng’s A History of Art in 20th-Century China.

At a moment when we are witnessing more clearly than ever the expanded possibilities offered by the internet and its social-networking platforms, we are proud to announce the relaunch of In addition to extracts from current and past issues, the site features web-only supplements, including reviews and a news section, and Arabic and Chinese translations of selected articles. Exclusive interviews accompanying the launch include videos of Singaporean artist Ming Wong discussing his favorite works at Art Basel Miami Beach, Andrew Cohen speaking with influential Beijing-based critic Li Xianting about his work during the 1980s, and audio clips of Ashley Bickerton discussing the radical shift in his painting style after leaving the 1980s New York art scene for Bali. The relaunch of the website also kickstarts a new blog where we will be posting up-to-the-minute news, thoughts and images on art and culture from around the world. Follow our blog at and find us also on Twitter and Facebook.

Whether online or on the printed page, ArtAsiaPacific remains committed to art, to the region and to freedom of expression. Technology, as Tunisia, Egypt and its neighbors illustrate, is another crucial means of making a difference.