Fitri DK, Kendeng Lestari, 2019. Woodcut print on paper, 80 × 60 cm. Courtesy York College Galleries. Photo: Dan Lobdell. 

May/June 2022

ArtAsiaPacific

May 6, 2022


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The simple but universally understood activity of hanging out propelled the establishment and practices of many of Indonesia’s collectives in the 2000s, after the fall of the Suharto regime. Among the groups born of this era are Taring Padi. A core member of documenta fifteen’s artistic network, Taring Padi’s hangouts serve as the basis for collective discussions, which can then lead to solidarity movements alongside women, Indigenous peoples, the LGBTQ community, farmers, and others fighting for their rights. In our cover Feature, contributing writer Kerstin Winking details the group’s approaches to pacifist activism as they respond to the evolving conditions of marginalized communities.

In the second feature, deputy editor HG Masters talks with Jumana Manna about her new film Foragers (2022), which depicts Palestinians gathering wild herbs and vegetables in defiance of Israeli laws. Reflecting on her interest in Levantine agricultural practices and ideas of resilience and sustainability, Manna explores the connections with her earlier films as well as her sculptural practice, which incorporates discarded or cast-off materials.

In Up Close, the editors spotlight three recent works: Yang Yongliang’s video inspired by Chinese legends and myths, Five Dragons (2020); Tammy Nguyen’s Freehold (2022), a suite of paintings reimagining leaders who attended the 1955 Afro-Asian Conference in Bandung; and Leung Mee Ping’s installation Sound of Silence (2021), which struck a mournful tone amid Hong Kong’s fifth wave of the pandemic. For Inside Burger Collection, curator Hendrik Folkerts examines the practice of the enigmatic artist Vaginal Davis, writing: “Consider me a convert: a good Christian boy led astray, seeing the world through the thick veil of the buoyant, defiant, ecstatic, and multitudinous universe of Ms. Davis.”

Elsewhere in the issue, associate editor Pamela Wong profiles Tsubasa Kato, whose collaborative projects are occasions for community members to rally together. Managing editor Chloe Chu spoke to Shubigi Rao about her ten-year-project Pulp: A Short Biography of the Banished Book (2014–), currently on view in the Singapore Pavilion at the 59th Venice Biennale. Essays delves into Jakarta’s Gudskul, another documenta fifteen participant, and the potentials of alternative art schools in Southeast Asia as the region navigates postcolonial conditions and the volatility of democratic processes.

For Dispatch, we hear from curator Olga Veselova about the aftermath of the violent protests that took place in January in Almaty. In Where I Work, writer Emily Chun visits Stewart Uoo in his Brooklyn studio. Last but not least, in One on OneJames Clar explains how the works of Pierre Huyghe taught him about constructing narrative experiences that, even when involving sophisticated technology, place humans at the center, reflecting the values and realities that we construct together. 

A digital edition of the full issue is now available for purchase on ZinioGoogle PlayiTunes, and Magzter.