For the March/April 2017 issue of ArtAsiaPacific, the editors consider artistic forms of nonviolent resistance to traditionalism, political regression and social intolerance.
We begin with the cover Feature on the late Emirati artist Hassan Sharif (1951–2016). In this tribute, AAP UAE desk editor Kevin Jones looks back at Sharif’s roles as both an artist and an educator who encouraged experimentation and challenged societal convention. Jones explains the strategies that Sharif employed in conservative 1980s UAE: “In his quest to develop—and loyalize—an audience, Sharif deployed a two-pronged ‘provoke and support’ approach … Far from provocations for provocation’s sake, these shows were sincere attempts to spark a dialogue.”
In Lahore, Lala Rukh has also inspired a generation of artists with her interdisciplinary practice. AAP contributing editor Jyoti Dhar reflects on Rukh’s career of 40-plus years, beginning with her instrumental role in the Women’s Action Forum promoting equal rights. Dhar explains how Rukh’s activist pursuits inform her hauntingly elegant, minimal works, which incorporate ECG strips, handwritten letters and musical notations—and muses on what Rukh’s new work might explore when it is unveiled at Documenta this June.
From Hong Kong, reviews editor Brady Ng sits down with multimedia artist Kingsley Ng to discuss his recent project Twenty-five Minutes Older (2016–17), which involves one of the city’s oldest forms of public transport, the tram. The interactive work debuted at the “Human Vibrations” festival last May and will be restaged to mark Art Basel’s fifth edition in Hong Kong this March.
Wrapping up the Features section, independent art scholar Giusi Daniele examines the work of Hong Kong conceptual artist Ho Siu Kee in our special column, Inside Burger Collection. At the center of Ho’s work since the 1990s has been the individual and the perception of self.
To mark the many art fairs that launch in March, our Profiles focus on six patrons active in the region: Manila-based former chairman of the National Commission for Culture and the Arts, Jaime C. Laya; Jenny Wang, president of Shanghai’s Fosun Foundation; Sydney’s Clinton Ng, who earnestly donates or loans works from his collection to public institutions in Australia; Istanbul-based Agah Uğur, CEO of Borusan Holding; and two Hong Kong-based collectors, Evan Chow and Jin-Goon Kim.
For the Essays section, contributing editor Ingrid Dudek considers the murky world of art forgeries and authentication. She writes, “The high prices involved [in art] have compelled a cottage industry in measures of security and validation, be they price databases, artists indexes or simply an unhealthy auratic attachment to provenance and authorship.”
In Fine Print, Singaporean art lawyer Ryan Su pushes for protective measures for art “connectors,” to ensure they are fairly paid in art world transactions. In The Point, Hong Kong’s Adrian Cheng—the brains behind the K11 Art Foundation—proposes new methods of arts patronage in the 21st century. For One on One, Lantian Xie ruminates on Abu Dhabi-based writer Deepak Unnikrishnan’s debut novel Temporary People. In Reviews, we feature the group show “Tales of Our Time” at the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum and Tatsuo Miyajima’s Connect with Everything at the Museum of Contemporary Art Australia, while Dominic Zinampan dives into the book No Chaos No Party: 28 Artists in Metro Manila. For Where I Work, AAP visited the Ilsan studio of Dansaekhwa artist Ha Chong-Hyun, whose works from the 1970s—one of South Korea’s darkest political eras—testify to the various forms of nonviolent resistance by experimental groups.
Select articles are now online in Chinese and Arabic.
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