On 15 September, the artist-run initiative Selasar Sunaryo Art Space (SSAS) celebrated its 20th anniversary in Bandung, Indonesia with the launch of ‘Lawangkala’, a solo exhibition by founder and artist Sunaryo.
While performance art is becoming one of the most influential strengths of the Southeast Asian contemporary art scene, being a performance artist in Indonesia is actually a rare thing, according to artist and curator Melati Suryodarmo. A veteran of the region who trained under renowned performance artist Marina Abramović, much has been written about her powerful durational performances that commonly last for many hours, such as her 12-hour endurance performance piece I’m A Ghost In My Own House in which she crushes and grinds hundreds of kilograms of charcoal briquettes into dust. The work was a finalist at the Singapore Art Museum’s third Asia Pacific Breweries (APB) Foundation Signature Art Prize in 2014.
Visual storyteller Sim Chi Yin is no stranger to taking risks. As a former newspaper foreign correspondent, the Singaporean is known for raising the visibility of the under-reported topics through meticulous research and powerful multimedia narration, such as with her current exhibition ‘Ban the Bomb’ at the Nobel Peace Centre in Oslo, Norway from 12 December 2017 to 25 November 2018.
Sim was commissioned to showcase the work of Nobel Peace Prize 2017 winner International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons (ICAN). Tasked with documenting the environs of nuclear weapons facilities in remote places in the United States and North Korea, Sim embarked on an intense and sometimes hazardous two-month journey, travelling 6,000 kilometres along the China-North Korea border and through six North American states to photograph and document missile silos and nuclear testing sites.
American artist Lydia Janssen makes her Singapore debut with her latest body of works at REDSEA Gallery, located at Dempsey Hill, opening 27 January 2018 and running till 25 February 2018.
Appropriately titled ‘All the King’s Horses’, the exhibition is an autobiographical series of short-story paintings presented on large canvases. Narrating the ongoing challenges of her artistic practice and personal development, this collection represents a passage of time spanning the last five years since the dancer-turnedartist relocated to Singapore from New York City.
Oftentimes, what comes from those subjugated through destruction and oppression is a message of peace. A good illustration is the hopeful expression of Burmese artist Ko Z.
Born in the southern Shan state of Taunggyi in Myanmar and educated at the University of Yangon, Ko Z belongs to the ethnic minority of the northern region of Kachin, who, because of American and European missionaries, consider themselves Christians. An area important for its natural resources, such as jade, gold mines, timber and hydropower, the Kachin people have a tumultuous history and have lived in a state of political tension. A peace agreement was signed in 1994 but fighting broke out again in 2011 between the Kachin Independence Army and Burmese government, causing roughly 100,000 people to become “internally displaced persons (IDPs)”, with the majority living in camps.
Art World Forum Singapore returned for the second time in September 2017 to present its latest edition of art world dialogues. ‘Creating Markets: Opportunities, Challenges and the Mainstream’ featured talks by partner speakers and panel discussions by industry leaders and insiders, and provided an opportunity for participants and attendees to network.
Held at the One Farrer Hotel & Spa, the all-day event featured a keynote address by LASALLE College of the Arts Senior Fellow and artist Milenko Prvački in which he shared his working methodology as an artist, as well as insight into what he believes is needed to nurture young talents and create new audiences. He also spoke about the gap which needs to be filled between artists and museums, a role he believes should be led by art historians and curators.
Asia Now returns for its third edition, taking place from 18 to 22 October. Happening during the busy Parisian art week, the boutique art fair, presented in a private mansion at 9 avenue Hoche, will offer a diverse line-up of more than 30 galleries, as they did for the 2016 event.
Despite the rumours, the art market sky does not appear to be falling. Amid assurances from art market economists from TEFAF and Art Basel/UBS that art fairs continue to be a central part of the art market, Art Central returned for its third year in March during Hong Kong Art Week. Situated on the city’s Harbourfront, the fair announced a record-breaking attendance of 35,000 visitors over a six-day event with more than 100 international art galleries participating.
From 21 to 25 March, Art Central Hong Kong 2017, taking place at the Central Harbourfront, will see a gathering of 100 galleries from around the world, three-quarters of which are from the Asia-Pacific region.
There are many facets to the debate of the arts, including that of any boundaries which may be considered as strings attached, thus restricting true creativity. But for the purpose of keeping this piece to one page, I will focus solely on the intrinsic value of art and the importance of perpetuating its entrenchment in society.
Art Basel Hong Kong celebrates its fifth year from 23 to 25 March 2017 at its customary location, the Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre, with 242 galleries, including 29 new participants, from 34 countries.
The global events of 2016 might possibly be remembered as the beginning of the end for many cultures, especially Western ones. It has long been established that political unrest is increasing and wealth inequality is rising, fuelling social instability and creating mass migration, which is growing an already daunting refugee crisis.
What has eight guest rooms, a winery, a brewery, a library, a wine bar, restaurants and cafés, and a gift shop which carries, amongst other things, adult toys and books? If you guessed a hotel, you would be wrong. The answer is a private museum called Museum of Old and New Art (MONA) built by a professional gambler / businessman / avid art collector, on the island of Tasmania, Australia.
Putting down layer after layer of brown packing tape on acrylic glass and using only a surgeon’s scalpel for his paintbrush, street artist Max Zorn creates, from memory, portraits of his muses. Subjects and landscapes from 1920’s and 1950’s film noir appear in sepia, illuminated from behind with a warm glow, illustrating moods of crime and romance with femme fatale’s and classic detectives reclined against famous skylines and cityscapes.
Despite current uncertainties about the health of the international art market, Hong Kong saw a robust Art Week earlier this March 2016 with more events and offerings. Anchored by Art Basel and complimented by Asia Contemporary Art Show and Art Central, a newer player on the scene, the vibrant arts hub was buzzing with dozens of events for an itinerary which demanded a comfortable pair of walking shoes.
Born in Iran, raised in Hong Kong and educated in Europe. Mojoko (a.k.a. Steve Lawler) attended the prestigious FABRICA art residency in Treviso, Northern Italy in 2001. Launching his interactive design career at Diesel HQ, he rapidly rose through the ranks of the creative industry as an artist, designer, art director and creative director. As the creator of Kult Magazine, and Kult Gallery & Studio in Singapore, his work has expanded into curation, installation, interactive design and fine art. Having worked with some of the most talented artists, designers and animators around the world, he now operates from his studio in Singapore within a network of over 600 artists under the label Kult.
Having challenged tradition and pursued his dream, starting from the bottom, Kim Xu has now made a name for himself and a signature style that is unlike any other, while resonating strong motifs of empowering women and art and fashion.