THE UN-OFFICIALS | art before 85 by Graham Webster Zhao Gang, Feng Guodong, Zhu Jinshi, Ma Kelu, Yan Li, Wang Luyan, Zhou Maiyou, Tang Pinggang, Huang Rui, Li Shan, Li Shuang, Kang Wanhua, Guan Wei, Zhang Wei at Boers-Li Gallery
March 1st - April 12th
In 2014 Beijing's 798 Art District has transformed from its genesis as a haven for artist studios. The district is not only a showcase for star artists churning out work for an eager market, but also less recognized work of widely varying quality, and even kitsch souvenirs. With THE UN-OFFICIALS | art before 85, showing until April 12 at Boers-Li Gallery, visitors are treated to an idiosyncratic treasure of a recent Beijing past that in these environs seems far more distant. Dozens of works from... [more]
On January 11th, the Rockbund Art Museum (RAM), situated in the 1932 Art Deco building of the previous Royal Asiatic Society, opened Indian artist Bharti Kher’s first large-scale solo show within Asia. Curated by Mumbai-based art historian and Adjunct Curator at the Guggenheim, Snadhini Poddar, Bharti Kher: Misdemeanors surveys a fifteen-year span of the artist’s creative practice from the early 2000s to the present day. Twenty works comprised of sculptures, bindi paintings, photographs, in... [more]
Shanghai, Feb. 2014: When Xu Zhen was twenty-one-years-old he made a video piece called Rainbow (1998) in which a man’s back is turned red from a lashing that is heard, but not seen. The piece debuted at the 49th Venice Biennial. In another early video work, Not Doing Anything (1999), the artist whipped a dead cat’s body against a wall until there was little left. If there is an extreme end to an idea, Xu Zhen will take it, and his consistent willingness to push boundaries has made him... [more]
In her work, Li Wei is not shy. She has created life-sized vegetative figures in hospital beds, dogs in cages as if impounded, busts of young women staring ahead, showers with underwear hung casually on them and the standing bodies of child performers in their costumes. All are painstakingly made – painted with striking naturalism by the young artist, who herself prefers to be referred to as a he, and recognises not gender as such, but a general human condition. The common expression on these... [more]
There is a reason why there are no pictures of art works accompanying this article. Tino Sehgal does not allow his work to be documented in the form of script, film, or photograph. Sehgal’s work consists of performances, putting him in the category of ultra-ephemeral, verging on the mythical. When a Sehgal-piece gets sold – his dealer, Marian Goodman Gallery, has them on offer in editions of four or six – the deal has to be sealed by the artist himself in a conversation with the... [more]
Art’s relationship with branding sees a new incarnation with the Hugo Boss Asia Art Award, produced in collaboration with the Rockbund Art Museum in Shanghai and in this first instance addressing itself to artists from what is termed the “Greater China” region.
The Hugo Boss Asia Art Award creates a new geographical focus for the fashion brand, running in parallel with the original “Hugo Boss Prize” which began in 1996. The seven short-listed artists for this award have... [more]
An Act of Critique by Edward Sanderson Felice Beato, WONG Hoy Cheong, Cao Chongen, Art Workers Coalition, Xiamen Dada, Tang Dawu, Magicien de la Terre, Khaled Hourani, Duan Jianyu, Chitti Kasemkitvatana, Gulf Labor, Black December Movement, New Art Movement, HO TZU NYEN, Pratchaya Phinthong, Redza Piyadasa, VANDY Rattana, Judy Freya Sibayan, Mladen Stilinovic, Anton Vidokle and Pelin Tan, Lee Wen, Wang Xingwei, Huang Yongping, Yu Youhan at Times Museum
June 29th, 2013 - August 11th, 2013
As the various flavours of institutional critique have now become “institutionalised” as part of the practice of contemporary artists, One Step Forward, Two Steps Back curated by Biljana Ciric at the Guangdong Times Museum in Guangzhou aims to reassess the origins, methodologies and effects of this practice.
It can be said that One Step Forward… builds on the work of the curatorial team within the Times Museum (and those of its invited curators) since its formal opening in 2009. Th... [more]
Painting Lessons by Edward Sanderson Shen Ruijun, Ma Shengzhe, ZHOU Siwei, Pang Xuan, Ding Yi, Li Yiwen, Hou Yong, Wang Yuyang, Jiang Zhi at Gallery Yang
June 8th, 2013 - July 7th, 2013
For the past two years Gallery Yang has hosted a series of exhibitions curated by Bao Dong, which he has titled Painting Lessons. In these Bao Dong has presented certain discrete aspects of the nature of current art production in China. In terms of format, the title places the emphasis on painting, but the results in the gallery spaces expand on this to include sculpture and installation.
The “lessons” that the curator proposes in this series aim to “go back to specific issues... [more]
How far do we pursue the artists’ conceptions in their work, following the lead they provide, making an assumption that the work wishes to communicate with its audience? If the work proves too difficult to relate to, or reticent in its engagement with the audience, where do we draw the line past which we are unwilling to go in our investigation of the work?
At OCAT in Shenzhen, Wu Shanzhuan and Inga Svala Thórsdóttir present two rooms holding large-scale, but simple in form, installations. Thes... [more]
IMMATERIAL ART BASEL
Talks, panels, and performances in Hong Kong, by Robin Peckham
The art fair in Hong Kong, now falling under the Art Basel umbrella, has succeeded for a number of reasons, perhaps chief among them the transparent market infrastructure of the city and the reputation for pragmatic mercantilism it has accumulated as a British entrepot. But as much as the rule of law has encouraged an internationally viable market structure, it has also made Hong Kong a rare hub for scholarship, particularly o... [more]
The art fair in Hong Kong, now falling under the Art Basel umbrella, has succeeded for a number of reasons, perhaps chief among them the transparent market infrastructure of the city and the reputation for pragmatic mercantilism it has accumulated as a British entrepot. But as much as the rule of law has encouraged an internationally viable market structure, it has also made Hong Kong a rare hub for scholarship, particularly of the Anglophone variety, for much of Asia. Long before the launch of ArtHK a... [more]
Wang Yuyang’s set of disparate sculptural constructions that make up “Liner,” at Tang Contemporary, betray their design by computer in their fantastically ornate, mathematical shapes, spurs and swoops of material. They seem to express an aesthetic typically seen in the virtual shapes produced by CAD software. In the gallery they become slightly unreal or impractical forms: large cubes of marble are juxtaposed with jointed lengths of the same material, inserted with lengths of gleaming aluminium sheets;... [more]
Wandering through the colorfully gay labyrinths of 798 – by far, the foremost art district in Beijing – on a chilly January afternoon, I stumble onto a grey building, quite out of sync with its neighboring galleries and museums that shine in colourful resplendence. This, however, is it – my pilgrim spot – the Faurschou Foundation, Beijing. Inside its grim and non-glamorous exterior, it is housing an exhibition of Louise Bourgeois’s works – for the first time in China, curated by the artist’s lo... [more]
Whose Autonomy? by Edward Sanderson Rigo 23, Guy Ben-Ner, Abraham Cruzvillegas, Cao Fei, Claire Fontaine, Zheng Guogu, Yang Jiechang, Kimsooja, Cinthia Marcelle and Tiago Mata Machato, Xijing Men, Jun Nguyen-Hatsushiba, HO TZU NYEN, Sriwhana Spong, Nasan Tur, Richard T. Walker, Lin Yilin at Times Museum
January 20th, 2013 - March 17th, 2013
As one of the more visible providers of a critique of the centre/periphery model of cultural development in the early 2000’s, a new exhibition by curator Hou Hanru is highly anticipated. ZiZhiQu: Autonomous Regions at the Times Museum in Guangzhou can perhaps be seen to develop this model as it applies to the cultural self-formation of individuals and groups, placing that development in contrast to a globalised institutionalisation of culture. Autonomy, then, moves across all scales in its realisat... [more]
Five monumental structures are distributed around the gallery space, coated in slicks of pigment. These multi-coloured, yet muted, painted surfaces have taken on the turbulent patterns of weather systems, or of ink in water. Despite their geometric shapes, the surfaces have a plastic quality, giving an organic effect to the objects. On the floor on one side of each of these monuments stands a tripod, supporting a vertical, tubular arrangement of hard-edged gold or silver tubes, but with additions of... [more]
Yang Fudong’s solo show in Shanghai shifts the balance of his work away from the video installations onto his photographs, in the process proving the intimate connections but also the disparities between his moving and still images.
The collection of prints that form the bulk of this exhibition include still shots from Yang Fudong’s films as well as his stand-alone photographs from across his whole career. Yang’s photographic work has always been a counterpart to his films, in that it also conce... [more]