category_outlined / 艺术与建筑

ArtAsiaPacific 103 (May/Jun 2017)

For over 20 years, ArtAsiaPacific has been at the forefront of the powerful creative forces that shape contemporary art from Asia, the Pacific and the Middle East. Covering the latest in contemporary visual culture, ArtAsiaPacific is published in Hong Kong, with over 30 editorial desks worldwide. Our annual issue, the Almanac, is an alphabetical tour d'horizon of the 67-odd countries covered in ArtAsiaPacific, spanning Afghanistan to Vietnam. The Almanac also invites influential art world figures to comment on the major cutural events that have shaped the past 12 months. Now also available on the iPhone!

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in from the cold

In the lead-up to this year’s Venice Biennale and Documenta, I was reading a 1979 edition of the art journal Black Phoenix. Discussed within the pages of this dense, 31-page issue was the question of barriers raised by the art world establishment at the time against both experimental art and artists from non-European or American geographies. “Marginal” was the word commonly applied to artists who were engaged in practices including performance, participatory and kinetic art, and those hailing from Asia, Africa, Latin America and Eastern Europe. Fast-forward 38 years. Christine Macel, the director of the 57th Venice Biennale, intends to upend the current status quo—in which exhibition-making has become politicized, commercialized or driven by certain dominant personalities—through a simple but elegant gesture: to give prominence to artists and the transnational…


JAMES T. HONG James T. Hong is a filmmaker and artist based in Taiwan. His latest documentary, about disputed territory in East Asia, screened at the 2016 Berlin International Film Festival and the Guggenheim Museum in New York. He recently presented a new experimental work about Nietzsche and metempsychosis, Nietzsche Reincarnated as a Chinese Woman, at the 2016 Taipei Biennial. (See ONE ON ONE) HENRY WEI LEUNG Henry Wei Leung was born in the Pearl River Delta and raised in Honolulu and the San Francisco Bay Area. He earned degrees from Stanford and the University of Michigan, and has been the recipient of Kundiman and Soros fellowships and a Fulbright scholarship. His first book of poems, Goddess of Democracy, won the Omnidawn prize and is forthcoming in fall 2017. He is currently the managing…

james t. hong on friedrich nietzsche

Nearly 30 years ago, I seriously began to question the origins and ideological assumptions of the West. What does it mean to be Western? What does it mean to be modern? These inquiries led me to Martin Heidegger and his fundamental question: “Why are there beings rather than nothing?” From Heidegger, I learned that my original questions were actually metaphysical in nature, and that the modern Western world expressed a particular understanding of what things are, of what it means to be, of what has meaning, of being itself. I would then discover Heidegger’s short 1941 essay, “Sketches for a History of Being as Metaphysics,” in which he outlines the historical stages of the Western understanding of being. This schema would become essential to my understanding of my own work, as…


New cultural streams are running in Amman today as a number of groups seek to assess, design and challenge the strategies that shape artistic production in Jordan. One such group, comprised of independent artists, is researching cultural policies in the country through analysis and engagement into what constitutes as a cultural map. Named “About Culture in Jordan,” this research was partly presented in April 2016 at the Hangar Ras al-Ain, a former factory turned exhibition hall, where, in partnership with the Ministry of Culture and Greater Amman Municipality, more than 40 noncommercial cultural initiatives set up booths. It brought to the fore both the large and the small, as tiny initiatives with small budgets—including cultural cafés— appeared alongside prominent arts foundations. A good, but not great, number of visitors showed…

gallerists jailed

On July 20, 2016, Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) agents stopped Niasari at Tehran’s Imam Khomeini International Airport as she was about to board a flight. She was told to call her husband and ask him to meet her at the airport. When he arrived, the couple were detained. The following day, Vafadari and Niasari were taken to their Tehran home in handcuffs. IRGC agents removed artworks from the walls, damaged or destroyed some in the yard, while others were confiscated. IRGC agents also went to Aun Gallery and seized or destroyed artworks that were on display. According to Aun’s exhibition schedule, the gallery’s last show was an exhibition of Iranian artists that ended on July 21, 2016. Days after the couple were taken to Evin Prison, Tehran prosecutor Abbas Jafari Dolatabadi…

marrying culture and commerce in arts patronage

From a historical point of view, arts patronage has undergone a great change since the birth of the museum as an institution. This has brought about revolutionary changes qualitatively different from the changes that arrived with the introduction of the Royal Academy of Arts and the Salon exhibitions. As art became systematically managed and exhibited by public institutions, works are no longer private property but public and national heritage goods. Therefore, with the development of the art-museum system, traditional arts patronage has gradually been transformed into sponsorship and indirect funding, such as donations, to aid the activities of museums. The activities of the artists who were supported by royal courts and the church in the past became autonomous in the middle of the 19th century. The artist’s economic freedom, acquired…