ArtAsiaPacific 2014 - Special

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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5 期号


seen through another prism

An all-knowing Big Brother has revealed what we really talked about most in 2013. Around the world, whether in Istanbul, Dubai, Christchurch or Seoul—but not Beijing, Damascus, Tehran or Pyongyang—we chatted about our relationships, what recipe we just tried, the cute habits of a new pet and quitting a presumably bad habit, or several. We gossiped about our friends, enemies and “frenemies.” We also talked about the new Pope Francis, the royal baby George, about horrific floods and typhoons the world over—not to mention occasionally dipping into tawdry topics such as the ubiquitous dance phenomenon of “twerking,” courtesy of Miley Cyrus. This is the world according to Facebook, thanks to the 1.19 billion users who freely tap their data into the voracious media giant. The editors at ArtAsiaPacific also data-hoard, but…

sounds of silencing

Under the leadership of Xi Jinping, the Chinese Communist Party hasn’t softened its chokehold on freedom of expression, and self-censorship remains de rigueur on the mainland. At the major retrospective of sculptor Wang Keping at Beijing’s Ullens Center for Contemporary Art (UCCA), which opened in September, the artist’s iconic 1979 carved-wood head with a plugged mouth, entitled Silence, was notably absent. Citing the government’s recent crackdown on online content, UCCA director Philip Tinari and Wang himself believed that the entire show would have been put at risk by the work’s inclusion. Also in the realm of strategic (self-)censorship, Andy Warhol’s iconic silkscreens of Mao Zedong were conspicuously missing from a Warhol Foundation-organized touring exhibition that stopped at the Central Academy of Fine Arts in Beijing in September. Similarly, Anselm Kiefer’s painting…

let me upgrade you

In 2013, dozens of curators and directors assumed various positions of greater visibility and responsibility at major institutions around the world. Singapore has been abuzz with hiring news. Concluding a prolonged search in April, its National Art Gallery, slated to open its doors in 2015, finally named Eugene Tan as its director. Tan had previously been the program director at Singapore’s Economic Development Board where he is credited as having spearheaded the Gillman Barracks development. In October, German-born Ute Meta Bauer was installed at the helm of the Centre for Contemporary Art—part of Nanyang Technological University. Meanwhile, the Singapore Art Museum will be led by writer-artist and art educator Susie Lingham, who replaces Tan Boon Hui, now head of programs at the National Heritage Board of Singapore. In October, Bala Starr,…

memorable lives

Illustrations by Choi Kim Hung Shozo Shimamoto ARTISTShozo Shimamoto, the 85-year-old founding member of the Gutai movement, whose experimental practices aimed at freeing creative expression and breaking down barriers between art and the everyday, died on January 25. Shimamoto is credited with proposing the movement’s name, which translates to “embodiment” or “concrete.” Shimamoto exhibited in the 1998 touring exhibition “Out of Actions: Between Performance and the Object, 1949–1979,” organized by the Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles, and participated in the 1993, 1999 and 2003 editions of the Venice Biennale. Raukura "Ralph" Hotere PAINTERRaukura “Ralph” Hotere, one of New Zealand’s leading abstract artists, well known for his enigmatic, black-painted surfaces striped with luminous lines of color, passed away on February 24, at the age of 81. His black paintings emerged in the late 1960s…

epic fail

Images of collapsed buildings marred the year 2013. In April, there was the implosion of the Rana Plaza garment-factory building, outside of Dhaka, which killed more than 1,100 workers. In November, the world watched as Typhoon Haiyan wrought devastation on the Philippines; thousands died and millions were displaced and made homeless as whole villages were flattened by the storm. Deflation was another visual thread—particularly on Hong Kong’s Victoria Harbour. M+’s amusingly conceived “temporary sculpture park,” “Mobile M+: Inflation!,” which opened in late April in West Kowloon, featured Jeremy Deller’s scale-replica of Stonehenge as a bouncing castle, Paul McCarthy’s 15.5-meter-tall pile of excrement and Cao Fei’s pig-shaped funhouse. The buoyant works struggled to stay in shape during weeks of heavy rain and wind. Meanwhile, in May, an unaffiliated but much-beloved giant yellow…

resistance was everywhere

It was a year of protests and controversy in Istanbul, as arts organizations were caught up in the country’s larger culture war. Longstanding frustration stemming from the privatization of cultural initiatives and the government’s calculated indifference spilled over into petitions, guerilla actions and disruptive protests. In February, the Santralİstanbul Museum of Contemporary Art, after closing in 2012 following less than five years of operation, announced that it was putting up for auction 150 works of art by seminal Turkish artists, including Yüksel Arslan, Nil Yalter, Ayşe Erkmen, Selma Gürbüz and Canan Tolon. Despite efforts by the art community, the Maçka Mezat auction house carried out the sale on February 17. A month later, members of the groups ArtHack, Youth Labor and Student Collectives entered Salt Beyoğlu to protest against the exhibition “Scared…