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 / Kunst og arkitektur

ArtAsiaPacific 2013 - 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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ArtAsiaPacific Holdings Ltd
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5 Utgaver


4 min.
...and i feel fine

It is December 13. Only eight days before the end of the world, according to some.Thousands of people around the world are preparing for the sky to fall, for the outbreak of a deadly plague, and for the invasion of Planet Earth by zombies—as predicted in the ancient Mayan “Long” calendar, which purportedly concludes on December 21, 2012. In Melbourne, the founder of the website Survive2012.com Robert Bast has spent more than USD 350,000 in anticipation of the “big day.” He bought 75 acres of land that sits 1,500 feet above sea level and built a house there with a fully equipped bunker. In China, two men are constructing their own souped-up boats to provide sanctuary for their families when the killer floods ravage the land. Mother Nature Network provides…

2 min.
kicking the global groove

With the most watched YouTube video of all time (that’s eight years and counting), Park Jae-sang, known professionally as Psy, has taught more than 900 million viewers the name of a wealthy Seoul neighborhood south of the Han River—not to mention a bunch of new dance moves. Lampooning the aspirations of the nouveau riche, “Gangnam Style” has become the emperor of memes, spawning countless imitations by newlyweds, university students, the North Korean government, members of the United States Navy and, from his Beijing compound, Ai Weiwei. Ai’s studio may produce handsome sculptures, but his “Grass Mud Horse Style” is far from a masterpiece, even by the dubious standards of internet mash-ups. No matter, as Ai and friends seem to be having a good time dancing around looking ridiculous, although Ai does…

5 min.
spirited away

This past summer, it was not the ever-vigilant Chinese Communist Party but the Indian government censoring art in the Middle Kingdom. India’s Ministry of External Affairs demanded in late July that a four-minute film by Tejal Shah, I Love My India (2003), investigating the mass bloodshed during the 2002 Gujarat riots, be pulled from “India Highway” at Beijing’s Ullens Center for Contemporary Art, citing its “politically controversial overtones.” Attracting around 10,000 visitors over the opening weekend, the show was the largest display of Indian art to date in China, but Shah’s film had already been suffering from “technical difficulties” when the Indian ambassador arrived to open proceedings on June 23. On March 30, art shippers landed in jail after custom officials raided the Beijing offices of European-owned Integrated Fine Arts Solutions…

2 min.
global shuffle

Some curators and directors moved across the world for their careers in 2012; others merely shuffled across town. In the United States, Donald Rubin, co-founder and chief executive of the Rubin Museum of Art—the only US museum to focus on arts of the Himalayas and India—stepped down, leaving a USD 25 million good-bye present. Patrick Sears, former chief operating officer, was promoted in his place. Asia Society in New York said farewell to its long-time director, president and chief executive Vishakha Desai. Under Desai’s tenure, Asia Society opened new facilities in Houston, Hong Kong, Seoul and Mumbai. More change came to Asia Society with the appointment of Michelle Yun as curator of modern and contemporary art, while its associate director of cultural programs, Helen Koh, was appointed executive director of the…

5 min.
in memory of

Illustrations by Belinda Chen Koji Wakamatsu Koji Wakamatsu, the Japanese filmmaker who made over 100 films, died in Tokyo in October at the age of 76. He became a filmmaker after being arrested for political protest as a youth. With film, Wakamatsu discovered a new, though no less direct, way to assault authority. Beginning his career in Japanese soft-core pornography, his work would later make bold critiques of militancy, nationalism and class struggle, while also reflecting on internal rifts within Japan’s radical left. Two weeks before his death, Wakamatsu was named Asian filmmaker of the year at the Busan International Film Festival. Minoru Mori Minoru Mori, the Japanese real-estate magnate who expanded both the skyline and the art scene in Japan, died at the age of 77 in Tokyo. A patron of the arts,…

3 min.
rapid descent

As the protests that began in Syria in 2011 transformed into a bloody civil war by early 2012, fighting, fleeing, destruction and resistance spread to all corners of the country. Few communities or families have been spared in a conflict that has already killed more than 40,000 people. The country’s communications infrastructure is severely hobbled, and the whereabouts of many individuals remain unknown. However, word reached the world that several artists were among those who have died. In Homs, Mathna al-Ma’sarany, a painter and sculptor who created decorated glass, was killed by a sniper in February. In late April, 23-year-old Nour Hatem Zahra, an activist and graffiti artist in Damascus, was hit in the leg by a bullet and bled to death. In July, the 46-year-old sculptor Wael Qastun was reportedly…