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Kim Tschang-Yeul: Art Without Ego Ocula Conversation Kim Tschang-Yeul: Art Without Ego

Kim Tschang-Yeul turns 90 this December, following an illustrious career that played a crucial role in bringing post-war Korean painting into the modern and contemporary art canon. Long celebrated for pensive depictions of water drops, the esteemed artist uses dual languages of abstraction and hyperrealism to articulate the psychological traumas...

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Melati Suryodarmo: Performance Art as Trigger Ocula Conversation Melati Suryodarmo: Performance Art as Trigger

In 2012, Melati Suryodarmo opened Studio Plesungan in her native Surakarta, also known as Solo, the historic royal capital of the Mataram Empire of Java in Indonesia. Suryodarmo had returned to Indonesia from Germany, where she studied Butoh and choreography with Butoh dancer and choreographer Anzu Furukawa, time-based media with avantgarde...

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In a Year of No Future: Cyberpunk at Hong Kong’s Tai Kwun Ocula Report In a Year of No Future: Cyberpunk at Hong Kong’s Tai Kwun 22 Nov 2019 : Emily Verla Bovino for Ocula

In what was reportedly Tokyo's cloudiest summer in over a century this July, Yoshiji Kigami, key animator of the cyberpunk classic Akira (1988), died in an arson attack that killed 35 people at Kyoto Animation. The attacker lit the fire with a lighter after dousing the studio with gasoline. 'They are always stealing', he explained in the belief the...

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Hans Hartung and Art Informel: Exhibition Walkthrough Ocula Insight | Video
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Hans Hartung and Art Informel: Exhibition Walkthrough 15 October 2019

Hans Hartung and Art Informel at Mazzoleni London (1 October 2019-18 January 2020) presents key works by the French-German painter while highlighting his connection with artists active in Paris during the 50s and 60s. In this video, writer and historian Alan Montgomery discusses Hartung's practice and its legacy.Born in Leipzig in 1904, Hans...

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Lawrence Abu Hamdan

b. 1985, Jordan

Born in 1985 in Amman, Jordan, Lawrence Abu Hamdan is an artist and fellow at the Vera List Center for Art and Politics at the New School, New York. With a background in DIY music, Abu Hamdan's practice is centred on sound and its intersection with politics, and takes on a variety of forms—including performance, graphic work, audiovisual installations, photography, essays and lectures. The artist received his PhD from Goldsmiths, University of London in 2017, which involved a series of forensic audio investigations that were conducted as part of his research for Forensic Architecture.

In 2012, Abu Hamdan created the audio documentary The Freedom of Speech Itself (2012), which spotlighted the UK's controversial use of voice analysis in order to determine the origins and authenticity of asylum seeker's accents, which resulted in a number of wrongful deportations. The 30 minute video is composed of a series of testimonies from lawyers, phonetic experts, asylum seekers and Home Office officials that highlight the geopolitics of accents as well as the act of listening. The work has also been exhibited as a sound installation alongside sculptural compositions of voiceprints, whose undulating, cartographic forms bind together the notions of voice and territory. Made from acoustically absorbent foam, the sculptures illustrate the frequency and amplitude of two different voices saying 'you'.

As part of his PhD research, the artist—alongside Amnesty International and Forensic Architecture—worked with survivors' of Sayndaya prison in Syria to construct the architecture of the prison through earwitness testimonies. This research was incorporated into a sound and light box installation commissioned by the 13th Sharjah Biennial, titled Saydnaya (the missing 19db) (2017). The light box illustrates that the whispers of inmates became four times lower since the beginning of the 2011 protests. This decrease is visually illustrated in the light box, along with two different voice levels demonstrating the level of whispers before and after 2011 and a third, normal conversational voice to illustrate the stark disappearance of voice over time as a direct consequence of violence and suppression. A sound piece was also played back from a dimly-lit mixing desk/sound board whose volume controls reacted autonomously according to the voices heard in the room.

The artist received the 2018 Abraaj Group Art Prize for his commissioned piece, Walled Unwalled. Projected onto a glass plate, behind another sheet of holographic foil, the work presents a series of narratives of legal cases that were constructed from evidence collected 'through walls'. In a 2018 Ocula Conversation with Mohammad Salemy, Abu Hamdan discusses the work explaining that he is 'after the condition that is depicted through the stories that are heard or experienced through walls; most explicitly through digital walls, or in terms of surveillance, when the film or camera is used to see, particularly in the context of a prison.'

In 2017, Abu Hamdan's work Rubber Coated Steel (2016) won the short film award at the Rotterdam International Film festival. His exhibition Earshot at Portikus Frankfurt (2016) was the recipient of the 2016 Nam June Paik Award. Solo exhibitions include Hammer Museum L.A. (2018), Kunsthalle St Gallen (2015), Beirut in Cairo (2013) and The Showroom in London (2012).

Biography by Tessa Moldan | Ocula | 2018
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Recent Exhibitions

Contemporary art exhibition, Lawrence Abu Hamdan at Maureen Paley, London
Closed
28 April–28 May 2017 Lawrence Abu Hamdan Maureen Paley, London

Represented By

In Ocula Magazine

58th Venice Biennale: May You Live In Interesting Times Ocula Report 58th Venice Biennale: May You Live In Interesting Times 24 May 2019 : Mohammad Salemy for Ocula

The 58th Venice Biennale, May You Live In Interesting Times (11 May–24 November 2019), certainly benefitted from low expectations, given the lacklustre curatorial of the previous edition, when different segments of the show were conceptually framed with titles like 'Pavilion of Joys and Fears' and 'Pavilion of Colours'. Add to this the...

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London Frieze Week: The Lowdown Ocula Report London Frieze Week: The Lowdown 20 Sep 2018 : Jareh Das for Ocula

Located in Regent's Park, Frieze London has expanded to focus on historical works in recent years, with the introduction of Frieze Masters in 2012, further reinforcing London's position as a leading art destination. Beyond this year's edition (4–7 October 2018), a range of unmissable exhibitions are taking place across London in both commercial and...

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Melbourne Art Shows to See: The Lowdown Ocula Report Melbourne Art Shows to See: The Lowdown 27 Jul 2018 : Carol Que for Ocula

Melbourne Art Week returns to much fanfare this year, taking place between 30 July and 5 August 2018 with the biennial Melbourne Art Fair holding centre stage after its hiatus in 2016 (2–5 August 2018). Situated across two venues within the Southbank Arts Precinct and presenting 40 new and established galleries from Australia, New Zealand and...

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Lawrence Abu Hamdan Ocula Conversation Lawrence Abu Hamdan Artist, Beirut

Contemporary art seldom deals with the significance of sound in the sphere of human interaction—the tradition of prioritising images over other sensory information continues to define our perception of the world. The work of Lawrence Abu Hamdan challenges viewers to re-evaluate this image-centred paradigm by offering a different set of...

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In Related Press

View All (9)
Turner Prize Nominees Consider the Injustices Brought About by Borders Related Press Turner Prize Nominees Consider the Injustices Brought About by Borders Hyperallergic : 14 November 2019

MARGATE, England — Every year the Turner Prize judges trawl through dozens of exhibitions around the world to find new and fresh voices in contemporary art. The four nominees are then presented in a group show, and part-way through a winner is announced and awarded the £25,000 (~$32,000) prize. If the Turner Prize tries to capture the...

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Nam June Paik today – part II Related Press Nam June Paik today – part II ArtReview : 18 October 2019

Young-Hae Chang Heavy Industries (Young-hae Chang and Marc Voge)How did you first encounter the work of Nam June Paik?Paik accosted us in Paris, on the rue de Seine, in front of his hotel, La Louisiane, during the open market. Then he ran up to his room and brought us back a catalogue of his current show.

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Turner Prize 2019 Review: The Roots of Our Political Crisis Go Far Beyond Brexit Related Press Turner Prize 2019 Review: The Roots of Our Political Crisis Go Far Beyond Brexit Frieze : 27 September 2019

All four artists nominated for this year's Turner Prize draw on political histories: some wide-ranging, others highly localized; one contained within the last decade, another drawing on a text from the early 15th century. With one subtle exception, none of them are directly exploring the themes that emerged after the electoral shocks of 2016, which...

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Lawrence Abu Hamdan: Earwitness Theatre Related Press Lawrence Abu Hamdan: Earwitness Theatre The Brooklyn Rail : 1 August 2019

We primacy vision: what we see, we take as truth. It may be cliché but clichés are colloquial truths, developed through relatable experiences that come to structure experience. When first drafting this review, I had begun: 'Imagine a silence...' but what is an image of silence? How can we even conceive of an image of an absent sense?

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