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Sunjung Kim’s Real DMZ Project Interrogates the North and South Korea Divide Ocula Conversation Sunjung Kim’s Real DMZ Project Interrogates the North and South Korea Divide

Ongoing since 2012, the Real DMZ Project interrogates the demilitarised zone (DMZ) between North and South Korea through annual, research-based exhibitions that bring together the works of Korean and international artists. Sunjung Kim, the independent curator behind the project, conceived the idea of exploring the DMZ while curating Japanese artist...

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Frieze Week Lowdown: London Shows to See Ocula Report Frieze Week Lowdown: London Shows to See 20 Sep 2019 : Tessa Moldan for Ocula

London's galleries and museums are gearing up for a lively October, with Frieze London and Frieze Masters running between 3 and 6 October 2019 at Regent's Park, along with 1-54 Contemporary African Art Fair, taking place across the same dates at Somerset House; and the tenth anniversary of the Sunday Art Fair, showcasing new and emerging artists...

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Mark Bradford’s Call for Unity at Shanghai’s Long Museum Ocula Insight | Video Mark Bradford’s Call for Unity at Shanghai’s Long Museum 16 August 2019

Mark Bradford walks through Mark Bradford: Los Angeles Mark Bradford: Los Angeles at the Long Museum West Bund in Shanghai (27 July–13 October 2019) is the artist's largest solo exhibition to date in China. In this video for Ocula, Bradford and Diana Nawi, curator of the show, walk through selected works that convey the artist's concerns with...

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Truong Tan

b. 1963, Vietnam

Truong Tan was born in 1963 in Hanoi, Vietnam. He graduated from the Fine Art School Hanoi in 1982, and the University of Fine Art Hanoi in 1989. He served as a lecturer at the latter from 1989 to 1997 before becoming a full-time artist. Following the advent of the Doi Moi (renovation) policy in 1986, which liberalized Vietnam’s market policies, there was a resurgent artistic romanticization of Vietnam’s past. Truong, for his part, abandoned the country’s then-current academicism in favor of a practice focused on the complexities of human psychology and social circumstance. Through painting, drawing, performance, installation, sculpture, and ceramics, Truong challenges social convention and investigates themes of identity and freedom of expression.

Truong addresses the long-established prejudices that influence Vietnam’s highly traditional society, examining national identity and its intersection with gender stereotypes. Centered on his own identity, the artist’s work explores perceptions of homosexuality in a conservative milieu. This autobiographical emphasis is clear in Being Human (1996), a series of erotic ink drawings of the male figure. The series’ visually reductive interpretation of the male form accentuates the phallus and presents relationships considered unconventional in Vietnam’s contradictory environment of economic liberalization and social rigidity. Furthering this exploration are works such as Red Dreaming (2008) and How to be an Angel (2008). Painted in the traditional Vietnamese medium of lacquer, these works consider an individual’s understanding of his or her own social status. The latter example in particular acts as a reminder of humanity’s aspiration to an ideal of beauty and virtue, represented through the actions of figures rendered in Truong’s signature style of flattened form and simple contour. The Wedding Dress (2001) turns away from themes of masculinity toward the image of Vietnamese women. In this sculpture, a skirt made from iron chains is combined with a bodice made of feathers. The heft of the chains represents societal oppression of women, while the fragile feathers symbolize the vulnerability and purity of the soul. Through the modification of domestic objects and social symbols, Truong creates new metaphors for the politics of contemporary Vietnam and the struggle between private and public identities.

Truong has had solo exhibitions at Gallery Ecole, Hanoi (1994), Kunsthalle Bielefeld, Germany (1996), Gallery Les Singuliers, Paris (1997, 1999, and 2000), Cité Internationale des Arts, Paris (1998 and 1999), Gallery 4A, Sydney (1998), Asian Fine Art Gallery, Berlin (1999), Nhasan Studio, Hanoi (2002), Ryllega Gallery, Hanoi (2004 and 2005), and Thavibu Gallery, Bangkok (2010). Notable group exhibitions include Singapore Biennial (2008); Fukuoka Asian Art Triennial, Japan (2009); Connect: Kunstszene Vietnam, ifa Gallery Berlin (2010) and ifa Gallery Stuttgart (2011); Negotiating Home, History and Nation: Two Decades of Contemporary Art from Southeast Asia, 1991–2010, Singapore Art Museum (2011); and 8 Vietnamese Contemporary Artists, Bui Gallery, Hanoi (2012). Truong lives and works in Paris and Hanoi.

Source: Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York.

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In Ocula Magazine

S. Alice Mong Ocula Conversation S. Alice Mong Executive Director, Asia Society, Hong Kong

S. Alice Mong became the Executive Director of Asia Society Hong Kong Center in 2012. Prior to joining the Asia Society, Ms Mong worked for almost a decade in New York, where as Director of the Museum of Chinese in America (MOCA) she was responsible for transforming MOCA from a New York Chinatown institution to a leading national museum. Ms Mong...

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Richard Armstrong Ocula Conversation Richard Armstrong Director, Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum and Foundation, New York

Richard Armstrong is the Director of the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum and Foundation. As well as managing the foundation he oversees the Guggenheim Museum in New York as well as the Peggy Guggenheim collection in Venice, the Guggenheim Museum Bilbao, the Deutsche Guggenheim and the Guggenheim Abu Dhabi due for completion in 2017. Prior to this...

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June Yap Ocula Conversation June Yap Curator, Guggenheim UBS Map Global Initiative, Singapore

Launched in April 2012, the Guggenheim UBS MAP Global Art Initiative charts contemporary art in South and Southeast Asia, Latin America, and the Middle East and North Africa. No Country: Contemporary Art for South and Southeast Asia is the Initiative’s inaugural exhibition. Initially shown in New York, (22 February–22 May 2013), the...

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