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Asia Now: Collector Frédéric de Goldschmidt's Selections
In partnership with ASIA NOW

By Ocula
23 October 2020

Brussels-based collector Frédéric de Goldschmidt, whose collection includes works by Oscar Tuazon, Mona Hatoum, Camille Henrot, Jan Henderikse, Joseph Beuys, and Andy Warhol, among others, shares his selection of artworks by seven artists at Asia Now (21 October–7 November 2020).

Bharti Kher, Adoring audience (2019). Clay, cement, wax, copper/brass, 151 x 29 x 29 cm. Courtesy the artist and Perrotin. Photo: Alex Austin.

Bharti Kher at Perrotin

Since 1995, Bharti Kher has been using the bindi as a primary material to cover objects including mirrors, painting boards, and maps. Her bindis on maps present an alternative to the cartographic conventions inherited from a 16th century Eurocentric worldview, creating 'a world constituted of many worlds', as Stephanie Bailey observed in an Ocula Insight in 2020.

In Points of departure XI (2018), for example, bindis of various sizes and colours pan out across the map in concentric rings. Framed 'Points of departure' works are on view alongside Kher's clay-based sculptures that draw from Hindu mythology.

Shilpa Gupta, There is No Explosive in This – Confiscated Objects (2006). Unique work. Installation. 110 x 462 x 78 cm. Courtesy Galleria Continua. Photo: Oak Taylor-Smith.

Shilpa Gupta at Galleria Continua & Marella Rossi

One by one, Shilpa Gupta wrapped confiscated items from Montreal-Pierre Elliott Trudeau International Airport in white cloth and laid them out to create There is No Explosive in This – Confiscated Objects (2011). The installation continues her earlier projects from 2007, which saw the artist gather such restricted objects from the Chhatrapati Shivaji International Airport in Mumbai, or give out briefcases with the reassuring words 'There is no explosive in this' to participants, who were then invited to record their experiences carrying them in public. Anxiety and suspicion rising in public spaces, such as the airport, are among the recurrent themes in Gupta's study of perception and systems that make society.

Shahpour Pouyan, My place is the placeless (2019). 15 ceramic sculptures, sand. 87.63 x 396.24 x 58.42 cm. Exhibition view: Clapping with Stones: Art and Acts of Resistance, Rubin Museum of Art, New York (16 August 2019–6 January 2020). Courtesy the artist and Galerie Nathalie Obadia. Photo: David De Arms.

Shahpour Pouyan at Galerie Nathalie Obadia

In 2013, Shahpour Pouyan took a genealogical DNA test that yielded surprising results: for an artist born in Iran, his ancestry traced as far as Northern Europe and the British Isles. Out of this discovery rose My place is the placeless, a group of small glazed stoneware ceramic sculptures based on historic architecture from the 33 countries that housed Pouyan's ancestors at some point in history. Initially presented at the artist's solo show by the same title at Lawrie Shabibi, Dubai, in 2017, his presentation at Galerie Nathalie Obadia is from 2019 and features 15 works.

Kim Tschang-yeul, Waterdrops (1985). Oil on canvas. 50 x 50 x 1.5 cm. Courtesy the artist and Almine Rech.

Kim Tschang-Yeul at Almine Rech

Waterdrops (1985) is an exemplar of Kim Tschang-Yeul's signature water drop paintings that he has been making since the late 1960s. Photorealistically rendered, magnified, or minuscule droplets exist in a state of ambiguity—their potent forms could burst and slide off the surface any minute, yet hold on with a wondrous tenacity.

In his 2019 conversation with Ocula Magazine, the artist narrated one morning, in his Parisian studio, that launched his decades-long occupation with the imagery: after a long night of dissatisfactory work, Kim splashed water onto the back of his canvases and found that droplets had formed.

Zhang Yunyao, Portrait (2020). Graphite on felt. 70 x 62 x 1 cm. Courtesy Galerie Marguo.

Zhang Yunyao

Zhang Yunyao's Drawing Room, a solo presentation curated by Hervé Mikaeloff, is one of the six Special Projects at Asia Now 2020 and features recent drawings made in Paris under lockdown. These large-scale and smaller works on paper or felt depict elegant figures inspired by classical sculptures in groups or isolation.

Meticulously drawn with graphite, pastel, or watercolour, Zhang's drawings share a grainy texture and contrasts of light and shadow that evoke old photography. Drawing Room anticipates Zhang's first solo exhibition in Europe, presented at the newly opened Galerie Marguo in Paris.

Dexi Tian, N°105 (2020). Mixed media. Courtesy Asia Now.

Tian Dexi

Known for his unexpected and amusing pairings of found objects, Tian Dexi is showing his sculptures in two different sections. In N. 158 (2020), shells from WWI are sandwiched between two baguettes and held together with rubber bands in what de Goldschmidt described as an 'alliance of harshness and softness'. The work is part of Tian Dexi and Aljoscha's duo exhibition curated by Martin Köppel-Yang and Julia Ritterskamp. N. 127 (2017), a pair of identical, yellow and paned windows, is at Liusa Wang's group exhibition Yellow Reflection, which examines the cultural stereotypes and individual experiences under the umbrella term 'yellow'.

Left to right: Musquiqui Chihying, The Question Mark (2019). Digital print. Dimensions variable; The Poetry (2019). Laser cut aluminium, laser printing on yellow paper. Edition of 3 + 3AP. Dimensions variable. Courtesy Liusa Wang.

Musquiqui Chihying at Liusa Wang

The Question Mark (2019), included in Yellow Reflection, is a group of four photographic portraits each depicting a young person of Asian descent. Staring at a sight outside the frame, they all seem to be expressing disbelief and shock, and perhaps disgust. Their expressive gestures are made even more caricaturish by the bright yellow tone of their skin, which calls to mind the common and derogatory association between Asians and the colour yellow in the West. The artist, Musquiqui Chihying, was the winner of the Han Nefkens Foundation - Loop Barcelona Video Art Production Award in 2019.—[O]

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