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...
The fifth edition of Sydney Contemporary will take place once again at Carriageworks between 12 and 15 September 2019, with Spring 1883 bringing together a cohort of 27 galleries from across Australia and the region to inhabit rooms at the Establishment Hotel from 11 to 14 September 2019, uniquely presenting contemporary works propped up on...
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...
This November with an auction of over 80 works of art generously donated by local and international artists and galleries. In partnership with Christie’s, the artworks will be available to preview from 10–13 November at The Space. The accompanying dinner and live auction will be hosted on 14 November at the iconic floating restaurant Jumbo Kingdom. This year AAA also collaborates with premium men’s shirt specialist PYE with a limited collection of sweatshirts designed by four artists from AAA’s residency programme.
Working across a range of disciplines including drawing, photography, video and installation, Tiffany Chung explores global issues of forced migration and displacement that arise from conflict, the processes of modernisation and industrialisation, and natural disasters. Noted for her cartographic practice, Chung analyses carefully researched data from a multitude of sources including archival records, academic studies, ethnographic fieldwork and first-hand testimonies. Layering the individual stories and statistics over charts identifying countries and nations, Chung delineates the growth and decline of populations in different locations and unpacks the impact of geopolitics and top-down policy on different populations, creating interventions into the spatial and political narratives produced through statecraft.
Chung's ongoing study of forced migration has its foundation in her personal history - she migrated to the United States with her family during the mass exodus of refugees fleeing Vietnam after the war. Expanding upon this experience, Chung examines geographical and socio-political shifts that occur in places around the world that have been subject to the trauma of conflict or environmental and human destruction.
For the 21st Biennale of Sydney at Artspace Chung presents a selection of works from her 'Vietnam Exodus Project'. A large-scale embroidered textile, reconstructing an exodus history: boat trajectories, ports of first asylum and resettlement countries, 2017, features a map of the world that uses different colours to track the escape routes and migration trajectories of refugees from Vietnam between 1975-96. Alongside the textile, Chung exhibits a series of seven-segment watercolour paintings, water dreamscape - the gangster named Jacky, the sleepers, and the exodus, 2017. The paintings feature scenes of layered archival photographs from this time of upheaval with those from her fieldwork, examining the current state of former Vietnamese refugees in Hong Kong and sites of the erased detention centres that housed them. The paintings were created in collaboration with young Vietnamese artists in an effort to raise historical awareness among the younger generation, many of whom were unaware of the extent of turmoil due to the official erasure of this history in Vietnam. The artworks are accompanied by found videos and reproduced archival documents as 'material witness' of the postwar Vietnamese refugee crisis. This project is a representation of the continuing political censorship and obliteration of history that has resulted in what Chung terms 'politically driven historical amnesia' in Vietnam.
Born in Hong Kong and now based in Taipei, the trans-disciplinary practice of Lee Kit (李杰) incorporates painting, moving-image and readymade objects along with other intangible elements such as light and sound to create poetic reflections on his everyday surroundings and experiences.
Lee's ongoing 'Hand-painted cloth' series originated in 2001 during his training as a painter at the Chinese University of Hong Kong and was critical in his stylistic development. The works consist of fabrics covered with repetitive lines. After painting the fabrics by hand, Lee brings them into the public sphere as functional items such as tablecloths, curtains or picnic blankets. In Sunday Afternoon: Picnic with friends and hand-painted cloth at Yung Shu O, Sai Kung (2003), for instance, photo documentation shows a picnic taking place on one of said fabrics, providing a marker of the fabric's public existence, which in this case came after a long period of government-encouraged indoor seclusion from the SARS epidemic.
Over the years, Lee's practice has expanded to include object-based installations, arranged in a seemingly haphazard fashion to create what the artist calls 'settings'. Exemplary of this was You (you)—Lee's presentation for the 55th Venice Biennale in 2013. A blue office carpet covered the Hong Kong pavilion's floor, with domestic objects such as a vacuum cleaner, a bucket and an unplugged hairdryer placed throughout the space. The objects were individually familiar, yet became uncanny in their arbitrary placement—an evocation of the title, which calls to mind the abstract yet simultaneously concrete experience of looking at oneself in the mirror. The domestic items in You (you) granted viewers a sense of familiarity, lending an intimate dimension to the work.
Much of Lee's practice is about conveying an internal state—whether of loss, sadness or boredom. As such, there is a universal quality to his works. In what the artist calls his most important work, Scratching the table surface (2006–11), the forbiddance of smoking indoors resulted in Lee scratching a table-top with his finger whilst feeling equal parts happy, sad and nervous—a coming-together of emotions. What ensued was a three-year action of carving a hole out of the table with his finger and posting 300 letters to friends informing them of the activity. The table was included in A small sound in your head (28 May–4 September 2016) at SMAK in Ghent—the artist's first institutional solo exhibition in Europe.
Parallel to the exhibition at SMAK was Kit's solo show Hold your breath, dance slowly at Walker Art Center in Minneapolis (12 May–9 October 2016). The exhibition included I can't help falling in love (2012), a 13-channel video installation in which each television showed footage including branded products and text hinting at Hong Kong's omnipresent market capitalism. The exhibition also included a number of Lee's object-based installations consisting of everyday objects in muted colours and subtly toned paintings, onto which swathes of light were cast from projectors—devices that often feature in his works. The pixels in the projected light provided a textural quality to Lee's installations that—in their careful composition and subtle, muted colours—can be seen as an expansion of Lee's formal training as a painter.
Kit was shortlisted for the 2013 Hugo Boss and Rockbund Art Museum Asia Art Prize and has participated in a number of major solo and group shows, including at the Hara Museum of Contemporary Art, Tokyo (2018); the Sharjah Biennial (2015); the New Museum Triennial, New York (2012); and the Shanghai Minsheng Art Museum (2012).
In the multidisciplinary works of Liu Wei, dog toys, books and industrial doors are just a few of his inspirations. His refusal to commit to a specific medium has led him to work in a range of media, including painting, sculpture, photography, performance, video and installation. Through his inventive repurposing of everyday objects, Liu distorts our perception of the environment in an attempt to illustrate the impact of urbanisation on modern cities.
Coming of age in the 1990s—a time of rapid urbanisation and ideological instability in China—the transformative power of modernisation has been a long-term interest of Liu's. Rather than focusing on Chinese culture and contemporary life, however, Liu's works often address the effect of urbanisation on a universal level, incorporating objects common to various modern cities. Exotic Lands No. 21 (2013), for example, is comprised of industrial doors and highlights their commercial elements. The abstract, geometric forms in Look! Books (2014) are made of books, while he famously used dog chew toys to construct buildings in Super Structure (2005–2007) and Love It! Bite It! (2005).
Liu's concern with the manipulation of the perception of an environment is especially apparent in Enigma and Puzzle, both completed in 2014. Enigma, shown at his mid-career survey at the Ullens Center for Contemporary Art, Beijing (2015), features resin blocks that obstructed the survey entrance. Compelling the viewer to negotiate their way into the main floor of the exhibition, the monumental blocks metaphorically represented the Eastern region's ever-growing cities. In Puzzle, mirrors of various sizes and irregular geometric shapes overlap one another. Positioned at various angles, the mirrors offer fractured views of the viewer and the gallery architecture. By disturbing an encompassing view of the gallery, Liu suggested that an all-encompassing view of this world is similarly an illusion.
In a conversation with Ocula Magazine in 2015, when asked if titles such as 'Puzzle' and 'Enigma' evaded the viewer's comprehension, Liu explained that the titles were directed at the artist himself, noting, 'It is not that I am not interested in discussions or revealing meanings, it is just that I am with the viewers, in the quest for meaning'. This statement correlates with his non-partisan attitude toward his works; the works state current conditions of the world but do not return a verdict. For Liu, art functions to generate discussions, wherein both the artist and the viewer may freely shape their own understandings of the world.
Since graduating from the National Academy of Fine Arts, Hangzhou, in 1996, Liu has exhibited internationally in China, Qatar, South Korea, Europe and the USA. He is familiar with international biennials, having exhibited in Shanghai Biennale (2016, 2010, 2004), La Biennale de Lyon (2015, 2007), Gwangju Biennale (2010), Guangzhou Triennial (2012, 2008, 2005, 2002), and Venice Biennale (2005). In 2015, he also co-curated Nocturnal Friendships for Lehmann Maupin Hong Kong, which featured the works of seven young Chinese artists. Liu currently lives and works in Beijing.
Zhang Xiaogang was born in 1958 in Kunming, the capital of Yunnan Province in southern China. When the Cultural Revolution began in 1966, Zhang was eight years old. At the age of 18, Zhang was sent to 'reeducation camp' to labor alongside peasants. Following the collapse of the Cultural Revolution, Zhang Xiaogang was accepted into the Sichuan Institute of Fine Arts in Chongqing in 1977. He graduated with a B.A. degree in Oil Painting in 1982. In 2007, Zhang was appointed as a professor at Sichuan Institute of Fine Arts. The artist current lives and works in Beijing, China.
Based on personal experience and memory, Zhang expresses man’s experiences and emotions through his narrative paintings, placing an emphasis on the existence of history and memory in the preset. In 1995 Zhang Xiaogang presented his Bloodline: Big Family series in an affiliate exhibition during the 46th Venice Biennale. Drawn from formal family portraits, the paintings represent both the individual and the faceless masses of China at once. The figures, often dressed in identical Mao suits, have distinctive red blood lines which demonstrate the links between people. Zhang continues the investigations of the unceasing revision of memory in his following works.
In his Green Wall series, the artist uses the green wall as a common yet distinctive symbol in the 1960s and 70s in china, evokes the poignancy of memory and a nostalgia for the past—not a real past but a reimaged one, shaped by the anxieties and the wishes of the present. Zhang also begins his experiment on transferring the images of his painting to three dimensions sculptures.
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