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Contemporary art trends and news from Asia and beyond

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Posts Tagged ‘Asia Society’

Asia Society brings historic show of Pakistani art to US Sep 2009

Posted by artradar on August 4, 2009


Faiza Butt. Get out of my dreams II, 2008. Ink on polyester film. H. 22 x W. 28 1/2 in. (55.9 x 72.4 cm). Private collection, London.

Faiza Butt. Get out of my dreams II, 2008. Ink on polyester film. H. 22 x W. 28 1/2 in. (55.9 x 72.4 cm). Private collection, London.

PAKISTANI ART SHOW

Along with the Japan Society and the ICP, the Asia Society based in New York is developing a reputation for curating the most influential books and shows to document emerging art coming out of Asia today.

Its upcoming show Hanging Fire promises to be no exception. Introducing Pakistani contemporary art to a wider Western audience, this taste-making show highlights the major artists to watch and trends to follow.

Find below more information from the press release:

Despite Pakistan’s reputation in the West as a politically and socially volatile nation, it has been fostering a vibrant yet low-profile contemporary art scene for the past two decades.

The Asia Society Museum in New York City is proud to present this work in the first major exhibition of contemporary Pakistani art in the United States.


Hanging Fire: Contemporary Art From Pakistan will explore the seeming contradiction of Pakistan’s flourishing art scene within the struggling nation.

Hanging Fire is curated for the Asia Society by the distinguished Salima Hashmi, one of Pakistan’s most important writers and curators, and the daughter of Pakistan’s most renowned poet, Faiz Ahmed Faiz.

The exhibition will showcase 55 works by 15 artists, comprising installation art, video, photography, painting and sculpture. A number of the works have never been exhibited, including a large-scale site-specific painting by Imran Qureshi.

On the inspiration for the show, Asia Society Museum Director,  Dr. Melissa Chiu, comments:

“The idea for Hanging Fire came from a recognition that over the past decade, a new generation of artists in Pakistan have created compelling works that have largely gone unnoticed outside their country. The exhibition includes artists for whom the highly charged socio-political context in which they live and work is critical to understanding their art.”

The exhibition’s title, Hanging Fire, refers to an idiom that means “to delay decision.” In the context of the exhibition, the title invites the audience to delay judgment, particularly about contemporary society and artistic expression in Pakistan. It also alludes to the modern economic, social, and political tensions––both local and global––from which the featured artists find their creative inspiration.

A full color, 160-page publication by Yale University Press will accompany the exhibition. On exhibition 10 September through 3 January, 2010.

A list of artists in the exhibition follows:

  • Hamra Abbas, b. 1976, Kuwait; lives and works in Rawalpindi, Pakistan, and Boston
  • Bani Abidi, b. 1971, Karachi; lives and works in Karachi
  • Zahoor ul Akhlaq, b. 1941, Delhi; died 1999, Lahore
  • Faiza Butt, born 1973, Lahore; lives and works in London
  • Ayaz Jokhio , b. 1978, Mehrabpur, Sindh; lives and works in Lahore
  • Naiza Khan, b. 1968, Bahawalpur, Punjab; lives and works in Karachi
  • Arif Mahmood, b. 1960, Karachi; lives and works in Karachi
  • Huma Mulji, b. 1970, Karachi; lives and works in Lahore
  • Asma Mundrawala, b. 1965, Karachi; lives and works in Karachi
  • Imran Qureshi, b. 1972, Hyderabad, Sindh; lives and works in Lahore
  • Rashid Rana, b. 1968, Lahore; lives and works in Lahore
  • Ali Raza, b. 1969, Lahore; lives and works in Boone, North Carolina, and Lahore
  • Anwar Saeed, b. 1955, Lahore; lives and works in Lahore
  • Adeela Suleman, b. 1970, Karachi; lives and works in Karachi
  • Mahreen Zuberi, b. 1981, Karachi; lives and works in Karachi

Related Links:

Imran Qureshi (born 1972). Moderate Enlightenment, 2007. Gouache on wasli. H. 9 x W. 7 in. (22.9 x 17.8 cm). Aicon Gallery, New York.

Imran Qureshi (born 1972). Moderate Enlightenment, 2007. Gouache on wasli. H. 9 x W. 7 in. (22.9 x 17.8 cm). Aicon Gallery, New York.

Related Posts:

The posts below provide more introductory material to Pakistani contemporary art useful for comparison with the Asia Society’s take on the art scene in Pakistan.

Contributed by Erin Wooters

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Posted in Art spaces, Events, Islamic art, Miniatures, Museum shows, Museums, Nationalism, New York, Pakistan, Pakistani, Rashid Rana, USA | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

How art from half of Asia has been missed – interview Leeza Ahmady ACAW director

Posted by artradar on May 4, 2009


 ASIAN CONTEMPORARY ART WEEK 2009

Leeza Ahmady talks to Art Radar about her involvement in the Asian Contemporary Art Week (ACAW) in New York. She discusses her two missions: first to broaden the definition of Asian art – yes, she tells us, the Middle East is part of the Asian continent  – and second, to connect Asians with one another.

 

This is the first part of a 3 part interview.

 

AR: You have an interesting story tell us about how you got involved with the Asian Contemporary Art Week. What happened?

LA: Some time ago I was studying arts and cultural management at Pratt Institute in New York and writing my thesis on Central Asia. One of my classes was about leadership and we were given the assignment to choose a leader in the arts field and have a daring interview with them.

Well I really took that on. Who do I want to do this with, I asked myself. I remember choosing Vishakha Desai who is now the president of the Asia Society but at the time was the Museum Director.  I hounded her assistants and emailed them until I got an interview. And we had a wonderful very pleasant interview. I asked her standard questions about how she started and what she envisioned for her role. I asked her how much of that she had managed to accomplish and questioned her about her leadership style.  

Then I took a deep breath and  I dared to ask the real question I wanted to ask. How did the Asia Society justify calling itself the Asia Society when half of the Asian continent is missing from its programming. She was amazing and answered me carefully and diplomatically.

AR: It is a provocative question! What did she say?

LA: Very matter-of-factly she explained to me that everyone has to narrow their mission and the Asia Society was supported by the Rockefellers in the early days and their original mission focused on East Asia. She explained that of course other regions are now being integrated.

Then she looked at me and said 10 years ago when I came on the scene, there was no such thing as India particularly from a contemporary art perspective. Then it was only about antiquities so what I had to do was make it my mission to change that and I did that. She didn’t say it in so many words but I got this really wonderful answer which was if you want to make something happen don’t complain about it. You have to take it on and make it happen yourself.  It was as provocative as my question to her.

AR: And then?

LA: Well we kept in touch and I kept her up-to-date about my research in Central Asia. A few months later she wrote to me: “Leeza I have a wonderful project for you. Talk with Melissa Chiu and get involved in the Asian Contemporary Art Week” and that was 4 years ago – the end of 2004.

 

Mohsen Ahmadvand, Wrestlers, 2008, mixed media, courtesy of artist, Thomas Erben and XVA galleries

Mohsen Ahmadvand, Wrestlers, 2008, mixed media, courtesy of artist, Thomas Erben and XVA galleries

 

 

AR: So can you tell us more about the ACAW? What is it?

LA: The Asia Contemporary Art Week is an initiative started by a group of independent curators, museum directors, collectors and seminal people interested in creating awareness about Asian art primarily in New York, but also elsewhere. They formed a consortium, the Asian Contemporary Art Consortium, in 2001 to create public educational programs.

Rather than doing things in isolation, they felt it would be more effective to join forces once a year or so and make this one big loud noise together. When I came in it was small and limited to galleries and museums already focused on Asian art. But I was interested in encouraging others to jump on the wagon. I wanted to motivate those who were thinking of showing a couple of Asian artists but who were, perhaps, a little reluctant because they did not have the backing or voice.

AR: Vishakha Desai helped to raise the profile of India in the Asia Society. What has been your mission and your contribution to Asian Contemporary Art Week?

LA: My contribution has been based on my strong desire to expand participation not just by the galleries and museums but also by the artists. 

We now have featured artists from all over Asia, not only from the traditional participants of China, Japan, Korea and Taiwan. We have gradually moved West and we now include more artists  from, amongst others, Vietnam Thailand Pakistan Indonesia Iran Uzbekistan and Kazakhstan. Now over the last 2 years I have been trying to really broaden the notion of what constitutes Asia by bringing in the Middle East. Lebanese, Turkish, Palestinian and Israeli artists have been represented in 2008 and 2009.

AR: That sounds like an enormous undertaking. Asia is a huge continent.

LA: My specialty is Central Asia so of course I have had to learn a lot.  If you want to be involved in something I believe that you really need to know the players and what is going on with everyone. And by being involved in Asia Contemporary Art Week I am lucky enough to be at the centre of a lot of networks.

AR: What has been the response?

LA: I have spent a lot of time figuring who would be interested in opening their doors  to help broaden frontiers. Fortunately people have been very open because of the success of artists in the international arena from Central Asia. And people are curious, they do want to know what else is out there.

AR: How much do people know about the Asian continent in New York?

LA: Well there is a lot of confusion. For example take the Middle East. Iran is somehow there and not there at the same time. Afghanistan? There is also a lot of confusion about where it is and whether it is in the Middle East, Central Asia or South Asia.

AR: In the past you have talked passionately about opening up Asia to the Asians. We often hear people talk about connecting East and West but why do you feel there is a need for connection within Asia?

LA: Well the fact that the Middle East is a vast territory within Asia surprises people. In the US, Asia represents China Korea and Japan and only very recently has it been expanded to include India and Pakistan.

There is tremendous ignorance about Central Asia and when I tell someone from Korea or Japan that I too am from Asia, they look perplexed and ask well where are you from? When I say, “I am from Afghanistan” they look confused. Afghanistan shares a 76 kilometer border with China. To me it is simply incredible that in such an interconnected world, people on the same continent can still be so disconnected from eachother. There were years of Soviet rule which kept Central Asia out of reach but at the same time it is now 20 years since the Soviet rule ended.

AR: Why do you feel promoting connections within Asia is so important?

LA: I remember learning so much about all the countries around the world when I was at school in Kabul in Afghanistan. Why do I feel its important ? There is something wise about knowing yourself well. Asians share so may linguistic, spiritual and cultural ties which have broken down as a result of politics.

Historically Iran and Afghanistan were regarded as part of Central Asia. This changed for Iran after the Shah was deposed in 1979. With the dissolution of Soviet rule, 5 states from the USSR became independent including Uzbekistan and Turkmenistan. These 5 states are now more commonly referred to as Central Asia.

Meanwhile Afghanistan was left hanging in limbo until the events of September 11 shot it directly back into the Middle East. Recently Afghanistan has been referred to as part of South Asia.

AR: Why have these connections within Asia broken down?

Economic and political policies create disconnections and I feel the best way to make things whole is through art. At least that is what artists do. They try to break things down and put them back together. The idea of deconstructing and constructing, I see art as something beyond aesthetics and intellectual mumbo jumbo. I see it as a  tool for people to become more aware, spiritual and connected to themselves and others.

Leeza Ahmady was born in Afghanistan and lives in New York. Her specialist area is Central Asia.

This is the first part of a 3 part interview:

Related links: Asian Contemporary Art Week website

Related posts:

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Posted in Events, Gallery shows, Middle Eastern, Museum shows, New York, Professionals, USA | Tagged: , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

What are latest trends in Chinese art, who are the top two emerging artists? Melissa Chiu video

Posted by artradar on February 1, 2009


CHINESE ART TRENDS

Australian curator and writer Melissa Chiu of the Asia Society New York discusses the newest trends from China in a video called Inside The Contemporary Art Scene.

She identifies several emerging changes:

  • young Chinese women are emerging as a force for the first time
  • new technology is being adopted and young artists are excelling at video and other new media
  • China’s experience as a world centre of manufacturing has influenced the scale and construction of art from China and beyond its borders, particularly evident in the activities is Zhang Huan
  • influence of artists in their fifties driven abroad by the Cultural Revolution and now returning to work in China
  • two emerging artists are singled out : Cao Fei for her work on Second Life and Yang Fudong for his videos

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hhsCDqGb_LE

For more on Chinese art, emerging artistsfemale art,  new media,

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Posted in Cao Fei, Chinese, Emerging artists, Fantasy art, Feminist art, Interviews, New Media, Overviews, Social, Surveys, Urban, Utopian art, Video, Zhang Huan | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment »

China refuses to lend art to Asia Society New York show 2008

Posted by artradar on August 22, 2008


SURVEY CHINESE ART NEW YORK September 5 2008 to January 11 2009
China has reversed its decision to lend Asia Society nearly 100 objects from Chinese museums for an exhibition that focuses on revolutionary Chinese art from the 1950s through the ’70s, scheduled to open on Sept. 5 in Manhattan, the society’s president said.

The Chinese Ministry of Culture had originally agreed to allow the society to borrow works for the show, “Art and China’s Revolution,” promoted as among the first comprehensive exhibitions devoted to that era and one that will examine the effects of Mao Zedong’s Cultural Revolution on artists and art production in China.

Despite the Chinese government’s decision, Asia Society has decided to proceed with the show by seeking loans from private collectors.

The approach of the Olympics seemed to have been the deal breaker. “Initially, they said, ‘Any loans you want; no problem,’ ” said Vishakha N. Desai, the society’s president. “The closer it got to the Olympics, they changed their policy.”

“It has more to do with China’s desire and aspiration to be seen in a new light,” Ms. Desai added. “This is a time for celebration. They don’t want to be reminded of a difficult past.”

“To some extent, it’s better,” she said. “We don’t want ever to be seen as being sanctioned by the government.”

“Even though this is a period many would prefer to forget, it is nevertheless one that produced a visual culture that continues to permeate contemporary Chinese art,” Mr. Zheng said in a news release.

One section of the exhibition addresses artists who went against the prevailing style, including Pan Tianshou, Lin Fengmian, Zhao Yannian, Li Keran and Shi Lu, some of whom were persecuted and called “black artists.”

The show also includes works by a younger generation of contemporary artists, like Xu Bing, Chen Danqing and Zhang Hongtu, who attribute many of their artistic influences to their years spent in the countryside as part of their “re-education.”

Mao started the Cultural Revolution in 1966 to purge China of its bourgeoise elements and to advance class struggle. The revolution also represented Mao’s effort to regain control of the Communist Party from his rivals Liu Shaoqi and Deng Xiaoping after the Great Leap Forward. The conflict eventually devolved into a decade-long period of power struggles and political instability.

During the revolution, art was often used as propaganda to deliver a political message to a mass audience. Older artists sometimes adopted revolutionary themes; many others had their works destroyed and were persecuted. At the same time, some younger artists aspired to have their paintings become “model works,” mass-produced in posters and newspapers. The Asia Society exhibition seeks to capture the varied artistic ramifications of this political turmoil.

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Wang Huaiqing - Long live Gutian spirit 1967

Wang Huaiqing - Long live Gutian spirit 1967

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Asia Society to show emerging Pakistani artists in New York summer 2009

Posted by artradar on July 27, 2008


 

Source: Asia Society

EMERGING PAKISTANI ARTISTS NEW YORK SHOW Art from Pakistan Today  Summer 2009

Radar update 5 December 2008:  The Asia Society has written to inform us that the exhibition has been delayed to a date yet to be determined.

This exhibition of works by an emerging generation of artists in Pakistan highlights the diversity of art practiced in contemporary Pakistani society. Professor Salima Hashmi, Dean of the School of Visual Arts (SVA) at Beaconhouse National University in Lahore is curator of the exhibition, which includes innovative works of installation art, photography, painting, and sculpture. The exhibition will be accompanied by a full-color catalogue.

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Posted in Curators, Museum shows, New York, Pakistani, USA | Tagged: , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Iranian artist Ardeshir Mohasses in New York show to August 3 2008

Posted by artradar on July 15, 2008


 

 

 

 

Art and Satire, Asia Society

Art and Satire, Asia Society

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

IRANIAN ARTIST SHOW NEW YORK  ASIA SOCIETY — To Aug. 3 2008: Ardeshir Mohassess: Art and Satire in Iran.”

The exhibition, guest curated by Shirin Neshat whose photographs are well known in the West, focuses on monochromatic ink drawings by Mohassess who was born in Iran  and now lives in New York.

The drawings were created between 1976 and 2000, and are divided in two sections: before and after the 1979 revolution that instated the theocracy. Mohassess started to draw and illustrate while in Iran, but the political and social commentary in his work attracted the eye of the Shah’s secret police and he had to leave Iran, choosing to remain in the United States after 1979.

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