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Posts Tagged ‘Navin Rawanchaikul’

Writer Steven Pettifor talks about the old and the new in Thai contemporary art – Art Radar interview

Posted by artradar on August 10, 2010


Steven Pettifor, author of 'Flavours - Thai Contemporary Art'.

Steven Pettifor, author of 'Flavours - Thai Contemporary Art'.

THAI ART BOOK WRITER INTERVIEW

Thailand has long had a small but very vibrant contemporary art scene. Compared with its recently-flourishing neighbours, however, contemporary Thai art hasn’t been getting much attention. Little has been written about it. Back in 2003, Bangkok based Briton Steven Pettifor decided to address this problem with his book Flavours – Thai Contemporary Art.

Flavours was listed on a reading list for newcomers interested in Southeast Asian art, as reported in an earlier Art Radar post. With 23 profiles of artists of different mediums (painting, sculpture, textile, costume, installa­tion, ceramics and photography), the author hoped to provide exposure of Thai artists outside their home country, and to give readers “a ‘taste’ of Thailand’s burgeoning contemporary visual arts.”

It’s now been seven years since the book was first published and much of Thailand’s contemporary art scene has changed. Art Radar Asia caught up with Steven Pettifor to find out more about his book, and to see what he thinks of the country’s current art movement.

Most importantly, this interview has revealed that there is now more non-Thai Asian art able to be viewed in Thailand. Local art galleries are teaming up with other Asian galleries to bring non-Thai Asian art into Thailand and foreign artists are now viewing Thailand as a place to set up professionally. He also identifies a number of important emerging Thai artists and names some of the top collectors of Thai contemporary art.

What prompted you to write Flavours?

I’d been writing about Thai art for about seven or eight years. I was starting to build up quite a body of artists that I’ve written about and covered. There was only one other book on Thai art written in English up until that point, and that was Modern Art in Thailand by Dr. Apinan Poshyananda. His book went up to 1992 and then after that it was nothing, and 1992 was the year I arrived in Thailand, so I felt like filling in the gap from that period onwards. That was my intention.

I was floating the idea for about a year or two before I actually found someone  who wanted to collaborate and publish it, and Thavibu Gallery said yeah okay, we’ll be interested in doing it, we might be able to find someone to back it financially, which they did. They found Liam Ayudhkij, who is the owner of Liam’s Gallery in Pattaya. He’s been collecting art here for thirty, forty years. So Liam kindly backed it. That’s how the book came about.

'Flavours - Thai Contemporary Art', published by Thavibu Gallery.

'Flavours - Thai Contemporary Art', published by Thavibu Gallery.

What were the main issues and challenges for you when writing and researching Flavours?

I wanted the book to broaden the message about Thai art. I didn’t want to keep the book an academic book, purely for an already art-affiliated readership. I wanted to move beyond that and try and get more general public interest in Thai art. So one point was to keep it accessible in terms of language and to try and cover as broad a scope as possible within a coffee-table sort of format. That was one challenge.

Another was to try and cover as many different mediums as possible, so it was finding sculptures, paintings, installations, photography… I tried to cover as many mediums as possible, and that wasn’t easy, given that some of the less popular mediums… it was hard to find good quality artists working in that field.

Tell us more about your selection of artists in Flavours.

Medium was one big consideration. Also, their career point. I tried to get as many young artists or emerging artists or mid-career artists, so that the book would have relevance ten years on. It’s six years old now and most of the artists are still in their mid-careers. I didn’t want to pick artists that were in their twilight years or have passed away. People ask me why didn’t I include Montien Boonma, who’s considered the father of installation art here. I included him in the overview essay, but because he has passed away, I didn’t want to profile him, because there wasn’t so much currency. His career is not still being carried on, basically.

How did your interest in art, and in Thai art, evolve?

As early I could remember, I could draw and paint. Not self-taught as such, but it was there from an early age. I don’t come from an artistic family at all, so it was never really nurtured as such. But when I reached high school, I then got pushed toward art, just because they saw my natural talent or whatever. So the interest in art has always been there, but I’d say from high school onwards it was developed by teachers.

…It’s not so much as a passion for Thai art. The main art that was in view in Thailand was Thai art, and you just got into it. I got to meet a lot of the artists quite quickly and I found it quite interesting to be thrown in on that level. Back in 1997, there weren’t so many foreigners involved in the art scene and everyone was quite accommodating, inviting you to their studios and things like that. So it was interesting. You got to feel involved.

What makes Thai art different from other Asian art?

Buddhism is quite predominant here. Sometimes that can be good, sometimes that can kind of almost saturate the art that is produced here. If you look at Burmese art or what’s coming out of places like Laos, you’ll see a lot of Buddhist imagery as well. Places like Indonesia and Vietnam… the art being produced in those places is not so religious-focussed. Religion would be one aspect that defines a lot of the art that is made here. Not necessarily the art that is hitting international levels. They tend to deal with work that is more universal, or themes that would fit more into the international art interest. But across the board, a lot of them deal with Buddhist subject matter.

Santi Thongsuk, 'I'm Glad I'm Dead Year', 2000, oil on canvas.

Santi Thongsuk, 'I'm Glad I'm Dead Year', 2000, oil on canvas.

Another thing would be the craftsmanship. I do see it elsewhere in Asia, so it’s not necessarily different but there are different kinds of crafts that are brought into Thai art. Chusak Srikwan uses shadow puppetry, but he does things like modern politicians and symbols of corruption. Montri Toemsombat has used silk weaving and silk crafting in the past. There’s this attention to craft. A lot of technical training goes on here, so they get very good grounding in the technical aspects of art training, so that comes through very strongly as well.

Chusak Srikwan, 'Birth-Age-Ailment-Death', 2009-10, leather carving.

Chusak Srikwan, 'Birth-Age-Ailment-Death', 2009-10, leather carving.

Tell us about the artist training system in Thailand.

It’s pretty much similar to anywhere else. It’s art school, mainly. It’s an emerging thing. Art school is expanding constantly and courses are expanding constantly here, but it’s still largely focused in Bangkok and Chiang Mai, with a couple of provincial centers in the north-east and in the south. A lot of young wannabe artists, when they graduate here, will go through assisting a senior artist in a studio for a couple of years. Again, that’s comparable to anywhere else as well. But I find it quite good that artists get a lot of hands on training through working with the artists when they graduate.

Is the Thai art scene receiving greater external interest, as compared with before?

It was anticipated here around the early 2000s on that there would be a lot more interest on the back of the increased focus towards Asia, with China and India doing very well. Vietnamese art in the mid to late 90s kind of opened up a lot. And it was always expected that there would be more people coming in for Thai art, and for a while there was. There’s a lot more Thai artists now included in biennales and triennales and international thematic shows, but I would say that is comparable to just part of this larger focus on finding art in Asia. I would also say in the last couple of years it has slowed down a lot. Since the coup in 2006, and the financial recession in late 2008, the commercial aspect of art has slowed down quite a bit. But I don’t think it’s just here, I’d say it’s everywhere.

Do Thai artists see international acceptance as one of the criteria for success? How does that compare with domestic recognition?

There are artists here that are quite content to work on the domestic level, but they have to work within a fairly narrow framework in order to succeed there. And then there are those who desire and need the international exposure in order to continue making art of that kind of calibre.

You mentioned in Flavours about a gap between the public and the local art scene, citing insufficient education and exposure as a major problem. Has the situation improved?

Things like education are not going to improve overnight. There are more universities and higher education establishments offering art related courses. But for your average state sponsored school, like high school, there’s still going to be a very limited art practice beyond basic drawing techniques and painting.

But in terms of accessibility, they are trying to change things. They’ve opened the Bangkok Art and Culture Centre (BACC) here in the last two years, which is a major art center in the heart of downtown. It was always the intention to put it in a very commercial area so that it would be on the consumers’ door step. So they’re hoping to draw in the public to look at art and find out what art is. And there’s another plan to build a national art center in Bangkok. But that’s all very Bangkok-focused.

…one way the void is being filled in the provinces is that some of the artists that have either come from different provinces or have gone there to settle or to set up a studio have built artist-gallery-public places – places to promote their own work, but also places to give something back to the community. Up in Chiang Rai, Thawan Duchanee is a good example of an artist that has made his work open to the public.

Montien Boonma, 'Drawing of the Mind Training and the Bowls of the Mind', 1992, held in the collection of Chongrux Chantaworasut.

Montien Boonma, 'Drawing of the Mind Training and the Bowls of the Mind', 1992, held in the collection of Chongrux Chantaworasut.

How has the local art scene changed since you published Flavours?

There are a lot of commercial galleries that have opened up in the last  five to ten years, but a lot of them have a less than five-year shelf-life. A lot of galleries are still set up here by people who have an interest in art, but I wouldn’t say that they are specifically trained in how to operate a gallery on a professional level. A lot of them have opened galleries because it’s their passion, but managing it on a professional level doesn’t always work out the way they expect. It’s still tough to make a profit here as a commercial gallery. There’s been a few more non-profit spaces opening as well, but they’re even harder to manage and sustain with no profits coming in and it’s hard to find sponsorship to back spaces like that.

One thing that I think is important to push is that there’s been more diversity of art that’s been on view in the last five years or so. When I first started looking at art thirteen years ago here, it was very Thai. Most of the galleries were showing Thai. Any foreign or overseas art would predominantly be at university spaces and would be by visiting lecturers or hookups with overseas institutions. But now, in commercial spaces, more regional art is certainly being seen. Thavibu Gallery bring in Vietnamese and Burmese art. Gallery SoulFlower, which just closed last year, brought in Indian art on a regular basis. Tang have a gallery in Bangkok, and they bring in a lot of good quality, high-profile Chinese art. And there’s a couple of galleries that bring in Japanese artists, and you’ll see Indonesian art here every now and then. So there’s been more exposure to regional and international art.

Another development is there’s been more foreign artists coming and spending time here, trying to work out of here. Some just setting up their own studios and still working with their galleries overseas… others coming here to make a goal out of it, trying to get involved with the Thai art scene. If I look at foreign artists based here thirteen years ago, it was more of people using art as hobby rather than a serious pursuit. But now I would say that there’s a lot more foreign artists here that are serious about art making and trying to make a career out of their art here as well.

What is the biggest problem facing the Thai art market at the moment?

There are probably only around fifty viewing spaces in Bangkok that attempt a regular or an occasional exhibition schedule, but not of huge amount of that translate into sales. I would say only a dozen or so galleries here manage themselves towards a sustainable and professional gallery that also tries to promote its artists beyond Thailand.

Can you name some interesting galleries and non-profit spaces for our readers to explore?

It’s a bit of a self promoting thing, but I initiated the Bangkok Art Map, which is a useful tool for people arriving in the city wanting to see art, or people living in the city wanting to see what’s happening on a monthly basis. It’s a map of the city’s galleries with the regular exhibition calendar plus highlights of what’s on, and a spotlight focus every month.

…obviously I have to say Thavibu Gallery, because they published my book, and I’m working with them this year on a curatorial project for the course of a year called “3D@Thavibu“. That is my conscious effort with the gallery to promote small-scale sculpture in Thailand towards more collecting base and to push emerging sculptors here that don’t get seen in so many galleries here.

There’s H Gallery, another professionally-run gallery. It’s run by an American, H. Ernest Lee, and it’s in a beautiful colonial-style building. One of the best galleries running in terms of putting their artists into biennales and working with some of the major Asian and Thai artists is 100 Tonson Gallery. Ardel Gallery is run by a Thai artist called Thavorn Ko-udomvit, who curated the Thai Pavilion for Venice last year. DOB Hualamphong brings in artists that are not necessarily commercially minded. Numthong Gallery has been a gallery that’s done very well over the years. [Mr. Numthong Sae-tang] runs a fairly small space out of a co-op building, but he attracts some of the big name Thai artists to work with him, because he tries to help them out and he’s a very good supporter of the artists when they come on board. Obviously the BACC is a place worthy of visiting.

Which artists have been doing interesting things recently in your opinion?

There are quite a few artists. The big names are already on the radar. People like Navin Rawanchaikul, Chatchai Puipia, Araya Rasdjarmrearnsook, Sakarin Krue-on… these are all very good established artists.

Maitree Siriboon, ''Isarn Boy Dream" series, 2008, photography.

Maitree Siriboon, ''Isarn Boy Dream" series, 2008, photography.

On the younger front, I like Maitree Siriboon. He is an artist I think is worth watching. He’s been using photography to photograph himself to examine his identity as an openly gay guy from Isarn. He deals with the rural to urban migration, exploring on a sensory level what it means for him as an artist and as an openly-gay person to move from the provinces to Bangkok. Yuree Kensaku, a Thai-Japanese artist; I like her brand of painting. She’s also doing some sculptural work. I like Yuree’s work a lot. There’s Tawan Wattuya. He does watercolours, very loose watercolour paintings, all about conformity and uniformity in Thai society. He’s done a lot of paintings of groups of Thais in uniforms. There’s a strong sexual element to a lot of his works as well. Also Sudsiri Pui-Ock in Chiang Mai.

Yuree Kensaku, 'The Killer from electricity authority', 2009.

Yuree Kensaku, 'The Killer from electricity authority', 2009.

Are there any major collectors of Thai art?

There’s Narong Intanate. He has been collecting more conventional Thai art – modern Thai artists but not necessarily contemporary. But he’s recently started to branch out into contemporary. Disaphol Chansiri has a really interesting collection of Thai and international contemporary art. His collection is open by appointment, he’s housing it in an apartment space that he’s opened up as an art-viewing space on Sukhumvit Road. His collection is very contemporary, probably the most contemporary I’ve seen in terms of the artists he’s collecting. Jean Michel Beurdeley is a French collector who has lived here for decades. He has a collection that he opens up in quite a nice traditional Thai house where he lives. Again, viewable by appointment only. One more worth mentioning is Petch Osathanugrah. He’s collected contemporary domestic art. I don’t think his collection is housed in any permanent space at the moment. For awhile he was going to open a private museum, but I don’t think that has materialised.

Are there any books or websites you would recommend for learning more about Thai contemporary art?

I would say our website, the Bangkok Art Map, would be a site to mention. The Rama IX Foundation is very well supported. Until recently, they’ve focused more on senior conventional artists. I think there’s more diversity to their website, but there’s a lot of contemporary artists not on there. But it’s a good website. Several of the gallery websites have good listing info.

As I said before, there are only two books out there, Modern Art in Thailand and Flavours. They’re the only two English-language books that have been written on Thai art in the last fifteen years.

About Steven Pettifor

Born in 1968 in London, Steven Pettifor graduated with degrees in fine arts from both the Wimbledon School of Art and Liverpool Polytechnic. The writer-artist-curator has been living in Thailand since 1992, immersing himself in the local contemporary art scene. He is currently the Thailand Editor for Asian Art News and World Sculpture News.

VL/KN

Related Topics: Thai artists, promoting art, interviews

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Hong Kong hailed as art’s Promised Land by Art+Auction Magazine

Posted by artradar on April 2, 2010


HONG KONG ART MARKET

Sanyu, Lotus et poissons rouges, 1955

The state of the arts in Hong Kong are strong and flourishing, earning Hong Kong the high praise of being touted as Asia’s arts ‘promised land’ by Art +Auction Magazine in the March 2010 issue.

The article entitled ‘Promised Land’ describes the active art market in the city, which has recently expanded financially and creatively.

David Spalding writes for Art +Auction that:

‘Hong Kong is rising as a major art center, thanks to its thriving auction market and rapidly growing contemporary-art scene.’

‘The Hong Kong art scene has evolved rapidly, overcoming its regional myopia to become a key continentwide player and gaining prominence within the local cultural landscape.’

Auction Market

Hong Kong achieved the distinction as the 3rd largest auction market in the world in 2007, after the U.S. and U.K, and has maintained this positioning through 2009. A March 2010 article in The Economist titled How China Bucked the Trend: What Really Happened in 2009, states:

In 2009, when the global art market shrunk by more than a third to $43.5 billion, compared with $63.9 billion at its peak two years earlier, the Chinese art market bucked the trend. Sales in mainland China and Hong Kong reached a record high of $5.5 billion, up from $5 billion in 2008, boosting China’s share of the world art market that year to 14%, its highest share ever.

Indeed money freely flowed at Hong Kong’s various art auctions in late 2009, which set records and continually surpassed expectations. The following Fall 2009 Hong Kong auctions caught the attention of art world:

Zeng Fanzhi’s Untitled (Hospital Series), 1994

Sotheby’s

Sotheby’s October 6th sale of 20th-Century Chinese Art was estimated to generate $10.4 million USD in sales, but instead produced an impressive $14 million USD. This successful sale included Sanyu’s Lotus et poissons rouges, 1955,  which sold for $4.7 million, 31% higher than its greatest estimated price.  This is the artist’s 2nd highest auction price to date, and solely accounted for a third of the show’s total revenue.

The Modern and Contemporary Southeast Asian Paintings sale yielded $6.4 million, more than double its estimated yield and 76% more than the spring sale in this category.

The sale’s standout work was Indonesian painter Lee Man Fong’s Magnificent Horses, 1966, which was estimated to sell for approximately $200,000–$320,000 USD, but raked in an artist-record of $1 million USD.

Christie’s

Christie’s also experienced successful sales in November that produced $213 million USD over 5 days. A reported 47% of the buyers of contemporary Asian works were from mainland China, and favored pieces by more-established artists.

In the November 29th sale of Asian Contemporary Art and Chinese 20th-Century Art, Zeng Fanzhi’s Untitled (Hospital Series), 1994, surpassed its expected high of $1.5 million to attain $2.5 million. The November 30th Southeast Asian Modern and Contemporary sale featured Indonesian painter I Nyoman Masriadi’s Master Yoga, 2009, which also exceeded its high estimate of $130,000 to realize $467,102.

Socially active gallery scene, international flavor

Hong Kong has also earned the designation as Asia’s visual contemporary arts ‘promised land’ due to its vibrant and growing gallery scene, which features fine art not only from Asia, but the entire world. In addition, many of these socially responsible Hong Kong galleries have taken it as their mission to connect to and nurture the larger creative community. Hong Kong’s 10th annual ArtWalk, which was held on March 17th,  included 62 participating galleries that opened their doors to the public for this charity event that supported Hong Kong’s Society for Community Organization (SoCo).

Notable galleries featuring Asian artworks include:

Hanart TZ, founded in 1983 by the local critic and curator Johnson Chang Tsong-zung, has helped bring international exposure to mainland Chinese artists throughout the 1990s. This work has continued most recently with a solo exhibition of new paintings and mixed-media work by the young Fo Tan artist Lam Tung-pang (who is also represented in a concurrent group show at the Hong Kong Museum of Art through April 25).

The Osage Gallery focuses on East and Southeast Asian art, while 10 Chancery Lane Gallery holds exhibitions of Vietnamese and Cambodian contemporary art. The Thai gallery Tang Contemporary Art — which has become significant here since opening a space on Hollywood Road in 2008 — offers an eclectic mix. The artists represented in its booth at last year’s Hong Kong art fair included the Thai-Indian Navin Rawanchaikul, the Beijing-based Yan Lei and longtime Paris resident Wang Du.

Western art represented in Asia

There is also a growing local Hong Kong market for Western art, and numerous galleries have risen to meet this need.

The London gallery Ben Brown Fine Arts opened a Hong Kong space last November showing works by leading Western artists Gerhard RichterThomas Ruff and Jeff Wall, alongside those of established Asian artists like the Japanese Yayoi Kusama and the Calcutta-born, Brooklyn-based Rina Banerjee.

The Schoeni Art Gallery, which opened in 1993 with an exhibition of works by Chinese, Russian and Swiss artists, is boldly mixing things up, with the 2008 launch of Adapta, a collaboration with the U.K.-based Web magazine UKAdapta on projects involving urban and  graffiti artists like Banksy.

Additional galleries facilitating the introduction of Western art to Asia include: the Cat Street Gallery, Art Statements, and the Fabrik Gallery.

EW/KCE

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The Singapore Tyler Print Institute – international art collaboration at world-class print studio – profile

Posted by artradar on November 4, 2009


CONTEMPORARY ASIAN ART ORGANIZATIONS

STPI

Metal Bull Year I, by Chang Fee Ming at STPI. Watercolor, acrylic, etching, gold leaf, on STPI handmade paper. 77 x 62 cm.

Art Radar remains devoted to sharing important and unique Asian arts institutions with readers, and few are as exciting as the Singapore Tyler Print Institute. Regular art fair goers may already be familiar with the institute, which is a fixture at many Asian art events. STPI is based (you guessed it) in Singapore, and stands alone in all of Asia as the only fully-equipped, artist’s printmaking and papermaking workshop. It was established in 2002 under the guidance of the American master printer Kenneth Tyler with support from the Singaporean government, and is a non-profit organization specializing in the publishing and dealing of fine art prints and remains dedicated to collaborating with extraordinary international artists. STPI boasts the foremost print and paper making facilities in the world for all the major printing techniques- lithography, intaglio, relief, and silkscreen printing, and continually attracts some of the most respected working artists to its studio.

Visiting Artists Program

One of the more interesting aspects of this organization is its Visiting Artists Programme, which offers residencies to 6 exceptional international artists each year, lasting 4 to 6 weeks. During this time, artists live on the premises in fully furnished apartments and can freely experiment with different print and papermaking techniques while enjoying unbridled creative freedom. This dynamic environment has produced a wide range of works, including ‘paper pulp’ paintings, paper assemblage, and mixed media pieces. At the end of the residency, each visiting artist’s new works are curated and shown in a solo exhibition at the STPI gallery.

Participating Visiting Artists

STPI strives for diversity in its range of visiting artists, and has hosted artists from the United States, China, France, Malaysia, the Philippines, Indonesia, and Singapore. Renowned artists, including Donald Sultan, Ashley Bickerton, Zhu Wei, Atul Dodiya, Lin Tian Miao, and Chun Kwang Young have particpated in this Visiting Artists Programme.

Artists who have or are currently participating in the residency program in 2009 include:

Agus Suwage (Indonesia)   Tabiamo (Japan)   Chang Fee Ming (Malaysia)   Thukral & Tagra (India)
Trenton Doyle Hancock (USA)   Guan Wei (China/Australia)

State-of-the-art Facilities

The STPI 4,000m2 facility is also extraordinary, featuring a modern printmaking workshop, a paper mill, an art gallery, an artist’s studio, and 2 fully furnished artists’ apartments. Many of the printing presses are customized to print on large format papers, and were designed and customized personally by Ken Tyler.

Collaboration with New York’s Asia Society

STPI participates in special projects each year in addition to its main programming. The most notable of these ‘special projects’ was a rare collaboration of New York’s Asia Society and STPI in 2006 to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Asia Society. The effort produced  ‘Asian Contemporary Art in Print’, a limited edition portfolio of nine prints by respected Asian artists working in Asia, the United States, and Europe. This portfolio of works, curated by the Asia Society’s Museum Director and Curator Melissa Chui, was the first of its kind published by the Asia Society.

Artists featured in ‘Asian Contemporary Art in Print’ include:

Nilima Sheikh (India), Lin Tian Miao (China),  Amanda Heng ( Singapore), Wong Hoy Cheong (Malaysia), Navin Rawanchaikul (Thailand), Wilson Shieh (Hong Kong), Michael Lin (Taiwan),  Jiha Moon (Korea), Yuken Teruya (Japan), and Xu Bing (China).

Regarding the selection of artists, Melissa Chui comments:

“I wanted a selection of leading artists from across Asia as a representation of what’s happening today in contemporary Asian art.”

Other Services: Education, Art Collection Management, Studio Rental, Contract Publishing

In addition to hosting international leading artists and publishing their artworks, the institute also enriches the Singaporean community with public art education programmes. Furthermore, the STPI curatorial team offers a collection management service for private art collectors, and will digitally archive a collection, provide reports on the value of the artworks, recommend how to best preserve the art, and source new works for a collection. The print studio and gallery are available for rent on a daily basis. Also, if a gallery or artist needs to publish a series of prints, this can be achieved by collaborating with STPI’s professional printmakers.

Art Radar is pleased to see an innovative organization fostering creative dialogue with the international community, and suggests readers keep their eyes open, because you will likely see the Singapore Tyler Print Institute at Asian art fairs!

EW/KCE

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Posted in Art spaces, Connecting Asia to itself, Melissa Chiu, Nonprofit, Profiles, Singapore, Uncategorised | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

New contemporary art from India and Thailand in Bangkok to September 27 2008

Posted by artradar on August 26, 2008


Vidya Kamat Birthmark Series

Vidya Kamat Birthmark Series

CONTEMPORARY INDIAN AND THAI ART SHOW August 16 to September 27 2008

 Gallery Souflower, Bangkok’s only gallery exhibiting contemporary Indian art, in Silom Galleria  is showing “The Ethics of Encounter: contemporary art from India and Thailand” until September 27 2008. The show is a juxtaposition of Thai and Indian art and showcases a variety of media and methods, from video and painting to performance.

Artists include Ranbir Kaleka, Vidya Kamat, Manjunath Kamath, Sudsiri Pui-Ock, Navin Rawanchaikul, Pinaree Sanpitak, Rirkrit Tiravanija, and Chintan Upadhyay.

Vidya Kamat Birthmark Series

Vidya Kamat Birthmark Series

Navin Rawanchaikul, a Thai artist who resides in Japan and has Hindu Punjabi origins has exhibited at many biennials and is known for his taxi themed projects such as Navin Gallery Bangkok Run from 1995 to 1998 in which the artist converted a taxi into an art gallery and invited artists from Thailand and around the world to exhibit.

Vidya Kamyat, who has exhibited in a solo show in New York concerns herself with the human body and its veils proposing that there can be no pure unmediated relationship with the body.

 

Navin Rawanchaikul Reception Room Video

Navin Rawanchaikul Reception Room Video

 

 

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UBS collecting video and global art, showing four decade survey National Art Museum Beijing to Nov 2008

Posted by artradar on August 15, 2008


CORPORATE COLLECTORS SHOW 

Moving Horizons: The UBS Art Collection 1960s to the present day, National Art Museum of China, Beijing, 29 September – 4 November 2008

 
The UBS Art Collection embodies four decades of collecting, from the 1970s to the present day. Most of the works from the 1960s-1980s were assembled for an American investment company, PaineWebber, which was acquired by UBS in 2000. These works joined the artworks that UBS had been collecting for its sites across Europe to form what is today The UBS Art Collection.

Change in collecting pattern: local to global

The Collection reflects the change in collecting from local to global, from a world in which most artists lived in the country where they were born and the art market was led by New York City, to a world in which artists migrate or divide their time between continents, and the art market has multiple centres across the globe. The Collection also reflects the change in visual arts practice from one that was prescribed by movements to one that is diverse and fluid.

1960s: pop art

This exhibition of approximately 150 works demonstrates these changes. Beginning with a large group of Pop Art prints and drawings by artists including Jasper Johns, Roy Lichtenstein, Robert Rauschenberg, Andy Warhol and Edward Ruscha, the exhibition then presents a group of prints and drawings by Minimalist artists such as Ellsworth Kelly and Frank Stella.

1970s: conceptual art

The 1970s ushered in a quieter conceptual aesthetic, represented in the exhibition by Vija Celmins and, although very different, Alighiero e Boetti. Here too is Chuck Close, who used a structure of grids and symbols in his multiple series of portraits.

1980s: explosion of figurate painting

Then came the explosion of highly expressive figurate painting in the 1980s. Reacting against the performance-based and ephemeral conceptual practice of the 70s, these paintings and drawings often contained personal metaphors to reflect the lives of their makers. In Italy Sandra Chia, Francesco Clemente, Enzo Cucchi and Mimmo Paladino were grouped under the banner of Transavantguardia. In Germany Neo-Expressionists such as Georg Baselitz had an influence on the younger sculptor Stephan Balkenhol, included here, and painters such as Eric Fischl, Susan Rothenberg, David Salle and Julian Schnabel received wide acclaim in the United States. The British artist Lucian Freud had consistently focused on figurative painting since the 1940s, but didn’t receive international attention until the 1980s, the decade marked by this “return to painting’. He is represented in the exhibition by both paintings and prints.

1990s: photography and YBAs

In the 1990s photography was a critical medium, used to record the physical world with apparent objectivity by artists such as Andreas Gursky, Thomas Ruff, Peter Fischli/David Weiss, Candida Höfer and Beat Streuli. The ’90s was also the decade of the much fêted ‘YBAs’, the group of young and savvy British artists represented here by Damien Hirst, Tracey Emin, Gary Hume and one of their mentors, Michael Craig-Martin.

2000 on: global diversity, migration and video

By 2000 thriving markets were by now established across the globe – from Mexico City to Mumbai, from Berlin to Shanghai. Biennials and triennials in Brisbane, Yokohama, Istanbul, Sarjah, São Paulo and Singapore, to name a few, had shifted and expanded loci of interest, and The UBS Art Collection now hopes to mirror this diversity and expand the possibilities for displaying art in its corporate environment with the acquisition of video in particular.

Navin Rawanchaikul

Navin Rawanchaikul

The final part of the exhibition includes large-scale photo-based installations by American artist Susan Hiller and Chinese artist Xu Zhen as well as videos by Chinese artists Qiu Anxiong and Cao Fei, as well as Chen Chieh-jen from Taipeii, Navin Rawanchaikul from Thailand, Adrian Paci from Albania and Oscar Muñoz from Colombia. Their work addresses political concerns pertinent to their own experiences, but relevant across the world, issues of rapid industrialization, migration, memories of painful pasts and hopes for brighter futures.

Joanne Bernstein, Curator, The UBS Art Collection, May 2008

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