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Posts Tagged ‘Vietnamese artists’

Rise of the celebrity artist: Vietnamese artist Trong Nguyen featured on Bravo TV reality series

Posted by artradar on July 27, 2010


CONTEMPORARY ARTISTS CELEBRITIES REALITY TV

From dance competitions to rehab, it seems that no subject is left untouched by reality television producers. Even the act of finding a spouse has been successfully commercialised for audience entertainment. Now, with Bravo TV’s new series, Work of Art: The Next Great Artist, viewers can get a glimpse inside of the often misunderstood world of contemporary art. But at what cost?

Reality TV and contemporary art finally meet

While some shows bank on the star appeal of celebrities and athletes, others take virtual unknowns and catapult them to instant, albeit usually shortlived, fame. Some shows evoke groans of annoyance as others reign in viewers eager for enterainment or curious about the show’s focus. Bravo TV has churned out a string of successful competitive series in several disciplines including fashion, cooking, and modeling just to name a few.

As of June 2010, Bravo branched out into art with the premiere of it’s new series, Work of Art: The Next Great Artist. For executive producer Sarah Jessica Parker, the show is about making art accessible to audiences who may consider it to be a “rarefied” world. In addition to giving the fourteen featured contestants a shot at a substantial amount of cash, USD100,000 to be exact, the winner also wins an opportunity to exhibit their works at the Brooklyn Museum. Such high profile spaces are rarely made available to emerging artists.

Cast of Bravo TV's Work of Art: The Next Great Artist

The cast of Bravo TV's 'Work of Art: The Next Great Artist'.

But could all of this backfire? Some argue that reality TV oversimplifies certain disciplines or even presents a distorted idea of what it’s actually like to be a successful artist, dancer or model. There is also the question of whether critics and other artists will take the show’s contestants seriously. Even so, the series aims to show, in an entertaining manner, that art is not exclusive or elitist. It is something that everyone can experience, even on a daily basis. In an article published by Zap2It, Parker states:

I want to express that we all have art in our home, whether you save a postcard from a friend or put your son’s or daughter’s drawings up on the wall. That’s art, and you are part of it … and it shouldn’t be any less accessible to you than to anyone else.

As for contestants, there are those who view the competition as merely a starting point, regardless of whether they win or not. Reality stars are made quickly and can fizzle just as fast if their careers prove to be lackluster. Such possibilities don’t seem to daunt most of the artists on the show, many of whom seek to at least stand out and generate some buzz around their name. Most of the fourteen selected artists are in their twenties, few are experienced, and all are hoping that this chance of a lifetime is worth the risk of failure in front of thousands, if not millions, of viewers.

Profiles of the judges can be found here.

Vietnamese artist Trong eliminated in second round

Artist Trong Nguyen

Artist Trong Nguyen.

Brooklyn based artist and curator Trong Nguyen falls into the small category of contestants who have already achieved success. It was not enough, however, to guarantee him a spot in the third round. At only 38, he has had several international solo and group exhibitions, received numerous grants and is currently an editor for ArtSlant.

We’ve summarised below an interview with ARTINFO in which Trong discusses the artists’ attitudes towards the show, issues with judges and why he joined the cast.

When asked if he feels animosity towards reality programming, Trong expresses amibivalence, a sentiment that was reflected in his second-round installation, What Would Tom Freidman Do? (2010).

The piece itself was about my ambivalence … I thought that any serious artist,  when they’re talking about making a reality show about art, has to have subversive reasons for doing the show.

In regards to the anti-reality TV phrases written on the television sets, Trong states “… the truth kind of hurts sometimes”. The judges eliminated Trong in the second round; his truthful remarks may have indeed struck a nerve. That is not to say that the judges fawned over Trong from the start. Some snapped back with what Trong hinted were unhelpful critiques.

The judges are so defensive that they end up ignoring what you have to say, which I feel is so unconstructive … I think they actually dote on certain works and certain people on the show for whatever reason, and it hasn’t felt constructive to me.

As a more seasoned artist, Trong questions the usefulness of critiques especially when aimed at the younger contestants whom he “feels protective of”. Equally so, Trong questions the ability of these artists, many of whom are fresh from undergraduate studies, to make work with depth at such a young age.

At that age, no matter how talented you are, you just haven’t experienced life enough to really make art that has substance to it … An art career is such a long thing — you have emerging artists out there who are still in their 50s, it’s not like any other profession.

Not only does Trong feel that many of the artists are too young, but they are also putting themselves in a vulnerable position too early. The possibility of ruining ones’ career before it starts is all too real for these young unknowns, although Trong has the immunity of experience and reputation.

One of my main things I said to myself: ‘There’s no way this is going to affect my career negatively.’

Trong's piece from his eliminating round, "What Would Tom Friedman Do?", 2010, Installation

Trong's piece from his eliminating round, 'What Would Tom Friedman Do?' (2010, installation).

With all this, one may wonder why join the cast in the first place? But for Trong, the answer is simple.

If someone asked you to do the show, would you do it? … you have this great opportunity to experience this, why wouldn’t you do it? It’s the difference between living an active life and living a passive life. So I always go for the route of active.

Seems like an easy choice but becoming a great artist is never that simple.  Mega-artists and art superstars are nothing new, but can one be made on television? The show’s intentions of giving aspiring artists a chance while exposing audiences to the art world are noble, yet using reality TV as a medium could be problematic.

Do you think the series can live up to its name and purpose or will it fall flat? Post your comments below.

EH/KN

Related Topics: celebrity art, crossover art, Vietnamese artists

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Posted in Artists as celebrities, Asian, Celebrity art, Crossover art, Emerging artists, Installation, New York, USA, Vietnamese | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Will Vietnamese non-profit art space Sàn Art shift the art scene from Hanoi to Ho Chi Minh city? – interview Dinh Q Le

Posted by artradar on December 15, 2009


SOUTHEAST ASIAN CONTEMPORARY ART

Here is a useful Art Info interview with artist Dinh Q. Le, one of the four founders of the renowned Vietnamese non-profit Sàn Art. Multimedia artist Dinh Q. Le will be having a solo show at MOMA in 2010. Read on for his perspective on the Vietnamese art scene, the challenges and opportunities ahead and how San Art is already drawing artists away from Hanoi to create a new vibrant art scene in Ho Chi Minh City.

 Sàn Art was established in 2007 as an independent, non-profit, artist-run exhibition space located in Ho Chi Minh City. The contemporary art space is completely supported by grants and individual contributions, and dedicates itself to the exchange and cultivation of contemporary art in Vietnam.

 

Interior photo of the San Art exhibition space

The focus of the interview with Dinh Q. Le is about Sàn Art’s cultural context, history, and future in Ho Chi Minh City. After frustration with trying to fund a non-for-profit organization in Vietnam, Dinh Q. Le set up the Vietnam Foundation for the Arts (VNFA) in Los Angeles with the help of his dealers Shoshana and Wayne Blank, owners of Shoshana Wayne Gallery.

Dinh Q. Le

VNFA’s original programs were focused on disseminating information about art from outside Vietnam, lecture series, and grant programs. After realizing the need to showcase artists’ works, they switched some of the funding from the VNFA lecture and artist grant programs to fund the opening of Sàn Art.

Here are some questions and responses from the interview:

What was the art scene in Ho Chi Minh City (HCMC) like when you first returned to Vietnam in 1993? What inspired you to get involved?

The biggest reason I wanted to do something to help was because of the respect I felt for young artists at the time. They were well trained as painters and traditional sculptors and could actually make a decent living by creating works catering to the emerging tourist art market. But they decided to abandon their traditional training and try out installation and conceptual art, even when they had little information on these practices. I thought they were very brave.

How does Sàn Art fit within the Vietnamese art system? Is it recognized by the government?

Sàn Art acts as a bridge between local and international art scenes. We are nationally recognized. All our openings have been televised nationally by government stations and written up in the local and national newspapers. I guess, in a way, they are supportive. But at the same time, they are also keeping their distance and keeping a watchful eye on us.

Photo from current exhibition titled "Collection Show" running from December 1-28. Unknown Monsters; acrylic on canvas Dimensions Variable; 2009 Artist: Tyke Witnes

How do you think Sàn Art has impacted the local art scene?

The biggest impact is that Sàn Art created a community that was not here before. Hanoi used to be the place to go if you were an international curator coming to learn about the Vietnamese contemporary art scene, but today many artists from Hanoi are considering moving to HCMC.

Upcoming solo exhibition of American artist Hap Tivey, titled "Light Shreds - 2000 Car Paintings" opening on December 31st.

With new leadership in place, a new building, and two years of experience behind you, what does the future hold for Sàn Art?

We hope that Sàn Art will have a closer working relationship with the HCMC Fine Arts Association and the HCMC Fine Arts University so that we can reach out to the older members of the Fine Arts Association and to the students at the university. Sàn Art can contribute a tremendous amount of content to their programs through our international connections. Like many artist-run spaces, our most fundamental hope is for Sàn Art to be financially stable so we can keep serving the community.

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SF/KCE

Posted in Art spaces, Artist Nationality, Artist-run, Artists as curators, Connecting Asia to itself, Hanoi, Ho Chi Minh, Interviews, Nonprofit, Profiles, Vietnam, Vietnamese | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Contemporary Asian art research grant 2009 – call for applications by Asia Art Archive

Posted by artradar on March 10, 2009


ASIAN ART RESEARCH GRANT

The first of its kind in the field, AAA Research Grant was created by Asia Art Archive with the generous support of Martell in 2005.

It was established to encourage understanding of the exciting developments taking place, provide much-needed resources to individuals wishing to carry out focused research projects in Asia, and to endow future generations with material on artists working today.

The grant is thematic in approach and requires the collection of rare documents, original materials and first-hand information on contemporary Asian art.

The US$10,000 grant is offered every two years.

Deadline for proposals 30 June 2009.

The interest in contemporary Asian art over the past decade has surged with an increasing number of Asian artists taking part in major international exhibitions, a growing art market and a mushrooming of art events and spaces in the region. Despite these developments, there has been a lack of research and in-depth writing, which is very important for the long-term understanding and healthy growth of contemporary art in the region.

Previous grantees are

1. Leeza Ahmady, Unveiling Contemporary Art in Central Asia Afghanistan, Uzbekistan, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, and
Tajikistan

Afghanistan born and New York based curator Leeza Ahmady is currently director of Asian Contemporary Art Week New York. Click on the link above to see the results of the research online.

Leeza Ahmady organised an exhibition and symposium entitled “The Taste of Others: Contemporary Art in
Central Asia” in New York in March 2005, with the aim of closing the gap that exists between the international
and Central Asian art communities. With the support of the Research Grant, Ahmady traveled to Central Asia
in August and September 2005 to further conduct interviews with artists and curators, and collect up-to-date
materials of the developing art scene.

2. Richard Streitmatter-Tran, Mediating the Mekong 

Vietnamese artist and curator Richard Streitmatter-Tran has exhibited at Venice, Singapore, Gwangju and Hong Kong Biennales. He will be assisting the Queensland Art Gallery as a co-curator for the upcoming Asia Pacific Triennale in 2009 for a Mekong focused platform.
Richard Streitmatter-Tran’s research looked at the Mekong region, where he examined the importance of the media in effecting work produced in the region. Over the life of the project, Streitmatter-Tran travelled to Cambodia, Laos, Thailand, Myanmar and Vietnam. He proceeded by making a general assessment of the media infrastructure for each country and then seeking out artists that were either using, commenting or resisting media in the production of their work. Videos, images and documents were collected in the course of his research.

More information available on Asia Art Archive website.

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Posted in Central Asian, Research, Vietnamese | Tagged: , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Indonesian, Filipino prices rise at Sotheby’s despite meltdown

Posted by artradar on October 13, 2008


I Nyoman Masriadi The Final Round

I Nyoman Masriadi The Final Round

 

AUCTION SOUTH EAST ASIAN ART 2008

Sotheby’s autumn sales in Hong Kong were grim apart from the South East Asian sale which provided some much needed relief. The success of the sale prompted an ebullient quip from Sotheby’s entertaining auctioneer Chin Yeow : “Is there a financial meltdown out there because I am not feeling it. The banks should ask our bidders if they need money!”

The sale included Malaysian, Filipino, Singaporean and Vietnamese art but was dominated by Indonesian works. Bidding was thin for Vietnamese lots and these attracted interest mainly from Paris. In contrast the Filipino and in particular the Indonesian lots attracted fierce bidding wars from bidders on all continents.

The works which attracted most interest included those by I Nyoman Masriadi, Agus Suwage, Rudy Mantofani and FX Harsano.

Two Indonesian markets: modern/colonial and contemporary/popular

Information about Indonesian art is notoriously difficult to come by. Helen Spanjaard, a Dutch art academic specialising in Indonesian art (one of only two in the world who speak English she says), explains that there are two distinct markets for Indonesian works – the colonial/Dutch influenced body of works eg Affandi and the new generation mostly born in the seventies.

“There is established buying support for the colonial works mostly from Chinese Indonesian collectors who compete with one another to drive up prices”. There is a second much more international market for the seventies generation artists. Dr Spanjaard notes that those works which are particularly popular are reminiscent of Chinese pop art or refer to popular cultural influences such as cartoons, superheros, flat stylisation, fantasy.

This was certainly borne out in the sale. Indonesian artist I Nyoman Masriadi’s The Man From Bantul (The Final Round), 2000, lot 838, an impressive triptych of a fight painted in a flat stylised manner sold for HK$7,820,000 (US$1,000,725) after lively bidding, five times its high estimate of HK$1-1.5 million.

A number of other works by Masriadi fetched impressive prices  including Petualanganku Berakhir Setelah Ketemu Ibumu (My Adventure Ended After I Met Your Mother), which sold for HK$2,900,000 (US$371,113) (lot 895, est. HK$250/350,000), and Too Small, which achieved HK$1,820,000 (US$232,905) (lot 808, est. HK$250/350,000), both bringing many times their high estimates. These works featured flat images with cartoon-style poses and speech bubbles.

Sotheby’s again set a record for the work of Rudi Mantofani (b. 1973) following the record price achieved
in its series of spring 2008 sales last season. Pohon-Pohon Langit (Sky Trees) sold for HK$3,020,000
(US$386,469), bringing almost eight times its high estimate (lot 868, est. HK$280,000 – $380,000). Mantofani is known for his surreal fantasy landscapes in which for example trees are clouds and shadows are holes.

Artist records were also broken for Dipo Andy and Jumaldi Alfi. More abstract contemporary works and by for example Yunizar, Putu Satawijaya and the moderns also attracted interest but to a lesser extent.

Filipino artists

Filipino artists who did well in this sale included Geraldine Javier, Ronald Ventura, Annie Cabigting, Yasmin Sison and Lirio Salvador.

Why is South East Asian art so popular now?

Some commentators note that there is a structural issue which is affecting the art market. Today’s buyers are more speculative than at any time in the history of art buying and that the interest in South East Asian works is coming from former buyers of Chinese art who are looking for the next hot trend. Others note that the sale was a success because prices of South East Asian art are relatively cheap compared with other markets.

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Posted in Auctions, Cartoon, Collectors, Critic, Filipino, Hong Kong, Individual, Indonesian, Malaysian, Market watch, Pop Art, Professionals, Recession, Singaporean, Southeast Asian, Vietnamese | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Art fair Shanghai breaks new ground with Best of Discovery emerging artists – Financial Times, Artkrush

Posted by artradar on September 14, 2008


 

Tushar Joag 

ART FAIR CHINA EMERGING ARTISTS

“Best of Discovery” is a unique curated section of Shanghai’s premier art fair ShContemporary 08 featuring over 30 selected emerging artists from the Asia Pacific region who are presented to a global audience for the first time. 

In a “ground-breaking move”  ShContemporary founder Rudolf has commissioned a team of  independent curators with knowledge of their given regions to make an informed selection of work by promising younger artists largely unknown on the international stage says the Financial Times.  They have scoured not only China but Australasia, Central Asia, India, Indonesia, Japan, Korea, the Middle East, Taiwan and Thailand.

The works are on display in an open-format, museum-like installation in the grounds of and inside the imposing Soviet-built Shanghai Exhibition Centre, where the ShContemporary fair is held from September 10 to 13 2008.

Selected on merit not gallery affiliation

The pieces have been selected not on gallery affiliation but on merit alone. “In fact” says the Financial Times “half the artists selected had no gallery representation at all. For the purposes of the fair, exhibiting dealers have sponsored these artists, forging temporary relationships that may well continue after the event.”

“Markedly experimental”

The 11 international curators selected a range of “markedly experimental” works says Artkrush. “Pieces by better-known figures such as Beijing’s Wang Luyan – a muscular satirist of consumption and politics – share space with Yael Bartana who employs cultural symbols to unpack political concerns, and from Japan, upstart provocateur Tadasu Takamine – most notorious for his controversial Kimura-san video, which shows the artist helping a disabled friend masturbate – is grouped with his more sedate countryman Sakae Ozawa.”

Intriguing art from Central Asia, Caucasus

The Financial Times notes that “the most intriguing is the work being produced in those regions where creativity has been frozen, corrupted or isolated for decades, even centuries”. Perhaps least known is the art of the new Central Asian republics which first made their debut on the international stage at the Venice Biennale in 2005. To represent Central Asia and the Caucasus, curator Sara Raza has alighted on the work of the outlandish Kazak performance artist Erbossyn Meldibekov and also on the emerging Georgian artist Sophia Tabatadze.

List of Asian artistsCambodia: Sopheap Pich (1969 Cambodia), Central Asia: Sophia Tabatadze (1977 Georgia), Erbossyn Meldibekov (1964 Kazakhstan), China: Wang Luyan (1956 Beijing), Zhu Jinshi (1954 Beijing), Wang Zhiyuan (1958 Tianjin China), Shi Yong (1963 Shanghai), Chen Yenling (1969 China), Taiwan: Effie Wu (1973 Taiwan), Huang Po-Chih (1980 Taiwan), India: Tushar Joag (1966 India), Vibha Galhotra (1978 India), Ved Gupta (1975 India), Sumedh Rajendran (1972 India), Indonesia: Agus Suwage (1959 Indonesia), J Ariadhitya Pramuhendra (1984 Indonesia), Japan: Tadasu Takamine (1968 Japan), Sakae Ozawa (1980 Japan), Hiraki Sawa (1977 Japan), Korea: Jina Park (1974 US works in Korea), Clara Shin (1974 Brazil works in Korea), Jo Jong Sung( 1977 Korea), Thailand: Dearborn K Mendhaka (1979 Thailand), Vietnam: Nguyen Thai Tuan (1965 Vietnam), Israel: Yael Bartana (1970 Israel), Iran: Reza Aramesh (1968 Iran)

List of Asian specialist curators: Erin Gleeson (Cambodia), Sara Raza (Central Asia, Western Asia, Middle East), Huang Du (China), Sean CS Hsu (Taiwan), Deeksha Nath (India), Rikky Effendy (Indonesia), Reiko Tsubaki (Japan), Shin Young Chung (Korea), Sutee Kunavichayanont (Thailand), Din Q Le (Vietnam)

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Posted in China, Chinese, Fairs, Georgian, Indian, Indonesian, Iranian, Israeli, Japanese, Kazakhstani, Korean, Middle Eastern, Southeast Asian, Taiwanese, Thai | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »