Art Radar Asia

Contemporary art trends and news from Asia and beyond

  • Photobucket
  • About Art Radar Asia

    Art Radar Asia News conducts original research and scans global news sources to bring you selected topical stories about the taste-changing, news-making and the up and coming in Asian contemporary art.

Posts Tagged ‘Yue Minjun’

Compound Eye: RongRong and inri retrospective at He Xiangning Art Museum

Posted by artradar on June 16, 2010


CHINESE CONTEMPORARY PHOTOGRAPHY MUSEUM EXHIBITION

Compound Eye: Works by RongRong & inri (2000-2010)(website in Chinese) is the first retrospective exhibition of collaborative works by RongRong and inri since they started working as a husband-and-wife team in 2000. In 1999, the Chinese photographer RongRong met inri, a Japanese artist, at his solo exhibition in Tokyo. They did not understand each other’s languages at that time, but they “understood each other deeply from their works.” Built on the foundation of their individual styles, their collaborative works surpass the limits of their individual vision.

Untitled Series, 2008, No.25 180x134cm, Courtesy of He Xiangning Art Museum and artists

Untitled Series, 2008, No.25 180x134cm. Courtesy of He Xiangning Art Museum and artists.

The lens naturally became a “compound eye” for the pair, enabling them to document themselves and their encounters with nature and their living landscape in depth and from perspectives only made possible by this “eye”. Feng Boyi, the exhibition’s curator, defines the unique quality of their works as such:

“Their collaborative method gives their works a romantic exterior, but the circumstances of their work and the narrative context overturn this romanticism, thus deconstructing their individual memories, dreams, and imaginations. This uniquely beautiful romantic language reflects their combined vision and a different side of nature and reality.”

In Fujisan, No.13 100x134cm , 2001, Courtesy of He Xiangning Art Museum and artists

In Fujisan, No.13 100x134cm , 2001. Courtesy of He Xiangning Art Museum and artists.

RongRong and inri’s freeze frame genealogy

The exhibition is divided into 13 series, each centering on a location and time, as well as the particular emotion associated with it. “In Fujisan, Japan” series (2001) was created after the pair made the decision to be together. This series concentrated on the spontaneous passion of discovering nature and each other, their realisation of their chance to live and create fully. “Caochangdi, Beijing” series (2004-2009) documents the births of three sons into their family. “Three Shadows, Beijing” series (2008), documenting the founding and operation of the Three Shadows Photography Art Centre, can be read like a family genealogy. The freeze frames, shaped in circles, add a timeless flavour to the family portraits. The use of this circle shape can also be found in “Untitled 2008” series, suggesting the continuity of life in the universe and their creative process.

When asked about the challenges and decisions involved in putting together this exhibition, curator Feng Boyi replied:

Uncertainty is an important element of experimental contemporary art, because artists themselves are in the phase of exploring new ideas and methods. For a general audience not familiar with the art critical discourse, contemporary art seems distant. Everyone has grown up with a relatively fixed aesthetic preference, while the general art education in China is not very helpful in fostering individual taste. Hence, I am very careful in my curatorial process to take this dynamic into consideration. RongRong and inri’s works are less abstract, so the barrier to understanding should be lower. I also try to engage the audience by providing interactive opportunities – pinhole camera workshops are run every weekend.

Caochangdi, Beijing Series, No.1 102x109cm,  2004, Courtesy of He Xiangning Art Museum and artists

Caochangdi, Beijing Series, No.1 102x109cm, 2004. Courtesy of He Xiangning Art Museum and artists.

He Xiangning Art Museum an important part of China’s art landscape

He Xiangning Art Museum (website in Chinese) is located in Shenzhen, a small fishing town which was designated as a “special economic zone” in the 80s. From these humble roots, it has grown into the cosmopolitan city in Guangdong province you can visit today. Shenzhen has always been well known as a trading centre for business and industrial production, and is the hub of the Pearl River Delta economic region. Lacking an innate infrastructure for art, Shenzhen has seen its government working with private partners to initiate and build quite a few arts clusters.

As a young migrant city without broad art heritage, Shenzhen has gone through a very fast urbanization process in the past thirty years. It is open and welcoming to new ideas and attempts. We have worked with a roster of curators, both Chinese and international. Shenzhen has a leading position in the design discipline in China. We also focus on Shenzhen’s critical location as a regional hub connecting Guangdong Province, Hong Kong, and Macau. The recent exhibition “The Butterfly Effect – An Artistic Communication Project of Cross-Strait Four Regions(website in Chinese) pays tribute to this very idea. (Feng Boyi, curator)

The museum was founded in 1997 and is the first Chinese national museum named after an individual. Since its inception, He Xiangning Art Museum has put on programmes with high aspiration and an international view: the Shenzhen Contemporary Sculpture Exhibition, first held in 1998; Wang Guangyi (website in Chinese) and Yue Minjun‘s (website in Chinese) solo exhibitions; Xu Bing’s Primer for the Mu, Lin, Sen (木, 林, 森) Project in 2009; a number of shows collaborating with Italian and French artists and curators.

He Xiangning Art Museum has always championed slightly marginalized artists in China. They still keep on creating original works without receiving overwhelming media attention. In the past few years, the characteristic of Chinese contemporary artists has shifted from being critical, avant-garde to being less so, especially after the intervention of capital in the art creation process. To some degree, the desire for fame and status has replaced their critical spirit. RongRong and inri remain experimental. They are exactly the type of artist that He Xiangning Art Museum is interested in. (Feng Boyi, curator)

When asked how He Xiangning Art Museum views the current status of art museums in China, museum director Yue Zhengwei said:

“Competition amongst museums should not be our primary concern. Founding an art museum is not the most difficult thing, but maintaining a well-run programme requires a lot of efforts. Each museum in the same city or region should develop its own unique positioning to differentiate from the rest, to avoid the wasting of resources. This is crucial to maintaining a healthy art museum eco-system.”

As an example, in the factory-converted creative and posh residential zone Overseas Chinese Town (OCT) in Shenzhen, He Xiangning Art Museum co-exists with the OCT Art and Design Gallery (website in Chinese) next door. OCT showcases a fusion of art and design, a perfect fit for a city recently named as China’s first “City of Design” by UNESCO.

“Compound Eye: Works by RongRong & inri (2000-2010)” is on at He Xiangning Art Museum until 11 July, 2010. It has been organised by He Xiangning Art Museum, with assistance from the Three Shadows Photography Art Centre.

SXB/KN

Related Topics: museum shows, photography, venues – China

Related Posts:

Subscribe to Art Radar Asia for more reports on contemporary photography in Asia

Bookmark and Share

Posted in Body, China, Chinese, Curators, Environment, Female form, Identity art, Interviews, Japanese, Landscape, Migration, Museum shows, Photography, Professionals, Self, Shenzhen, Themes and subjects | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

88-Mocca: how one collector is using technology to share his collection

Posted by artradar on April 7, 2010


ONLINE CHINESE CONTEMPORARY ART MUSEUM

Technology can be a powerful source for democratisation of art.  In this post we invite you to explore how one collector is using technology to turn his collection into an on-line museum and resource.

88-Mocca is an online museum that exhibits Fritz Kaiser’s collection of Chinese contemporary art, including prominent works by Zhang Xiaogang, Zhang Huan, Zeng Fanzhi, and Wang Guangyi.

It is not a novel concept but has the art world fully understood the lack of limits offered by an online museum. Admittedly works cannot be viewed physically which is a self-evident drawback. But against this art on-line enables viewers who would never have access to physical art works to access art. 

 On this site for example many major works of Chinese contemporary art can all be accessed in one place. And unlike a brick-and-mortar museum, it is possible to access 88-Mocca at all times, day and night. There are no limits to the number of exhibitions and content which can be put up creating easily accessed exhibition space that can also be changed at little extra cost. With no limits to the number of visitors, viewing times, number of exhibitions it is exciting to consider what effect this will have on bringing art to a new wider audience.

Wang Guangyi, Great Criticism: M&M's

Wang Guangyi, Great Criticism: M&M's

The power of the Internet has truly manifested itself here: aside from accessibility, users of sites such as 88 mocca are able to interact with art in ways they could not in traditional museums. You might find audioguides in traditional museums  but this site offers the ability to comment on works (allowing a conversation between viewers separated by time and space) and send e-cards.

Special exhibitions have been introduced: currently there is one by Yu Youhan in collaboration with ShangART gallery. There are videos that showcase specific pieces by artists and interviews with them.

Yu Youhan, Thermos

Yu Youhan, Thermos

Museums and the Web conference

If you are interested in learning more about museums and how the potential of the web can be harnessed, a international conference called Museums and the Web is held annually. Then next edition will be on April 13-17 2010 in Denver Colorado but papers from this and past conferences are all available to view on-line.

AL/KCE

Related Posts:

Subscribe to ArtRadarAsia for more information about art and the internet.

Posted in Art and internet, Chinese, Democratisation of art, Fritz Kaiser, Individual, Resources | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Which museums are collecting Chinese contemporary art? New database just released

Posted by artradar on November 22, 2009


MUSEUM COLLECTIONS CHINESE ART

The AW Asia gallery in New York has just released a valuable new resource for collectors and researchers intererested in Chinese contemporary art. Searchable by artist or museum its database, which is available online at no cost, lists Chinese artists held in permanent museum collections around the world.

According to AW Asia, the “Chinese Contemporary Art in Museum Collections” database is the first international compilation of its kind, which currently represents 42 contemporary Chinese artists and 67 domestic and international museums.

Artists include heavyweight internationally-recognised multimedia artists such as Ai Weiwei, Cai Guoqiang, Zhang Huan and Xu Bing, photographers such as Cang Xin, Hong Hao, Weng Fen and Hai Bo, ink artists Gu Wenda and Yun-fei Ji , Cynical Realist artists such as Yue Minjun, sculptors including Zhan Wang  and video artists Yang Fudong and Yang Zhenzhong.

AW Asia, a private organization in New York City that promotes Chinese contemporary art through institutional loans and acquisitions, curatorial projects, publishing, and educational programs.

Although the database is not yet comprehensive, it starts to shed light on which international museums are validating contemporary Chinese art. If you are a curator or museum representative with additional information regarding Chinese contemporary art in a permanent museum collection, AW Asia would like to hear from you. Please write to  info@awasiany.com

As the database is still under development Art Radar would like to suggest an additional feature:  a feed so that news sources can be alerted to the latest additions to museum collections. In the meantime, congratulations on creating a useful new resource.

Click to visit the Chinese contemporary art in museums database.

 Related Posts:

Subscribe to Art Radar Asia for more collector and museum news

SF/KCE

Posted in Art Index, Chinese, Market transparency, Museum collectors, Research, Resources | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Liquidity propels prices, Chinese Political Pop is back – Sothebys Contemporary Asian Art Auction 2009 Hong Kong

Posted by artradar on October 16, 2009


SOTHEBY’S AUCTIONS HONG KONG CONTEMPORARY ASIAN ART

Although called a Contemporary Asian Art auction, this sale was dominated by Chinese artists which was a canny move by Sotheby’s given that mainland liquidity is driving prices of property in Hong Kong to record high prices of US$1,000 per square foot and sending Chinese stock markets soaring. According to Bloomberg, Chinese money supply has grown by 55% since the beginning of 2007 compared with 20% in the UK and US.

Some of this liquidity has found its way into the art market at this auction. Mainland buyers were active and revealed some surprising preferences.

Hong Kong artists back in a second showcase

Sotheby’s followed up its inaugural and successful showcase of 8 Hong Kong artists in the ‘Spring auction earlier this year with an expanded selection of works by 10 artists. Affordable prices meant that all but two of the works found buyers with successful bids mostly coming in around estimates.

Simon Go, Hong Kong Old Shops, Inkjet on Bamboo Paper

Simon Go, Hong Kong Old Shops, Inkjet on Bamboo Paper

Works by two artists, sculptor Danny Lee and photographer Simon Go who were both new to the auction this year, did better than estimates. Danny Lee produces stainless steel sculptures which are reminiscent  – though in a more organic liquid form –  of the stainless steel scholar rocks made by the world-renowned sculptor Zhan Wang  whose works have been collected by institutions such as the British Museum . Danny Lee’s Mountain and Stream IV sold for HK$170,000 against a top estimate of HK$160,000 (before premium). (US$1 = HK$7.7)

Danny Lee, Mountain and Stream IV, Steel wood

Danny Lee, Mountain and Stream IV, Steel wood

Simon Go’s set of 2 photographic works called Hong Kong Old Shops: Wing Wo Grocery and Keng Ming Mirror Shop achieved a price of HK$80,000 against an estimate of HK$30-50,000 (before premium). This lot points to several collector trends. According to Larry Warsh, a New York-based dealer, there is a growing interest in Chinese photography and Wing Wo Grocery ( an image of a family clan in an old-style grocery shop from the colonial era recently shut down in preparation for urban renewal) embodies trends identified at an ArtInsight seminar last month called ‘Trends and Opportunities in Photography” . The panelists identified documentary photography and ‘slice of lif’e’ photography as hot areas for collectors now.

Zhan WangThe biggest story of the Hong Kong part of the sale was Tsang Tsou Choi’s calligraphy which saw excited bidding between several bidders in the room and on the phone resulting in a price (before premium) of HK$400,000 which was 8 times the lower estimate of HK$50,000. Work by this artist now deceased was also a surprising success in the Spring 2009 auction perhaps because of local media and public interest in the eccentric behaviour he displayed in his long art career.

Tsang Tsou Choi, Calligraphy, Acrylic on Canvas

Tsang Tsou Choi, Calligraphy, Acrylic on Canvas

In our Sotheby’s Spring 2009 auction post we wrote:

Tsang, Tsou Chin aka The Kowloon Emperor is a Hong Kong legend, famous for his calligraphy graffiti which he painted on public furniture. Undeterred by numerous warnings he roamed the streets for 50 years laying down his family genealogy and his personal history as an emperor in exile in blatant defiance of the Queen and English colonial rule. Deemed a lunatic by some, he was nevertheless recognised when in 2003 he became the very first Hong Kong artist to exhibit at the Venice Biennale.

Cynical Realist artists are back

In the next section of the sale a series of Chinese sixties-born artists, many from the Cynical Realist and Political Pop movements (Yue Minjun Feng Zhenghjie Zeng Fanzhi, Fang Lijun, Zhang Xiaogang) came under the hammer with hefty estimates of several hundred thousand and up to around $5 million per lot.

Yue Minjun, Hats Series - The Lovers, Oil on Canvas

Yue Minjun, Hats Series - The Lovers, Oil on Canvas

On a visit to London last month Art Radar heard several Western commentators describing Chinese art as ‘old’, ‘tired’ and ‘done’. This auction showed clearly that there are keen buyers for Chinese artists of this era who are willing to pay robust prices. Room bidders were mainly middle-aged Chinese men, who are perhaps collectors or more likely dealers for a growing middle class market in the mainland. Most lots in this section sold at estimate and some well above. Yue Minjun’s ‘Hats Series – The Lovers’ attracted several room bidders and a phone bidder eventually selling for HK$5.3m against a top estimate of HK$3.5m.

Institution-endorsed Chinese artists of the  fifties and sixties meet price resistance

Wang Keping, Untitled, Wood

Wang Keping, Untitled, Wood

It is no secret that Western critics regard some of the Cynical Realist artists as lightweight and lacking in intellectual rigour.  Instead major institutions such as the Royal Academy and British Museum in London have favoured and endorsed other mid-century born artists such as gunpowder artist Cai Guo-Qiang and Xu Bing, famous for his invented calligraphy . These artists sold well at lower price levels but lots with high estimates met resistance and failed. Cai Guo-Qiang’s Money Net No 2, part of Royal Academy of Art Project (estimate HK$4.7m – 5.5m) and Xu Bing’s Silkwom Series – The Foolish Old Man Who Tried to Remove the Mountain (estimate HK$5m – 5.5m) were bought in.

Frowns for part-increment bids

What we did see at this auction was a much stronger resistance by the two auctioneers in this marathon four-and-a-half  hour sale to partial bids. In recent auctions we have seen bidders make counter-offer bids at increments lower than standard. In the recent past these were accepted with alacrity by genial auctioneers. At this auction bidders were left waiting, frowned at and as often as not turned down.

Zhang Huan upset

Zhang Huan, My New York, Chromogenic Print

Zhang Huan, My New York, Chromogenic Print

Zhang Huan

, formerly a performance artist and more recently a sculptor and installation artist known for his works in ash and animal skins had 5 lots in the sale. Despite  backing by big-boy galleries in London and New York (Zhang Huan currently has an installation at White Cube in Picadilly London) four of his works including two sculptures and two chromogenic prints were bought in. The only work which was successful was a chromogenic print (numbered 3/8) recording his early endurance performance art which sees him running barefoot along the streets covered in raw meat. This work exemplifies another trend identified at the Artinsight photography seminar: growing interest in photographic documentation of performance art.

Sculpture mixed

Sculpture had a mixed performance. Apart from Zhang Huan’s two failed lots and one by Hong Kong artist Kum Chi Keung, there was a surprise pass on Japanese artist Yayoi Kusama’s pink polyester mannequin Self-Obliteration (estimate $550-650,000). Most of the rest of the ten or so sculptures including Wang Keping’s wooden female forms, Zhang Wan’s scholar rocks, kitsch sculptures by the Luo Brothers and Huang Yan and a run of five works featuring sculpted heads  and figures (by various artists) sold at or above estimate.

Li Hui, Amber Dragon, Neon and steel

Li Hui, Amber Dragon, Neon and steel

Two lots by neon and steel sculptor Li Hui (1977) were highly sought after and attracted across-the-room bidding. Both pieces were purchased by an Asian family who were active bidders in the preceding sale of South East Asian art. The family also acquired an acrylic on canvas by Japanese artist Hiroyuki Matsuura and another by Ryuki Yamamoto. Traditionally collectors’ interests cluster geographically and more often than not collectors prefer to buy their national artists though there have been signs of changes. Despite the recession there is still momentum  behind this trend of pan-Asia buying.

Chinese photography fluid bidding

A handful of photographs were scattered through the sale but the bulk was found in an eleven lot run in the middle.  This run featured sixties-born Chinese photographers such as Hai Bo, Hong Hao, Wang Qingsong, Huang Yan, Cang Xin and Sheng Qi who were active in the nineties and many of whom came to international prominence in 2004 with Christopher Phillips’ seminal exhibition Between Past and Future at the International Center of Photography in New York. Since then major US institutions have been collecting the work of this group as we reported in April 2009:

Hai Bo, Red Guard, Chromogenic Print and Gelatin Silver Print

Hai Bo, Red Guard, Chromogenic Print and Gelatin Silver Print

The J. Paul Getty Museum is the latest institution to add works by Chinese contemporary artists to its holdings. Others include New York’s Museum of Modern Art, which recently acquired 28 works for its photography collection, the Museum of Contemporary Art in Los Angeles, and the Brooklyn Museum, as well as global institutions such as the Tate and the Pompidou Center.

“The acquisition of these works (Wang Qingsong, Hai Bo) affirms an important new direction for the Getty,” says noted photography dealer and collector Daniel Wolf, who helped establish the museum’s collection in the 1980s. “It reflects an interest in expanding the collection in this category.”

Prices were affordable and bidding was fluid. While editions were limited to the 8-20 range and many of the lots were made up of multiple images, sales were made at estimates which were surprisingly affordable. Most lots sold for between HK$40-75,000. Wang Qingsong’s triptych photograph Past Present, Future which sold at estimate for HK$260,000 was the exception.  One buyer snapped up several lots.

One upset was lot 765 by Cao Fei which was passed in. Her works are inspired by the internet, video games, role-playing and the virtual world and she has received wide coverage in London and beyond after a recent show at Battersea Power Station organised in conjunction with the Serpentine Gallery.

Japanese and Korean art

The sale was dominated by Chinese artists but there was a run of cartoon-style art, many by young Japanese artists, a third of the way through the sale which sold at prices HK$50-150,000. Heavyweight Japanese artists were priced much higher but did not always sell or meet the estimate.  Yoshimoto Nara’s It’s Everything sold at HK$3.3m compared with an estimate of HK$3.8-HK$5m. Work by Yoshitaka Amano (described by Time Out as ”the Japanese anime legend behind the Final Fantasy video game” and who attracted spirited phone bidding in the spring sale 2009) was passed in. Takashi Murakami was the exception achieving HK$520,000 for an untitled 1/50 edition screenprint carrying an estimate of just HK$50-70,000. Korean works also achieved mixed results.

Long long auction

The final run of 11 lots saw 6 passes despite affordable prices. This result is probably not worth analysing in depth as it likely had more to do with the numbing length of the 4-5 hour 2 auctioneer sale which saw a packed room of 200 or so dwindle away to 30 or 40 tired stalwarts at what felt like the dog-end of the sale. Perhaps Sotheby’s who charged for coffee and catalogues again this year is still in cost-slashing mode. Let’s hope that by next year there will be enough new money supply for a return to more coffee breaks and free coffee.

Related posts:

Subscribe to Art Radar for market news

Posted in Auctions, Business of art, Cai Guoqiang, Cao Fei, Cartoon, China, Chinese, Hong Kong, Hong Kong Artists, Japanese, Korean, Li Hui, Market watch, Photography, Sculpture, Takashi Murakami, Xu Bing, Yayoi Kusama, Yoshitaka Amano, Yue Minjun, Zeng Fanzhi, Zhang Huan, Zhang Xiaogang | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Video of Miami Beach Art Asia 2008: art scene influencers discuss emerging Chinese artists

Posted by artradar on December 13, 2008


ART BASEL MIAMI BEACH ART ASIA 2008 VIDEO

Watch the Miami Beach Art Asia video here

Andrew Erdos, a young US artist who has exhibited in China, attends the Preview Party of the Art Asia and interviews leaders of the Asian art scene including Ethan Cohen, founder of Art Asia and Jim Becker Project Coordinator of the Ullens Center for Contemporary Art in Beijing.

Not only valuable for putting faces to the names of influencers in the current Asian art scene, there are snips of interesting content for example:

  • Ethan Cohen points out that 13 of the top 50 contemporary artists are Asian and
  • Jim Becker introduces the intriguing work of Feng Mengbo, a Chinese artist who recodes video games to include Chinese iconography creating a form of art which can be played.

Though titled ‘The Influencers of Art Asia’ the video is heavily biassed towards Chinese art.

Other artists covered in the video include Huang Yan (photgrapher, sculptor, painter and promoter of arts), Wang Xiaodi an emerging Chinese artist and Yue Minjun.

Watch the Miami Beach Art Asia video by PlumTV here

Posted in Chinese, Curators, Fairs, Gallerists/dealers, Miami, Video, Yue Minjun | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Ravenel Art announces first Hong Kong auction of modern and contemporary art

Posted by artradar on November 16, 2008


Hino Korehiko My Elegance

Hino Korehiko My Elegance

 

AUCTION NEWS HONG KONG

In a move which supports the growing status of Hong Kong as Asia’s art market hub, Taiwanese auction house Ravenel Art announces its first Hong Kong auction of Contemporary and Modern Asian Art on Monday December 1, 2008.

Categories include:
In Modern Chinese Art  works by Sanyu, Zao Wou-ki and Chu Teh-chun will be offered. In the Chinese Contemporary section important works by Zhang Xiaogang, Zeng Fanzhi, Wang Guangyi, Yue Minjun and Yan Pei Ming will come under the hammer.

Ravenel Art will also include works by Korean, Japanese, S. E. Asian and Indian artists. Kim Tschang-yeul and Park Seo-Bo, two of the most important Korean artists will be represented. Paintings by Japanese artists Hino Korehiko and Hiroyuki Matsuura are sure to attract much attention. The S. E. Asian section will include works by Agus Suwage and Budi Kustarto, two of the most sought after artists at the moment. A work by Justin Ponmany, one of the leading Indian contemporary artists will also be on offer.

Zhang Xiaotao Picture of Early Spring

Zhang Xiaotao Picture of Early Spring

The auction will be held in the Four Seasons Hotel Ballroom, 8 Finance Street, Central, Hong Kong on Monday December 1.

Ravenel Art was founded in 1999 and it holds two annual Spring and Autumn auctions in Taipei and will hold Spring and Autumn auctions in Hong Kong. It specializes in Modern and Contemporary Chinese Art, Korean, Japanese, S. E. Asian and Indian Contemporary Art. The company has offices in Taipei, Hong Kong and Beijing.

Click for more Asian auction news, stories about art market globalisation,

For your Asian art news, subscribe to Art Radar Asia

Posted in Auctions, China, Chinese, Hong Kong, Indian, Japanese, Korean, Market watch, Southeast Asian | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Bangkok museum opens with seminal survey, a who’s who of Thai modern contemporary art

Posted by artradar on November 14, 2008


Thaweesak Srithongdee Dolls

Thaweesak Srithongdee Dolls

 

 

NEW ART MUSEUM THAILAND

Opened in the course of the summer with a display of royal photography, the Bangkok Art and Culture Centre (BACC) is the result of over a decade of lobbying on the part of Thailand’s contemporary art community.

Not just for the elite

Like many recently built government-run cultural venues in Southeast Asia, BACC has been designed as an entertainment-oriented art space expected to bring in extra revenues through retail and is integrated into a cluster of up-market malls (including Siam Discovery and Paragon), all connected by the National Stadium BTS skytrain station.

Explains the Centre’s Acting Director Chatvichai Promadhattavedi, ‘As well as needing the various shops’ retail income to survive financially, we also need to make sure people keep coming back, we need to be a welcoming meeting place, a shopping place and an eating place, as well as a venue for culture. We must strive to have something for everyone, not just the Bangkok elite’.

Teething problems

As well as being critical of BACCs undistinguished architecture, many culture-watchers in Bangkok also have mixed feelings about the new centre’s hybrid aspirations, worrying that its core mission as a museum will be diluted by its commercial nature. At the time of writing, the several dozen retail premises of the lower floors were still untenanted, but by the same token, a clear cultural programme is not yet in place, nor a permanent curator appointed. ‘It is as if the 10 years of fighting we have gone through to get this place set up has exhausted everyone to the point where even the centre’s directors are feeling uncertain and lethargic,’ said a Thai journalist attending the opening of BACC’s first big contemporary art exhibition in September.

Montien Boonma Melting Void

Montien Boonma Melting Void

Initial teething problems notwithstanding, many feel that the over 4000 square meters of exhibition space provided by the BACC have been worth the wait and are optimistic that over time the new centre can defy the familiar Thai model of bureaucratic stagnation and institutional corruption. ‘It has been a long time coming. Now we have the infrastructure, we need to focus on programmes and policy to make the centre move ahead,’ says photographer Manit Sriwanichpoom, one of the activist-artists instrumental in the campaign for the new space and currently a member of BACC’s executive board.

Traces of Siamese Smile – first exhibition
Despite the new building having been accessible to the public for some months, it was the Bangkok centre’s first big exhibition that effectively marked the space’s arrival on the Thai cultural scene. Presided over by Princess Ubol Ratana, one of the largest shows of Thai modern and contemporary art ever assembled in Thailand or elsewhere opened on 23 September. Technically the centre’s second manifestation, Traces of Siamese Smile: Art + Faith + Politics + Love, was, due to its size, breadth, and high-calibre curatorial team, billed in the local press as ‘commemorating the opening of BACC’.

Traces of Siamese Smile: Art + Faith + Politics + Love, scheduled to run for two months until 26 November, has been organised by some of Thailand’s most distinguished art professionals, not least Prof. Dr. Apinan Poshyananda, the BACC chairman and internationally recognised curator, who currently heads the Thai Ministry of Culture’s Office of Contemporary Art and Culture.

The Siamese Smile is the exhibition’s loosely observed curatorial theme. Embodying a uniquely Thai paradox, the smile is an appropriate motif for an exhaustive survey. A cliché of the national tourist industry, the Siamese smile has in recent decades been repeatedly appropriated by contemporary artists who use it to critique Thais’ attitude of surrender vis a vis life and conventions as well as their vision of themselves from beyond their own cultural borders.

Over 300 works in the show

Including over 300 paintings, drawings, installations, sculptures, photographs and videos, the show presents Thai art as well as a small but high-profile selection of pieces by non-Thai practitioners. One may justifiably ask whether it was truly necessary to include less-than-great works by a few iconic Western, Chinese, Korean and Japanese creators for the sake of a mere smile. Andy Warhol, Jean-Michel Basquiat, Keith Haring, Pierre et Gilles, Yue Minjun, Fang Lijun, Louise Bourgeois and others figure here more like brands than practising artists, their respective works for the most part incongruous amongst the Thai majority. Within the foreign group one can make exception for Pierre et Gilles, whose photo-montage contributions relate specifically to Thailand, and Louise Bourgeois, whose extraordinary steel Spider of 1996 is so spectacularly beautiful that it would be at home and welcome anywhere! These exceptions aside, however, it is rather surprising that despite Thai contemporary art’s well recognised strengths, curators felt the inclusion of big international names necessary to draw museum-goers. It is a reflection of the local situation – true throughout Asia- that most members of the public are more familiar with, and responsive to, foreign cultural players than local ones.

How does the Thai art measure up?

These sociological observations aside, how did the Thai art measure up? As a survey spanning the first quarter of the 20th-century to the present, the exhibition will no doubt go down in history as seminal, no other inclusive selection of this nature ever having been assembled. Indeed, Traces of Siamese Smile reads like a Who’s Who of modern and contemporary Thai art, save one striking omission, that of Bangkok-based conceptual practitioner Sutee Kunavichayanont. The latter, one of the most significant artists of the present generation, due to being part of the curatorial team mounting the show, was excluded from the manifestation.

A who’s who of Thai modern and contemporary art

Dominated by contemporary art, the display presents some of the most recognisable Thai images of the last 15 years: Montien Boonma’s A Man Who Admires Thai Art is here, as is his 1999 Melting Void: Molds for the Mind (not in the catalogue). Chatchai Puipia’s Siamese Smiles of 1995 is also present, along with Kamin Lertchaiprasert’s over-scale deconstructed Buddha made of shredded Thai paper money. A funny and sharp early video by Vasan Sitthiket pokes fun at the greedy consumer. Manit Sriwanichpoom’s now globally famous Pink Man makes an appearance with patriotic school children waving the Thai flag. The flag appears elsewhere in various guises too, as depicted by Natee Utarit, Kanya Chareonsupkul, Ing Kanchanavanich, Montri Toemsombat, and Noppachai Ungkavatanapong, these artists dwelling on the meaning of the Thai nation and the effects and ills of nationalistic policy. Traces of Siamese Smile also introduces a number of key Thai modernists amongst whom the revered Silpa Bhirasri, (Italian by birth but considered the father of Thai modernism), Fua Haribhitak and Thawan Duchanee.

  • See complete article and image carousel in Asian Art ,
  • recent posts on Thai art
  • Find out which are the important artists in other survey shows of emerging and Asian art
  • review and more images in Mysinchew covers Chatchai Puipia, Surasi Kusolwong, Rirkrit Tiravanija
  • For complete list of artists in exhibition see Asia Art Archive

Subscribe to Art Radar Asia to know who is who in Asian art

Posted in Art spaces, Museum shows, Museums, Surveys, Thai | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments »

Book: Chinese Contemporary Art 7 Things You Should Know

Posted by artradar on October 23, 2008


BOOK OVERVIEW CHINESE CONTEMPORARY ART

Chinese Contemporary Art: 7 Things You Should Know – Melissa Chiu

In China today, contemporary art is readily available in public museums and private galleries in burgeoning gallery districts, and in three new art fairs in Beijing and Shanghai. Abroad, Chinese artists are the subject of museum retrospective exhibitions and grace the covers of international art magazines.

Chinese contemporary art has come of age; yet there are few reference books for the reader who wants a quick but precise history of the field. This book aims to fill that gap. Short and to the point, it is arranged into seven sections outlining the rudiments of Chinese contemporary art: what you need to know about the artists, the art market, and what can legitimately be called a new art movement, perhaps the first great art movement of the 21st century.

Sections:

  • Contemporary art in China began decades ago
  • Chinese contemporary art is more diverse than you might think
  • Museums and galleries have promoted Chinese contemporary art since the 1990s
  • Government censorship has been an influence on Chinese artists, and sometimes still is
  • The Chinese artists’ diaspora is returning to China
  • Contemporary art museums in China are on the rise
  • The world is collecting Chinese contemporary art

 Artists:

Weiwei AI(艾未未), Guoqiang CAI(蔡國強), Xin CANG(蒼鑫), Fei CAO(曹斐 b.1978), Danqing CHEN(陳丹青 b.1953), Zhen CHEN(陳箴), Xiuwen CUI(崔岫聞 b.1970), Lijun FANG(方力鈞), Mengbo FENG(馮夢波), Jianyi GENG(耿建翌), Dexin GU(顧德新), Wenda GU(谷文達), Bo HAI(海波), Duoling HE(何多苓 b.1948), Hao HONG(洪浩), Lei HONG(洪磊), Rui HUANG(黃銳), Yan HUANG(黃岩 b.1966), Yongping HUANG(黃永砅), Shan LI(李山 b.1942), Shuang LI(李爽), Tianmiao LIN(林天苗), Yilin LIN(林一林 b.1964), Wei LIU(劉煒 b.1965), Xiaodong LIU(劉小東), Desheng MA(馬德升), Liuming MA(馬六明), Zhilong QI(祁志龍 b.1962), Zhijie QIU(邱志傑 b.1969), Rong RONG(榮榮), Dong SONG(宋冬), Jianguo SUI(隨建國), Du WANG(王度), Gongxin WANG(王功新), Guangyi WANG(王廣義), Jianwei WANG(汪建偉), Jin WANG(王晉 b.1962), Jinsong WANG(王勁松), Keping WANG(王克平 b.1949), Qingsong WANG(王慶松), Shanzhuan WU(吳山專), Lu XIAO(肖魯 b.1962), Danwen XING(邢丹文), Bing XU(徐冰), Lei YAN(顏磊), Peiming YAN(嚴培明), Fudong YANG(楊福東 b.1971), Jiechang YANG(楊詰蒼 b.1956), Shaobin YANG(楊少斌), Xiuzhen YIN(尹秀珍 b.1963), Minjun YUE(岳敏君 b.1962), Fanzhi ZENG(曾梵志), Wang ZHAN(展望), Dali ZHANG(張大力), Huan ZHANG(張洹), Peili ZHANG(張培力), Xiaogang ZHANG(張曉剛 b.1958), Chunya ZHOU(周春芽), Ming ZHU(朱冥 b.1972)

Buy this book on Amazon.

Click here for recent posts on Chinese contemporary art, museum news, market watch, recommended research resources.

Subscribe to Art Radar Asia here

Posted in Chinese, Collectors | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment »

Cheaper works sell at Larasati, Borobodur auctions and art fair Singapore – Bloomberg

Posted by artradar on October 18, 2008


MARKET WATCH

Two Singapore auctions of Asian art at the weekend missed estimates as a slump in global financial markets kept many buyers away.

Borobodur Auction Pte’s two-day sale of Chinese and Southeast Asian art totaled S$11 million ($7.5 million), compared with a presale estimate of S$18 million, according to John Andreas, the company’s founder. Rival Larasati Auctioneers’ Oct. 11 sale tallied S$2.1 million, less than the S$2.5 million predicted. The auction houses released results today.

The day before the auctions began, Singapore announced its economy had slipped into a recession and the MSCI Asia Pacific stocks index fell 6.9 percent, capping its worst week since the measure was created in 1987.

Sales of Chinese contemporary art were weakest, with only about 40 percent of lots finding buyers, Andreas said. Works by top Chinese artists have risen tenfold or more in the past decade, making them the most expensive in Asia.

“The financial crisis does not affect the Southeast Asian art as much, but for the Chinese artists it is very bad,” said Andreas. “For the artists that have not gone up so high, the demand is still strong.”

Borobodur’s top lot from its Oct. 12 Southeast Asian sale was Agus Suwage’s “Cleaning the Mirror: Homage to Marina Abramovic,” which sold for S$444,000, including fees. The highest price in the company’s Asian art auction the day before was Chinese artist Wang Guangyi’s “Rolex,” which fetched S$504,000, including commission. Yue Minjun’s “Life Pose,” which had the top presale estimate of as much as S$500,000, didn’t sell. Three quarters of the Southeast Asian lots sold against 57 percent of the Asian session.

Masriadi’s Target

Larasati’s top lot was I Nyoman Masriadi’s “The Target,” a picture of a woman, face and arms painted red, with hands clasped like a gun. The 1.9 meter-wide, acrylic-on-canvas sold for S$156,000, with fees, compared with the S$150,000 presale estimate, the company said. A third of the lots offered didn’t find buyers.

A week earlier at Sotheby’s auction in Hong Kong, Masriadi broke the record for a Southeast Asian contemporary work, when his picture “The Man From Bantul (The Final Round)” sold for HK$7.8 million ($1 million).

The weekend auctions took place during the four-day ArtSingapore fair, Southeast Asia’s biggest, which ended yesterday. The event drew 110 galleries from 16 countries, with a special emphasis on art from India and South Korea. About S$80 million of art was offered, the organizer said.

Stallholders at the sale echoed the mood at the auctions, with sub-S$20,000 works from South and Southeast Asia more popular with buyers than higher-priced Chinese works.

Cheaper Lots Sell

“It went very well under the circumstances,” said Chen Shen Po, director of ArtSingapore. “Last year, everyone was selling S$50,000, S$100,000, S$200,000 works. This year it was more the S$20,000-to-S$30,000 range.”

She said the sale total was probably about the same as 2007, declining to give specifics.

“Given the circumstances coming into the fair, our expectations were quite low,” said Adam Chu of Shanghai-based Hwa’s Gallery, which showed works by Chinese artists such as He Juan and Guo Rui. “This was the least-attended of the five fairs we’ve been to this year.”

Chu said the gallery sold 20 works at the SHContemporary show in Shanghai in September. In Singapore it sold none.

See

Subscribe to Art Radar Asia

Posted in Auctions, Chinese, Fairs, Indonesian, Market watch, Recession, Singapore, Southeast Asian | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Saatchi back with new gallery, school programme, China show, – Reuters, BBC

Posted by artradar on October 12, 2008


COLLECTOR SHOW CHINESE ART

Influential British art collector Charles Saatchi is back after three years out of the limelight, opening a major new gallery in central London showcasing some of China’s hottest artists reports Reuters. The man who introduced the world to Britart stalwarts like Damien Hirst and Tracey Emin has been largely absent from the art scene since his gallery was forced out of its previous home on the River Thames in 2005. Now he is back with a huge new exhibition space in upmarket Chelsea, where he hopes free entry to the imposing former headquarters of the Duke of York will attract passers by.

Critics have lauded the imposing three-storey building with its glass and white-walled interior, and welcomed back one of contemporary art’s biggest players. But the inaugural show, opening on Thursday, has earned mixed reviews.

The Revolution Continues: New Art from China” is dedicated to Chinese artists including established stars like Yue Minjun, Zhang Xiaogang and Zeng Fanzhi, whose painting fetched $9.7 million in May, a record for Asian contemporary artwork.

Some critics have categorized the crazed, laughing men of Yue or the gray, stylized portraits of Zhang as repetitive, even “mass production” art.

Generally more popular were the sculptures, particularly an installation piece called “Old Persons Home” by Sun Yuan and Peng Yu, involving 13 aging men on wheelchairs moving randomly around a large basement room. Their striking resemblance to late world leaders turns the work into a commentary on the pitfalls of power and conflict. The gallery calls it “a grizzly parody of the U.N. dead.”

But the gallery’s head of development, Rebecca Wilson, said Saatchi’s target audience was less the experts — critics, collectors and curators — and more the general public, most of whom are unfamiliar with contemporary Chinese art. “There was a feeling that all of these artists were suddenly emerging from China, doing very well at auction, there were the Beijing Olympics coming up,” she told Reuters. “There was this kind of convergence of interest in China, so we felt it should be the exhibition that we open with.”

IRAN, IRAQ ART TO COME

Early next year the Saatchi Gallery will put on a show dedicated to contemporary Middle Eastern art, including from Iran and Iraq, by artists never seen in Britain before.

“None of those artists have been seen in this country before and will be very little known elsewhere in the world as well,” said Wilson. “I think Charles has been searching for months to try to find interesting works.”

Saatchi sells some art after an exhibition ends, partly to fund his enterprise. Auction house Phillips de Pury is supporting the gallery to ensure entry will be free.

_____________________________________________________________________________

BBC coverage:

Only free contemporary art museum in world

The BBC reports that the Saatchi gallery claims to be the only completely free entry contemporary art museum of its size in the world. Simon de Pury, of auction house Phillips de Pury & Company, who is sponsoring the exhibition, said they expected “millions” of visitors.

Ground-breaking school education programme to come

The gallery said it was seeking to establish a “ground breaking” education programme “to make contemporary art even more accessible to young people.

“It is anticipated that the facilities that the Saatchi Gallery plans to offer – at the gallery, via its website and the gallery’s own classroom – will ensure that teachers receive the best on-site and outreach support for their students.”

——————————————————————

Artists: Zhang Dali, Zeng Fanzhi, Wang Guangyi, Zheng Guogu, Zhang Haiying, Zhang Hongtu, Zhang Huan, Qiu Je, Xiang Jin, Shi Jinsong, Fang Lijun, Yue Minjun, Li Qing, Wu Shuanzhuan, Shen Shaomin, Li Songsong, Zhan Wang, Liu Wei, Zhang Xiaogang, Zhang Xiaotao, Cang Xin, Shi Xinning, Li Yan, Bai Yiluo, Sun Yuan and Peng Yu, Zhang Yuan, Yin Zhaohui, Feng Zhengjie

Find more on

Subscribe to Art Radar Asia

Posted in Chinese, Collectors, Cultural Revolution, Gallery shows, Individual, Iranian, Iraqi, London, Mao art, Middle Eastern, Political, Sculpture, UK | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »