The art world is constantly searching for great contemporary artists, and that stands particularly true for the ever-evolving world of Asian art. With the influx of social media activity over the last few years, these artists are using this social networking app to promote their artworks and expand their voice. Whether you’re an art lover, someone in need of some visual inspiration or even an art collector looking to get to know more about an artist or scouring for artworks, it is without a doubt that Instagram has allowed for art to be more accessible globally.
From emerging to established game changers, here are the 10 artists we think you should follow on Instagram!
A household name in the world of contemporary art, Ai Weiwei is also known for using Instagram as a way of putting his views on the world forward. In August of 2018, he documented the destruction of his Beijing studio on Instagram with videos of the building’s demolition. What is particularly interesting is Ai’s lack of emotion in his captions, allowing followers to understand this event more politically and artistically. As well as his personal activist commentaries, he often posts selfies with the many people he crosses paths with as if using his account as a visual archive of his day to day life and interactions.
Asia’s Next Top Model winner Sheena Liam embroiders her self-portraits. Using loose thread, she constructs three-dimensional portraits of herself that come with a particular sense of vulnerability. These intricate works bring a unique take to the art of embroidery altogether. Her Instagram account also features artsy avant-garde couture from photoshoots, along with musings of exhibitions that she’s attended.
Bringing a less minimal and more eccentric form of threading is Jogjakarta-based artist Mulyana. His account is scattered with images of bright and large-scale installations made painstakingly with the age-old technique of knitting. He has created an alter-ego called Mogus, which presents in the form of an octopus and features in his underwater-themed installations.
Mulyana learned to knit whilst working part-time at a book store in Bandung over his university years. The book store owner taught him how to knit, and Mulyana has now passed that skill along to dozens more. In Kaliurang and Notogenen, Mulyana now works with 12 housewives and transgender individuals to create his life-sized landscapes.
Jonathan Jay Lee is a professor who cites himself as an illustrator and comic book geek. He is now based in Hong Kong after graduating in Illustration at the Parsons School of Design. This award-winning illustrator has worked with Marvel Comics, San Miguel and Lamborghini. His works depict a dynamic and beautiful take on city life, heavily influenced by that of old-school comic books.
With the epitome of 'aesthetically pleasing' comes Nguan's Instagram page - he even once took over the New Yorker's Instagram account. Nguan's trademark soft pastel hues adorn come together in this collage, capturing sightings of people and unique perspectives of Singaporean buildings. Nguan, an aspiring photographer, got his big break when Arkitip offered him 8 pages in their issue in 2005 and was later featured in Vice's photo issue in 2006.
A highly-acclaimed installation artist, Chiharu Shiota’s account features her beautifully constructed works that adorn spaces from floor to ceiling. Her site-specific works are on show internationally and aim to speak to her viewers emotionally, creating networks of human experience. From art fairs to museums to shopping malls, Shiota’s room-filling, monumental and poetic installations are beautiful additions to anyone’s Instagram feed.
If you’re after a little dash of wanderlust, NKCHU is the account to follow. This Shanghainese photographer captures stunning shots of Shanghai, Hong Kong and around the world. He works also anonymously. His crisp pictures allow you to see cities like never before, with most of them featuring bird’s eye views of cities and their beautiful architectures.
A name that needs no introduction to the world of Asian contemporary art, Takashi Murakami’s Instagram account features visual content such as his ongoing works, support for fellow artists, and the occasional celebrity selfie. He also unveils works that are slated to be displayed in future shows, undoubtedly creating buzz prior to their openings - having a whopping 1.2 million followers would cause that. Taking to Instagram to unveil three new sculptures for an exhibition at Gagosian Hong Kong last year, he even got a comment from rapper Drake, who declared how much he needed the sculpture in the post.
Singapore’s representative for the 2019 Venice Biennale, Song-Ming Ang’s Instagram is filled with musings of an artist based between Singapore and Berlin. In the run-up to Venice, he features progressions of his practice that he will bring to the Singapore Pavilion at the world’s biggest art event. With a practice surrounded by his love of music, expect to see manuscripts, instruments, and experimentations. You’ll also find witty captions to these unedited images.
Hailing from Pakistan and now based in Toronto, Maria Qamar creates works inspired by American Pop icons Roy Lichtenstein and Andy Warhol - except this time, they feature a self-made desi woman as its protagonist. With an impressive 166,000 followers, her bold pop works have graced the likes of Nike and Google. She’s even published a book titled ‘Trust No Aunty’, a satirical guide to dealing with South Asian aunties.
For daily images of stunning Asian contemporary art, follow The Artling’s Instagram page or check us out by clicking below:
Any views or opinions in the post are solely those of the authors and do not necessarily represent the views of the company or contributors.
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