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Venice Biennale - Asian Highlights...
The 56th International Art Exhibition - la Biennale di Venezia was launched recently with the usual round of previews and opening receptions, and is now opened to the public to 22 November, 2015. Set in its main spaces of the Giardini and Arsenale, as well as in satellite venues across the island, this edition saw strong representation from Southeast Asian and Asian artists and works, both in terms of the number of national pavilions as well as works curated into several cross-cultural collateral exhibitions.  Several of these artistic efforts stood out, and coincidentally, seem to explore overlapping concerns related to the voyaging, traveling through space and time, the waters as boundaries, state and displacement.  A clear favourite of early reviews is the exquisite installation The Key in the Hand by artist Chiharu Shiota, set within the Japanese Pavilion in the Giardini. The interior of the pavilion is filled with red yarn crisscrossed, suspended and stretched across the space, and old keys hang at the end of each thread. On the floor beneath, sit two old boats, forming a delicate but strangely haunting tableau.  Keys are familiar and very valuable things that protect important people and spaces in our lives. They also inspire us to open the door to unknown worlds. - Chiharu Shiota Next door, the Korean Pavilion presented The Ways of Folding Space & Flying, by Moon Kyungwon and Joen Joonho. This newly created site-specific multi-channel film installation depicts a fantastical archaeological quest told through a futuristic lens focused on the past, combining philosophical Taoist belief in time-compression, and humanity’s supernatural desire to fly across time and space.  Over at the Arsenale, the Singapore Pavilion makes its return with a multidisciplinary installation that connects to the historic former shipyards and armories. Ex Olympian sailor and artist Charles Lim presents SEA STATE, a project that reflects on maritime systems and land reclamation, and their impact on political boundaries and the national usage of resources. Lim’s installation consists of digital video works, prints and also a large buoy, still encrusted with signs of sea life.  Also in the Arsenale, is Voyage - Trokomod, a site-specific installation by artist Heri Dono, inhabiting the Indonesian Pavilion. Centre stage is a large vessel-like creature referencing the Komodo dragon and the Trojan Horse, described by the artist as “an ancient animal made futuristic” and whose interior is laid out with domestic woven mats, but hangs a telescope similar to that of submarines and other sea-faring warships. Over at the Palazzo Mora, the Philippine Pavilion returns after fifty years of absence, with Tie A String Around the World. The exhibition takes its starting point from scenes from the seminal Philippine film, Genghis Khan, presented alongside a large spectral ship assembled from metal, velvet and wood, Shoal 2015, by Jose Tense Ruiz, and a multi-channel video piece, A Dashed State, by Manny Montelibano. This video work brings together perspectives from the vantage point of Palawan, and speaks to timely issues of the disputed South China Sea.  Also within the palazzo, is situated the Mongolian Pavilion, which presents works by artists Unen Enkh and Enkhbold Togmidshiirev, exploring contemporary states of mobility and displacement. Enkh constructs delicately balanced sculptures from natural materials made from his homeland, whereas Enkhbold presents large scale canvases covered with products from Mongolian traditions (felt, horsehair, horse dung, wood) and also screened video documentation of his performance placing his yurt at different locales around the world.  These installations stand out in particular from all the Asian national pavilions - with their visually strong artistic endeavours and coherent presentations. Experienced together as part of the wider Biennale’s theme of “All the World’s Futures”, the themes they explored conjure up together a broad sense of Asia’s colonial and migratory histories, the desire for self-reflexivity and zero in on current geopolitical crises in the region.    —————————————————————————————————————————-   Any views or opinions in the interview are solely those of the authors and do not necessarily represent the views of the company or contributors.  Update: Read our latest coverage of the 2019 Venice Biennale and the Asian Pavilions at the big event. ...

May 22, 2015

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Venice Photo Blog, Part II...
More photos from the 2015 edition of the Venice Biennale! The Writings of Today are a Promise for Tomorrow —————————————————————————————————————————- Images courtesy of the dsl collection ...

May 13, 2015

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The Singapore Pavilion at the 56th Venice Biennale...
SEA STATE by Charles Lim Yi Yong Singapore presents, Sea State, by artist and former Olympic sailor Charles Lim Yi Yong. He is interested in how globalisation impacts the seascape with global warming and land reclamation. He was inspired by the small island off Singapore called Pulau Sajahat, which disappeared from maritime maps in 2002. He sailed out to find that the island had been almost absorbed by the mainland using sand reclaimed from surrounding Southeast Asian countries to bridge the gap. While Venice sinks due to global warming, Singapore’s small landmass has increased 25 per cent in the last decade. Lim’s pavilion presented visually and conceptually striking videos of cargo ships cruising up and down Singapore’s shoreline filmed horizontally, but running vertically, as if sailing up and down the pavilion’s walls. In a nod to Singapore’s participation in the 2005 Venice Biennale when the artist, Lim Tzay-Chuen attempted to bring over Singapore’s national monument, the Merlion, Lim brings a 20-foot-tall buoy from the Singapore sea encrusted in barnacles and mussels. With windows overlooking the canal, this newly leased pavilion, bought the Singapore seascape to Europe. All that was missing was the scent of seaweed.    —————————————————————————————————————————- All images courtesy of the National Arts Council, Singapore Any views or opinions in the interview are solely those of the authors and do not necessarily represent the views of the company or contributors. Update: Read our latest coverage of the 2019 Venice Biennale and the Asian Pavilions at the big event....

May 12, 2015

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Venice Biennale 2015 Photo Blog...
The Artling was recently at the 56th Venice Biennale in the Italian city. Click through for a selection of photos from the opening week! The new Australian Pavilion in Venice    Installation view of Fondazione Prada’s Portable Classic exhibition A rainbow sculpture made of neon at the Turkish pavilion by Sarkis Singapore Pavilion  Charles Lim Yi Yong’s SEA STATE Japanese Pavilion Chiharu Shiota’s amazing Key in the Hand installation —————————————————————————————————————————- All photos courtesy of Aarti Lohia and Nienke Muller ...

May 12, 2015

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Lee Ufan at Lisson Gallery...
While widely regarded as a minimalist, Lee Ufan prizes an economy of gesture or representation in search of the maximum possible effect. This exhibition features his most recent series of Dialogue paintings and watercolours, composed of singular sweeps of paint built up over an extended period of time and incorporates evocative primary colours - blue, red and green - to the artist’s traditional grey palette. The work’s detail reveals a lack of pretension as the paintwork is thick at the top where the brush first makes contact with the canvas, forming a ridge that gradually becomes lighter, a methodology characteristic of Lee’s work that is both pure and true. It is uncontrived and reflects his typically intense concentration on only the essential elements. Installation view at Lisson Gallery, London 2015 © Lee Ufan; courtesy Lisson Gallery. Photo: Jack Hems In mixing finely crushed stones with his paints, Lee physically connects his two-dimensional works to his three dimensional sculptural works, which here includes an installation of a large rock placed in front of a blank virgin canvas, each element willing the other into a relationship. The work purposefully foregrounds the non-productive space rather than one singular self-contained object. Its artistic merit is in the defocusing of the artist’s agency, rather  evoking the resonant relationship a work of art has with the outside: the viewer, the components and their surroundings. Hence, the title Relatum for the sculptures, denoting objects between which a relation exists. Lee barely manipulates his materials, instead allowing the contact between them to speak volumes. To the same end, Lee has placed another large stone onto a steel plate outside in the gallery’s courtyard, a site-specific interaction with the garden in its precise arrangement, exploring the concept of spatiotemporal relationships. The close proximity of either object creates what he calls “an open site of power in which things and space interact vividly”.  Installation view at Lisson Gallery, London 2015 © Lee Ufan; courtesy Lisson Gallery. Photo: Jack Hems    Exhibition Details Lee Ufan 25 March - 9 May 2015 27 Bell Street London NW1 5DA  ————————————————————————————————————–   Any views or opinions in the interview are solely those of the authors and do not necessarily represent the views of the company or contributors. ...

May 06, 2015

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Paris Photo Blog, Part II...
A selection of photos from The Artling’s week in Paris for Art Paris Art Fair 2015!  Secret Archipelago Exhibition at Palais de Tokyo Zai Kuning’s Dapunta Hyang – Transmission of Knowledge, rattan and cotton strings Filipino artist Ryan Villamael’s work at the Palais de Tokyo  Art Paris Art Fair 2015 A work by Loredana Nemes at the Podbielski Contemporary booth  ———————————————————————————————————— Photos by Talenia Phua Gajardo ...

April 01, 2015

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Hong Kong Art Week 2015...
Hong Kong Art Week has come and gone! From the first edition of Art Central Hong Kong, to the third edition of Art Basel Hong Kong, to the numerous gallery events throughout the week; keep reading for a selection of photos from the week’s many events.  Art Central         Hong Kong Galleries     Art Basel   ...

March 17, 2015

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Singapore Art Week 2015...
This year’s Singapore Art Week was so packed full of events that it was near-impossible to attend as many as we wanted to… ...

January 29, 2015

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2014 Exhibition Roundup...
As 2015 approaches, The Artling looks back at 2014 and our picks for the best Asian Art exhibitions around the world. Ai Wei Wei at Blenheim Palace The largest UK exhibition of Chinese artist Ai Wei Wei’s works, now extended until 2015 1 Oct 2014 – 30 April 2015, Blenheim Palace, Oxfordshire, UK   Image courtesy of AiRx   Angles of Incidence A collaboration between Singaporean artist-architect Randy Chan and British artist Philippa Lawrence, as a part of the third Singapore International Foundation-British Council Artist in Residence Exchange (SIF-BC AiRx) 14 Jan – 23 March 2014, Singapore Botanic Gardens, Singapore 4 June – 20 July 2014, Inner Temple Gardens, London, UK   Installation view of the Beyond Stuff exhibition  Beyond Stuff Group exhibition by five leading Chinese contemporary artists, including Ai Wei Wei, He Yunchang, Li Mingzhu, Xia Xing and Zhao Zhao 29 Aug – 5 Oct 2014, Mizuma Gallery, Singapore   Genevieve Chua, Cicadas #1, acrylic and screenprint with enamel on shaped canvas, 2014. Image courtesy of the artist and Gusford Gallery   Cicadas Cicadas Solo exhibition by Singapore artist Genevieve Chua 11 July – 23 August 2014, Gusford Gallery, Los Angeles, CA, USA   Installation view of Countershadows   Countershadows (Tactics in Evasion) Exploring the concepts of exposure and concealment, this curatorial project by Melanie Pocock featured artists such as Heman Chong, Ho Rui An and Robert Zhao Renhui. 19 Sep – 26 Oct 2014, Institute for Contemporary Arts, Singapore   Image courtesy of the Metropolitan Museum of Art   Ink Art: Past as Present in Contemporary China The first ever major exhibition of Chinese contemporary art mounted by the Met, featuring works from thirty-five artists across all media 11 Dec 2013 – 6 April 2014, Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York City, NY, USA   Installation view of MODE CHANGE. Image courtesy of the artist and Michael Janssen Gallery   MODE CHANGE Solo exhibition by Singapore artist Jeremy Sharma 10 May – 13 June 2014, Michael Janssen Gallery, Singapore   Sopheap Pich, Morning Glory, rattan, bamboo, wire, plywood, and steel, 2011. Image courtesy of the artist and the Guggenheim Museum   No Country: Contemporary Art for South and Southeast Asia The first touring exhibition of the Guggenheim UBS MAP Global Art Initiative, a multi-year collaboration charting contemporary art practices across the world 10 May – 20 July 2014, Center for Contemporary Art, Singapore   Installation view of Playground. Image courtesy of the artist and ARNDT   Playground Solo exhibition by Chinese artist Qiu Zhijie 16 Nov – 31 Dec 2014, ARNDT Gallery, Singapore   Sheela Gowda, Protest, My son and Margins, at the Gwangju Biennale. Image courtesy ofThe Guardian   10th Gwangju Biennale: Burning Down the House The theme for this year’s Gwangju Biennale looks at the process of burning and transformation, the cycle of obliteration and renewal, as has occurred throughout history. 5 Sept – 9 Nov, 2014, Gwangju, South Korea ...

December 24, 2014

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Gillman Barracks Exhibitions ...
Click through for a selection of current and upcoming exhibitions at Singapore's Gillman Barracks!...

November 06, 2014

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