“south-east asia”

Art Taipei: Harvest season for the Asian art scene

Art Taipei, taking advantage of its geographic location at the centre of the South East Asia, could boast of another fruitful year by the time it concluded on 15 November. For this edition, it welcomed 150 participants with 30,000 visitors. The fair also drew a record number of newcomers: 55 applicant galleries from which 38 were finally selected. Created 23 years ago, Art Taipei has positioned itself as a platform for the promotion of Taiwanese artists and local culture. After years of development, it has eventually grown into one of the largest platforms for South East Asian Art, where galleries show major Asian art movements and feature representative artists. Beginning with local galleries, Soka Art Center highlighted the works of Hong Ling, an artist who imports the Western medium of oil-on-canvas to draw landscapes and illustrate philosophies from Chinese artistic heritage. Offering a contribution to the world of Chinese landscape painting that is unparalleled in its vibrancy, he is considered as one of the most important figures in Chinese contemporary-art history. In addition, with the support of Soka Art Center and the UNEEC Culture and Education Foundation, a touring Hong Ling retrospective was launched successively at the Brunei Gallery of SOAS University of London and the Chester Beatty Library in Ireland in July, and will continue until next January providing an excellent echo to the fair exhibition. To show its deep roots in the Asian art scene as the first Taiwanese gallery to open a branch in mainland China, Soka Art also brought a group of established artists, such as Liang Quan, Kusama Yayoi and Yoshitomo Nara, as well as emergent artists like Hsi Shih-Pin and Mitsuhiro Ikeda. Lin&Lin Gallery proposed an eclectic list with various works from artists from the 1950s and 1960s as well as younger artists. Highlights...

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Singapore: a centre for the Asian art market

“From invisible to explosive” was the New York Times’ assessment of Singapore’s art scene…in 1990. Nicknamed the Switzerland of South-East Asia due to its economic prosperity and multicultural society, boasting no less than four official languages (English, Tamil, Malaysian, and Mandarin), the island hasn’t always been considered a hotspot for culture and the arts. In the years following the city-state’s independence (1965), employment and housing were the government’s top priorities. Art was considered a mere promotional tool, part of the “pro-multiculturalism” narrative that aimed to promote harmony between the different ethnic groups of the country – Chinese, Malaysian, and Indian. All this changed however, during the recession of 1985, with research into new avenues of economic development identifying the sector as a potential area for growth. Since then art has become a veritable godsend for the tourist industry, and a key player in the economy of the city-state. Art as an economic and political tool Today, the creative arts are at the centre of the Singapore’s economic policy. For the ‘Switzerland of South-East Asia’, culture represents a competitive advantage for a nation whose power lies in its creative industries. According to Paul Romer, a professor at Stanford University, this “suggests that an economy cannot achieve fast long-run growth merely by having a high savings rate and investing lots of physical capital, or accumulating lots more buildings and machines. It must have in place policies which encourage new discoveries, new improvements and techniques.” It was in 2000 that the city-state first started to take notice of the potential growth in the sector, when the Ministry of Information, Communication, and the Arts (MICA) published a report entitled Renaissance City Report: Culture and Arts in Renaissance Singapore. The report suggested that Singapore had the potential to be at the forefront of the...

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Singapore and South-East Asia guests of honour at Art Paris 2015

From 26 to 29 March, the 2015 edition of the Art Paris fair will bring 140 galleries, representing more than 20 different countries to Paris’ Grand Palais. This year, the guests of honour are Singapore and South-East Asia. The Art Paris fair, led by its director Guillaume Piens, is dedicated to discovery: that of Modern and Contemporary art, but also that of design, of photography, and art books. With a strong international dimension, it also offers visitors the chance to see creation hitherto almost unseen in France. Foreign galleries and those who are taking part in the fair for the first time make up 51% of the participating galleries. As part of this journey on the path less travelled, visitors will find galleries based in Casablanca, Bangkok, Zurich, Moscow, Bucarest and Singapore. This programme dedicated to exploration also includes a section dedicated to emerging galleries, those which are less than five years old and are taking part in the fair for the first time. Twelve galleries will form this section, including Archiraar (Brussels), Podbielski (Berlin), Christophe Gerber (Lausanne), Heinzer Reslzer (Lausanne) and Jo Van Loo (Münich). The guests of honour, according to the fair’s organisers, will be represented at the centre of a special platform, created by curator Lola Lenzi, who specialises in South-East Asian art. Her exhibition “The Roving Eye: Contemporary Art from Southeast Asia” was very well received at its opening in September 2014. Around 12 galleries from Singapore will present works from the still relatively unknown but ever-expanding art scene in South-East Asia. Artists originating from Cambodia, Burma, Malaysia, Indonesia, the Philippines, Vietnam and Thailand will see their works on display. South-East Asia will also be present in the general section, for example the Nathalie Obadia gallery which will be representing the Philippine artist Manuel Ocampo. Finally, a new addition...

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Appointment of new director for Art Basel in Asia

From January 2015, Adeline Ooi will be the new director of Art Basel in Asia. Adeline Ooi, who used to be head of VIP relations in South-East Asia for Art Basel, has now been appointed head of Asia for Art Basel. Her predecessor Magnus Renfrew left the post in 2014 to work for the auction house Bonhams. Due to her vast experience of working in the region, Adeline Ooi will be particularly responsible for the development of the Art Basel fair in Hong Kong, which will take place this year between 15 and 17 March. She will be joining the management committee of Art Basel, to work alongside Marc Spiegler and Marco Fazzone, the manager and director of finances and resources respectively. Ooi is also the director of RogueArt, a cultural agency based in Malaysia, which she cofounded in 2009. From 2006 to 2008, she worked for prestigious institutions across the whole of South-East Asia, from the Valentine Willie Fine Art gallery in Kuala Lumpur to the Singapore Art Museum, as well as the Queensland Art Gallery in Australia and the Galeri Nasional...

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Fourth Edition of the Singapore Biennale

Singapore, 31 October 2013, Art Media Agency (AMA). The fourth edition of the Singapore Biennale is currently taking place, and is to run until 16 February 2013. The event invites artists to reconsider the world in which we live, and those in which we would like to live. It features works by 82 artists and artists collectives, sourced from 13 different countries, the majority of pieces featured in the show are o display for the first time. Artists exhibited have explored domains including spirituality, history, conscience, the idea of the Other, exchange, nature, and geography. The majority of those exhibiting come from regions in South East...

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