Jan 15 2018


by The Editors

Lettres du Voyant: Joseph Beuys x Nam June Paik

Jan 20–May 13

HOW Art Museum, Shanghai, China

NAM JUNE PAIK, Blue Buddha, 1992–96, video installation with four color televisions and neon light, 250 × 155 × 205 cm. Photo by Lee Jung Sung. Courtesy HOW Art Museum, Shanghai.
NAM JUNE PAIK, Blue Buddha, 1992–96, video installation with four color televisions and neon light, 250 × 155 × 205 cm. Photo by Lee Jung Sung. Courtesy HOW Art Museum, Shanghai.

Key works by Joseph Beuys and Nam June Paik will be brought together in a three-part, landmark exhibition, tracing the parallels and convergences between the two Fluxus artists’ practices. One section will focus on Paik and Beuys’s often overlooked friendship and the numerous collaborative projects created since their first meeting in Düsseldorf in 1961. Highlights include documentation of Coyote III, the pair’s improvised, discordant duet staged in 1984. The other two portions of the show will pay homage to their respective careers, spotlighting Paik’s pioneering explorations in new media and Beuys’s humanist social sculptures.

Dhaka Art Summit

Feb 2–10

Bangladesh Shilpakala Academy, Dhaka, Bangladesh

SEHER SHAH and RANDHIR SINGH, Studies in Form – Akbar Bhavan #20, 2017, cyanotope monoprint on Arches Aquarelle paper, 76 × 56 cm. Courtesy the artists; Samdani Art Foundation, Dhaka; and Nature Morte, New Delhi. 

The fourth Dhaka Art Summit, organized by the Samdani Art Foundation, will expand its originally indo-centric focus to look at the art history of Bangladesh in relation to South and Southeast Asia. The nine-day event will comprise an electrifying program of ten exhibitions featuring some 300 artists, two major symposiums with over 120 guest speakers, as well as a number of awards and interdisciplinary workshops. One third of the artworks featured will be new commissions. Among them are Rasheed Araeen’s bamboo installation Rite/Right of Passage (2017), Htein Lin’s iron and charcoal sculpture that alludes to the destruction of mangrove forests across Burma and Randhir Singh and Seher Shah’s cyanotype prints, which explore modernist architecture around the world.

Manila Biennale: Open City

Feb 3–Mar 5

Intramuros, Manila, Philippines

MARK SALVATUSThe Weakest Link, 2011, metal chains, dimensions variable. Courtesy the artist.

The first Manila Biennale will bring together history and visual culture in a month-long takeover of Manila’s historical, stone-walled citadel Intramuros. The festival pays tribute to a moment in December 1941 when the Philippines was between colonization by America and Japan and was free of all foreign occupation. The theme, “Open City,” also refers to when Manila opened itself up as a port for the exchange of products and ideas. The event will comprise visual arts, performances, as well as music and design programs. Among the 39 local and international visual artists to be featured are Hikaru Fujii, whose installations draw from archival materials to reinterpret historical events; Mark Salvatus with his multimedia works discursive of urbanization; Agnes Arellano’s surrealist marble sculptures; and Gary-Ross Pastrana, whose conceptual collages and installations examine the sentimental values we project on quotidian objects.

Danh Vo: Take My Breath Away

Feb 9–May 9

Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York, USA

Installation view of DANH VO’s “ وادي الحجارة” (wād al-ḥaŷara: “river running through rocks”) at Museo Jumex, Mexico City, 2014–15. Photo by Abigail Enzaldo and Emilio Bernabé García. Courtesy Museo Jumex.

Vietnam-born, Danish artist Danh Vo utilizes found materials he accumulates through intense research and serendipitous encounters to excavate personal and shared histories. Vo’s first survey in the United States will span 15 years of his practice and will include a number of new works. The thematic exhibition highlights issues that the artist has tackled throughout his career: the status of refugees; the legacy of colonialism in Southeast Asia and Latin America, including military interventions and the introduction of evangelical Catholicism and consumer brands; and the perception of the US both within the country and in the world.

Perth Festival

Feb 9—Mar 4

Various Locations, Perth, Australia

NAT RANDALL and collaborators, The Second Woman, 2017, documentation of performance at Liveworks Festival of Experimental Art, Sydney, 2017. Photo by Heidrun Löhr. Courtesy Perth Festival. 

Perth Festival will host a plethora of theatre, dance, music, film and visual arts events, highlighting some key artists from the Asia Pacific region. Featured projects include a 24-hour live performance The Second Woman (2018) by Australian artist Nat Randall, comprising 100 intimate scenes with 100 different male participants; “Banjawarn,” a photographic exposé by Perth-born artist Christopher Charles that delves deep into Aum Shinrikyo, a Japanese doomsday cult that camped at a pastoral station in the Australian outback in 1993; “Zone of Nowhere,” New York-based, Korean artist Kimsooja’s first solo show in Australia, featuring her well-known works using bottaris—the traditional Korean cloth used to bundle personal belongings—addressing the physical and phenomenological issues of migration, identity and (un)belonging; and much more.

New Museum Triennial: Songs for Sabotage

Feb 13–May 27

New Museum, New York, USA

CIAN DAYRIT, Civilized Society, 2017, oil on canvas, 121 × 153 cm. Courtesy the artist.
CIAN DAYRIT, Civilized Society, 2017, oil on canvas, 121 × 153 cm. Courtesy the artist.

In an era where post-truths are the new normal and society appears to be on the verge of losing touch with reality, “Songs for Sabotage” provides a platform to question how images from traditional and new media affect our personal and political perceptions, bringing together 30 artists from 19 countries to critically examine socioeconomic structures that dictate our daily lives via films, sculptures and paintings. Participating artists include Manila-based Cian Dayrit and Hong Kong’s Wong Ping, who both probe geopolitical and social issues pertinent within the Asia Pacific region, as well as Song Ta, whose practice theatrically frames the systems of power in China’s commercial and political arenas.