2007 is a benchmark year for recalling events that transformed the Asian landscape forever, marking the 60th anniversary of the Partition of British India into the independent states of India and Pakistan, the 50th anniversary of Malaysian independence from Britain and the 10th anniversary of Hong Kong’s return to Chinese rule.
In Canada this spring, following sustained outcry from local animal rights activists, the Vancouver Art Gallery caved in to legal pressures and altered renowned Chinese artist Huang Yong Ping’s mixed-media installation Theater of the World (1993), included in the 40-piece touring retrospective “House of Oracles.”
The most recent blow to civil liberties and artistic expression in India occurred May 9 when S. Chandramohan, an art student at Maharaja Sayajirao University in Baroda in Gujarat, was arrested for displaying “obscene” work in his final year examination assessment.
The opening of Pakistan’s much-delayed National Art Gallery in Islamabad has hit another speed bump after the March 26 inauguration ceremony, already pushed back due to construction delays, was postponed indefinitely due to a conflict with President General Pervez Musharraf’s schedule.
Having incorporated popular iconography, advertising campaigns and the film industry into his interdisciplinary practice, London-based Shezad Dawood’s first experiment with real estate intervention took place in 2005 with his Paradise Row project.
Based in Seoul, 43-year-old artist Gimhongsok is known internationally through his frequent participation in high-profile international biennials like Gwangju, Venice, Taipei, Valencia and Tirana. Yet, due to the range of his practice encompassing sculpture, installation, video and performance works expressing deadpan satirical humor, both his working process and personal style remain enigmatic, earning him “mysterious genius” standing at home.
Based in New York and Ramallah, Emily Jacir explores the complex politics and poetics of being Palestinian. In her open-ended multimedia projects, which often present the remains of personal and/or collaborative actions, individual, national and transnational histories intertwine, raising universal questions about borders, mobility and belonging in a globalized world.
For their first exhibition since moving to Brisbane from Manila, Filipino artist-couple Isabel and Alfredo Aquilizan present their mixed media installation Project Be-longing: In-Transit (2006) as a conclusion to their ongoing “Project Be-longing” series of works exploring the experience of travel, relocation and re-orientation.
Entering Beijing Tokyo Art Projects for Yuan Shun’s “Soft Landing”—the artist’s first solo show in China in 20 years—must have been a disorienting experience for visitors.
Just 26 years old, Iran-born Tala Madani left a strong impression on the New York art scene, selling out her debut show of recent works, all from 2006, at Lombard-Freid Projects in the Chelsea art district this spring.