Almanac 2007

When ArtAsiaPacific launched the Almanac one year ago, we never anticipated the warm reception that greeted its appearance. Artists, collectors, dealers and graphic designers praised the mix of maps, facts, figures, opinions, pictures and layout that made up our first effort in this direction. To cite one example, Charles Merewether, director of the 2006 Biennale of Sydney, wrote saying that he wished he had a copy while he was researching his show, and called the Almanac “the art world’s version of the Rough Guide.” Who says we are living on a lonely planet?

In the busy year that ensued, this year’s Almanac editors Maymanah Farhat, Gin K. Hsu, Jessica Kraft, Harry Perlmutter and Murtaza Vali have pursued their regular sources and consulted an ever-widening range of references on-and off-line to produce the second edition. Together with the assistance of Don J. Cohn, Andy Cushman, Ken Fujii, Sen-Je Yuan and the desk editors, they scanned websites and databases, archives and publications in English as well as European and Asian languages. Working around the clock and defying time differences, they spoke to artists, gallerists, critics, curators, diplomats, government officials and specialists, both those on the ground and those in the know-to compile a record that is up to date through late-December 2006. Without these committed individuals willing to share their knowledge, resources and effort, the work would not have been complete.

The following pages contain a wealth of useful information relating to contemporary art from Asia and the Pacific. The Almanac is divided into two parts. The first presents the events happening around the world and the second presents an introduction to the year’s artistic activities in each of 67 countries-from Turkey in the west to Tonga in the east-in the diverse region we define as the Asia-Pacific.

This Almanac is both a compendium and a celebration. But given the ever-changing nature of art, politics and economics across such a vast scope, this volume is bound to be incomplete and sometimes inaccurate. ArtAsiaPacific sincerely and earnestly welcomes feedback from our readers in our effort to make the Almanac more exact and comprehensive. The art world in 2007 is bound to produce surprises and broken records as well as setbacks and disappointments. ArtAsiaPacific wants to be there when it all happens.