For ArtAsiaPacific’s first issue of 2017, we present Almanac XII, a compendium of the most significant art events of 2016 and a look ahead at what’s next in 2017. In addition to spotlighting 53 countries that constitute our active footprint, the Almanac extends to the rest of the world—wherever artists of Asia, the Pacific and the Middle East work and are shown.
Now in its 12th edition, the Almanac is a unique endeavor that systematically maps all the artistic activity occurring across the region—from countries, both big and small, with or without arts funding or an art market—to cast a light on the evolution of these creative communities in a transformative time. Since embarking on the very first Almanac, there is no denying how the artistic landscape in many countries has changed, for better or worse. Gathering facts, figures and opinions that reflect the art world across the globe—such as in Bhutan, Brunei, Jordan, Papua New Guinea, Taiwan and Uzbekistan—requires a special kind of patience, persistence and perspicacity that can only be honed by vigorous trekking through galleries and institutions and poring through print and online sources.
We’ve also invited influential art world figures to reflect on the major cultural events of 2016, including Yongwoo Lee, director of the Shanghai Himalayas Museum; Ram Rahman, acclaimed photographer and founding member of Delhi’s Safdar Hashmi Memorial Trust; Bige Örer, director of the Istanbul Biennial; Gridthiya Gaweewong, artistic director of Bangkok’s Jim Thompson Art Center; and Yukie Kamiya, director of New York’s Japan Society Gallery.
For the Five Plus One section, we have selected five artists who made a significant impact in 2016 and one who promises to do so in 2017, including Joana Hadjithomas and Khalil Joreige, Tiffany Chung, Nick Mangan, Shahzia Sikander, Kishio Suga and Samson Young. We have also picked the ten best gallery and museum shows of the year, and 12 of our favorite books.