Jan 09 2020

Up Next: Ten Shows to See in 2020

by The Editors

From star-studded blockbuster exhibitions to surveys of seldom spotlighted female modernists and displays of freshly commissioned projects, 2020 promises new and dynamic ventures. Here is ArtAsiaPacific’s selection of shows that should not be missed in the year ahead.


Tishan Hsu

Hammer Museum, Los Angeles


Combining oozing forms, grid-like structures, and industrial materials, Tishan Hsu has interrogated the aesthetics of the digital age since its emergence in the 1980s. “Liquid Circuit,” Hsu’s first institutional survey in the United States, includes wall reliefs, sculptures, drawings, and media works that reflect the changing technological landscape.

TISHAN HSU, Vertical Ooze, 1987, ceramic tile, urethane, compound, acrylic, oil on wood, 126 × 122 × 156 cm. Courtesy the artist and Centre Pompidou, Paris.


“They Don’t Understand Each Other”

Tai Kwun Contemporary, Hong Kong


Departing from Tsubasa Kato’s 2014 video installation about linguistic and political barriers between Japan and Korea, this exhibition of 20-plus artists explores ideas of cultural (mis)understanding through works from the collections of the National Museum of Art Osaka and the Singapore Art Museum.


Cao Fei

Serpentine Gallery, London


Cao Fei’s films have conjured an eerie automated factory (Asia One, 2018) and a stop-motion-animated urban dystopia (La Town, 2014). The artist’s sci-fi-esque projects, including a new VR work titled The Eternal Wave, are brought together in an immersive installation at the Serpentine.


Michael Rakowitz

Jameel Arts Centre, Dubai


This survey of Michael Rakowitz’s projects from the past two decades spans his engagements with communities to address the traumas of war and memorialize destroyed cultural objects, including his recreation of the interiors of the Palace of Nimrud, devastated by ISIS in 2016, using Iraqi food packaging.

Detail installation view of MICHAEL RAKOWITZ’s The invisible enemy should not exist (Room Z, Northwest Palace of Nimrud), 2018, seven reliefs and six missing reliefs, Middle Eastern newspaper and paper packaging, glue, cardboard on wooden structures, artist labels, 8.23 × 5.49 m, at “Dispute Between the Tamarisk and the Date Palm,” REDCAT, Los Angeles, 2019. Courtesy the artist and Rhona Hoffman Gallery, Chicago.

HIROSHI SUGIMOTO, OPTICKS 008, 2018, c-print, 119.4 × 119.4 cm. Courtesy the artist and Gallery Koyanagi, Tokyo.


Hiroshi Sugimoto

Kyocera Museum of Art, Kyoto


Kyocera Museum’s first exhibition after its reopening looks back on the career of Hiroshi Sugimoto, spanning his atmospheric, black-and-white photographs of seascapes and glass objects referencing metaphysical concepts. “Post Vitam” also debuts Sugimoto’s OPTICKS (2018– ) series, color photographs made by refracting early morning light through a prism.


Lee Mingwei

Gropius Bau, Berlin


Grounded in Lee Mingwei’s long-standing engagement with ideas and rituals of giving and social exchange, this solo retrospective, “Give and Receive,” curated by Stephanie Rosenthal with Clare Molloy, showcases the artist’s participatory installations and performances of singing, sharing, and storytelling from the past 30 years.


Yoshitomo Nara

Los Angeles County Museum of Art, Los Angeles


Known for his portraits and sculptures of wide-eyed, slightly sinister children, Yoshitomo Nara’s midcareer retrospective foregrounds the impact of his musical passion on his three-decade-long artistic practice. Highlights include album covers from the artist’s collection, never-before-shown sketches, and a monumental outdoor bronze sculpture sure to please the crowds.


“Stars: Six Contemporary Artists from Japan to the World”

Mori Art Museum, Tokyo


Coinciding with the 2020 Olympics in Tokyo, “Stars” features six renowned figures—Yayoi Kusama, Lee Ufan, Tatsuo Miyajima, Takashi Murakami, Yoshitomo Nara, and Hiroshi Sugimoto—and examines their positions within global art history.

TAKASHI MURAKAMIMiss Ko², 1996-2011, lacquer paint on plastic, fiberglass, and iron, corian base, 181 × 61 × 102.5 cm. Courtesy the artist and Mori Art Museum, Tokyo.


Lindy Lee

Museum of Contemporary Art Australia, Sydney


Australian-Chinese artist Lindy Lee’s survey, curated by MCA director Elizabeth Ann Macgregor, includes projects from the 1980s to the present. From her early painted-over photocopies of Renaissance canvases to recent large-scale metal installations inspired by Zen Buddhism, the exhibition traces Lee’s ongoing engagement with notions of self and cultural identity.

LINDY LEEThe Silence of Painters, 1989, photocopy, synthetic polymer paint on paper, 15 parts: 42 × 29.5 cm each. Courtesy the artist.


Georgette Chen

National Gallery Singapore, Singapore

Nov–Sep 2021

“At Home in the World,” the first survey in over two decades of modernist Georgette Chen, explores the influence of her travels across China, France, and Southeast Asia on her practice, as well as her role in defining the Nanyang style, with works from the 1930s to ’70s.

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