• Issue
  • Nov 01, 2021

126 News Sections

Portrait of NADIA KAABI-LINKE. Image via Wikicommons. 


Conceptual artist Nadia Kaabi-Linke was announced winner of the 4th Ithra Art Prize on August 30. She will receive USD 100,000 to realize a pandemic-inspired installation.

Isfahan-born sculptor Nairy Baghramian, who was named winner of the USD 100,000 Nasher Prize on September 14, will be honored at a ceremony slated for April 2, 2022, at Dallas’s Nasher Sculpture Center.

Quezon City’s Ateneo Art Gallery bestowed the Fernando Zóbel Prizes for Visual Art on emerging artists Nice Buenaventura, Christina Lopez, and Jo Tanierla on September 15. The Purita Kalaw-Ledesma Prizes in Art Criticism went to Carla T. Gamalinda, Portia Placino, and Jaffy V. Fajardo.

On September 15, Ajlan Gharem won Jameel Prize 6, worth USD 34,200, for his installation Paradise Has Many Gates (2015), a steel cage in the shape of a traditional mosque.

Portrait of BILLY APPLE. Courtesy the Billy Apple Archive. 


New Zealand artist Billy Apple (1935–2021), born Barrie George Bates, passed away on September 5. A pioneer of conceptual and pop art, his works reflect on commercial culture and poke fun at elitism.

Independent critic, art historian, and curator Pamela Kember passed away in London on September 10. A specialist in Asian diaspora artists, Kember served on the board of Asia Art Archive, taught at several universities, and led London’s Asia House for six years.

Exterior view of the Museum of Contemporary Art Taipei with a sign for Jun Yang’s show. Courtesy the Museum of Contemporary Art Taipei. 


Museum of Contemporary Art Taipei (MoCA) has been embroiled in a dispute with Chinese-Austrian artist Jun Yang over the multi-chapter exhibition “The Artist, His Collaborators, Their Exhibition, and Three Venues.” In a Facebook post published on July 30, Yang accused the current MoCA director, Li- Chen Loh, of attempting to cancel his exhibition following a leadership change in 2019. Yang also lambasted Loh’s Facebook rant on “fake foreigners” exploiting resources in Taiwan. MoCA responded to Yang’s allegations the following day, claiming that during the director’s handover, the exhibition was not listed in the annual program, as a contract between both sides had not been signed. The dispute continued throughout August, with a series of counter-posts by Loh and MoCA’s former director Yuki Pan defending the museum’s procedure, while Barbara Steiner, co-curator of the show and director of Kunsthaus Graz, backed Yang’s criticisms against Loh’s racism and MoCA’s mishandling. Because of the dispute, a MoCA curator involved with the project was fired, while another was demoted.

The Switzerland-based investment bank Credit Suisse has shut down the account of Fart Foundation, Chinese dissident Ai Weiwei’s nonprofit for free speech. Ai was given a September deadline to transfer the funds elsewhere, and an explanation that there is a new policy that terminates the accounts of people with criminal records. Ai has never been convicted of a crime. In an op-ed article published by Artnet on September 6, Ai claims that Credit Suisse’s business ambitions in China and his criticisms of Switzerland’s “hypocricy” in succumbing to Chinese economic influence were the real reasons for the decision. The bank declined to comment.

Tokyo-based art historian and academic Michio Hayashi, who has been involved in a harassment lawsuit since April, resigned as president of the International Association of Art Critics (AICA) in Japan on September 18 before quitting the Association on September 20. Hayashi is currently employed as a professor at Tokyo’s Sophia University desipte allegations of harassing a former female student for more than a decade. In a legal complaint, the unnamed student claims that Hayashi started asking her out in 2007 despite being married, and periodically demanded she have sex with him. She also alleges that she was never compensated while she worked as his assistant during her postgraduate studies. She is requesting JPY 22 million (USD 198,000) in damages. In an email to ArtAsiaPacific, AICA’s standing committee confirmed Hayashi’s resignation and stated, “We deeply regret the incident and hope the human rights of those impacted by harassment—of any kind and any case—will be protected. . . we will continue to monitor harassment cases in the art world.” Hayashi’s successor at AICA is yet to be selected.

Portrait of SAM BARDAOUIL and TILL FELLRATH. Copyright Fotostudio

Career Moves

On September 9, Vancouver’s Centre A named Henry Heng Lu as executive director and curator, and Ellie Chung as gallery manager. Lu joined Centre A in 2019 as a curator and has been serving as the interim executive director for the public gallery, which is dedicated to Asian and diasporic Asian art; Chung is a community-oriented educator and administrator.

Two new curators joined the Asian art deparment at Denver Art Museum (DAM) in September. Hyonjeong Kim Han, who was the associate curator of Korean art at the Asian Art Museum of San Francisco, now leads DAM’s Asian art department, overseeing its collection and programming. Einor Keinan Cervone, whose expertise includes Ming and Qing painting, Asian lacquer, Chinese ceramics, and contemporary ink art, has been appointed the associate curator of Asian art.

Curator-duo Sam Bardaouil and Till Fellrath will spearhead Berlin’s Hamburger Bahnhof, effective January 1, 2022. Bardaouil and Fellrath launched the multidisciplinary curatorial platform Art Reoriented in New York and Munich in 2009, and have worked as associate curators for Gropius Bau in Berlin since 2017. They are co-curating with Yasmina Reggad the France Pavilion of the 59th Venice Biennale for artist Zineb Sedira, and are curating Lyon Biennale 2022.

Rendering of LINDY LEE’s Ouroboros. Courtesy the artist, Urban Art Projects, and Sullivan + Strumpf, Sydney / Singapore. 

Public Domain

On September 28, the ST International Corporation and SongEun Art and Cultural Foundation inaugurated the ST/SongEun Building in Seoul. As architecture firm Herzog and de Meruon’s first project in South Korea, the triangular- shaped building has a concrete exterior embossed with wood patterns, and contains a mix of gallery spaces, offices, and public areas.

The Shepparton Art Museum in northern Victoria, Australia, will open on November 20. Designed by Denton Corker Marshall, the five-story building has 5,300 square meters of floor area, and includes four main galleries, the Kaiela Arts Aboriginal community arts center, andan outdoor amphitheater.

Lindy Lee was awarded the National Gallery of Australia’s most expensive commission to date. The sculpture Ouroboros is budgeted at AUD 14 million (USD 10 million) and will be unveiled in 2024 in the museum’s sculpture garden. Measuring four meters in height and weighing around 13 tons, the work’s form is inspired by the titular, transcultural symbol of a snake devouring its own tail.