The Artists of 2023: Where From, Where To?
By HG Masters
What to make of the world today? Digital communication and AI technologies are proliferating into all aspects of our lives, sowing seeds of confusion, chaos, and occasional comedy. While humanity’s future looks increasingly artificial and no more intelligent, the past continues to haunt us, as the world reckons with the volatile legacies of European colonialism on countries and territories across Asia.
The six figures selected as ArtAsiaPacific’s Artists of the Year in 2023 cut across generations and geographies, and have much to say in dialogue with one another. A collective whose three members originally studied together in the mid-2000s in Bandung, Indonesia, have found themselves increasingly concerned with the intertwining of digital technologies with the cultures of our daily lives. While raising flags about these transformations, the collective has also mined their families’ histories, uncovering stories of a postcolonial nation’s history anew, which they presented on a massive platform using contemporary moving-image technologies. In a similar vein, a New York-based artist has explored both the hybrid nature of our virtual-IRL existence, the porosity between skins and screens, and also his relationship to family history in Shanghai. His works attempt to embody and portray the eerie transformations technology has on our physicality and perception of ourselves.