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  • Feb 02, 2024

Weekly News Roundup: February 2, 2024

Left to right: ELISAPETA HINEMOA HETA, photo by Jasmax; TALOI HAVINI, photo by Zan Wimberley; LATAI TAUMOEPEAU, photo by Rhett Wyman. Courtesy TBA 21 and Ocean Space, Venice.

Taloi Havini Presents Indigenous Perspectives on the Ocean in Venice 

The Thyssen-Bornemisza Art Contemporary (TBA21) research division’s upcoming presentation “Re-Stor(y)ing Oceania” at Ocean Space in Venice is curated by Bougainvillean artist Taloi Havini and comprises two new site-specific commissions by Indigenous Pacific Islander artists: Gadigal Ngurra-based Latai Taumoepeau’s Deep Communion sung in minor (archipelaGO, THIS IS NOT A DRILL) (2024) and Wāhine architect Elisapeta Hinemoa Heta’s The Body of Wainuiātea (2024). Taumoepeau’s Deep Communion is a performance work using song to highlight the ongoing issues of deep sea mining, while the latter is a multisensory installation that embodies ritual and ceremony guided by the Māori concept of tikanga (to behave in a way that is culturally proper or appropriate). The exhibition runs from March 23 until October 13, 2024, and will be on view concurrently with the 60th Venice Biennale.

ADRIAN VILLA-ROJAS, Mi familia muerta (My Dead Family), 2009, site-specific sculpture, wood, rocks, and clay, 300 × 2700 × 400 cm, at Ushuai’s End of The World Biennale 2nd Edition, Argentina. Photo by Carla Barbero. Courtesy the artist and Aichi Triennale, Nagoya.

Aichi Triennale 2025 Announces Theme and Curators

The Aichi Triennale, based in the Japanese city of Nagoya, has announced the theme and curatorial team for the sixth edition of the mega-festival. “A Time Between Ashes and Roses,” borrowed from modernist poet Adonis who wrote “How can withered trees blossom? / A time between ashes and roses is coming / When everything shall be extinguished / When everything shall begin again,” summarizes the 2025 Triennale’s mission to illuminate the evolving relationship between humankind and the environment in an age of climate crisis. Artistic director Hoor Al Qasimi, who is the president and director of the Sharjah Art Foundation, will be joined by a curatorial team with wide-ranging expertise in visual art and performances, led by Iida Shihoko with Irizawa Masaaki (contemporary art), Nakamura Akane (performing arts), Tsuji Takuma (learning), and curatorial advisors Ishikura Toshiaki and Cho Sunhye. Invited artists to date include Argentinian sculptor Adrián Villar Rojas, ceramic artist Ogawa Machiko, textile artist Oki Junko, and Beirut-born artist Dala Nasser. The Triennale will take place in several venues across the Aichi prefecture and on digital platforms, in addition to traveling pop-up exhibitions through the region. Besides the Aichi Arts Center, Aichi Triennale will collaborate with Seto City and Aichi Prefectural Ceramic Museum in 2025. The festival begins on September 13, 2025.

Screenshot of the openlettertoiksv Instagram account.

Istanbul Cultural Forum Group Says It Will Monitor İKSV Reforms

A group of more than 200 Istanbul cultural workers have expressed their concern about the future of the now postponed 18th Istanbul Biennial. After the Istanbul Foundation for Culture and Arts (İKSV) announced that the next edition has been postponed to 2025, the forum issued a statement on January 29 asserting that they will be “monitoring the structural changes” promised for the upcoming edition. The group has held two meetings so far titled “From Here to Where? The Case of the 18th Istanbul Biennial,” with the first held on January 7 and the second on January 21. The group reiterated its hope that the İKSV management and the Istanbul Biennial team [will] engage in future forums,” but, until then, forum participants “reiterate [their] commitment to establish an inclusive environment open to participation and criticism, as expressed by the four artists who withdrew from the biennial.”

The eight finalists for the inaugural ANTEPRIMA x CHAT Contemporary Textile Art Prize (clockwise from top left): Hu Yinping; Rice Brewing Sisters Club; Aluaiy Kaumakan; Shao Chun; Oh Haji; Roziah Binti Jalalid, Julitah Kulinting, and Yee I-Lann; Cian Dayrit; (middle, left to right) Gozde Ilkin, and Oh Haji. All images courtesy the artists and CHAT, Hong Kong.

Eight finalists for inaugural ANTEPRIMA x CHAT Contemporary Textile Art Prize

On January 29, Hong Kong’s Centre for Heritage, Arts and Textile (CHAT)  announced the eight finalists for its inaugural ANTEPRIMA x CHAT Contemporary Textile Art Prize, in partnership with Japanese luxury fashion brand ANTEPRIMA. The finalists are Cian Dayrit from Cainta, the Philippines; Hu Yinping from Beijing; Gözde İlkin from Istanbul; Roziah Binti Jalalid, Julitah Kulinting, and Yee I-Lann from Sabah, Malaysia; Aluaiy Kaumakan from Taiwan; Oh Haji from Brisbane; the Rice Brewing Sisters Club from Seoul; and Shao Chun from Hangzhou. The grand prize winner will be revealed at an award ceremony to be held at The Mills on November 29, 2024, and will receive a cash prize of HKD 300,000 (USD 38,000). CHAT will showcase the finalist’s artworks in November, which will give the public an opportunity to vote on the winner for the audience prize. The winner of this category will be announced on March 3, 2025. 

Left to right: ALVIN LI and HERA CHAN.

Asymmetry Foundation Sponsors Pair of Tate Curatorial Positions

Tate Modern announced the appointment of two curatorial positions supported by the private Asymmetry Art Foundation: Alvin Li was named curator of international art and Hera Chan was appointed as adjunct curator for the Asia-Pacific region. Li and Chan have worked with Tate Modern on researching the Asia-Pacific region in recent years, and will continue to organize exhibitions, displays, and initiatives at the museum. They will also continue to research  potential acquisitions of modern and contemporary art for Tate’s collection. The London-based Asymmetry Foundation supports curatorial initiatives and positions at the Courtauld Institute of Art, Goldsmiths University of London, Whitechapel Gallery, Chisenhale Gallery, and Delfina Foundation.

Exterior of the Whitney Museum of American Art in New York. Courtesy Whitney Museum of American Art.

Whitney Biennial Lineup Boasts Strong Lineup of Asian, AAPI, and Indigenous Artists

The Whitney Museum of American Art published the 71 names of artists and groups participating in the Whitney Biennial 2024, titled “Even Better Than the Real Thing,” which opens on March 14 for previews and to the public on March 20. Curated by Chrissie Iles and Meg Onli, this year’s Biennial features multiple artists with connections to the Asia-Pacific region, from artists such as Singapore-based Ho Tzu Nyen, Indonesian artist Riar Rizaldi, to Asian American artists such as Lotus L. Kang, Japan-born, Los Angeles-based Takako Yamaguchi, and New York-based Jes Fan. The longest-running survey of art in the United States, the Whitney Biennial traditionally seeks to represent the changing notions of American art across media and disciplines. Focusing on “the real” and the challenges brought on by artificial intelligence, this year’s edition sees artists exploring the fluidity of identity and form, historical and current land stewardship, and concepts of embodiment, among others.

View of the first Islamic Arts Biennale in January 2023 at the Western Hajj Terminal of Jeddah’s King Abdulaziz Airport. Photo by Marco Cappelletti. Courtesy Diriyah Biennale Foundation.

Plans for Second Islamic Arts Biennale in 2025

The Diriyah Biennale Foundation announced plans to organize the second iteration of the Islamic Arts Biennale (IAB) from January until May 2025. The event takes place in the iconic Western Hajj Terminal at Jeddah’s King Abdulaziz Airport, a venue of great significance to the Muslim community as a path for the sacred Hajj and Umrah pilgrimage to Mecca. The Biennale encompasses contemporary works of art, historical artifacts, and new commissions. The second edition will be organized by the curatorial team consisting of British art historian Julian Raby, London-based art curator Amin Jaffer, and Abdul Rahman Azzam acting as artistic directors, with Saudi artist Muhannad Shono as contemporary art curator. The Biennale will also run in parallel with the inaugural launch of the AlMusalla Prize, an international architecture competition for the design of a prayer space. 

Exterior of the Shenzhen Convention & Exhibition Center in Futian district of Shenzhen. Via Facebook.

Art Shenzhen Postponed to December 5, 2024

Art Shenzhen has announced new dates for the annual art fair in Shenzhen. The 11th edition of Art Shenzhen will take place in December 5–8, instead of in September as originally scheduled. In the official announcement posted to its Wechat official account, Art Shenzhen cited expert opinions and the geopolitical characteristics of Shenzhen as the main reasons for its decision to change the dates. The organization further claimed that the new dates will better accommodate the exhibition and art trading. Art Shenzhen was founded in 2013 as a key “1+N” project of China (Shenzhen) International Cultural Industries Expo and became an exclusively art-focused fair in 2015. Art Shenzhen 2024 will be hosted at Hall 7/8 at the Shenzhen Convention & Exhibition Center.

Portrait of Cindy Tan, newly appointed deputy director Museum MACAN. Via Instagram.

Museum MACAN Names New Deputy Director

Following the departure of Museum MACAN’s inaugural director Aaron Seeto in late January, the museum appointed has Cindy Tan as deputy director. Seeto’s replacement has not yet been named. Tan will work with the future director in overseeing the internal operations across multiple departments. She was previously the head of facilities and operation planning and the museum’s exhibition designer prior to the appointment. Tan joined the museum in 2019 as exhibition assistant, having gathered extensive experience in exhibition design and event management in Singapore and London. Established in 2017, Museum MACAN in Jakarta is the first museum in Indonesia to exhibit modern and contemporary art from Indonesia and beyond. The founding director since the private venture opened in 2017, Seeto left Museum MACAN in order to focus on his career beyond Asia.

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