• News
  • Feb 23, 2024

Weekly News Roundup: February 23, 2024

Portrait of SETAREH SHAHBAZI. Photo by Ava Krebs.

Setareh Shahbazi Receives 2024 Wi Di Mimba Wi Prize 

On February 12, Berlin’s Savvy Contemporary announced Setareh Shahbazi as the winner of this year’s Wi Di Mimba Wi Prize. The Einbeck-based foundation AKB Stiftung and SAVVY Contemporary have partnered since 2021 to establish a grant for artists of color based in Germany. The Tehran-born Shahbazi will receive a working grant of EUR 30,000 (USD 32,000), as well as funds to support the creation of a new artwork along with curatorial support; the planned new works will be exhibited at Savvy Contemporary and other venues. Based in Berlin since 2013, Shahbazi’s conceptual installations, multi-colored prints, and digitally manipulated photomontages draw inspiration from visual objects that surround her, from old family photographs to newspaper clippings. Her works have been exhibited in Iran, Lebanon, Germany, Italy, and France, and since 2020 she has been the artistic co-director of KHF – Künstlerhof Frohnau, an artist-run studio village in Berlin.

View of Capsule Venice, Italy. Courtesy May.

Capsule Shanghai to Launch Venice Space

Capsule Shanghai gallery announced on February 19 that it will launch its first-ever overseas venue later this month with an inaugural exhibition titled “When We Become Us²” featuring 29 international artists. The new venue, Capsule Venice, will be located at the Giorgio and Armanda Marchesani Foundation in Venice’s Dorsoduro district. “When We Become Us²” recalls the founding of Capsule Shanghai in 2016, when Italian gallerist Enrico Polato opened the space with a similarly titled eight-person group show. Polato said of his latest venture: “The new project in Venice was conceived from a desire to grow with our artists in an international context, encouraging new synergies and allowing us to share our ambitions and the gallery’s spirit with the public."

MICHELE RUO YI LANDOLT (left) and YAN DU (right), co-directors of Asymmetry Art Foundation in London. Photo by Dunja Opalko. Courtesy Asymmetry Art Foundation.

Asymmetry to Open New London Space 

Asymmetry Art Foundation will open a new public space inside their current East London building on February 23 with an event featuring Liverpool-born queer artist Bones Tan Jones’ vocal soundscape piece Body Tongue (2023) and British-Vietnamese artist Will Pham’s live performance Chúc mừng năm mới! (“happy new year” in Vietnamese). Pham will perform with VLC (Vietnam, Laos, and Cambodia), a band from the Hackney-based Centre 151, a community space supporting migrants from those three countries. The nonprofit Asymmetry was founded by Chinese collector Yan Du and specializes in contemporary art from China and the wider Sinosphone, while providing young curators from the region with curatorial opportunities and programs.

Portrait of LEYLA STEVENS. Photo by Syafiudin Vifick.

Artspace and the Art Gallery of New South Wales Announce Co-Commission

The Art Gallery of New South Wales (AGNSW) and Artspace, Sydney have announced that Australian-Balinese artist Leyla Stevens will produce their new, annual co-commission. The project is part of the institutions’ Contemporary Project series, a three-year partnership that aims to support regional emerging and midcareer artists. Alexie Glass-Kantor, executive director of Artspace, described the collaboration as “unlike any in Australia. In addition to strengthening our connection with our peers, it will enable us to support the artists and collectives in our [One-Year Studio] program, whilst also bolstering their impact at this pivotal stage of their careers.” Stevens will create a new multimedia work for an AGNSW exhibition slated for November, highlighting her photographic and filmmaking practice on alternative histories and Balinese culture.

Portrait of ROHINI DEVASHER. Courtesy the artist

Rohini Devasher Named Deutsche Bank Artist of the Year

On February 22, Deutsche Bank recognized New Delhi-based artist Rohini Devasher as its Artist of the Year, the first Indian artist to be awarded the prestigious title. Devasher’s practice stands at the intersection between art and science, combining experimentation and research with drawing, photography, sound, and film. Her most recent project, One Hundred Thousand Suns (2023), is a four-channel film that references images of the sun from Kodaikanal Solar Observatory in India captured over the course of a century, as well as interstellar portraits from NASA and data from her own collection. Responsible for Devasher’s nomination, Stephanie Rosenthal, director of the Guggenheim Abu Dhabi Project, commented that: “Through the medium of drawing, [Devasher] delves into societal structures and cultural dynamics, providing the viewer with a purposeful and contemplative space amidst the digital cacophony.” One Hundred Thousand Suns will be shown at Dr Bhau Daji Lad Museum in Mumbai from early April 2024.

Screenshot of MMCA’s Research lab website.

Korea's MMCA Launches Online Research Lab

Korea’s National Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art (MMCA) has launched its Research Lab, an online resource for research on Korean art. Comprising 654 timeline entries, 62 essays, and over 400 entries on art terms in both Korean and English, the platform offers a wealth of information about Korean art from the nation’s liberation from Japanese colonial rule in 1945 to the present day. MMCA’s Research Lab stems from a collaboration between international and Korean art researchers and institutions. Scholarship on new areas of Korean art as well as literature on pivotal events, figures, and artworks in the museum’s published manuscripts are written by experts from inside and outside the museum, while the Korean art history timeline was developed by Korean art specialists, art historians, and museum curators. Kim Sunghee, director of MMCA, said that “MMCA Research Lab emerges from a deep pool of research and interdisciplinary collaboration. It is poised to . . . (play) a pivotal role in advancing the understanding of contemporary Korean art.”

Subscribe to ArtAsiaPacific’s free weekly newsletter with all the latest news, reviews, and perspectives, directly to your inbox each Monday.