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  • Jul 05, 2024

Weekly News Roundup: July 5, 2024

ROBBE MAES and REYNOUT DEKIMPE, The Snackbar, 2023. Courtesy the artist and Taoyuan Museum of Fine Arts.

Taoyuan International Art Award Finalists 

Taiwan’s Taoyuan Museum of Fine Arts (TMoFA) revealed the shortlist for its NTD 600,000 (USD 18,500) Taoyuan International Art Award, a biennial initiative aimed at expanding international art networks. The 12 finalists include Taiwanese artist Tsai Yu Ting; “Aerotropolis Live Stories in Dayuan” duo Lin Yan Xiang and Wang Cheng Hsiang; “Working Hard” duo Wen Ying She and Po-Yu Kuo; Malaysian artist Lee Tek Khean; a Thai collaborative comprised of Chulayarnnon Siriphol, Kasamaponn Saengsuratham, Arjin Thongyuukong, and Krongpong Langkhapin; Beijing-based performance artist Nut Brother; Berlin-based interdisciplinary artist Aisuke Kondo; Japanese artist Goh Uozumi; “couch” duo Hiroki Miyazaki and Reiko Asao; and Turkish-Canadian artist Erdem Taşdelen, among others. All finalists’ works will be displayed at the Taoyuan Arts Center from March 26 to May 18, 2025. The winner will be announced in March 2025.

Portrait of ARETHA PEREIRA. Courtesy Contemporary Art Gallery, Vancouver.

 Appointment at Vancouver’s Contemporary Art Gallery

The Contemporary Art Gallery (CAG) in Vancouver announced the appointment of South Asian artist, writer, and arts programmer Aretha Pereira as its Toronto-Dominion (TD) assistant curator. Pereira holds a BFA from Emily Carr University of Art + Design in Vancouver and was the recipient of the SAAG Arts Writing Prize in 2023. Her work explores memory, history, and connection across borders and transnational communities, often in relation to her upbringing between the Middle East and East Africa. As TD assistant curator, Pereira will plan and coordinate gallery exhibitions, off-site projects, public programming, residencies, and publications while offering in-depth research contributions and administrative support to all programs. Pereira will work on a two-year-long curatorial project under the supervision and mentorship of CAG curator Godfre Leung.

Exterior view of UCCA Center for Contemporary Art in Beijing. Courtesy the UCCA Center for Contemporary Art.

The UCCA Plans New Expansion  

The UCCA Center for Contemporary Art, an independent art institution headquartered in Beijing, announced the opening of UCCA Clay in October 2024. Nestled within the Number Two Yixing Ceramic Factory in Wuxi, Jiangsu Province, the new space is dedicated to the research and exhibition of contemporary ceramics. Designed by Japanese architect Kengo Kuma, the museum’s facade features ceramic panels glazed with subtle textures and color gradations. When viewed from different angles, the tan, brown, and orange hues of these panels shift in appearance, creating a unique effect. The museum spans two floors and covers 2,400 square meters, boasting a range of exhibition spaces, a multipurpose hall, an auditorium, and conference rooms, among other facilities. With a commitment to hosting three exhibitions annually, the institution strives to spotlight both Chinese and international artists who specialize in ceramics. UCCA Clay is the latest addition to the UCCA’s existing network of museums, which includes venues in Beijing, Beidaihe, and Shanghai.

AKIKO UTSUMI, The sounds ringing here now will echo sometime, somewhere, 2024, stainless steel and brass. Photo by Shunta Inaguchi. Courtesy Gwangju Biennale.

Japan Pavilion to Debut at the 15th Gwangju Biennale 

The first-ever Japan Pavilion will debut at the 15th Gwangju Biennale, which is slated to run from September 7 until December 1, 2024, in the southwestern Korean city. Curated by art critic and cultural researcher Hiroki Yamamoto, the Pavilion is titled “We (Still) Have Things to Remember” and will spotlight the dual Fukuoka-based artists Akiko Utsumi and Terue Yamauchi, whose multimedia works range from installations and drawings to videos, photographs, and performance art. The Biennale theme is “pansori,” a traditional art form combining music and storytelling that emerged in the southwestern Korean Peninsula in the 17th century. By reconstructing the “spirit of pansori” within a 21st-century soundscape, the exhibition broaches current geopolitical issues through a sensorial “opera you can walk into.” For its 30th anniversary, the Gwangju Biennale will feature 73 artists from 30 countries across multiple cultural venues; the Japan Pavilion will be located in the Culture Hotel LAAM and the Gallery Hyeyum. 

Digital rendering of Art Mill Museum, 2022. Courtesy ELEMENTAL and Qatar Museums. 

The Qatar Museums and Venice Collaboration

During the Art for Tomorrow conference in June, the city of Venice announced in a joint statement with the Qatar Museums (QM) that both parties have signed a cooperation protocol. The agreement, which is set for renewal in five years, outlines collaborations in the cultural sphere that aim to preserve and revive Italian and Islamic art to celebrate their shared history. As part of the exchange, the QM organized various exhibitions within the 60th Venice Biennale, themed “Foreigners Everywhere” and curated by Adriano Pedrosa. Artworks loaned by the Mathaf: Arab Museum of Modern Art are displayed in the main exhibition, while at the ACP Palazzo Franchetti, QM co-organized the exhibition “Your Ghosts Are Mine, Expanded Cinemas, Amplified Voices” alongside the Doha Film Institute, the Mathaf, and the prospective Art Mill Museum. Curator Matthieu Orléan stated that the desert-themed exhibition features video installations by independent filmmakers from the Middle East, Africa, and Southeast Asia, including Lida Abdul, Wael Shawky, Hassan Khan, and Sophia Al Maria.

Portrait of LAWRENCE LEK. Courtesy Frieze London Artist Award. 

Frieze London Artist Award Announces Winner

Malaysian-born London-based artist and filmmaker Lawrence Lek is the recipient of the sixth Frieze London Artist Award. In partnership with arts organization Forma, the initiative allows emerging or mid-career artists to realize a new commissioned work at Frieze London, which will run from October 9 to 13, 2024, in Regent’s Park. Lek’s practice uses gaming technologies to explore the moral implications that artificial intelligence has on social, spiritual and emotional aspects of life. His work is often tinged with dark, absurdist humor expressed through digital worldbuilding. At the fair, Lek will present a new commission titled Guanyin: Confessions of a Former Carebot, described as a mechanical sculpture and immersive video game installation inspired by artificial intelligence and the Buddhist goddess of mercy.

Exterior view of the Los Angeles County Museum of Art. Courtesy Wikimedia Commons. 

LACMA Exhibits Four Counterfeit Korean Paintings

On July 2, reports emerged that four paintings by Korean artists Lee Jung-seop (1916–1956)  and Park Soo-keun (1914–1965), presented in the exhibition “Korean Treasures from the Chester and Cameron Chang Collection” at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA), were likely counterfeits. During an appraisal session held at LACMA on June 26, a panel of four Korean art experts concluded that Lee’s Crawling Child was a horizontal replica of another work by the artist, while the figures in A Bull and a Child were rendered with an uncharacteristic brush technique. Park’s Waikiki and Three Women and Child were also deemed inauthentic due to stylistic discrepancies. The experts criticized LACMA’s inadequate curatorial procedures for authenticating artwork and questioned the institution’s understanding of Korean art. Suspicions regarding the paintings’ origins first arose in February and persisted until April, when the Galleries Association of Korea issued a formal inquiry about their provenance. LACMA director Michael Govan reportedly stated that the museum will cancel the publication of the exhibition’s catalogue. 

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