Shows to See in Early February, 2023
By The Editors
Dhaka Art Summit: “বন্যা/Bonna”
Bangladesh Shilpakala Academy, Dhaka
The sixth Dhaka Art Summit is the first to be given a Bangla title: “বন্যা/Bonna,” simultaneously the word for flood and a common girl’s name in Bangladesh. Featuring more than 120 artists, architects, and writers, “বন্যা” will speak from the voice of a young girl and will complicate the negative connotations of a flood, from merely a destructive force to a phenomenon of flux and binaries. Five exhibitions will address our relationship with weather, the landscapes of Bangladesh, and oral storytelling. Participants include Bangladeshi photographer Munem Wasif, Indian writer Amitav Ghosh, and Vietnamese visual artist Thảo Nguyên Phan.
Feb 7–Jun 11
Sharjah Biennial 15: “Thinking Historically in the Present”
Sharjah, United Arab Emirates
The 30th anniversary edition of the Sharjah Biennial was conceived by the late Okwui Enwezor and reflects the Nigerian-born curator’s legacy through a wide-ranging exploration of postcolonial perspectives in contemporary art. Curated by Sharjah Art Foundation president and director Hoor Al Qasimi, Sharjah Biennial 15 features over 300 artworks installed at locations in five towns and cities across the emirate. The 150-plus artists explore topics from processes of creolization and hybridization, the restitution of museumized objects, the racialized gaze, narratives of global modernisms, and representations of indigeneity.
Jan 21–Feb 18
Yann Gerstberger: “ECCHYMOSES”
Taka Ishii Gallery, Tokyo
In his first solo exhibition in Asia, Mexico-based French artist Yann Gerstberger presents a series of five textile paintings and a large-scale tapestry inspired by ecchymosis, a phenomenon where bodily injuries result in abstract stains across the skin. Dyed cotton fiber, industrial fabric, canvas, and oil pastels are used interchangeably to replicate the ever-shifting color and patterns of bruises throughout one’s recovery. For Gerstberger, the process of self-healing is key to evolution. “ECCHYMOSES” is the artist’s reflection on organisms’ capacities to overcome limitations of a fragile body and continue surviving through the millennia.
Jan 28–Mar 25
Chitra Ganesh: “Orchid Meditations”
Gallery Espace, New Delhi
Chitra Ganesh reflects on the rhythms of a year through imagery evoking the delicate blooming cycles of orchids. The artist returns to New Delhi after a decade armed with a more expansive toolkit of mediums and source material, including animations and imagery from the poetic genres of Indian folklore (Barahmasa). While her explorations tend to the abstract and universal, her works remain grounded in the challenges and dreams of contemporary society. “Orchid Mediations” highlights the underlying instability of our daily life as it oscillates between routine and disruption.
Jan 20–Mar 4
Samson Young: “Frames and variations”
Petzel Gallery, New York
Hong Kong-based artist Samson Young continues to conjure vivid aural environments in his latest experiential exhibition at Petzel Gallery. Featuring two immersive installations inspired by the distortions and concealment of audio in cinema, this exhibition combines sound, film, and performance to recreate effects of situated listening. The installation includes a video of Young’s collaboration with performer William Lane to produce sounds using woodblock, viola, crotales, and a self-playing piano. A daily live performance by the artist will be held in the gallery through the course of the exhibition.
29 Nov, 2022–May 14
“Dream of the Day”
Ilham Gallery, Kuala Lumpur
Curator Patrick Flores draws from the 1965 manifesto of Philippine-born artist David Medalla to propose the centrality of dreams, myths, omens, and spirits in contemporary Southeast Asia. Featuring modern and contemporary works from 39 artists across the region, including the Philippines, Indonesia, Thailand, Sri Lanka, Singapore, Vietnam, Myanmar, Egypt, and Malaysia, “Dream of the Day” res-establishes faith in speculation and fantasy among modern notions of realism, humanism, and nationality.
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