JUL/AUG 2008

Issue 59
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Editor's Letter

One World, Many Dreams

Fortunately for all, artists and curators are forging ahead with their endeavors this summer, undeterred by the world’s inscrutable natural forces and financial woes. Though anxiety about the art market continues to dominate conversations at international art fairs and auction houses, undue attention to money-matters—however fascinating as a phenomenon—clearly distracts from the art itself. 


Beijing: Leading Chinese Artists Donate New Works to Earthquake Aid Auction

As news reports of the devastating 8.0 magnitude Wenchuan earthquake on May 12 poured out of Sichuan province, artists and art institutions across China opened their wallets and their studio doors to provide aid to survivors. 


Beirut’s Long-Awaited Home Works IV

On April 12, following months of delay, Beirut’s leading contemporary art organization, Ashkal Alwan, launched the fourth installment of Home Works, the groundbreaking arts forum that has become the benchmark for cultural discourse in West Asia. 

UK India

NS Harsha Wins Artes Mundi Prize

Indian artist NS Harsha was awarded the £40,000 (USD 78,900) Artes Mundi Prize at a gala ceremony held at the National Museum Cardiff, Wales, on April 24. 


Police Seize Artist’s Photographs of Naked Teenagers

On May 23, more than 20 photographs by acclaimed Australian photographer Bill Henson were seized by authorities from an exhibition about to open that night at the Roslyn Oxley9 Gallery in Sydney.

News: The Point

China: A New Home for World Culture

Beijing and Shanghai have world-class opera houses, but they’re merely huge eggshells without the China Philharmonic, Red Detachment of Women or Kirov Ballet kicking up a storm inside. 


Unity in Diversity: The Formation of Modern Indonesian Art

When many societies in South and Southeast Asia threw off the tethers of colonial rule shortly after the end of World War II, they found themselves spontaneously transformed into independent modern nations in search of self-identities. 


Beijing Before The Olympics: Business As Usual?

Taking the temperature of the Beijing art scene as the hype heats up for China’s biggest event of the new millennium.

Lebanon Palestine

Domestic Insecurities
Mona Hatoum

Civil war forced her to flee into exile but gave her an opportunity. How a seminal artist turns violent energy into austere meditations on power relations at home and in society.


No More War; Save Water; Don’t Pollute The Sea
Makoto Aida

The two-hour train from Tokyo station to Makoto Aida’s home in Chiba prefecture requires a succession of carefully timed transfers to increasingly smaller alternate lines, moving from urban density to suburban commuter settlements and through rice fields pockmarked with brutally utilitarian structures made of concrete or sheet metal. Miss the last connection and you will end up stranded on an empty platform for an hour or more.

Vadehra Art Gallery

“Fluid Structures – Gender and Abstraction”

Curated by Vadehra Art Gallery’s Vidya Shivadas, with advisory input from Sonal Khullar, “Fluid Structures” explored the contribution made by six women artists to the tradition of abstraction in India, which dates back to the 1940s with the paintings of the Progressives. 

Multiple Venues

Istanbul Biennial: Not Only Possible, But Also Necessary”

As one of the first biennials in the non-Western world, the Istanbul Biennial celebrated its 10th anniversary with “Not Only Possible, But Also Necessary: Optimism in the Age of Global War,” curated by veteran roving independent curator Hou Hanru. This installment was a mammoth exhibition of 96 artists from 35 countries spread throughout this bustling city. 

Haus der Kulturen der Welt

Re-Imagining Asia

The title of this exhibition pinpoints its major flaws. Although the show intended to counteract existing stereotypes and clichés applied to Asia, it actually further supported them by positing Asia as a discernable whole. 

USA Korea, South
Arario Gallery

Hyungkoo Lee

An unsettling, bulging eyeball in the intricate mixed-media drawing, A06 (2005-06), greeted viewers at the entrance to “Animatuseum,” Seoul-based Hyungkoo Lee’s New York solo debut. 


Where I Work
Svay Ken

Svay Ken lives and works in a bustling neighborhood defined by Phnom Penh’s historic landmark, Wat Phnom, the 14th-century hill (phnom) temple (wat) that enshrines Buddhist statues donated by a widow named Penh.

Print Content
Collectors, Do Not Boycott Chinese Contemporary Art
New York: ArtTable Honors Asia Society President
New Delhi: New Delhi’s Performance Art Venue Celebrates its First Decade
Various Locations: Auction Report – Sales Make the World Go Round
Washington, DC: Debate Over Chinese Sculptor’s MLK Statue
New Delhi: Obscenity Charges Dismissed Against Famous Indian Painter
Hong Kong: Art Fair Report – Debut Art HK 08 Plays it Safe
Round Up: Smiles All Around
Whispering Gallery
Arne Glimcher: A Titan in the Middle Kingdom
Jérôme Sans: Open Doors, Open Arms
Mekong Art & Culture Project: Bridging the Regional Divide
Biennale of Sydney 2008: Revolutions – Forms That Turn
Do-Ho Suh: Infinite Points Of Contact
Amar Kanwar: The Compass That Keeps Spinning
Special Section: Shcontemporary 08 – Best Of Discovery
Melbourne: Daniel Von Sturmer
Tokyo: Tatsuo Miyajima
Taipei: “Infantization”
Beijing: Geng Jianyi
Kuala Lumpur: Lynyrd Paras
Mumbai: Nicola Durvasula
London: Steve McQueen
Manchester: Jun Nguyen-Hatsushiba
New York: Daniel Bauer
New York: An-My Lê
New York: Sudarshan Shetty
Book Review: Zao Wou-ki, Ma Liuming, Gao Yu
Zheng Guogu: Projects In The Making

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