Thursday, December 26, 2013

Writing / editing updates (or, The one with the Lists 2)


The September-November 2013 issue has been our best and most diverse yet, with submissions from all over the world. I'm so proud of how far we've come. I also have a photo feature in this issue.


The new issue of the University of Edinburgh's student-managed anthropology journal, for which I am an Editorial Director, came out last week. The theme was "Death and Resurrection", and the submissions were really interesting. I haven't finished reading it but I edited/proofread the poem "Dead People's Things" by Kathryn Watt, and a paper on rituals for the departed in Georgia and how internal displacement has affected them, and they were great. Read the issue here.


Since November 2013, I've been writing for the lovely Art Radar Asia, for which I'm currently a staff writer. It focuses on Asian contemporary visual art and culture, and I'm really enjoying it and learning so much with every piece I write, in addition to contacting artists and galleries all over the world. You can find all of my articles here, and I'm sharing some below:

SYRIA: Between displacement and dissent: 8 Syrian contemporary artists

This article introduces the work of eight artists from Syria: Ammar al Beik, Ammar Abd Rabbo, Asaad Arabi, Tammam Azzam, Safwan Dahoul, Othman Moussa, Thaier Helal, and Elias Izoli. Researching for this piece was inspiring and humbling, and I was blown away by some of the work. Azzam's "Freedom Graffiti" went viral on social media earlier this year so probably many of us have seen it. During my research I also came across this wonderful Facebook page dedicated to Syrian artists, whether emerging or established, and it's a great resource. Read my complete article here.

BANGKOK: "Currency Crisis": Southeast Asian artists talk money in Bangkok

Introducing the artists, works and themes in the exhibition "Currency Crisis" at Whitespace Gallery in Bangkok. Featured artists are Pisitakun Kuantalang (Thailand), Latthapon Korkiatrakul (Thailand), Pornprasert Yamazaki (Thailand), Green Zeng (Singapore), Sai Hua Kuan (Singapore) and Moe Satt (Myanmar). The exhibition deals with interpretations on the ideology of money and currency. Read the full article here.

NEW YORK: Asian artists on the world stage at New York's Performa 13

An overview of the work of ten artists from Asia who are presenting at this year's Performa 13 in New York, which is New York's only biennial dedicated to live performance art. Read the article here.

INDIA / UK: A constellation of stories: India's Amar Kanwar exhibits in Yorkshire

I really enjoyed writing and researching this. It's about an ongoing exhibition at the Yorkshire Sculpture Park by Amar Kanwar, called The Sovereign Forest + Other Stories, and deals with local communities in Orissa and their struggle against the government and corporations who are trying to take over their land for bauxite mining. Read the article here.

TAIWAN: White Fungus art magazine to go global

The gorgeous, avant garde White Fungus magazine that was born in New Zealand and is now based out of Taiwan signed a deal for worldwide circulation a few weeks ago. This can only mean good things for anyone interested in art. Ron Hanson, the editor, told me a bit about it AND I got a free copy. Yay for job perks! Read the article here.

MISCELLANEOUS: Holiday art gifts: 7 best art books of 2013

Art Radar has been compiling lists and suggestions of artsy stuff to gift art enthusiasts, and this is our pick of the seven more interesting books on art that were released this year, with a little intro to each of them and links to the ones we reviewed earlier this year. Check it out here.

INDIA: Total eclipse: The "Black Sun" across cultures

Overview of the Shezad Dawood and Tom Trevor curated exhibition featuring various Indian and international artists who have dealt with the iconography or metaphor of the 'black sun'. The exhibition is on at Devi Art Gallery in Gurgaon till April 2014. Read the article here.

OMAN / WASHINGTON D.C.: Oman donates $1.8m to the Smithsonian's African art museum

The Sultanate of Oman made the largest donation in the museum's history to go towards new programmes fostering the cultural relationship, common background and art exchanges between the two countries. Read details in the full article here.

INDIA: Translucent: India's first video art festival

India finally has a festival dedicated to video art and how. From December 2013 to February 2014, the festival will screen nearly 50 films at its venue in Goa. Read about some of the participating artists, video art in India, and what video art is all about in my article here.

HONG KONG: Negotiating urban identity: 5 young Hong Kong artists

Through an overview of the five participating artists at Rossi & Rossi Hong Kong's exhibition These Shores, I discuss the themes of rapid commercialisation and urbanisation in Hong Kong, what these have meant for the artistic community and citizens, and how artists have attempted to react to or express it in their work. Read the article here.

VENICE: Okwui Enwezor named first African-director of the Venice Biennale

It seems sort of unbelievable (or maybe not really?) that in the more-than-a-century history of the Venice Biennale, not once has it had an African director. Okwui Enwezor seems like a great choice, he has previously spoken about the nature of the Biennale as pitting nations against each other owing to its pavilion structure and other issues besides; he thinks of nationality as a fluid concept, and I'm sure his vision for the Biennale is going to be really interesting. Read my article here.

UK / CHINA: Oxford's Ashmolean Museum acquires world class collection of Chinese art

The late Prof Michael Sullivan bequeathed his entire collection of modern and contemporary Chinese art, which began nearly 70 years ago, to the University of Oxford's Ashmolean Museum (the first public museum in Britain). Many of these works have never been seen in public and will now be displayed on rotation. Read my article here.

MISCELLANEOUS: Unpacking contemporary art: Ode to Art lecture video

Art historian Jeffrey Say, who teaches at Singapore's LASALLE College of the Arts, gave a lecture on understanding and appreciating contemporary art. It covers the basics of what contemporary art is, and why it invokes such varied reactions. In my article, I summarise and elaborate on some of the points he highlights in the lecture. I learned a LOT from it, and for anyone curious about art in our times, it should be an interesting piece. Read my article here.