Interview: Matthew Day Jackson

A charred and reflective post-apocalyptic scene looms large in the entrance to Qiao Space in Shanghai. On a sheet of mirror, a cone-shaped architectural structure is etched on the surface, referencing Pieter Bruegel the Elder’s The Tower of Babel (1563), rising like a utopian Brigadoon out of the ashes of a scorched recomposed landscape. Pieced…

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SEA Focus and Singapore Art Week

Art fairs are like the Hydra—chop one head off and several more sprout up in its place. This month saw the inauguration of two new fairs in Asia alone, with Taipei Dangdai kicking off in the third week of January, followed by S.E.A. Focus the very next week in Singapore (24–27 January 2019). February also…

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Kader Attia: Héroes Heridos

It is perhaps fitting that French-born Algerian artist Kader Attia is based in Berlin, a city of scars. A city where the ruins of a wall that once divided it are still visible; a city in which the atrocities committed during wars and by two repressive regimes are memorialised; where the architecture of communism and…

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Cuauhtémoc Medina in Conversation

Launched in 1996 and now in its twelfth edition, the Shanghai Biennale is the longest-running biennial in China, presented at the Power Station of Art, China’s only government-funded art space in a landscape dominated by private museums. This year’s edition (10 November 2018–10 March 2019), curated by Mexican-born Cuauhtémoc Medina, brings together the work of…

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Beyond Bliss in Bangkok

    There has been a huge proliferation of biennales in recent years, with nearly 250 biennials currently operating globally, listed by the Biennial Foundation’s Directory of Biennials. They have become a marker of a must-see modern city, a showing off of soft power, a rapacious consumption of culture and a drawcard for cultural tourism.…

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Robert Rauschenberg: ‘Vydocks’

The “enfant terrible of the New York school”, as poet Frank O’Hara dubbed Robert Rauschenberg, reshaped 20th-century American art and left behind a boundary-breaking body of work characterised by experimentation and unorthodox use of different media. His early works, made in the 1950s and 60s, featured composites of found objects – bottles, a taxidermy goat head, newspapers, chairs, rubber…

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Shanghai: West Bund 2018 and Art021

The last time I visited West Bund Art & Design was four years ago, when the fair was only in its first year of operation: a small, boutique offering held in a cavernous hangar that seemed too big for it. Much has changed since then. Mirroring the rapid development of the city itself, West Bund…

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Shows to see in Hong Kong: The Lowdown

Published on ocula From Cao Fei’s first large-scale institutional exhibition in Asia, to a showing of historical works by Robert Rauschenberg, Ocula contributor Diana d’Arenberg offers her lowdown of shows to see in Hong Kong this autumn. Cao Fei: A hollow in a world too full Tai Kwun Contemporary, 10 Hollywood Rd, Central 8 September…

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Art Taipei 2018

Published on ocula ‘There is nothing more boring than the story of decline,’ a journalist remarked at an art criticism panel I attended the evening before making the trip to see Art Taipei (26–29 October 2018). As I attended the opening night of Asia’s oldest art fair, which celebrates its 25th anniversary this year, those…

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Gert and Uwe Tobias at Ben Brown Gallery

During the Ottoman invasion of Wallachia in 1462,  Sultan Mehmed II– who had marched into the territory with an army of more than 150,000 troops–entered the small town of Târgoviste, in what is today known as Romania, to find a forest of twenty thousand Turkish men, women, and children, all impaled. The perpetrator; voivode Vlad III…

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