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Article

Chinese, 20th – 21st century, male.

Active in China and the United States.

Born 18 May 1957, in Beijing, China.

Artist, architect, designer, curator, publisher, activist.

After spending most of his childhood in the provinces of China, Ai Weiwei moved to Beijing in the mid-1970s to attend the city’s film academy. While there, he co-founded the first of the loose collectives of pro-democracy artists to emerge in the city, known as the Stars Group (1979–1983). In 1981, he travelled to the United States, first to Philadelphia before enrolling in New York City’s Parsons School of Design. During his student years, Ai worked at a printing press in the meatpacking district of New York City. In 1993, he returned to Beijing, where he co-founded the Chinese Art Archives & Warehouse (CAAW), a non-profit organization and gallery. In Shanghai in 2000, Ai co-curated, with Feng Boyi, the infamous Fuck Off exhibition, which was closed by the authorities at the same time that the first Shanghai Biennial took place. He published a series of books about experimental art in Europe and North America: ...

Article

Ai Xuan  

Chinese, 20th – 21st century, male.

Born 1947, in Jinhua (Zhejiang).

Painter. Scenes with figures, figures, landscapes.

Ai Xuan was the son of the poet Ai Qing and grew up in a cultured environment, which left its stamp on him. He began his artistic studies at the central preparatory school of fine arts in Beijing in ...

Article

Yasuko Furuichi

Alternative spaces have stimulated and disrupted bureaucratic and static environments that stem from situations unique to Asian countries. As opposed to the definition provided in the Euro-American model in which alternative spaces are positioned against the mainstream, alternative spaces in this discussion are a group of contemporary art spaces which can be loosely identified as artist-run and independent curator-run spaces that do not have direct support from the state and government bodies in general. These spaces provide exhibition venues for national and international artists, develop educational programmes, raise the profile of curatorial methods and publish art magazines. In addition, the staff of alternative spaces can provide foreign curators with the latest local information, whereas in the past, certain curators were able to monopolize negotiations between arts professionals and local artists. Some of these alternative spaces have since attained privileged positions that have also exposed them to criticism.

Since 2000 these alternative spaces, many of which are artist-run, have founded non-profit organizations and transformed their activities and organizational structures. Because these spaces are financially dependent on grants from foreign cultural institutions or their national governments, they have difficulty securing long-term funds and management. While the flexibility and agility of these organizations risks their survival, the priority is in creating a space for young artists and curators to pursue experimental activities, rather than maintaining the status quo or becoming part of the establishment. The activities particular to alternative spaces are not necessarily a counter movement against mainstream arts activities; they may be more accurately described as a means of survival for new art....

Article

Korean, 20th – 21st century, male.

Active in France.

Born 1957, in Seoul, South Korea.

Painter (mixed media).

Chong-Dai An exhibited at the Seoul Museum of Modern Art from 1980 to 1982. When he later settled in Paris, he exhibited at the Salon de Mai, the Salon des Réalités Nouvelles and the Salon Grands et Jeunes d’Aujourd’hui ...

Article

Kenneth Frampton

(b Osaka, Sept 13, 1941).

Japanese architect. Between 1962 and 1969 he travelled extensively, studying first-hand the architecture of Japan, Europe, America, and Africa. In 1969 he founded his own practice in Osaka. An inheritor of the Japanese anti-seismic reinforced-concrete tradition, Andō became one of the leading practitioners in this genre. Habitually using reinforced concrete walls, cast straight from the formwork, he created a uniquely Minimalist modern architecture. Early in his career he spoke of using ‘walls to defeat walls’, by which he meant deploying orthogonal, strictly geometrical volumes to resist the random chaos of the average Japanese megalopolis. To this end most of his early houses are highly introspective; notable examples include two houses in Sumiyoshi, Osaka: the award-winning, diminutive terraced Azuma House (1976) and the Glass Block Wall House (1979), built for the Horiuchi family. The latter is a courtyard house that gains light and views solely from its small internal atrium. The Koshino House (...

Article

Japanese, 20th–21st century, male.

Born 1947.

Sculptor.

At the end of the 1980s, Yasuhiko Ando spent a long time in Stuttgart, Germany. During this same period he exhibited in Paris at the Salon Grands et Jeunes d’Aujourd’hui. His sculptures follow a horizontal plan, mingling abstract or metaphorical elements with precise representations, such as figures....

Article

Kirstin Ringelberg

Two related art media, usually commercially distributed, featuring narratives presented in serial text-and-image format, in a Japanese context regarding language, aesthetic, storyline, and/or production. Manga, the print form, is published in weekly and monthly anthology books, with popular individual series sometimes published separately as their success waxes. Anime, the moving form, is found in television, film, and home video formats as well as online and is more globally known; one feature-length example, Spirited Away (Sen to Chihiro no kamikakushi; Studio Ghibli 2001, dir. Hayao Miyazaki), earned billions of dollars and major critical awards worldwide (e.g. Berlin International Film Festival Golden Bear for Best Film in 2002, British Academy Awards Best Animated Feature in 2003, and Academy Film Awards Best Film Not in the English Language in 2004).

With an enormous variety of visual and narrative styles, neither anime nor manga can be identified by a consistent theme or aesthetic, although certain genres and iconography predominate. Generally, a story is initially hand- or computer-drawn, then photographed for printing in book, film, or digital form. Most are serialized narratives having continued for decades, often across platforms; however, some ...

Article

Margo Machida

(b New York, Aug 16, 1949).

American printmaker and installation artist. Born and raised in New York City, Arai, a third-generation Japanese American printmaker, mixed-media artist, public artist and cultural activist, studied art at the Philadelphia College of Art and The Printmaking Workshop in New York. Since the 1970s, her diverse projects have ranged from individual works to large-scale public commissions (see Public art in the 21st century). She has designed permanent public works, including an interior mural commemorating the African burial ground in lower Manhattan and an outdoor mural for Philadelphia’s Chinatown. Other works include Wall of Respect for Women (1974), a mural on New York’s Lower East Side, which was a collaboration between Arai and women from the local community. Her art has been exhibited in such venues as the Bronx Museum of the Arts, the Whitney Museum of American Art, the Museum of Modern Art, International Center for Photography, P.S.1 Museum, the Brooklyn Museum, the Museum of Contemporary Hispanic Art, all New York and the Library of Congress, Washington, DC. She is the recipient of awards and fellowships from National Endowment for the Arts, New York Foundation for the Arts, and Joan Mitchell Foundation....

Article

Japanese, 20th – 21st century, male.

Born 1940, in Tokyo, Japan.

Photographer.

Nobuyoshi Araki became interested in photography at a young age. His father was an amateur photographer, and in 1952 the artist received his first camera. In 1964, at the age of 24, Araki won the Taiyo Prize for his photo series ...

Article

Iizawa Kohtaro

(b Tokyo, May 25, 1940).

Japanese photographer. He graduated from the engineering department of Chiba University in 1963 and in the same year received the Taiyō prize for Satchin (Tokyo, 1964), a photographic series whose title was the pet name of a little girl. In 1971 he published the privately printed photographic collection Senchimentaru na tabi (‘Sentimental journey’; Tokyo, 1971) in which his own private life, in particular his wedding and honeymoon, was displayed in diary form. At first glance they seem to be naive records but in fact are staged. He also gave a performance in 1972 called the Super-Photo concert in which these photographs were reproduced on a photocopier, bound and sent, as a collection, by post. He later became very popular through photographs that skilfully anticipated public demand, accompanied by essays written in a risqué style. A prolific worker, he published many collections of essays and photographs, including Otoko to onna no aida ni wa shashinki ga aru...