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Miwako Tezuka

(b Manila, Aug 19, 1973).

American installation artist of Filipino birth. Arcega was born in Manila and immigrated to the USA when he was ten years old. He received a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree from San Francisco Art Institute and, in 2009, earned a Master of Fine Arts degree from Stanford University, California. While Arcega has worked with a variety of media, including sculpture and installation, he mainly focuses on language and creates visual and linguistic puns and satires that expose various social and political conflicts and problems resulting from globalization.

A tongue-in-cheek approach as an effective conceptual strategy has been used by a number of artists since Marcel Duchamp. In Arcega’s case, however, it relates more closely to the “format of jokes” that plays on unintended cultural misunderstandings between native English speakers and those for whom English is a second language. Ultimately, Arcega’s humor exposes the dark side of reality with frequent references to political and social issues. His installation ...

Article

Miwako Tezuka

(b Kien Giang, Vietnam, Oct 9, 1977).

American photographer of Vietnamese birth. Danh’s family fled Vietnam as refugees when he was two years old and eventually immigrated to the USA in the early 1980s. In 2004 he received Master of Fine Arts from Stanford University, California. Danh worked with photography to excavate, revive, and preserve forgotten stories in history, particularly those of manmade atrocities such as the Vietnam War.

Photographic images of disasters, tragedies and figures associated with them have also been the focus of works by such artists as Andy Warhol and Christian Boltanski. Both of these artists use the power of photography to arrest the moment that triggers affective interpretation of pain and sorrow of the subjects of their work. However, Danh’s scientific experiments regarding the process of photography led him to develop a technique that he called “chlorophyll printing.” Danh took photographs found in old magazines and historical archives, created negatives out of them, placed them over still-growing plant leaves and then exposed them to sunlight (for several days or weeks) in order to activate photosynthesis. As the leaf gradually changes color, parts that are not blocked from the sunlight by the overlying negatives remain leafy green, causing an image to emerge in shapes of what had been captured in the original photographs. The leaf can then be encased in resin to preserve the image. For example, in his series ...

Article

Donna Stein

(b Hollywood, CA, June 21, 1941).

American photographer, educator, and author. She attended the University of California Los Angeles (1959–62), where she studied drawing and painting. She completed her education at San Francisco State University (BA 1963, MA 1966) where she studied with Jack Welpott (1923–2007), whom she married (1971–7). Dater’s perceptive portraits of women and men and challenging photographs of the nude secured her international reputation.

Her earliest self-portraits date from 1963, using her own image to consider issues of gender, sexuality and the female role in society as well as the hidden side of herself. In 1980, she took the first of 10 trips throughout the Southwest, creating a series of black-and-white self-portraits in the landscape. She also photographed herself in color creating staged tableaus, not unlike Cindy Sherman’s fictional archetypes that satirize iconic roles thrust upon women by society.

Dater has explored the interpretive portrait genre from the beginning of her career to the present. Living and working in the Haight-Ashbury District of San Francisco during the 1960s, she was stimulated by feminism and other counter-culture movements (...

Article

Atteqa Ali

(b Aligarh, India, 1937).

Printmaker of Indian birth. Zarina, known professionally by her first name only, received a BSc from Aligarh’s Muslim University in 1958. She worked at Atelier 17 in Paris from 1964 to 1967 and studied woodblock printing in Tokyo. With her works she opens up discussions of dislocation, exile, partition and migration. These loaded topics are handled in lighter ways; her black-and-white pictures do not burden viewers with a lot of visual information. Instead, her imagery relies on the extended meanings of lines and shapes: borders, separation and units, among other things. Her semi-abstract, minimal style does not have the cool formalism that one might associate with the Minimalist movement. Perhaps because she often utilizes the woodblock technique, she softens hard edges and customizes the style to her needs. Her subject matter is, likewise, a personalized interpretation of larger concerns.

Zarina has traversed many boundaries in her life, and much of her oeuvre is about her personal journeys that are both actual and conceptual. She has lived in several places including India, Paris and New York and considers home to be an idea more than a physical structure. In her mind, home is a transitory site that moves along with you. Yet, she made a portfolio of prints, ...

Article

Deborah A. Middleton

(Rahman)

(b Dhaka, Bengal [now Bangladesh], April 3, 1929; d Jiddah, Saudi Arabia, March 27, 1982).

American civil engineer of Bangladeshi birth. Khan revolutionized the design of tall buildings in both steel and concrete through his innovation of tube structural systems which assisted in advancing the construction of modern super tall buildings in steel and concrete.

Khan studied at University of Calcutta’s Bengal Engineering College prior to receiving a Bachelor’s degree from University of Dhaka in 1951. In 1952 he received a Fulbright scholarship and a Pakistani Government Scholarship and attended the Faculty of Engineering at the University of Illinois, Urbana. Khan graduated in 1953 with a master’s degree in structural engineering and a second master’s degree in theoretical and applied mechanics and before returning to Pakistan to work with the Karachi Development Authority as an Executive Engineer. In 1955 Khan was back in Chicago joining the architectural firm Skidmore, Owings & Merrill (SOM), where he advanced to Participating Associate (1961), Associate Partner (...

Article

Reena Jana

(b Saigon, Vietnam, 1960).

Vietnamese-American photographer. In 1975, as the Vietnam War was ending, Lê came to the United States as a teenage refugee. She had lived through the war, which was photographed and filmed by the mainstream American news media and seen in all of its frank brutality by everyday citizens in magazines and on television. Lê’s work deals with the depiction and public perception of battle, but her images feature views of reenactments or training exercises, rather than actual combat violence. In these images, there is no bloodshed. Yet because they are captured on film, the photographs provoke the viewer to first read them as documentary images of war.

Her series Small Wars (1999–2002) features images of male volunteers who gather on weekends in Virginia to re-create battles from the Vietnam War. Some are Vietnam veterans, others civilians. They wear soldiers’ uniforms and use props—military tents, planes—that look authentic, but close observation reveals that the pine trees and other landscape details suggest the backdrop is in the United States—far removed from the jungles and rice paddies of Southeast Asia....

Article

Margo Machida

(b Saigon [now Ho Chi Minh City], Vietnam, March 23, 1954).

Vietnamese photographer and installation artist. Raised in Saigon, Pham joined the exodus of South Vietnamese refugees that began soon after the 1975 communist victory in her homeland. Settling in southern California, Pham studied art at California State University in Fullerton, ultimately receiving an MFA in photography (1986). She was appointed as a special faculty/visiting artist at the California Institute of the Arts in Valencia (1989–92), and as a Rockefeller Fellow and instructor at the University of California in Los Angeles (1992–3). Her photographs have been widely exhibited at venues such as: Fukuoka Art Museum, Japan, the Asia Society Galleries in New York, Artists Space in New York, San Francisco Art Institute, Whatcom Museum of History and Art in Bellingham, WA, Washington Project for the Arts in Washington, DC, Photographic Resources Center at Boston University, Temple University in Philadelphia and university art galleries across California....

Article

Atteqa Ali

(b Lahore).

Pakistani painter, active also in America. Wasim’s images critique authority by using a painting technique that produces works described as “epic miniatures.” Prior to the 19th century, miniature painting was associated with royal courts in South Asia, but by the late 20th century it was being taught at the National College of Arts (NCA) in Pakistan. Wasim majored in miniature painting at NCA, graduating with a BFA in 1999. Her approach mirrors the philosophical and formal methods utilized by 16th-century Mughal family Empire court painters in that she addresses contemporary issues and incorporates new materials and styles, as did the Mughal artists (see also Indian subcontinent §VI 4., (i)).

Wasim is part of a group of NCA graduates that does not set limits on miniature painting’s purpose and form unlike many contemporary practitioners and viewers in Pakistan. Like Shahzia Sikander before her, Wasim has introduced a dynamic technique to audiences in the USA, where she moved in ...