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Article

Francis Summers

(b Karachi, 1935).

Pakistani conceptual artist, sculptor, painter, writer and curator, active in England. He graduated in civil engineering from the University of Karachi in 1962 and moved to London in 1964. He began working as an artist without any formal training, producing sculptures influenced by Minimalism and by his engineering experience; the four-part Boo (1969; Liverpool, Walker A. G.), with its cage-like compartments, recalls in particular the work of Sol LeWitt. In 1972, appalled by the institutionalized racism that he found to be endemic in Britain, he became interested in radical politics and joined the Black Panther movement. Six years later he founded and began editing the journal Black Phoenix, which, in 1989, was transformed into Third Text, one of the most important journals dealing with art, the third world, post-colonialism and ethnicity. He continued to contribute to and edit Third Text, and was one of the pivotal figures in establishing a black voice in the British arts through his activities as a publisher, writer and artist. His performance ...

Article

Agung Hujatnikajennong

(b Bandung, May 21, 1961).

Indonesian installation, video and performance artist and writer. Arahmaiani graduated from the Fine Art Department of Bandung Institute of Technology in 1983 and then continued her studies at the Paddington Art School, Sydney (1985–6) before attending the Akademie voor Beeldende Kunst & Vormgeving (AKI), Enschede (1991–2). During the 1980s she was also part of a rebellious young artists’ movement in Indonesia.

Arahmaiani is known for her specific point of view in responding to the domination of academicism in the Indonesian art world, which became her departure point in developing Happenings and performance art during the early 1980s; a boom era of painting and commercialization that occurred as a result of the economic boosting under the Indonesian New Order regime. One of her most important works, Newspaper Man (1981), in which she wrapped her body in newspaper advertisements and walked through the streets and shopping malls of Bandung, stimulated a more vibrant practice and discourse on the use of human body as an art medium in Indonesian art. ...

Article

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

Michael Jay McClure

(b Istanbul, 1961).

Turkish video and installation artist, active also in England and Pakistan. He was educated at Mimar Sinan University, the Sorbonne, Paris, Los Angeles Santa Monica College, and the University of California, Los Angeles (MFA, 1988). Ataman holds a prominent place among artists exploring identity, sexuality, documentation, and the cultural politics of the Middle East and its diasporas; his work echoes that of Shirin Neshat, Omer Fast, Mona Hatoum, and the more commercial filmmaker Fatih Akin, among others.

Producing multi-channel ‘video sculptures’, Ataman explores states of psychological, cultural, and social displacement, often employing massive amounts of footage in a quasi-documentary style. An early piece, Women Who Wear Wigs (1999; see images tab for additional illustration), is a representative example. On a four-channel display, four Turkish women reveal their reasons for donning wigs: a reporter who recently lost her hair due to chemotherapy, a transsexual prostitute forced to shave her head by the police, a targeted terrorist who disguises herself, and a student banned from wearing a traditional headscarf in school. The wig, which conceals and connects these women, parallels how Ataman uses video: as a medium that both reveals and obfuscates its subjects. A spectator must negotiate not only the truth of the stories but also their syncopated broadcasts distributed over the space of the exhibition. Indeed, Ataman often uses the situation of the screens to disorienting sculptural effect. In ...

Article

Bazaar  

Mohammad Gharipour

Bazaar, which is rooted in Middle Persian wāzār and Armenian vačaṟ, has acquired three different meanings: the market as a whole, a market day, and the marketplace. The bazaar as a place is an assemblage of workshops and stores where various goods and services are offered.

Primitive forms of shops and trade centres existed in early civilizations in the Near East, such as Sialk, Tepe in Kashan, Çatal Hüyük, Jerico, and Susa. After the 4th millennium BC, the population grew and villages gradually joined together to shape new cities, resulting in trade even with the remote areas as well as the acceleration of the population in towns. The advancement of trade and accumulation of wealth necessitated the creation of trade centres. Trade, and consequently marketplaces, worked as the main driving force in connecting separate civilizations, while fostering a division of labour, the diffusion of technological innovations, methods of intercultural communication, political and economic management, and techniques of farming and industrial production....

Article

Susan Kart

(b Mbarara, 1963).

Ugandan photographer, film maker, and installation artist of Indian descent, active in the UK. Bhimji was born in Uganda to Indian parents. The family fled Uganda to England in 1972 due to President Idi Amin’s expulsion of all Asians and Asian-Ugandans from the country along with seizure of their property and businesses as part of his ‘economic war’ on Asia. Bhimji studied art at Goldsmiths College and the Slade School of Art in London and her photographic work primarily consists of close-up, sometimes abstracted glimpses of seemingly abandoned spaces, objects, and landscapes. Bhimji’s work focuses on India and Uganda, which are treated as almost anthropomorphic subjects that appear restless, unfinished, abandoned, or frozen in her photographs, films, and film stills. Bhimji was one of four shortlisted finalists for the Turner Prize in 2007, and her work has been exhibited alongside such artists as El Anatsui, António Olé, Yinka Shonibare, and ...

Article

Eleanor Heartney

(b Bangkok, Feb 25, 1953; d Bangkok, Aug 25, 2000).

Thai sculptor and installation artist. Boonma studied at the Poh Chang Arts and Crafts School, Bangkok (1971–3) and went on to study painting at Silpakorn University, Bangkok (1974–8). He became a Buddhist monk in 1986 and his work explores a distinctively Buddhist art language. His early work dealt with environmental issues that came out of his concerns about the effects of industrialization on rural Thailand. Increasingly his work became involved with issues of illness and death as his own health faltered. He subtly melded natural forms, Buddhist architecture and ritual objects with a minimalist sense of structure inspired by his study of Western art. He fashioned sculptural objects based on Buddhist alms bowls, ‘painted’ with healing herbs and created walls and enclosures from stacks of hundreds of ceramic temple bells.

From 1991 Boonma’s wife struggled with breast cancer, until she succumbed in 1994. During this period the pair turned to both Western and Eastern tools to battle her disease, alternating chemotherapy with visits to shrines and offerings to propitious spirits. In ...

Article

Morgan Falconer

(b Lahore, 1962; d London, Sept 1994).

British sculptor of Pakistani birth. He studied at Goldsmiths College, London (1987–90). After initially working in a wide variety of media, Butt settled exclusively on installations in the late 1980s. Because of his early death little of his work has become widely known, but that which has demonstrates by an interest in alchemy and a thematic preoccupation with seduction, pleasure and danger. Transmission (1990; see 1995 exh. cat., p. 65) comprises a circle of objects that look like open books, resting on the floor. The glass pages reveal a triffid motif that is lit by dangerous ultra-violet light. The series Familiars includes some of his best-known work and is concerned with the dichotomy between physical impurity and divine grace. It also derives from his interest in chemical properties, each of the three parts employing a different member of the chemical family of halogens: Substance Sublimation Unit (1992; see 1995 exh. cat., pp. 72–3) employs iodine confined in tubes set up in a ladder formation (the form was inspired by the mythical Santa Scala, or Holy Ladder of Perfection); ...

Article

Vietnamese-American, 20th – 21st century, male.

Born 1968, in Ha Tien, Vietnam.

Photographer, video artist, conceptual artist.

In 1978, Dinh Q. Lê fled Vietnam with his family to the United States, where he eventually gained U.S. citizenship. After completing his BA in fine arts at the University of California, Santa Barbara, in ...

Article

Vietnamese, 20th century, female.

Active in France.

Born 21 September 1945, in Vietnam.

Painter (mixed media).

Dodinh Huong lives and works in Paris. Between 1965 and 1969 she studied at the École des Arts Décoratifs and at the École des Beaux-Arts in Paris.

Until 1987...

Article

Peter A. Nagy

(b Bombay, Jan 20, 1959).

Indian painter and installation artist. Dodiya studied painting at the Sir J.J. School of Art in Bombay (1982). His earliest works were large-scale paintings of Indian landscapes of rural or suburban scenes, usually devoid of humans, highlighting minimal arrangements of architectural forms with a strong tendency towards Pop art (see fig.). While studying at the École des Beaux-Arts, Paris (1991–2) Dodiya became familiar with developments in both European and American painting. He returned to India and began to combine images from a diverse array of sources: popular cartoons, schoolbook illustrations, religious iconography, textile motifs and quotations from classical and contemporary Indian and international art.

Works such as Obedient Boy (1999) and Polke’s Eye (1999; see Kunsthalle exh. cat., p.134) synthesize eclectic sources and construct the identity of a contemporary artist in India’s largest city. A body of work from the previous year had posited Mahatma Gandhi as an artist of sorts, comparing his ascetic practices with Modernist art, as in ...

Article

Indonesian, 20th – 21st century, male.

Active in Yogyakarta (Java), Indonesia.

Born 1960, in Jakarta, Indonesia.

Performance artist. Mixed media, multimedia.

Heri Dono’s early works, especially those done while studying at the Indonesian Institute of the Arts, Yogyakarta (1980–1987), show the influence of Pablo Picasso and Joan Miro. Dono was particularly inspired by Picasso’s and Miro’s use of folk forms and began to examine closely Indonesian folk art. Immediately after completing his formal art education, he became an apprentice of the local traditional artist Sigit Sukasman, who taught him the art of ...

Article

Agung Hujatnikajennong

(b Jakarta, June 12, 1960).

Indonesian painter, installation, video and performance artist. Dono studied art at the Indonesian Institute of the Arts (ISI), Yogyakarta (1980–87) while also studying traditional Javanese shadow-puppetry (wayang kulit) under the puppeteer (dalang) Sukasman. He became known for producing works inspired by shadow-puppetry (e.g. the painting The Legend Puppet, 1988); adapting the two-dimensional imagery, the gamelan music and narration of wayang kulit to recreate metaphors of modern civilization. Dono’s work encompassed painting, sculpture, installation and performances, often employing low-tech multimedia and self-assembled electronic devices that generate music, moving images, light projection, producing a low-tech kinetic environment (e.g. Flying Angels, 1996).

Dono’s works create a meticulous connection between traditional puppetry and modern animation, as he viewed both types of moving images as lively worlds of absurdity where narratives often do not make any sense, yet seem enjoyable for people of all ages. Dono’s socio-political background—the repression of artistic freedom during the Indonesian New Order regime—drove him to choose a kind of foolish, impolite, stupid, naive, ridiculous and teasing expression in his works. Metaphors and criticism deeply imbued with jokes were the safest ways to avoid suppression and censorship by the regime. In creating criticism through ...

Article

Peter A. Nagy

(b Lucknow, Nov 28, 1958).

Indian sculptor and installation artist (see fig.). Raised in a family of physicians in the north Indian capital of Lucknow, Dube studied art criticism at the M.S. University in Baroda, in the western Indian state of Gujarat. Afterwards, Dube gravitated to New Delhi where she wrote on contemporary art and began to make sculpture. Early works were influenced by the carved-wood sculptures of her peers in Baroda, however she immediately began to integrate found objects and unconventional materials with the wood centrepieces to create ensembles that were abstract, yet still essentially figurative.

An important development in her thinking occurred with the work Desert Queen (1996; see Nagy, p. 145) made during her residency in Namibia. An animalistic form was crafted from blue velvet, elaborately beaded and embroidered, and then hung from the ceiling with cords. The work refers to the body, death, indigenous crafts, luxury commodities, and the relationship between exoticism and desire. ...

Article

Indonesian, 20th – 21st century, male.

Active in Jakarta, Indonesia.

Born 1949, in Blitar, Indonesia.

Installation artist, photographer, filmmaker. Mixed media, multimedia, video.

F.X. Harsono studied painting at the Sekolah Tinggi Seni Rupa Indonesia, Yogyakarta (1969–1974). In 1974, he was expelled from the school for his participation in the Desember Hitam (Black December), a student-led movement in protest of the state-sanctioned modernism that dominated the art academies of Indonesia. Along with like-minded artists, Harsono formed the Kelompok Seni Rupa Baru (New Art Group, ...

Article

Catherine M. Grant

(b Karachi, Pakistan, April 18, 1968).

British film maker, installation artist and conceptual artist of Pakistani birth, active in England. She completed a BFA at Goldsmiths’ College, London, between 1991 and 1994. For her degree show she created Pushed/Pulled (1994; see 1998 exh. cat.), changing the door panels at the entrance to the college’s studios so that they read ‘Pushed’ and ‘Pulled’ rather than ‘Push’ and ‘Pull’. This kind of conceptual slippage is typical of Floyer’s work. In Light (1994; Berne, Ksthalle), a disconnected lightbulb is illuminated by the beams from four slide projectors; the blandly descriptive title, like the work itself, is both truthful and paradoxically misleading, undermining the viewer’s expectations of the object’s functionality. Floyer uses these dislocations to produce situations in which viewers are made to feel very selfconscious about what they should be seeing, often using projections as a means of producing apparent displacements of objects or sounds. In the video ...

Article

Filipino, 20th century, female.

Active in France fromc.1972.

Born 4 June 1942, in Guimbal (Iloilo), Philippines.

Engraver, collage artist. Figure compositions, religious subjects.

Ofélia Gelvezon-Téqui graduated in art from the University of the Philippines in 1964, and again in 1966, in English. In ...

Article

Anthony Gardner

(b Singapore, July 12, 1959).

Malaysian conceptual artist, active also in Australia. Gill studied at the University of Western Sydney, completing her MA in 2001. Despite working in a range of media, she is best understood as a process-based artist who has consistently explored notions of migration and transformation within material culture. These include the effects of international trade on such everyday activities as cooking and eating. The spiral form of Forking Tongues (1992; Brisbane, Queensland A.G.), for example, entwines Western cutlery and dried chillies from the Americas and Asia, highlighting how foods and utensils from across the globe have come together to transform local cuisines and inform culinary habits. Gill’s later photographic series refer to other understandings of migration, such as the spread of the English language or of capitalist desire throughout South-east Asia in recent decades. For Forest (1998; Sydney, Roslyn Oxley9 Gallery; see Chua), Gill cut out words and sentences from books written in English, placed the texts within tropical landscapes and photographed the results before the books’ paper began rotting into the humid environment. For ...

Article

Malayan, 20th – 21st century, male.

Born 1962, in Singapore.

Painter (mixed media).

After studying at the school of fine arts in Nanyang, Ee Choo Goh went to London in 1988 for a postgraduate degree at the Slade School of Art. He has taken part in numerous collective exhibitions (Singapore, Thailand, Japan, Taiwan, USA, Hong Kong, Malaya, Indonesia and Denmark) and received several commissions....

Article

Gayatri Sinha

(b Bhadravati, Karnataka, 1957).

Indian installation artist and painter. Gowda received a diploma in painting from the Ken School of Art, Bangalore (1974–9), a post-graduate diploma in painting from Santiniketan (1980–82) and an MA in painting from the Royal College of Art, London (1984–6). Her initial work was as an easel painter, and painting continued to influence her later work. However, it is as an installation artist that she has participated at leading exhibitions such as Traditions/Tensions (curated by Apinan Poshyananda, 1996; New York, Asia Soc. Gals) Telling Tales (1997; Bath, Victoria A.G.) and Private Mythologies (1998; Tokyo, Japan Found.). In 1998 Gowda won the Sotheby’s prize for Contemporary Indian Art.

Gowda’s position has been one of mediator/commentator in the areas of economy and production, gender and social autonomy. Her works implicate both the economy of domestic practices and the politics of womanhood. Her engagement with such issues coincides with a rupture in India’s social ideals and the first phase of global reforms in the late 1980s. At a time when India veered towards a global culture, Gowda persuasively highlighted the concerns around India’s vast, unsung rural hinterland. In her work ...