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Chinese, 20th – 21st century, male.

Born 1956, in Hong Kong.

Educator, curator, writer, sculptor, painter.

Ho received a B.F.A. from the University of Saskatchewan in 1980 and an M.F.A. from the University of California, Davis, in 1983. After returning to Hong Kong, Ho was the exhibition director of the Hong Kong Arts Centre from 1998 to 2001. He also served as the founding director of the Museum of Contemporary Art, Shanghai, from 2004 to 2006. His curatorial projects include more than one hundred exhibitions, most notably the Asian section of the 96 Containers exhibition in Copenhagen in 1996; the second (1996) and third (1999) iterations of the Asia-Pacific Triennials of Contemporary Art in Brisbane, Australia; and exhibitions at the Hong Kong Arts Centre, including Mobile Art Show (1988), Being Minorities: Contemporary Asian Art (1997), Museum 97: History, Community, Individual(1997), and ...

Article

Midori Yamamura

(b Matsumoto City, Nagano Prefect., March 22, 1929).

Japanese painter, sculptor, poet, writer, printmaker, installation, and performance artist, active also in the USA.

Growing up under Japan’s World War II totalitarian regime, Kusama believed art could help her nurture a more humane worldview. She began taking private art lessons at the age of 13. Between 1952 and 1955, she had six solo exhibitions. In 1955 Kusama wrote to artists Kenneth Callahan and Georgia O’Keeffe in the United States and Callahan helped organize her first United States solo exhibition in Seattle (1957).

After Seattle, Kusama moved to New York in 1958, where she launched her career alongside the second generation Abstract Expressionists. In 1959 she developed a series of paintings called Infinity Nets; large horizontal works featuring obsessively repeated small arcs. At solo exhibitions in New York (1959, Brata Gallery; 1961, Stephen Radich Gallery), she only showed white, wall-sized works from the series. Appearing void from a distance, her huge paintings forced viewers to come closer, disallowing their objectification, while permitting each viewer an intimate experience. These works made a strong impression on the New York scene, with Frank Stella and a future Minimalist Donald Judd buying her works....

Article

Nianhua  

James Flath

[Chin.: “New Year pictures”]

Genre of popular woodblock prints known for their bold colors and folkloric content. Prior to the mid-20th century these prints were widely used throughout China to decorate the home, as calendars, and to conduct domestic rituals in advance of the lunar New Year festival.

The most common production method for nianhua uses three to five relief printing blocks. In this technique an outline block is used to print an image in monochrome, and additional blocks are then used to apply individual colors. Finally the prints may be touched up by hand. In some examples all colors are applied using brushes. The subject matter of nianhua is diverse. Although the variety of gods appearing in nianhua is virtually unlimited, domestic deities such as the Stove God, Door God, and the God of Wealth are common. The image of the Stove God in particular was believed to embody the deity and protect the household. The act of burning the print at the end of the year was traditionally intended to send the deity to Heaven, and its subsequent replacement was to welcome him back to the home. Themes of wealth, good fortune, and scholarly success leading to official promotion are popular, as are images relating to fertility and the birth of male children. Narratives scenes drawn from historical classics and the theater are among the most widely produced items in the genre. More rarely, ...

Article

Mick Hartney

(b Seoul, July 20, 1932; d Miami, Jan 29, 2006).

South Korean video artist, performance artist, musician, sculptor, film maker, writer, and teacher, active in Germany and the USA (see fig.). From 1952 to 1956 he studied music and aesthetics at the University of Tokyo. In 1956 he moved to the Federal Republic of Germany: he studied music at the Ludwig-Maximilians Universität, Munich, and worked with the composer Karlheinz Stockhausen at Darmstadt, before joining Fluxus, with whom he made performance art, experimental music, and ‘anti-films’ (e.g. the imageless Zen for Film, 1962). His Neo-Dada performances in Cologne during this period included a celebrated encounter with John Cage, during which he formed a lasting friendship with the avant-garde composer by cutting off his tie. Inspired by Cage’s ‘prepared piano’, in which the timbre of each note was altered by inserting various objects between the strings, Paik’s experiments from 1959 with television sets, in which the broadcast image was modified by magnets, culminated in his seminal exhibition ...

Article

Jean Robertson and Craig McDaniel

The final decades of the 20th century and the beginning of the 21st century witnessed an increasing propensity for artists to incorporate aspects of science in their own art. In many fields of scientific research—including the cloning of mammals, the genetic modification of crops, the creation of bioengineered organs and tissues, advances in nanotechnology and robotics, experimental research in how the human mind works and the study of artificial intelligence—the frontiers of knowledge pushed outward at an accelerated pace. In the spirit of creative inquiry, or in order to critique the goals and outcomes of scientific experimentation and application, artists regularly borrowed subjects, tools and approaches from science as a means to the production of art ( see fig. ).

In documenting and assessing the achievements of visual artists engaged with science, there was no broad consensus on the categorisation of artists’ work across the full range of activities, methods, motivations and use of materials. Assessments of artistic practice focused on artists’ work categorised by the traditional fields of science (e.g. artists who explore biology, artists who explore physical sciences). Other analyses of artistic practice focused on categories of art media (e.g. artists who use traditional means such as carving and casting to represent scientific discoveries, artists who explore and employ biological materials and scientific instruments)....

Article

Yasuyoshi Saito

(b Tokyo, March 13, 1883; d Tokyo, April 2, 1956).

Japanese sculptor and writer. He was the son of the sculptor Kōun Takamura (1852–1934). He studied sculpture at the Tokyo School of Fine Arts, graduating in 1902. In 1906 he went to the USA and studied at the Art Students League, New York. In the same year he met Morie Ogiwara. In 1907 he went to London, moving to Paris in 1908. He returned to Japan in 1909, forming a close friendship with Ogiwara. In 1910 his essay Midoriiro no taiyō (‘Green sun’) was published in the magazine Subaru (2–4, April, pp. 23–9). In this essay he wrote, ‘If someone paints the sun green, then I do not intend to say that he is wrong.’ It is regarded as Japan’s first Impressionist statement. He was an active essayist and translator, publishing in 1916 the translated Rodan no kotoba (‘The words of Rodin’; Tokyo). In his sculpture he left a legacy of excellent works, such as ...