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Sarah Urist Green

(b Kabul, June 5, 1973).

Afghan video and performance artist and photographer, active also in the USA. After fleeing Soviet-occupied Kabul with her family in the late 1980s, Abdul lived as a refugee in Germany and India before moving to Southern California. She received a BA in Political Science and Philosophy at California State University, Fullerton, and an MFA at the University of California, Irvine, in 2000. Abdul first returned to a post-Taliban Afghanistan in 2001, where she encountered a place and people transformed by decades of violence and unrest. Since that time, Abdul has made work in Kabul and Los Angeles, staging herself in performances and creating performance-based video works and photography that explore ideas of home and the interconnection between architecture and identity.

Beginning in the late 1990s, Abdul made emotionally intense performance art informed by that of Yugoslavian artist Marina Abramović and Cuban-born American artist Ana Mendieta. At the time unable to travel to Afghanistan, Abdul created and documented performances in Los Angeles that probed her position as Afghan, female, Muslim, a refugee and a transnational artist. In ...

Article

Jonathan M. Bloom

Reviser Sheila S. Blair

(b Kishorganj, East Pakistan [now Bangladesh], Nov 18, 1914; d Dhaka, May 28, 1976).

Bangladeshi painter and printmaker. He studied painting at the Government School of Art in Calcutta from 1933 to 1938, and then taught there until 1947. His work first attracted public attention in 1943 when he produced a powerful series of drawings of the Bengal famine. After the partition of India and Pakistan in 1947 he worked as chief designer in the Pakistan government’s Information and Publications Division, and also became principal of the Institute of Fine Arts in Dhaka (later known as the Bangladesh College of Arts and Crafts), which he helped to found in 1948 and where he remained until 1967. From 1951 to 1952 he visited Europe and, in addition to exhibiting his work at several locations, worked at the Slade School of Art in London, and represented Pakistan at the UNESCO art conference in Venice in 1952. An exhibition of his work in Lahore in 1953 became the starting-point for a series of ...

Article

Marcella Nesom-Sirhandi

(b Faisalabad, 1922).

Pakistani painter. She introduced non-traditional pictorial imagery in Pakistan and initiated a new era in painting. She completed a degree in political science at Kinnaird College, Lahore. Her introverted disposition and concentrated study of philosophy formed the background against which her abstract ‘idea’ paintings emerged. At the Lahore School of Fine Art (1945), Agha began a study of Western art. In addition to copying Old Masters, she came into contact with contemporary Indian painting and folk art.

Mario Perlingieri, an Italian painter who had studied with Picasso, introduced Agha to abstraction in 1946. Unlike the majority of Pakistani artists in the 1950s and 1960s, who emulated Cubism (see Cubism, §I), Agha evolved a personal style synthesizing East and West. Four years in London and Paris (1950–53) brought her face to face with modern European art. Agha’s predilection for discordant shapes, tension, and mysterious and irrational juxtapositions link her art to that of Marc Chagall and Edvard Munch. An intensely private and cerebral individual, she was awarded the President’s Medal for Pride of Performance in ...

Article

Marcella Nesom-Sirhandi

(b Delhi, India, Feb 4, 1941; d Lahore, Pakistan, Jan 18, 1999).

Pakistani painter, sculptor and printmaker. Educated in Pakistan and abroad, he has consciously and successfully synthesized Eastern and Western aesthetic traditions. In 1963, a year after graduating from the National College of Arts, Lahore, he joined the faculty as a lecturer in art, later becoming a professor and head of the Department of Fine Arts. His studies abroad have included post-graduate work in London (1966–7, 1968–9) and the United States (1987–9).

Like many of his colleagues, Zahoor was influenced by his mentor, Shakir ‛Ali, principal of the National College of Art from 1961 to 1975. Both artists were motivated by art history, philosophy and aesthetics. Zahoor’s non-figurative paintings of the 1960s evolved into tangible—though not always realistic—images addressing the dualities of space and time, East and West. Most of his triptychs and single canvases were conceived within a grid that provides a stabilizing structure for their compositions. This grid refers to Zahoor’s admiration for the American artist ...

Article

Marcella Nesom-Sirhandi

(b Rampur, 1916; d Lahore, 1975).

Pakistani painter. A seminal figure, Shakir ‛Ali introduced Cubism to Lahore in 1952. His style quickly became fashionable there, was adopted in Karachi and dominated the art scene for more than a decade (see Pakistan, Islamic Republic of §III).

Shakir ‛Ali first studied painting at the Ukil Brothers Studio in Delhi. In 1938, after a year in that city, he joined the J. J. School of Art, Bombay, which promoted the British system of art education—drawing from cast and copying Old Masters. From the school’s director, Charles Gerrard, Shakir learned mural painting and was introduced to Impressionism. He also learned about indigenous art such as that at Ajanta (see Ajanta, §2, (i)) and the modern work of Roy, Jamini and Sher-Gil, Amrita.

After receiving a diploma in fine art from the Slade School of Art, London, Shakir ‛Ali studied with André Lhote in France. Moving to Prague, he joined the School of Industrial Design and studied textile design. From Prague, Shakir went to Lahore, where he was appointed Professor and head of the art department at the Mayo School of Arts. 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

Ismeth Raheem

(b Jaffna, Ceylon [now Sri Lanka], Sept 26, 1869; d Colombo, July 2, 1910).

Ceylonese photographer. His family had practised photography for three generations. His grandfather, Adolphus Wilhelmus Andree (b 1799), was one of the early pioneers of daguerreotypy in Ceylon, and his father, Adolphus William Andree, had a flourishing photographic business between the 1860s and 1880s with studios in the capital Colombo and the provincial towns of Jaffna, Galle and Matara. At 18, he was already working as an apprentice in the studio of an American photographer at Chatham Street, Colombo, using the ferrotype process (see Photography §I). By 1893 he had established the Hopetown Studio, Slave Island, Colombo, which within a decade was one of the most fashionable and best-equipped in the country. Andree earned several awards at the Exposition Universelle, Paris, in 1900 and at the World’s Fair in St Louis, MO, in 1904. In 1901 the government appointed him as one of its official photographers to cover the visit to Ceylon of the Duke and Duchess of York....

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

Alan Powers

(Irving Jeffrey)

(b Haiphong, French Indo-China [now Vietnam], Oct 16, 1900; d Rodmersham, Kent, Nov 8, 1979).

English illustrator and author. From 1905 he grew up in England, becoming a professional artist in 1926 after part-time study at the Westminster School of Art, London. He became known as an illustrator of genre scenes in a variety of media, often with a comic Victorian flavour. He was best known for illustrated stories, the first of which, Little Tim and the Brave Sea-captain (Oxford, 1936), was followed by numerous imaginative and popular children’s books and by many other illustrated books. Baggage to the Enemy (London, 1941) reflected his appointment in 1940 as an Official War Artist, recording the German invasion of France, and the North African and Italian campaigns. His freelance career continued after the war with a steady production of illustrative and ephemeral work in an instantly recognizable style that relied on ink line and delicate washes.

The Young Ardizzone: An Autobiographical Fragment (London, 1970) Diary of a War Artist...

Article

The concepts of internationalism and multiculturalism are fundamental factors in the emergence of Asian contemporary art. Multiculturalism and internationalism have been organizing principles for most international exhibitions since the 1990s, including the Venice Biennale and the São Paulo Biennial as well as the new exhibitions in Asia. Multiculturalism was adopted by nations such as Canada and Australia to promote cultural harmony amongst diverse immigrant groups. It is founded on the idea that all cultures have equal value. In the early 1990s the term gained popularity in the visual arts to describe the emergence of artists who belonged to different ethnic groups. Also the term acknowledges a time of increased mobility, when many artists hold multiple ethnic identities and have homes in multiple geographical locations.

This trend began with the magnificent exhibition, Magiciens de la Terre, held at the Centre Georges Pompidou and the Grande Halle de la Villette in Paris in ...

Article

East Asian, South Asian and South-east Asian women artists have made a unique contribution to contemporary art by incorporating culturally specific traditions drawn from sacred and secular aspects of art history and daily life—from altars to painting to domestic design—with traditional materials and new media such as video and digital imaging (see fig.). This artwork accesses the myriad of customs and languages that make up the region, with spirituality playing a larger role than in many other regions in the world. Artists often include elements in their work that display an identification with both Eastern and Western traditions and exhibit a balance between cultural differentiation and hybridity. Their explorations have often been aided by modern concepts of the female self, aided by feminist theory.

While some women work with narratives from the past, others negotiate new identities through the use of technologies such as iPods, camera videos and mini-TVs, which have taken particularly strong root in urban Asia. These polar references to the old and the new are often harnessed into a combined visual language that expresses modern life for women living in societies experiencing dramatic changes brought on by post-modernity. While gender and sexual identity have always been assumed important issues in women’s art, the blurring of boundaries in cultural roles has expanded possibilities for women artists even where general societal discrimination persists. The feminism that emerged in the USA and Europe in the 1970s has penetrated academic and artistic circles throughout Asia in an uneven pattern of influence. (The earliest generation of Western feminist art began with an exploration of the female body in relationship to societal norms.) Serious consideration, if not complete acceptance, of these new perspectives introduced Asian women to new conceptual and political frameworks, which were often overlaid onto such established images as female deities, ritual practices and strong role models from recent social history. In India and other post-colonial countries, women’s rights had been included in the paradigms of modern mid-20th century independence movements, laying the groundwork for regional interpretations of women’s experience....

Article

Asian modern and contemporary art is a discursive field because of its potential critique of existing art historical concepts, structures of knowledge and curatorial categories. It is not just the art of a discrete geographical zone, nor simply one which developed through a series of chronological successions. In the past Asia was assimilated under the term ‘Eastern’ as the antithesis of ‘Western’, which meant that ‘Asian’ never escaped being a projection of the ‘Western’. Thus the difficulty in understanding Asian modern and contemporary art is in reconstructing Asia as an intellectual concept, not as a naturalized reflection of Europe, nor as a set of Orientalist projections. The emergence of Asian modern and contemporary art has redefined modernity in Western art, and the need for such redefinition may account for the exclusion of Asian modern and contemporary art from serious consideration in the West until the 1990s.

Asian modern and contemporary art should not be seen as the product of positions adopted in the European and American metropolises by migrant artistic and intellectual communities. Art in many Asian cultures was potentially modern before the political and economic interpositions of 19th-century European and American colonialism. This art was also subject to the forces unleashed by the transfer of academic realism and later stylistic transformations (see Clark, ...

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

R. Siva Kumar

(b Bankura, May 25, 1906; d Calcutta, Aug 2, 1980).

Indian sculptor and painter . The example of rural craftsmen inspired him to paint curtains for village theatre and posters for the nationalist demonstrations before he was taken in 1925 to the art college at Santiniketan in West Bengal by the nationalist leader, publisher and patron Ramananda Chatterjee (1865–1943). He was initially influenced by Abanindranath Tagore and Nandalal Bose but soon developed an individual perception and a keen interest in sculpture. His early outdoor sculptures, such as Sujata (1935), Santal Family (1939) and the Lamp Stand (1940), were made in situ in Santiniketan in concrete and were environmental in scale and theme.

Although best known for his sculpture, as a painter Baij, along with Benode Behari Mukherjee, was one of the first Indian artists to show a deep understanding of modern Western art. In the late 1930s and early 1940s he made reference in his formal language to Post-Impressionism, Cubism and Futurism, although he consistently derived his imagery from immediate visual experience. The combination of these influences with his natural ...

Article

Gavin Stamp

(b Cobham, Kent, June 9, 1862; d Cobham, Feb 4, 1946).

English architect and writer, also active in South Africa and India . He was articled to a cousin, Arthur Baker, a former assistant of George Gilbert Scott I, in 1879 and attended classes at the Architectural Association and Royal Academy Schools before joining the office of George & Peto in London (1882), where he first met and befriended Edwin Lutyens. Baker set up in independent practice in 1890 but moved to South Africa in 1892 to join his brother Lionel Baker. In Cape Town he met Cecil Rhodes, Prime Minister of the Cape Colony, who directed his attention to the traditional European Cape Dutch architecture of the province and asked him to rebuild his house Groote Schuur (1893, 1897), now the official residence of South Africa’s prime ministers. Applying the ideas of the English Arts and Crafts movement to local conditions, Baker produced a series of houses, both in the Cape Province and the Transvaal, which were instrumental in the revival of Cape Dutch architecture. In ...

Article

Hasan-Uddin Khan

(b March 2, 1917).

English architect and writer, active in India . He graduated from the School of Architecture, Birmingham, and after serving as an anaesthetist in South-east Asia in World War II, he settled in India in 1945, first working as an architect/builder for a missionary organization in Pithorgarh, Uttar Pradesh, and from 1963 in Trivandrum, Kerala State. Inspired by the vernacular building of the area, he developed an architecture based only on local materials and stressing low-cost design. Other important influences were his Quaker religious beliefs, the philosophy of his friend Mahatma Gandhi, and his opposition to the architecture of Le Corbusier and the International style. Working as designer, builder and contractor, Baker has executed nearly 1000 works, mainly houses. Improvisation, for example using old building elements in new structures as in the Narayan House (1973), Trivandrum, is a characteristic of his approach. His house for T. N. Krishanan (1971...

Article

John Musgrove

(b Colombo, 1919; d Colombo, May 27, 2003).

Sri Lankan architect. He studied English literature at the University of Cambridge and was admitted to the Bar in 1943. After some years travelling in the USA and Europe he returned to Sri Lanka where, in 1949, he bought Lunuganga at Bentota, on the west coast south of Colombo, and initiated what became a widely renowned garden. He then returned to England to study architecture at the Architectural Association, London, graduating in 1956. He joined the Colombo practice of Edward Reid & Begg (1958) and began a close collaboration with the Danish architect Ulrik Plesner (b 1930), one of its partners, which lasted until 1967.

There are two distinct aspects to Bawa’s work. The first is an intensely personal flair for expressing what he called a ‘subconscious residue of understanding’ left in the mind by all kinds of buildings and landscapes in Sri Lanka and abroad; this was the basis of his celebration of the local vernacular, which grew out of Portuguese, Dutch and British influences as well as indigenous models. The second is the element of dynamism in his buildings, which stems from his belief that a building, like a garden, can only be experienced by moving through it. Bawa’s European training is most evident in his early works, although even these bear a personal stamp that immediately relates them to local culture, context and climate. The tennis club-house (...

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

Philip Davies

(b Bo’ness, 1866; d Edinburgh, Feb 23, 1937).

Scottish architect, active in India. He was educated at the Edinburgh Academy and Royal Academy Schools. At the RIBA he was a Silver Medallist (1894). After a period articled to Hippolyte Blanc (1844–1917), he worked with Alfred Waterhouse and R. W. Edis before going to South Africa as architect to the Real Estate Corporation. In 1901 he became Consulting Architect to the Government of Bombay, before succeeding James Ransome (1865–1944) as Consulting Architect to the Government of India in 1908, the first to be employed outside the ranks of the Public Works Department engineers. He remained in this post until 1921.

He was proficient in a wide variety of styles. He designed barracks and housing for the new cantonment at Delhi and devised a standardized design for the Post and Telegraph departments, of which the Nagpur Post Office and Agra Post Office (1913...

Article

H. I. R. Hinzler

(b ’s-Hertogenbosch, Oct 7, 1906; d 1992).

Dutch archaeologist. He began his studies with Classics at Leiden University in 1926 but then specialized in Sanskrit and South and South-east Asian archaeology under J. Ph. Vogel and N. J. Krom. He concluded his studies in 1933 with a thesis on 9th-century Indo-Javanese bronzes. He was curator of the Kern Institute in Leiden (1933–6), and from 1936 to 1956 he worked in Batavia (now Jakarta), first (until 1942) as head of the library of the Royal Batavia Society (now Perpustakaan Nasional, Jakarta). In 1938–9 he replaced Willem Frederik Stutterheim, who was on leave, as head of the Archaeological Survey. When the Faculty of Letters was opened in Batavia on 4 December 1940, Bernet Kempers received an extraordinary professorship in the archaeology and ancient history of Indonesia. From 1947 to 1953 he was head of the Archaeological Survey. Meanwhile he taught at the university in Jakarta and (...