Archive for January 2012
An interview with Eugene Tan – formerly of ICAS – in today’s Straits Times.
Local artist Ho Tzu Nyen is on record as saying: “In Singapore, where a habit of anti-intellectualism is unfortunately pervasive in the cultural sphere and judgment about art is often determined solely by the market, Eugene’s knowledge and integrity are extremely significant.”
By Adeline Chia. Published: 30 January 2012.
It is a blisteringly hot day at Gillman Barracks. The leafy area, which contains several old colonial-type buildings, is quiet and deserted but for several contractors.
Dr Eugene Tan is taking Life! on a short tour of the area, which he seems to know like the back of his hand.
We stop at Block 7 and inside, the temperature drops by a few degrees. The room has gigantic black beams running along the ceiling and windows that open up to a scene of tropical wilderness.
In about six months’ time, the space will be home to Kaikai Kiki, the art gallery owned by Japanese A-list artist Takashi Murakami of Louis Vuitton handbag fame.
In neighbouring buildings, other top international galleries will march proudly into this former British army barracks off Alexandra Road. They include Shanghai’s ShanghART Gallery, one of China’s most influential galleries carrying the work of top artist Zeng Fanzhi; Japan’s Ota Fine Arts, representing the work of Yayoi ‘polka dot’ Kusama; and New York’s Sundaram Tagore Gallery, which carries works by celebrity photographer Annie Leibovitz and abstract American painter Frank Stella.
Later in the year when these galleries open, the space will become a vibrant arts cluster, a place drawing collectors and interested browsers.
Well, that is the plan anyway. And the man executing this vision is none other than the soft-spoken, unassuming Dr Tan.
Although he operates under the radar, the 38-year-old is an influential player in Singapore’s art scene. His official position is programme director of the Lifestyle Programme Office at the Economic Development Board. His actual job? To spearhead the Gillman Barracks project.
That means he is helping to write the next chapter of Singapore’s cultural policy. The plans for Gillman, together with high-profile contemporary art fair Art Stage, are part of Singapore’s bid to be a centre for contemporary art in the region.
In his short career, Dr Tan, who has a PhD in art history and archaeology from the University of Manchester, has made an impact on the local contemporary art scene in several high-level jobs.
He was founding director of the Institute of Contemporary Art in Lasalle College of the Arts, refreshing its dated programming to reflect cutting-edge trends; programme director for Contemporary Art at Sotheby’s Institute of Art, where he set up the master’s programme for contemporary art; and exhibitions director for prominent Osage Gallery, which has branches in Hong Kong, Beijing and Shanghai.
He was also co-curator of the inaugural Singapore Biennale in 2006 and curator for the Singapore Pavilion at the 2005 Venice Biennale.
He is one of the most well-liked people in the Singapore visual arts scene, both for his knowledge of contemporary art and his gentle, polite manner.
Singapore artist Ho Tzu Nyen, 35, who has known him for seven years, says the arts administrator is a ‘true soldier of contemporary art’. Dr Tan has included Ho’s works in several group shows and was the artist’s gallerist during his Osage stint.
Ho says: ‘In Singapore, where a habit of anti-intellectualism is unfortunately pervasive in the cultural sphere and judgment about art is often determined solely by the market, Eugene’s knowledge and integrity are extremely significant.’
He adds that because not everyone can understand contemporary art at first encounter, it is important to have ‘mediators who can ensure that these new ideas are diffused into the public sphere’.
‘Eugene has the perfect set of knowledge, skills and personality to fulfil this crucial task.’
Indeed, when Dr Tan curated Singapore conceptual artist Lim Tzay Chuen in 2005′s Venice Biennale, he handled all media queries on behalf of the artist.
Lim, known for his aggressively conceptual art, proposed to move the Merlion to Venice for the Singapore booth. The Singapore Tourism Board, which owned the 70-tonne half-lion, half-fish statue, declined to give permission. Lim’s exhibition ended up being a documentation of his failure to move the Singapore icon to the prestigious Italian art show.
It was a controversial and bold submission. The ‘Is this art?’ type of questions were lobbied around by the public and journalists, but Dr Tan took them in his stride.
He says: ‘Singapore is still very young in terms of its understanding and appreciation of contemporary art. I don’t think people here really understood why this was art, trying to move a big public monument all the way across to the other side of the world. In time, the work may be appreciated much more.’
Life! meets him for an interview at the Economic Development Board’s headquarters on the 28th floor of Raffles City Tower.
Dr Tan, in his black shirt, dark blue jeans and black sneakers, does not look like your typical bureaucrat. He admits that like many people working in art, he is ‘not a morning person’ and his mostly black wardrobe attests to that. ‘It’s out of convenience. I don’t have to decide what to wear. It simplifies things when everything’s the same colour.’
In master-planning Gillman Barracks, which is developed at a cost of less than $10 million, he adds that while many other art gallery clusters in the world develop organically, some degree of central planning in land-scarce Singapore is essential.
He says: ‘Every little bit of land in Singapore is accounted for. Where land is highly regulated, it’s very difficult for such a project to grow organically.’
There is some scepticism that the Gillman project would work – only one Singapore gallery, Fost, has taken up a space although many others have been approached. But he says things are slowly changing: ‘A lot of people don’t naturally see Singapore as an arts centre.’
An oft-cited observation that Singapore is losing its edge as an arts hub is that Sotheby’s and Christie’s, the two international auction houses, stopped holding auctions here in 2007 and in 2002 respectively, though both still have offices here.
Dr Tan says things are changing with the introduction of the Singapore Biennale and the high-end art fair Art Stage, as well as Singapore’s arts infrastructure in the development of the Singapore Freeport, a storage space for art, arts logistics firms and art insurance.
In fact, he drops a tantalising hint that he has had ‘some very productive meetings with big companies and organisations’ during Art Stage, which ended two weeks ago.
He adds that he met Mr Francois Curiel, president of Christie’s Asia, who was ‘impressed by the potential here’ – though he keeps mum about whether this means that Christie’s will start holding auctions in Singapore again.
Also, prominent Belgian conceptual artist Wim Delvoye, who moved to China after the Belgian authorities ruled that his pig tattoo art projects were illegal, is considering setting up shop here.
There is a lot of speculation about the amount of the Economic Development Board’s investment in Art Stage, which has received mixed reactions this year. Dr Tan refuses to be drawn into revealing a figure, ‘but I can say that it’s not a lot’.
He says Art Stage is ‘totally Lorenzo’s project’, referring to the fair director and Swiss national Lorenzo Rudolf.
He is happier talking about how he began his love affair with art. His father worked in financial services – he last was a management consultant in a financial firm – and his mother was a nurse. They sent their children, Eugene, then 13, and his older sister, 14, to England to attend Concord College, a well-known boarding school.
In 1989, he enrolled at Queen Mary College in the University of London to pursue a degree in Economics and Politics, a safe choice because he was unsure of what he wanted to do in the future.
It was in the British capital that he encountered art in museums and galleries. He was hooked. He took art electives in university, read up on art history and even took painting lessons.
‘But I soon realised that I was better at writing and thinking about art than I was in making it,’ he says.
He also met his Taiwanese wife there in 1991. She was studying fashion design and a friend of his sister. They eventually got married in Singapore in 2003.
He and his wife Heather, formerly a specialist in modern Chinese art in Taipei’s Sotheby’s and now a housewife, have one daughter aged seven. He declined to reveal his wife’s age.
He did his master’s in post-war and contemporary art, and later, a PhD in art history and archaelogy at the University of Manchester.
His tastes lay firmly in conceptual art, in which an artist’s ideas take precedence over what was traditionally considered aesthetic, such as the ability to paint realistically or sculpt beautiful forms.
He juggled his studies with arts writing and curating, but decided at the end of 2003 to return to Singapore. ‘Life was getting hard in London. Things were really expensive there. It was very crowded, the weather was very bad and the food was very bad. I was ready to explore something new.’
He applied successfully for the job of director of Lasalle’s Earl Lu Gallery and returned to Singapore. One of the first things he did was to rename the gallery the Institute of Contemporary Arts to reflect its new programming slant.
In 2008, he hopped over to Sotheby’s Institute of Art when it opened its Singapore campus. He helped set up its contemporary art master’s programme, with Western and Asian canons in its syllabus.
He was there for about a year before he joined Osage as exhibitions director in 2009 and had to move to its headquarters in Hong Kong.
That was when his wife decided to move to Taipei with their daughter as she did not want to live in crowded Hong Kong, but Taipei was still close enough.
She and their daughter will both move back to Singapore later this year.
Tan lives with his retired parents in a condominium in Tanjong Rhu when his family is away and he flies to Taipei often to visit them.
He speaks fondly of his daughter, Nathalie, who is getting an artistic upbringing, following her father to art openings and dabbling in drawing.
He relates a funny story of how, in kindergarten, she had to say what she wanted to be when she grew up. She first said ‘princess’ but after some years, her answer has become ‘curator’.
In a sense, he hopes that the Gillman project – despite its glitz, the money thrown at it and its place in Singapore’s high-stakes bid to be an arts destination – will be an educational space which inspires the young to see that there is a future in the arts.
He says: ‘As a child, there was not much art for me to see. It’s not something my generation was easily exposed to.
‘That’s what I really want to change in Singapore, which I think will happen at Gillman. Not only is there a lot of art to see, it’s also something that could become an alternative for families to going to shopping malls on the weekends.
‘With young children becoming used to going to art galleries, hopefully, the next generation would consider the idea of being in the arts, whether as an artist or as an arts professional.’
What does the art connoisseur have in his collection? He says he has only about 40 to 50 pieces and buys when there is ‘something I really like and can afford’. He has the work of some British artists as well as Singaporean ones such as Jane Lee, Donna Ong and Robert Zhao.
His most recent purchase was at Art Stage, a drawing by noted German artist Carsten Nicolai, who is sort of an artist’s artist, exhibited in major shows and in important collections, but a name which is still under the mainstream radar.
It is clear that Dr Tan lives and breathes art. Even during his personal travels, he visits museums and galleries to the point where ‘I don’t know whether it’s work or pleasure’.
So, he has made a resolution to go on ‘real holidays’ with his family. He says: ‘We will go to places with very little art… maybe a deserted island.’
my life so far
‘That was my decision, because of the problems around Old School that we were facing. When Osage first opened there, it was told that it was a gallery cluster, similar to what we are doing in Gillman. But it turns out that Osage was the only gallery there, the rest were creative business offices. There was a lot of uncertainty about the lease, which meant that we could not plan and make improvement to the spaces’
On why he closed Osage Singapore when he was exhibitions director at the gallery
‘If you look at art districts such as Beijing’s 798 or Chelsea in New York, which have grown organically, the artists start moving in there, the galleries come, the restaurants, cafes and eventually the fashion designers come. The galleries all get priced out. So we want to safeguard and ringfence the space at Gillman for galleries’
On why there is a need for masterplanning an art district at Gillman Barracks instead of leaving it to develop naturally
‘I know there has been some speculation in The Straits Times, but no’
On whether he has been approached to be director of The National Art Gallery
‘We have very good artists in Singapore. I don’t think there have been enough galleries here that know how to develop them and promote them internationally. Which is why Ming Wong, one of our most well-known artists, is living in Berlin and not in Singapore’
On why the top galleries in Gillman will force local galleries to up their game
Currently on view at MOCA Loewen: Sui Jianguo’s Imprisonment and Power, curated by legendary Chinese critic Li Xianting.
The show though is really just Sui’s latest commissioned piece, Restrained Power (below): an iron ball, some 2 meters in diameter, rolls back and forth in an industrial crate – creating the most god almighty racket while doing it. Even in the open, it would have sounded like metallic peals of thunder; in an enclosed space, where the uproar had the privilege of er, reverberation, it sounded like the world was coming to an ear-splitting end. (See the clip below.)
The official write-up:
Sui Jianguo’s large scale installation Restrained Power hefts eight tons and consisted of a metal container – 15 meters in length, 2.5 meters in height, and 2.5 meters in width – and an iron ball (5mm thickness and 2 meters in diameter) as well as related power devices. On display, the huge and covered metal container occupies considerable space in the museum. The ball, driven by some power source, rolls inside and collides with the container to make a deafening sound. The audiences can only see a huge metal container from the outside without being able to see what and how the sounds come about: They can hear the continuous rattle and every 27 second [sic] a deafening sound comes out of the metal container.
The metal container creates an impression of iron curtain [sic] or black box – strong and cold. The container, the ball and the power source inside the container form a relationship of constrain [sic] and collision. Restrained Power thus is a metaphorical installation about imprisonment and struggle. It is Sui Jianguo’s expression of his inner feelings and certainly could also be read as an implied meaning of the living environment.
Image (bottom) from CAFA’s site.
Sui Jianguo’s Restrained Power. (It’s too dark to discern much, but turn the sound up.)
The sheer visceral impact of the piece is worth schlepping out to the Dempsey area for. If one doesn’t appreciate the sensorial terror, then perhaps Restrained Power can be viewed as an exercise in nerve: the ball comes straight at the peephole, and the viewer. It would take a spine of steel to keep one’s eye there while it was barrelling thunderously towards you – like the wrath of god.
Maybe Sui took a cue from the Indy Jones flick with the giant ball in the temple.
It really is.
Especially when it involves big names.
A piece by Addy Chia in today’s Life! section: apparently local/Malaysian gallery owner and power player in the art scene hereabouts, Valentine Willie, got into a bit of a spat with Elena Rudolf – wife of the redoubtable Lorenzo Rudolf, late of Art Basel, and who’s now helming Art Stage Singapore.
(Ms. Chia, by the way, for those of you who may not have kept up, is a bit of a straight talker. Her editorial on the K-pop phenomenon, which compared the legions of local fans to a herd of hypnotized cultists, resulted in death threats via Twitter. For a while back there, Addy was public enemy numero uno among a certain demographic. I’m sure she still is.)
She’s penned a couple of other pieces on the Art Stage event this year, but this one really had me all agog.
You know, the hyper-commercialization of contemporary art has its perks: entertainment value. Nothing like arty types behaving badly (rather than boozing and schmoozing and spending obscene amounts of money the rest of us plebs can’t afford on a single painting, which we all knew they did anyways).
ROW OVER TORN GUESTBOOK
By Adeline Chia. Published: 21 January 2012.
A spat has broken out in the visual arts community after prominent gallerist Valentine Willie posted an irate Facebook post about the behaviour of one of the organisers of Art Stage.
Art Stage is the premier contemporary art fair held in Singapore that concluded last Sunday.
Mr Willie, 57, who owns a string of art galleries under the Valentine Willie Fine Art name in South-east Asia, wrote for his status update on Facebook on Wednesday: ‘Today, i (sic) had the most unpleasant experience in my 18 years in the art world.’
He then referred to an incident at Sangkring Art Space in Yogyakarta involving Mrs Maria Elena Rudolf, the wife of Art Stage director Lorenzo Rudolf, who is in charge of VIP relations for the four-day fair.
Mr Willie wrote that she was leading a group of VIP art collectors from Art Stage on a tour of Sangkring Art Space, a five-year-old gallery owned by Balinese painter Putu Sutawijaya. The collectors had signed in the gallery’s guestbook and left their contact details.
He said that Mrs Rudolf tore the page of contact details out of the guestbook while she muttered: ‘I don’t want you people stealing this list.’
He wrote in the post: ‘How awful and insulting is that?’
In response, Art Stage released a statement yesterday saying that Mrs Rudolf had removed the page ‘out of necessity’ and to ‘protect the collectors’ privacy’. She said that Mr Willie was copying the contact information into his mobile phone.
The statement said that the trip to Indonesia, which started on Sunday, was exclusively limited to members of Art Stage Singapore Collectors Club and admission to the events on the itinerary was by invitation only.
It said that Mr Willie, whom it described as ‘the only leading gallery based in Singapore who declined to support Art Stage Singapore 2012 and to exhibit at the fair’, had from the start of the trip, tried repeatedly to ‘insinuate’ himself into the collectors’ group.
Mrs Rudolf, 54, said that the group was surprised to see Mr Willie at the gallery and when she found him copying the contact details in the guest book, she asked him to respect the group’s privacy. Later, she removed the page ‘out of necessity” and after informing the gallery.
Mr Willie denied that he had tried to find out about the group’s itinerary. He said that Sutawijaya had invited him to the gallery to help with the hanging of his works and to give the collectors a briefing.
He said he already knew some of the collectors before the trip and had their name cards. He took only one new card at Sangkring and another collector gave him her contact details.
As for copying from the guestbook, he said: ‘I don’t copy.’
Ms Jenni Vi, co-owner of Sangkring Art Gallery and Sutawijaya’s wife, told Life! over the telephone from Yogyakarta that the experience was a ‘nightmare’ and ‘that woman really insulted us’.
She added: ‘I should have said, ‘Get out of here!”
Mrs Vi, 39, said that Mrs Rudolf was ‘angry’ to find that Sangkring was an art gallery and not an artist studio, and was displeased to see Mr Willie at the gallery.
‘But Willie is my business partner. His office is here. How can I chase him away?’ Mrs Vi said. Mr Willie programmes the exhibitions at Sangkring and holds eight exhibitions a year at the space. He is also Sutawijaya’s dealer in Malaysia.
Ms Vi added that Mrs Rudolf told her not to ask the collectors to leave their contact details.
She said that when she showed the collectors her husband’s artworks, Mrs Rudolf accused her of ‘shaming my husband because I wanted to sell the paintings’. She said that Mrs Rudolf did tell her that she wanted to remove the page of contacts. ‘I had lost so much face. I said, ‘If you want to tear, just tear. Please go quickly.”
Mr Willie’s Facebook post about Mrs Rudolf’s behaviour has gone viral in the arts community. He told Life! on the telephone from Jakarta: ‘Pity I was too well brought up, I would have slapped her.’
Most art galleries Life! spoke to said they keep the details of their clientele confidential and do not share them with third parties. But they said that they have never come across anyone tearing a page out of a guestbook.
Art-2 Gallery owner Vera Ong, 54, who is vice-president of the Art Galleries Association in Singapore, said that galleries keep their client database confidential to respect the privacy of their collectors and to protect their own businesses.
Ms Ong, whose gallery is in Mica Building, did not take part in Art Stage.
Mr Gary Sng, 44, director of Collectors Contemporary, said client mailing lists are never shared. ‘We don’t ask galleries and galleries don’t ask us.’
Commenting on Mrs Rudolf’s actions, he said: ‘The collectors signed the book, so they have given permission to give their contacts away. And you can’t just tear up people’s property.’
Collectors Contemporary, a local gallery which deals in Western contemporary art, took part in Art Stage last year. It did not have a booth this year.
Other galleries have a more open-minded approach in sharing customers.
MAD Museum of Art & Design’s owner Jasmine Tay, 45, said she sometimes takes her customers to other dealers. ‘I act as a consultant and tell them what’s good. If you let other people earn, how much will you lose?’
She added that most dealers represent different artists anyway. ‘And if you are a professional dealer, people know your abilities and will come to you.’
Her gallery in Mandarin Gallery took part in Art Stage last year but not this year. She said Mrs Rudolf’s actions were ‘unprofessional’. ‘People left their names so they wanted the gallery to send them information. She had no right to damage the guestbook.’
Mr Richard Koh, 47, of Richard Koh Fine Art, said: ‘In South-east Asia and in Singapore especially, everybody knows everybody. I don’t know why people are so secretive over their clientele.’
He has two galleries in Kuala Lumpur and Singapore and specialises in Southeast Asian art.
The Malaysian gallerist, who took part in both editions of Art Stage, said that he takes his international clients to other galleries. ‘An art collector collects art. Not just art from a certain gallery. You can’t build a collection from one gallery alone.’
The latest name in contemporary art hereabouts: the Gillman Barracks.
Apparently the shortlist of galleries to be featured at Gillman has some up in arms – the latest expression of a post-colonial hangover that simply refuses to die. Or, as an earlier piece by fellow blogger 23princessroad on TNAGS’ search for a new director dubs it, the Pinkerton Syndrome.
A letter in today’s Life! section of The Straits Times sums up that position (below).
MAKE SPACE FOR LOCAL ART
I refer to Adeline Chia’s story Art’s Big Names Fall In At Gillman (Life!, Jan 13).
After the list of commercial galleries awarded the privilege of holding court at Gillman Barracks for the next three years was officially announced, many in the arts community were disappointed, myself included.
First, there is a grand total of one Singapore gallery.
Tight curatorial control may have been exercised over the selection of the galleries but I find it inconceivable that only one local gallery made the cut.
Some prominent local gallerists who applied were turned down.
Other galleries which were apparently encouraged to apply simply did not in the end.
So much for elevating the status of local visual arts endeavours.
This only reinforces the notion prevalent among many in the arts community that locals are being bypassed in the Government’s bid to become world-class.
Second, the mix of galleries is lopsided as four out of the 13 galleries are from Japan.
I adore contemporary Japanese art but having four Japanese galleries is definitely an overkill, especially considering there is no gallery from the Middle East, Indochina, South America and Europe.
Considering that there is so much emphasis on Singapore being a hub for South-east Asian art, the paucity of galleries from the region is also disconcerting.
As about 20 galleries in total have been planned for the enclave, I hope that the imbalance will be addressed so that when the Gillman Barracks finally becomes fully operational, we will be proud to call it our own.
Three more days till the water dragon comes roaring in – here’s wishing all my readers a great long nian, or dragon year, ahead !
Images here: a couple of Chen Rong’s absolutely sublime dragons. Chen Rong 陳容 was a Southern Song painter, famed for his portrayal of these mythological beasties, and the Nine Dragons 九龍圖 scroll, currently in the collection of the MFA Boston, is considered his masterpiece. According to one description:
This long handscroll depicts, as indicated by the title, nine dragons, which appear among clouds, waves, wind, and cliffs, executed in monochrome ink on paper with some subtle touches of red color.
The handscroll displays a great variety and creativity in painting technique, a combination of seemingly random and spontaneous application of ink with highly controlled and articulated brush technique. For example, some areas of the painting display the use a piece of cloth to apply ink or ink splashes, whereas rock surfaces or dragons’ scales are executed with a more controlled brush. These observable features match with descriptions of Chen Rong’s painting practice, which report that he painted spontaneously when drunk and used his cap to smear ink on the painting surface. Chen Rong himself refers to this practice in his inscription as well.
The overall effect of the painting is one of continuous movement and energy throughout the scroll, from which the dragons emerge and into which they disappear.
Dragons have been a motif in Chinese art and visual culture from early times onward carrying a variety of meanings, such as embodying the male Yang principle, controlling rain and weather, or as a symbol of the emperor.
Chen Rong’s handscroll can be placed into a Daoist context of depicting dragons as implied in his own inscription and in the colophons added to the scroll by Daoist priests from the 12th to the 14th century. The emphasis is on the power and transformative character of the dragons, while the motifs of rain and thunder appear throughout the painting and the colophons.
(The write-up is from UChicago’s Center for the Art of East Asia. For an awesome online scroll viewer of the entire 11-metre long painting, see their page here.)
In other news, our regular arts bloggers’ meetup is back ! It’s happening on Feb 1, at 8 pm. (That’s a Wednesday evening.)
As usual, we’re being hosted by the nice folk at The Pigeonhole cafe, who deserve a big coo-out for their continued hospitality.
And no worries – co-host and meetup regular (and, now, new mum!) Notabilia will be there. It won’t be just me making people introduce themselves ten times over …
1. February 1st.
2. 8 pm.
3. The Pigeonhole. 52/53 Duxton Rd.
4. Don’t bring any mandarin oranges, ’cause everyone will be sick of them.
A recent piece I contributed to The Muse: In The Realm of Plenty, a review of Brian Gothong Tan’s Milk and Honey show, which runs at the Goodman Arts Centre till Sunday (Jan 22).
CUT THRU: A View on 21st Century Thai Art is currently on view at the Institute of Contemporary Art Singapore (ICAS), Lasalle.
A snippet from an essay by the show’s curator, Loredana Pazzini-Parraciani, included in the accompanying booklet:
Slicing through vernacular culture, secular beliefs and religion, CUT THRU presents new and recent bodies of works by nine young art practitioners from Thailand. Invested by the holy significance of three times three, the number nine in Thai culture is also semantic [sic] with the Thai word for ‘advance’ or ‘forward’ (kaoo). To go forward is the core aim of this exhibition: to explore the intentions and means of 21st century artists from Thailand while attempting to decode the individual approach these artists take towards their home culture. Thai culture is indeed a culture difficult to fully grasp and understand, for behind the iconic Thai smile, which often carries greater meaning, there is a complex, multi-layered society.
Each work presented in CUT THRU expounds a strong senses of materiality – industrial/traditional, secular/religious, old/new – offering to the audience sensory experiences by transporting the viewer to the streets of Bangkok, old shadow puppet theaters, homes of the local people, and ancestral places of worship.
[top] Piyatat Hemmatat’s work. [2nd from top] Apasmara – Fendi (2010) and Apasmara – Gucci (2010). Both Lambda prints on Kodak endura paper. [3rd from top] Apasmara – Celine (2010). Lambda print on Kodak endura paper. [bottom] Apasmara – Dior (2010). Lambda print on Kodak endura paper. All, Piyatat Hemmatat.
[top] E-dam (2010), Coyote (2010) and E-Dang (2010), Tawan Wattuya. All watercolour on paper. [middle] Coyote (2010), Tawan Wattuya. Watercolour on paper. [bottom] Honesty at All Costs, Even to Lose One’s Life (2010) and Lady Boys (2009), Tawan Wattuya. All watercolour on paper.
[top] Chusak Srikwan’s work. [2nd from top] Shadow-Play Dharma (2010). Leather carving installation. [3rd from top] Shoot (2010). Leather carving. [bottom] Buddha (2010) and Onguleeman (2010). Both leather carving.
I’ll admit it: I’m suffering from Wiki withdrawal symptoms something bad.
It does help though that I find their blackout page utterly breathtaking (above).
I think there’s something to be said for the incongruous yoking of an urgent political statement to sublime aesthetic form.
Part three coming up soon. (That’s the interesting one.)
Watch this space.