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Blog/RestlessObserverInterviewWithWimDelvoye

Wim Delvoye dreams outrageously—some would say gratuitously—big. He lives and works out of a renovated castle in Belgium, with a medieval-esque moat surrounding him. He is known for his technically perfect, highly ambitious, and often controversial projects: the Cloaca machines, which scientifically transform the cuisine of the world’s best chefs into manufactured feces; live pigs inked with drawings of Disney princesses and fashion logos, and hand-reared on Delvoye’s farm in Beijing; and Rimowa suitcases intricately embossed with Persian motifs with the help of craftsmen in Iran’s legendary Isfahan province. A neo-conceptualist at heart, Wim Delvoye combines philosophical ideas with an eye for new materials and impeccable craftsmanship, challenging existing infrastructures and hierarchies.

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News/ProjectFulfillArtSpaceDemandsApologyFromEsteeLauderCompaniesChinaAffiliate

On July 17, Taipei’s Project Fulfill Art Space released an official statement accusing Estée Lauder Companies China Affiliate of creating and displaying a near-identical copy of Chen Sung-Chih’s installation, Untitled—WZ (2019), without any contractual permission from the artist or the gallery, which represents the work. 

Chen’s original artwork, comprising 12 transparent cubes topped with silver glitter and placed in a room with silver-glitter flooring, was showcased at the 2019 Wuzhen Contemporary Art Exhibition from March 31 to June 30. According to the gallery’s statement, an employee of Estée Lauder Companies China Affiliate saw the work at the show and proceeded to contact Project Fulfill on May 17, inquiring about a potential partnership with the artist and gallery. As part of their response, Chen and Project Fulfill stated: “This is an artwork. The artist is willing to make changes to a certain extent, but must authorize and agree to any alteration.” In accordance to their standard procedures, the gallery also provided Estée Lauder’s representative with production specifications and a quotation. Following that, the gallery did not hear back from the company with confirmation about the partnership and “regarded the collaboration as unsuccessful and hence invalid.” 

On July 14, the gallery was alerted to the fact that the company had appropriated the work without permission via an image of an installation closely resembling Untitled—WZ (2019). The image shows pink-tinted, translucent cubes, some of which contain smaller cubes within them, placed in a room with pink, glittery floors. The image was disseminated as part of the WeChat promotion materials for a product-launch event in Wuzhen by M·A·C, a subsidiary cosmetics brand under Estée Lauder Companies.

In the official statement, Project Fulfill demanded a public apology from Estée Lauder Companies China Affiliate. They are currently awaiting formal response from the cosmetics brand. It remains unclear whether Project Fulfill intends to pursue any legal action regarding the situation. The gallery said: “By law, plagiarism and visual plagiarism are two separate issues. It may be difficult to deem Estée Lauder Companies China Affiliate’s form of display as plagiarism, but the company should have been fully aware of its transgressions as walking a fine line between what is legally acceptable and unacceptable.” At the time of publication, Estée Lauder Companies China Affiliate had not responded to AAP’s request for comment.

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Blog/Redefine

For his project “Redefine,” design intern Jack Wong reimagines the sleeve covers of vinyl albums that he enjoys listening to. His designs combine his experimentations with various design trends and his visual interpretations of the vinyl records. 

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Magazine/WebExclusives/LiuJianhua

Since the late-1970s, Liu Jianhua has skillfully advanced the rank of ceramics from its commonplace utilitarian applications, elevating it beyond any trace of functionality, by crafting pristine sculptural objects grounded in abstract and minimal forms. For his first solo exhibition at Pace Gallery, Palo Alto, Liu presented a thoughtfully orchestrated selection from three defining bodies of work, all in keeping with the artist’s minimalist approach. 

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Blog/UnspeakableChaosInterviewWithWangTuo

Beijing-based Wang Tuo’s video installations are visually rich, multi-narrative dramas. Trained as a painter at Beijing’s Tsinghua University, Wang’s practice took a turn when he began his Master of Fine Arts degree at the School of Visual Art, Boston, in 2013. There, prompted by French philosopher Guy Debord’s critique of commodity fetishism, The Society of the Spectacle (1967), he began to create video works interweaving fiction and non-fiction, the dramatic and the humorous, incisively commenting on the dynamics and contradictions of human relationships. After graduating, Wang moved to New York, where he took part in various local residencies, hosted by organizations including NARS Foundation, Residency Unlimited, and the Queens Museum. In 2017, he left the United States and moved back to China—another transition that prompted him to re-evaluate his artistic practice.

Earlier this year, Wang visited New York for his solo show at Present Co., where he showed his latest work, Smoke and Fire (2018). I met with the artist on the occasion of the exhibition. Our conversation picked up with when we first met in 2015, and spanned Wang’s past and recent projects, as well as his longstanding interests in topics such as overlapping realities, re-imagined spaces, manipulation, spirituality, psychology, emotions, and lived experiences.

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Magazine/114/LeoValledor/Zh

2006年,紐約的Mitchell Algus Gallery舉辦了一場展覽,通過兩位畫家的作品追溯菲律賓極簡主義藝術的根源的展覽,展示了兩位畫家的作品,。他們分別是1933年出生於馬尼拉的Mario Yrisarry和1936年出生於舊金山的Leo Valledor。這兩位藝術家都曾活躍於二十世紀六七十年代的紐約藝術界,但隨後都銷聲匿跡了。1977年,當Yrisarry停止創作繪畫時,Valledor也同時搬回了舊金山。在那裏裡,Valledor堅持着他近乎已被埋沒的藝術生涯——而直到1989年去世,他的作品才被從新重視。

去年,我在舊金山現代藝術博物館(SFMOMA)第一次看到Valledor的作品,但當時並未意識到我們的創作有共同鳴之處。他1965年的作品《Skeedo》是一幅形狀不規則的大幅油畫,由橙色和藍灰色的尖角及黃色線條構成,充分體現了他對不對稱硬邊風格的迷戀,和對色彩空間維度的嫻熟探索。在過去的一年裏,我曾多次回到舊金山進行我在Kadist的駐留項目,研究美國式敘述中那些對帝國及其消亡的描繪。而Valledor的生活和工作品則完全做到了將這種帝國機制置於前衛空間及其對當代藝術的影響之中。

與生活在倫敦的藝術家David Medalla一樣,即使身處在被不同的文化表現達佔據了整個單一獨特的社會環境的時代,Valledor也與生活在倫敦的藝術家David Medalla相似仍,是一個無處不在的人物——他不斷現身爵士音樂、節奏詩歌和抽象表現主義等領域。Valledor在二十世紀四五十年代的舊金山菲爾莫爾區長大。在母親早逝和被隨即被父親遺棄的經歷下,十二歲的Valledor成為了一所住滿「馬農(manong)」單身漢房子的房東。馬農(manong)是近期移民了不久來尋找工作的菲律賓男人,他們的生存掙扎曾在Carlos Bulosan的小說《美國在心中(America Is in the Heart)》(1946)中被生動地描述過。菲爾莫爾區在當時是美國西海岸的爵士樂中心,它的城市節奏為年輕的Valledor提供了一個喘息空間。早期爵士樂的浸染塑造了他對音樂和顏色之間密不可分關聯的痴迷——他把「和聲思想(harmonic ideas)」作為他視覺探索的基礎。

在其一生中,Valledor見證了定義美國先鋒藝術的關鍵時刻。1955年,19十九歲的他獲得了美國加州藝術學院(California School of Fine Arts;現為舊金山藝術學院,San Francisco Art Institute)的獎學金,並在Six Gallery舉辦了自己的首個個展。而同年在這個傳奇畫廊, 艾倫·金斯堡(Allen Ginsberg)首次展出了他的詩作《嚎叫(Howl)》。Valledor在1961年搬至紐約,在那裏裡他成為了Park Place Gallery Group的創始成員之一,該機構的誕生幫助力了曼哈頓下城SoHo畫廊區的興起,並培養了一眾藝術家如Sol LeWitt,、Eva Hesse和Mark di Suvero,以及畫廊家 Paula Cooper。正是在這裏裡,Valledor為他的藝術之發出了獨特聲聲音定下了基調。

持績至今不間斷對的省略和重新檢索的編排過程塑造了藝術史。然而我一直在想,這樣一位在每個歷史決定性時刻從未缺席的人物,究竟是如何被遺忘的呢。種族,不可避免地,種族是這種抹除去過程中的一個決定元素。正如藝術評論家Jim Long在《The Brooklyn Rail》所指出,Valledor非常清楚,作為一名菲律賓人,他永遠無法完全融入紐約的藝術圈,因為在那裏裡,抽象藝術往往被認為是白人藝術家的特權。這給了他自由去嘗試和吸收繪畫可能表現的激進思想,而不需要遵循Clement Greenberg或者Donald Judd所起草完畢的規則,但是這也讓他墮入深陷抽象主義繪畫和極簡主義的既定軌跡之間的裂縫。

他的存在被研究菲律賓裔美籍和亞裔美籍藝術的學術界透明化,這可以參照同一時代同樣被邊緣化的非裔美籍抽象畫家來解釋。這些藝術家不僅被白人當權派忽視,還受到了其他非裔美籍藝術家的批評,指責他們逃避政治代表性問題。而在菲律賓流散藝術家這邊的例子中,以探索原住性(indigeneity)藝術的固有形式,作為一種處理互相互衝突的文化身份的方式,仍是位於主要的話語結構中。

Valledor的藝術生涯也為理解菲律賓極簡主義和概念主義的衝突歷史提供了一個有趣的對比物位角度。大約在同一時間,當Valledor正與Sol LeWitt和Robert Smithson一起展出於Park Place Gallery作三人群展時,藝術家Arturo Luz與Roberto Chabet正在馬尼拉的菲律賓文化中心(Cultural Center of the Philippines)為菲律賓前衛藝術奠定藝術基礎, ── 在這裏裡,Imelda Marcos巧妙地將西方現代性引入地方話語,營造出了一個壓迫性政權下的類國際主義。

為了繪制一個更平衡的先鋒藝術跨國歷史,Leo Valledor的角色需要進一步的研究。作為一名游走刃在戰後美國的藝術家,他同時體驗了這個新時代帶來的藝術自由,以及作為一名菲裔美籍在白人環境中的邊緣化。他的藝術濃縮了那些殘酷而美麗的悖論。

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Magazine/WebExclusives/Mine

Buried within the excavated depths of collector David Walsh’s Museum of Old and New Art (Mona) was Simon Denny’s largest and most political exhibition to date. Reflecting its underground surrounds, “Mine” examined the dirtiness of extraction in terms of physical mineral procurement and the more abstract and unexplored mining of data, arguably now the world’s most valuable resource. Through augmented reality (AR), installation, sculpture, and two-dimensional works, Denny highlighted how exploitive tendencies link to environmental degradation, data management, and the transformation of labor. 

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News/BeijingArtDistrictsClearedForDemolition

On July 10, police outfitted in riot gear descended on Beijing’s Luomahu Art District to evict local artists from their studios, without formal explanation or offer of compensation, as reported in The Art Newspaper. Days earlier, on July 7, Huantie Art District similarly suffered a wave of unannounced evictions, which authorities claimed was a response to alleged mafia activity in the area.

Huantie-based artist Canon Duan told The Art Newspaper that the district’s inhabitants were given seven days to vacate their studios, and that photography and deliveries of takeaway and express packages were prohibited in the interim. A notice posted by Beijing authorities in Huantie on the same day that the evictions commenced stated that the clearance was part of the Chinese government’s crackdown on organized crime. The text linked artists with “security problems” and “unstable factors.”

Numerous art districts in the Chinese capital have been targeted for demolition in recent years. Last July, Caochangdi was abruptly cleared for demolition—allegedly to allow for the construction of a new railway—forcing several galleries, including de Sarthe, to shutter their spaces. The formerly Caochangdi-based Iowa artist cooperative was also forcibly evicted the year before, with authorities citing illegal construction as the reason for the commune’s demolition. Huantie was partially razed in mid-2017 on government orders, while Huang Rui’s studio compound in the neighborhood has been slated for demolition since September of that same year. Elsewhere in the city, Dongying, Sunhe, Suojiacun, and Heiqiao have been destroyed over the past decade.

Demolitions with little or no prior notice are not uncommon in Beijing, where officials commonly cite legal infractions pertaining to land use as explanations for their operations. However, affected artists and gallerists have speculated that mass evictions of art districts are part of government-sanctioned redevelopment and gentrification projects across the capital, where affordable spaces are increasingly hard to come by. 

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Shop/Goods/GatheringPoliticalWritingOnArtAndCulture

The Museum of Contemporary Art and Design (MCAD) Manila of the De La Salle-College of Saint Benilde announces the publication of Gathering: Political Writing on Art and Culture by Marian Pastor-Roces.

The book is the first collection of essays by Roces who has written extensively about craft, art, museology, cultural theory and politics, generating a body of work that is sustained and unrelenting in its commitment to critique.

With an introduction by Indian dramaturg Rustom Bharucha, and foreword by Dr. Elena Mirano the collection presents 43 essays from 1974 through to 2018.

The limited edition book is co-published with ArtAsiaPacific Foundation. It will be available in select book shops, and can be ordered directly from Museum of Contemporary Art and Design (MCAD) Manila, and here on the ArtAsiaPacific webstore.

For inquiries and pre-orders please email: mcad@benilde.edu.ph in the Philippines or ArtAsiaPacific in Hong Kong: info@aapmag.com

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Magazine/WebExclusives/TheSylvioPerlsteinCollectionALutaContinua

Eschewing the traditional jumble-sale type exhibition typical of galleries in slower summer months, Hauser & Wirth Hong Kong presented a not-for-sale show featuring works in the collection of Sylvio Perlstein for the first time in Asia. Curated by David Rosenberg, the nearly 200 paintings, photographs and installations by around 112 artists sprawled across the gallery’s two floors. These selections, although making up only a fraction of Perlstein’s profuse collection accumulated over five decades, embodied the collector’s taste for art that challenges aesthetic and conceptual normativity—or, as he described it, art that is esquisito, a Portuguese word meaning “strange and unusual.”

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