In the March/April issue of ArtAsiaPacific, we look at ways in which artists are stretching perceptions and broadening the world around us. For our cover feature, Bali-based Neo-Geo artist Ashley Bickerton sits down with Indonesia's Entang Wiharso, whose paintings and installations weave personal and political struggle with magical realism. They hash out what it means to be an artist linked to tradition, history and a stylistic heritage, while also trying to break new ground and avoid being exoticized or co-opted by the market.
From New Delhi, AAP contributing editor Jyoti Dhar introduces the elegant photographic work of Dayanita Singh. Dhar looks at the ways Singh's practice has evolved, exploring her wide range of subject matter and the experimental modes of display that have allowed her to question the expectations of photography as both medium and art form.
We also revisit the career of Chinese artist and Stars Group founding member Ma Desheng, known for his black-and-white woodblock prints that illustrate everyday struggles during the Cultural Revolution, his involvement with the influential dissident magazine Jintian, and his ink paintings created during his self-imposed exile in France. AAP contributing editor Andrew Cohen reveals that Ma was an important catalyst for change during the Beijing Spring of 1978–79.
This issue sees the conclusion of our yearlong "20/20" series, which marked AAP's 20th anniversary. Contributors look back at individual artists and at significant moments in their practice. Nicholas Thomas, director and curator of Cambridge University's Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology, recalls his first encounter with Niue artist John Pule's painting Kulukakina (After Experiencing Something Miraculous, Withdraw) (2004). Artist and curator Ringo Bunoan reflects on the influential work of the late Roberto Chabet, the father of Philippine conceptual art. Editor-at-large HG Masters discusses Lamia Joreige's documentary video Here and Perhaps Elsewhere (2003), which investigates disappearance and memory in the post-Lebanese Civil War era. Finally, Indonesia desk editor Hendro Wiyanto revisits Christine Ay Tjoe's installation series "Lama Sabakhtani Club" (2009–11), a stark examination of spiritual faith and its relationship with pain.
In Profiles, Joyce Beckenstein sits down with the respected art historian and former president and chief executive of Asia Society Vishakha Desai to discuss the global reception of modern and contemporary Asian art. Isabella E. Hughes heads to the Abu Dhabi studio of Tarek al-Ghoussein to discover the latest of his "K-Files" photography series (2013– ), while Stephanie Bailey investigates videos and installations by Dagestan's rising young star Taus Makhacheva.
In Essays, Kevin Jones tries to pin down the tongue-in-cheek practice of the artist collective GCC, modeled after the intergovernmental Gulf Cooperation Council. Chin-Chin Yap introduces the burgeoning field of hacker art, a Dadaist mix of art, activism and hijinks. From Seoul, Liz Park contemplates Geumcheon Mrs., a largely self-taught artist group comprised of middle-aged housewives, whose activities, ranging from organizing drawing lessons to making short films, reflect changing social relations in modern-day Korea.
For Where I Work, managing editor John Jervis travels to the New Delhi studio of Subodh Gupta, whose work with objects of vernacular Indian life has achieved a broad international appeal. Dispatch takes us to Dubai on the eve of the Art Dubai fair, while in One on One, Haroon Mirza explains his longstanding admiration for outsider artist Alan Kane. For The Point, Hong Kong's Leung Chi Wo reflects on the state of art education in the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region.
Wrapping up the issue, New York attorney Daniel Brooks, who represented French photographer Patrick Cariou in the high-profile copyright case against noted American artist Richard Prince, explains how the verdict in Prince's favor undermines the incentive to create original art. To herald an artwork as "transformative" is usually the highest of praise, but perhaps, as Brooks illustrates, we are still struggling to determine just what does, and does not, allow us to look at the world anew.