Tang Contemporary Art is excited to propose a selection of works by Southeast Asian and Chinese artists as part of the group exhibition reflecting on the current state of Southeast Asian and Asian art ecology and its future.Encompassing visual art, paintings and installations, the exhibition will highlight the forward-looking perspective on the region as a place that is defined by various histories, languages and identities.
Southeast Asia has been experiencing numerous changes in the past decade, including its art system that is now progressively becoming part of the global art community. Heri Dono (b.1960 in Indonesia), who is known for Booth Options Proposed Booth Presentation kinetic sculptures combining Indonesian folk art and myths with Western concepts of visual art. “Flying Angels” is made of bamboo figures of angels resembling toy airplanes. According to the artist, “angels are the universal symbol of hope for the future”. Entang Wiharso (b.1967 in Indonesia) creates work based on his personal experience embedded with a strong examination of the predominant socio-political conditions of his country. His characters are often portrayed looking silently toward the future while trying to comprehend the increasing globalization. “Double Story” is a wall sculpture made of aluminium and resin depicting intertwining figures and exudes moods of darkly comical hysteria. Rodel Tapaya (b. 1980 in Philippines) produces artworks that are strongly related to the ideas of Claude Levi-Strauss and explore the dichotomy between scientific truths and mythical stories. According to the artist, he often finds himself “picturing in my mind the rich connections past stories can have to the present, which can even let us see a map of the future.” Sakarin Krue-On (b.1965 in Thailand) brings traditional culture into the contemporary context, reflecting on the immense changes brought by the rapidly developing modern society. “A Talebearer’s Tale” shows the lifelike head of a Schomburgk’s deer - the species were once unique to Thailand and later became extinct. The installation explores the human greed and its irreversible impact on the nature.
China is one of the main countries undergoing the rapid changes in its sociopolitical environment in the past few years. Chen Danqing (b.1953 in Shanghai) came into prominence after the Cultural Revolution and is famous for his Socialism Realist paintings portraying Tibetan minorities. His recent series of paintings featuring Chinese fashion models contemplate on the global capitalism and luxury consumerism gradually becoming one of indispensable characteristics of contemporary society. Zhao Zhao (b.1982 in Shihezi) is one of the acclaimed emerging Chinese artists known for his works challenging notions of authority. “Constellation” is his ongoing painting series representing an infinite cycle of destruction and reconstruction. Assisted by his mother, he remade these works as silk embroideries. Both of them will be featured to demonstrate the contrast between traditional Chinese craft and Western medium of oil painting. Qin Qi (b. 1975 in Shanxi) is known for his use of exaggerated colours and portrayal of Chinese minorities. His paintings create the feeling of deja vu, mixing subjective emotions of romanticism and historical ambience of classicism. Wang Yuping (b.1962 in Beijing) made “Hunting Attempt” that recreates the common motif in court painting during the Mongol-ruled Yuan Dynasty, when hunting was an important way of entertainment for the Mongolians. In this work, he intended to capture the scene showing the bleakness and desolation of the Mongol empire and reflect on the state of traditional culture in the present context.
Showcasing works by artists from Indonesia, Thailand, Philippines, China and addressing the complexity of historical, religious and political background of these countries, the presentation seeks to provide an art experience that demonstrates the diversity of sociocultural evolution in the Asian region.