TAASA Review Issues

September 1998

Vol: 7 Issue: 3
Contemporary
Editor: Ann MacArthur

Cover Photo
LUO BROTHERS
WELCOME TO ONE OF THE WORLD’S BRANDS 1997
This image by the Lou Brothers relates to the interview with Li Xianting and Liao Wen in this issue of TAASA Review. It is a work that reflects the new movement in Chinese contemporary art defined by Li Xianting as a preoccupation with representing kitsch elements in society.

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Editorial

Melissa Chiu

This issue of TAASA Review focuses on contemporary art from Asia. Although the traditional arts of Asia have a well established audience in Australia, as the March issue featuring articles on Australian museum collections bears testament, contemporary art is a relatively new field of interest. Over the past few years, contemporary art projects such as the successful Artists Regional Exchange (ARX) and the Asia Pacific Triennial at the Queensland Art Gallery have exposed more and more Australians to contemporary art from the region. One of the most recent organisations to make a contribution in this field is Gallery 4A, an exhibition space established in Sydney which is an initiative of the Asian Australian Artists Association. As curator of Gallery 4A, I have aimed to profile the work of Asian Australian artists within the broader sphere of contemporary Australian art. Our exhibition program also includes exhibitions by contemporary Asian artists. As one of the few organisations in Australia committed to showing the work of Asian artists alongside Australian artists, I consider this issue an important link between the Asian Australian Artists Association and The Asian Arts Society of Australia.

The contents of this issue are diverse. Yao Souchou’s fascinating exploration of the ‘pleasure of the text’ in the Chinese expatriate Xu Bing’s work is insightful, revealing a very different reading of the artists’ work. Ashley Carruthers’ discussion of the controversy surrounding Truong Tan’s frankly homosexual paintings raises pertinent issues of state censorship. Lee Weng Choy’s essay is a critique of the current state of art criticism in Singapore while Phil O’Toole’s essay discusses the work of Korean-Australian artist Hyun Mi Lee. Andrew West’s profile of Thai artist Saravudth Duangjumpa’s sculptures also provides an interesting background to Thai contemporary art practice. I have contributed an interview with Li Xianting and Liao Wen, two of China’s most active and prominent curators and critics, which sheds light on recent critical strategies in China. Dr Dick Quan has written about his philosophical interest in Lindy Lee’s beautiful paintings in ‘Collector’s Choice’. These articles are intended as an introduction to some issues informing a consideration of contemporary art from Asia.

 

TAASA Management

Deborah Hambleton, known to many members for her efforts in organising the Indian and Himalayan Focus Group and its events, has been appointed to the TAASA Management Committee. We have also gained a representative in Western Australia, Eugenie Keefer Bell. 

Our Members’ Diary this issue (back page) presents a breathtaking depth and variety of Asian art subjects. Our major international symposium for the year EXPLORING KOREAN TEXTILES, COSTUME AND CULTURE takes place the weekend of 12 – 13 September at the Powerhouse Museum, Sydney as part of the exhibition Rapt in colour: Korean textiles of the Chosôn dynasty. Korean embroiderer and scholar Dr Young Y Chung gives us a preview of her lecture in this issue with an article on the Korean bridal robe.

An afternoon of lectures on MODERNITY IN JAPANESE ART first given in Sydney as part of the Art Gallery of New South Wales exhibition Modem Boy Modem Girl: modernity in Japanese art 1910-1935 goes on the road to Melbourne on 12 September. On 9 October TAASA presents a group of archaeologists specialising in Southeast Asian sites to offer an afternoon on MAPPING SOUTHEAST ASIAN CITIES.

On October 31 our versatile guest editor Melissa Chiu doubles as a conference coordinator to present a forum where contemporary artists and curators gather to discuss issues of CONTEMPORARY ART IN ASIA. This issue of TAASA Review should provide excellent preparation for the topic. We are deeply grateful to Melissa for drawing together so much fascinating material on contemporary art. 

Table of contents

COMMENT – Melissa Chiu

WHAT BUGS THE STATE ABOUT TRUONG TAN? – Ashley Carruthers

XU BING AND CULTURAL NATIONALISM – Yao Souchou

CONTEMPORARY ART CRITICISM IN SINGAPORE – Lee Weng Choy

11  COLLECTOR’S CHOICE – Dick Quan

12  IN THE PUBLIC DOMAIN – Anthony Bond

13  SARAVUDTH DUANGJUMPA A CONTEMPORARY THAI ARTIST – Andrew West

14  CONTEMPORARY ART IN CHINA AN INTERVIEW WITH LI XIANTING AND LIAO WEN – Melissa Chiu

16  PAPER TIGERS THE ARTWORK OF HYUN MI LEE – Phil O’Toole

18  A LONG JOURNEY TO NIRVANA CHANG DAI-CHIEN ‘S LIFE AND PAINTING – Liu Yang

20  THE TRADITIONAL KOREAN WEDDING ROBE – Young Y. Chung

23  REVIEWS AND PREVIEWS

28  MEMBERS’ DIARY

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