Saturday, February 27, 2010

NY bound

We head to New York tomorrow to participate in The Armory Show. During this time the gallery will be open Monday 1st to Friday 6th from 11.00am to 5.00pm,  Saturday 7th from 11.00am to 4.00pm, closed Monday 8th and normal hours from Tuesday 9 March.

Friday, February 26, 2010

Seung Yul Oh: Bogle, Bogle

Seung Yul Oh's Bogle Bogle is showing at The New Dowse until 30 May 2010. We'll post more installation views next week.
Image: Seung Yul Oh, Bogle Bogle (detail), The New Dowse, Lower Hutt, NZ

Thursday, February 25, 2010

The World is Not Enough: The Future of Biennials

Just two months into 2010 we have posted reports on four biennales and one triennial in the Asia/Pacific region - the Auckland Triennial, Busan Biennale, Biennale of Sydney, Gwangju Biennale and Singapore Biennale. Clearly the global recession hasn't diminished art-funder enthusiasm for these events.

Curators of biennial events will discuss the future role of expansive international surveys of contemporary art in today's fluctuating political and economic landscape in The Armory Show's Open Forum programme. The panelists in The World is Not Enough: The Future of Biennials are Dan Cameron (co-curator, Prospect New Orleans), Gary Carrion-Murayari (co-curator, 2010 Whitney Biennial), Elizabeth Sussman (co-curator, 1993 Whitney Biennial), Christina Paul (artistic director, third Quadrilateral Biennial, 2009), Trevor Smith (co-curator, Singapore Biennale, 2011) with moderator Katy Siegel, Associate Professor of Art History and Criticsm, Hunter College and contributing editor of Artforum.

We'll post a report on the discussion from New York.
Image: from The Armory Show Website

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

From the street

The From the street photographs of Starkwhite and Shanghai Ye! Shanghai are by artist Jin Jiangbo.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Artist directs third Singapore Biennale

The artistic director of the third Singapore Biennale, Matthew Ngui, has a lot of experience in the field of biennales, both as a participating artist and more recently as a curator. He was part of curatorial team for the Singapore Biennale in 2008, and has exhibited at the Sao Paulo, Venice and Gwangju biennales in 1996, 2001 and 2002 respectively. Ngui is one of four artists who represented Singapore at its first participation in the 49th Venice Biennale in 2001 and he is also the first Singaporean artist to exhibit at Documenta in Kassel in 1997. Trained in sculpture, Ngui focuses on installation, video, performance, site-specific works and public art.

Ngui brings this background to the forthcoming Singapore Biennale, Open House. He says: "I would like the focus of the Biennale to be on Singapore and other countries as sites, homes and nations, where the role of art is to engage and re-present realities through its unique creative processes that often give new and fresh insights into the spaces we inhabit. Hence on site in Singapore we hope to engage artists with the public as participating and audiences starting from the very process of art making in both private and public spaces."

Ngui's curatorial team includes Russell Storer, Curator of Asian Contemporary Art, Queensland Art Gallery and Trevor Smith, Inaugural Curator of Contemporary Art at the Peabody Essex Museum, Massachusetts.
Image: Matthew Ngui, Artistic Director, 3rd Singapore Biennale, 6 March - 8 May 2011

Monday, February 22, 2010

Eighth Gwangju Biennale

Tilted 10,000 Lives and directed by Massimiliano Gioni, the Eighth Gwangju Biennale will develop as a sprawling investigation of the relationships that bind people to images and images to people. Gioni says: "The exhibition will engage our obsession with images and our need to create substitutes, effigies, avatars and stand-ins for ourselves and our loved ones. It is this perennial state of iconophilia, this maniacal love of images that we wish to examine in Gwangju."

The exhibition title is borrowed from Maninbo (10,000 Lives) a yet unfinished 30 volume epic conceived by Korean author Ko Un while imprisoned in 1980 for his participation in the South Korean democratic movement. Held in solitary confinement, as a means to preserve his sanity, Ko envisaged a poem which described every single person he had met throughout his life, including historical figures and fictional characters encountered in literature. Upon his release he began writing the 3,800 poems that compose Maninbo (10,000 Lives), a magnum opus that reads as a personal encyclopedia of humanity. From the Biennale Media release

The Gwangju Biennale runs from 3 September - 7 November 2010.
Image: Eighth Gwangju Biennale masthead

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Shanghai, Ye! Shanghai: installation views

The four installation shots of Shanghai, Ye! Shanghai were taken by artist Jin Jiangbo, shown here with his family. 

Friday, February 19, 2010

Shanghai, Ye! Shanghai review

You can read a review of Jin Jiangbo's exhibition Shanghai, Ye! Shanghai here.
Image: Shanghai, Ye! Shanghai opening, Starkwhite, photograph by Jin Jiangbo

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Grant Stevens: Burst at PICA

PICA (Perth) is presenting a trilogy of video works by Grant Stevens developed in response to his time in Los Angeles. If things Were Different (2009), Crushing (2009) and Really Really (2007) "...oscillate between the fanciful and romantic to the abrasively cynical by drawing on tropes of Hollywood film, advertising or bad day-time TV and purposefully mishandle media devices of editing, framing, cropping, and incorporating text or muzak". PICA website

The artist who now lives and works between Queensland and California explains that "...unpacking and testing out these ambiguities and ambivalences are what drive me to make art - to try and make works that draw you in while making you feel uncomfortable or unsure about what you are looking at." Eyeline 2008)

Grant Stevens: Burst runs at PICA until 5 April 2010.
Image: Grant Stevens, If Things Were Different, 2009, digital video, 18 min 17 sec, edition of 5

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Shanghai, Ye! Shanghai installation views

Jin Jiangbo's exhibition Shanghai, Ye! Shanghai runs to 20 March 2010. You can read our media release here.
Images: Jin Jiangbo, Shanghai, Ye! Shanghai, installation views, Starkwhite, Auckland, NZ

Dane Mitchell at the Busan Biennale

Artistic director Azumaya Takashi has invited Dane Mitchell to realise a new work for the 2010 Busan Biennale, Living in Evolution (11 September - 20 November 2010). Mitchell is currently artist in residence on the DAAD Berliner Kunstlerprogramm.

Azumaya Takashi is an independent curator known for his experimental approach to exhibitions. He has held curatorial posts at the Setagaya Museum and Mori Museum in Tokyo and was the commissioner of Media_City Seoul 2002 and guest curator for the 2008 Busan Biennale. He is the first non-Korean to direct the Busan Biennale. 

This link takes you to the Busan Biennale website.
Image: Busan city

Monday, February 15, 2010

David Elliot unveils highlights of the 17th Biennale of Sydney

As final countdown begins for the Auckland Triennial (it opens 12 March 2010), artistic director David Elliot is unveiling plans for the 17th Biennale of Sydney (12 May - 1 August 2010). Based on the curatorial theme THE BEAUTY OF DISTANCE: Songs of Survival in a Precarious Age, the Biennale will present artists' works alongside the work of contemporary writers, filmmakers, commentators and musicians. Elliot says: "The aim of this Biennale is to bring together work from diverse cultures, at the same time, on the equal playing field of contemporary art, where no culture can assume superiority over any other." He has also constructed THE BEAUTY OF DISTANCE with Sydney's position as an iconic world city in mind and believes biennales should enter into a conversation with the places where they are shown.

The Biennale is also dedicated to the life and continuing influence of Nick Waterlow, one of the first Australian curators to look across the Tasman and open up a long and productive relationship with the NZ art world.

This link takes you to the Biennale website and the list of artists included in THE BEAUTY OF DISTANCE.
Image: David Elliot, Director of the 17th Biennale of Sydney, THE BEAUTY OF DISTANCE: Songs of Survival in a Precarious Age

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Year of the Tiger

This year the Chinese New Year falls on February 14 being the Year of the Tiger. For us it is also the day Jin Jiangbo arrives in Auckland to oversee the installation of his exhibition Shanghai, Shanghai, which opens tomorrow at 5.30pm. 

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Oh so playful

Seung Yul Oh's Bogle Bogle opens today at The New Dowse. It is the first in a series of five artists' projects commissioned by the art museum for its 2010 programme. You can read the Bogle Bogle media release here.
Image: Seung Yul Oh, Bogle Bogle (detail), The New Dowse, Lower Hutt, NZ

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Ai Weiwei on censorship

Ai Weiwei has spoken out in support of US internet giant Google in its standoff with Beijing. In a commentary in The Wall Street Journal the artist said Google had set an important example for the Chinese people by challenging state censorship at the risk of sacrificing its place in the world's largest online market. Last month Google threatened to abandon its Chinese search engine and possibly leave the country altogether over alleged China-based cyberattacks. The company also said it would no longer obey censorship rules.

You can read Ai Weiwei's commentary here.

All of a Sudden: Things that Matter in Contemporary Art

This link takes you to an interview with Jorg Heiser, co-editor of frieze and author of All of a Sudden: Things that Matter in Contemporary Art.
Image: Book cover courtesy Sternberg Press, Berlin

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Comics and climate change

Is there anything comics and graphic novels can't do? This is the question Guardian writer Jonathan Jones faced after reading Logicomix, a gripping account of the lives and ideas of logicans at the beginning of the 20th century, and with global warming uppermost on his mind. 

He asks: "Could a graphic novel do justice to the current controversy in climate science? As leaked emails and errors embarrass the science on which an entire politics is based, could a comic depict both the pathos of scientists driven by conviction to possibly suppress or distort data, and the larger picture that overwhelmingly demands urgent action to save the climate? Could it dramatise the motivations of sceptics and eco-warriors?"

You can read Jones' article here.
Image: Beijing smog

Monday, February 8, 2010

Boris Dornbusch at DNA, Berlin

Boris Dornbusch is represented in REFLECTION, a group show at DNA Berlin, which runs from 9 February to 14 March 2010. Also in the lineup is Mariana Vassileva who featured in our 2009 programme. You can see installation views of her Starkwhite exhibition here.

Dornbusch returned to Auckland recently to prepare his first solo exhibition at Starkwhite, scheduled for 29 March - 1 May 2010.
Image: Boris Dornbusch, Bulb, 2008, DVD-Pal, edition of 8

Colin Chinnery on the future of ShContemporary

This link takes you to an interview with Colin Chinnery on the future of ShContemporary. He talks about rethinking the art fair in a post-recession climate, the emerging Chinese art market, mixing up the regional art DNA and the moves he is making with ShContemporary such as the Discoveries section featuring challenging work not necessarily suitable for the market. He says his goal is not to make ShContemporary different from other fairs, but rather to be looking at what is necessary at this point in time for an art fair in China, and to address those issues.

For instance his new Collectors Development Programme (introduced in 2009) aims to help new Chinese collectors find their way into the market without being taken advantage of. It's described as a three-step approach beginning with the "Knowledge" stage which involves classes and seminars where people are introduced to the basics of art, art history and the art market. The second step is to get them "Inspired" through contact with artists, gallerists and experienced collectors. The third step focuses on "Practice", which gives budding collectors various ways of entering the market through art fairs, galleries and auctions.

Chinnery brings a novel background to his directorship of Shanghai's international art fair. He worked as chief curator and deputy director of the Ullens Centre for Contemporary Art in Beijing and he is also an artist and a founding member of the artist collective Complete Art Experience Project, which includes high-profile artists such as Qiu Zhijie and Liu Wei.

The next edition of ShContemporary the Asia Pacific Art Fair takes place from 9 - 12 September 2010.
Image: Colin Chinnery, director of ShContemporary the Asia Pacific Art Fair

Friday, February 5, 2010

Art Los Angeles Contemporary Report Card

Reports are beginning to circulate on the inaugural edition of Art Los Angeles Contemporary staged in the Pacific Design Centre at the end of January. ARTINFO describes it as "a new cutting edge expo that debuted over the weekend as a 50,000 square-foot melting pot for 55 blue-chip and emerging galleries from Los Angeles and around the globe...(one that) stood apart from last month's bigger Los Angeles Art Show as a juried event with a selection committee comprised of taste-making LA galleries 1301PE, David Kordansky Gallery, Peres Projects and Susanne Vielmetter."

The Pacific Design Centre was an unusual setting for an art fair with gallery booths set in spaces enclosed by floor-to-ceiling glass walls and accessed off corridors of glass. Some liked the mall-like, storefront attributes of venue while others found them less satisfactory. Our space had good sight lines and easy access off the corridor so it worked well for us. Next time, however, we'll view the venue as a mall rather than an open space in a mall-like setting with conventional booths set in a grid, and we'll develop our installation plan with its storefront attributes in mind. But we'll be back in LA in 2011.

You can read the ARTINFO article here.
Images: Pacific Design Centre and Art Los Angeles Contemporary vernissage

Coming up: Jin Jiangbo's Shanghai, Ye! Shanghai

We begin our 2010 programme in the downstairs gallery with Jin Jiangbo's Shanghai, Ye! Shanghai, one of a recent series of projects that investigate the past 20 years of economic, social and cultural upheaval that has taken place in China since 1989. Leaving his familiar mode of new media technologies and taking up the historic process of analogue photography, images are shot using a medium format panoramic camera and then digitally manipulated into large format panoramas that offer a response to the socialist economic landscape of China as it negotiates within the wider frames of globalisation, integration and the recent global recession.

The exhibition is scheduled to run from 16 February to 20 March 2010.

Jin Jiangbo is one of China's new generation of media artists. He visited New Zealand last year as the Govett-Brewster Art Gallery's International Artist in Residence and to exhibit his work in China in Four Seasons, a year long project at the GBAG comprising four residencies and exhibitions of selected artists working in China today.
Shanghai, Ye! Shanghai: Engine Plan; the construction of the Pudong Lujiazui Financial Centre, 2009, C-type photograph, 3000 x 750mm, edition of 8

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Kunstlerhaus Bethanien Residency

Alicia Frankovich has been awarded the 2010/11 Creative New Zealand Berlin Visual Arts Residency at the Kunstlerhaus Bethanien beginning in August. Kunstlerhaus Bethanien director Christoph Tannert says she was selected on the strength of her "outstanding work in the field of performance and installation". 
Image: Alicia Frankovich, The Opposite of Backwards, 2008, C-print, 700 x 1050mm, edition of 5

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Art Los Angeles Contemporary: Critic's Notebook

This link takes you to Christopher Knight's article on Art Los Angeles Contemporary published in the Critic's Notebook section of the Los Angeles Times.
Image: Art Los Angeles Contemporary vernissage