Asia Week – The Art Exhibition
A resurgence in the popularity of Asian art sees established names and younger artists garnering attention and recognition from international collectors and art-lovers across the globe. The curated selling exhibition will showcase both highly collectable and emerging talent up close.
Bursting with new perspectives, enjoy contemporary work in a variety of disciplines – from mixed media, woodblock printing, painting and lithographs to glasswork, ceramics and stoneware – that merge tradition and modernity, craft and fine art. Design Centre, Chelsea Harbour’s famous architecture will provide a dazzling space for an impressive rollcall of emerging and established names represented by the following galleries:
Born in 1913, Toko Shinoda recently celebrated her 105th birthday. A small kimonoed lady, she has achieved impressive stature in a wide world of art. In the ’60s she was already a luminary — versatile, distinctive and prolific in her output. Sometimes, in suggestions of the gentleness of her own nature, she used fragile wisps of brushes for her delicate work. Sometimes, acknowledging her certainty and inner strength, in both hands she wielded heavy mops of brushes made from special strands of sheep’s wool. Sometimes she used paper that was made by hand 300 years ago. She gave two sources for the force that drove her. “My family environment, and something in my own heart.”In the early 1980s, Time Magazine did a story on her, in which ‘her trailblazing achievements (were considered) analogous to Picasso’s’.
‘Turn a Blind Eye’
Wei Jia was born in 1975 in Chengdu, Sichuan, China. He graduated from the Print Making Department of the Central Academy of Fine Arts in Beijing in 1999. Today he teaches at the Sichuan Fine Arts Institute and lives in Chongqing. By fully expressing the feelings of youth, Wei Jia’s early work (featured here) has become a favourite for the viewer, making him one of the representative contemporary Chinese artists born in the 1970s. Wei Jia has received many awards, most recently, the 2009 BMW CHINA Art Power Most Improved Artist, and in 2007, an award for Most Influential Participant in Chinese Art.
Rei Morimura, born in 1948, graduated from Tokyo Gakugei University in 1970. Initially focused on abstract painting, he taught himself the art of woodblock printing and began print making in the traditional Japanese manner. He uses oil-based inks rather than the watercolour inks that most print makers prefer. Today, his prints are widely appreciated in Japan and the west for their evocative beauty and combination of modern and traditional perspectives. His prints are to be found in museums in the USA, England and Japan. He is a professor at Zohei University & Nihon Kogakuin Creators College, both in Tokyo.
‘Read All About It (1999)’
Artwork by American born Kyoto-based painter, print-maker and multi-media artist Daniel Kelly is high in demand in the art world. From concrete to paint, polyvinyl to collaged papers, it is highly inventive and can be found in the collections of the Sackler Collection, Freer Museum, Washington DC and the British Museum.
‘Water Container, Mizusashi’
Born in 1958 as the second son of a potter in the town of Okawa, on the outskirts of Imari, Saga, Yoshihisa Tsuruta is an expert in Karatsu ware. Since opening his studio in 1992, Tsuruta has held numerous tea ware exhibitions throughout Japan and Asia. A flower vase, tea bowl and water container have been made specially for the exhibition with local clay from Kyushu, Southern Japan.
‘Al Series I, Super Power Babysitter’
Emerging artist Kelly Mi has been painting since childhood. She is also an actor and producer. Her recent work uses anime style to explore the effects of Artificial Intelligence (AI) on our lives. She imagines that in the future, the babysitter will be replaced by AI entities.
In this piece, the smaller machine frog takes up the position of nanny and cares for the bunny who is much bigger than itself. This seems to be convenient. But whereas Mum and Dad are freed from the heavy work of caring for their children, when they try to let go of their own responsibilities they forget that their family can never be replaced.
‘In Loving Arms, 2018’
Ramon Orlina began his career in art in 1074. As an architect, Orlina chose to create sculptures from glass which he felt at that time had most potential in expressing his visual imagery. Exploring forms though glass cullets or crystal blocks, he continues to exploit their translucent quality and smooth finish produced from months of reshaping and grinding.
‘Smoky Willow Of A Garden No. 6'
Wang Chao is a professor at the China Academy of Arts and director of its Purple Bamboo Studio. His work has been collected by leading museums in China, Europe and the USA. Chao makes multiple allusions to the past in both technique and in subject matter. The fine lines, refined colouring and subtle tonalities are reminiscent of illustrative printing from the Ming and Qing periods and Japanese Surimono. Six prints are based on art from around the time of Wanli, but the detail is simplified. The appearance is of aged silk paintings, achieved with the use of a newly manufactured paper called Tangzhi. Here we see the douban, multiple woodblock, method of printing.
‘La Vie, 1994’
Kenji Yoshida’s canvases owe much to the traditional screens of his native Japan in their use of precious metals, gold, silver, copper and platinum, applied in thin sheets over a binding layer of Japanese lacquer. They can be construed as momentary appreceptions of the transcendent power of the life force stirring both within us and around us, allowing his audience privileged access to the serene beauty of an otherwise intangible series of linked progressions that describe the very processes of Life itself.
‘My Hero’, Man Series
The colourful naive-style works of emerging artist Indra Dodi have arrived to where they are today having gone through a gradual style metamorphosis over the last few years. He was well known early in his career as an abstract painter, and for his use of soft colours. Indra is, however, a storyteller by nature, distinct and recognizable form outlines already apparent in his early abstract artworks. His visual language has developed to include figurative elements and objects, distorted but distinct in their meaning, skilfully composed to tell the many anecdotes and stories the artist has to convey.
Indra Dodi’s works have captured the attention of art enthusiasts regionally, and the artist has frequently exhibited outside his home country of Indonesia in the past few years, around Asia and in Europe.
‘Goat Family', 1960
Nguyễn Tư Nghiêm is a pioneer of modern fine art in twentieth century Vietnam. He is acquainted with Western artistic styles and ideas, introduced by French colonialism, exerted a sustained influence long after the occupation. One may see Nghiêm as Vietnam’s Paul Klee.
‘To Be – Or Not To Be, Ed. Of 8, 2015’
Tian Wei was born in Xi’an, the first imperial capital of China. Tian Wei’s work constructs a bridge between things that appear as dyadic opposites or binary poles. Tian Wei features English words such as ‘Sexy’,‘Light’ and ‘Soul’ in his work, reflecting the artist’s experience of living in both Eastern and Western spheres. He has been the recipient of many prizes and has exhibited both in solo and group shows around the world at institutions such as the Armory Center for the Arts, California; the Guangdong Museum of Art, Beijing and MOCA Shanghai.
‘Heat Haze (Oda Nobunaga, 1534-1582)'
Katsutoshi Toya was Master of Crafts at Tokyo National University of Fine Arts and Music in 1995. He has held many solo exhibitions in Japan and his artwork is heavily inspired by the Sengoku Period.
Ceramicist Shin Gyung Kyun became the first Asian artist to hold a ceramic exhibition at UNESCO headquarters in Paris. The highly acclaimed master of the ‘moon vase’, he was born into the world of ceramics as the son of Shin Jung-hui known for reviving the classical Joseon bowls that had once vanished during the Japanese occupation. Concerned with simply imitating his father’s style he travelled to Korea, visiting 324 historic kiln sites. Finally, he settled and built a traditional kiln in Kohung, Jeolla where he continues to work today.
‘Year Of The Cat', 1987
Bùi Xuân Phái is a pioneer of modern fine art in twentieth century Vietnam. He is acquainted with Western artistic styles and ideas, introduced by French colonialism, exerted a sustained influence long after the occupation. In Phái one may detect the style of early Picasso.
'The Day Before Deadline'
Cheng Ming is a young, emerging artist who specialises in Book Arts. She recently finished her MA of Book Art at the University of Art in London.
The Day Before the Deadline, is a reflection of procrastination: everyone has their own understanding of procrastination, and it influences us in different levels. Uncertainty and anxiety of the upcoming deadline are shown via the use of words and dimensions. At the same time, the sequential reduction of text sizes demonstrates progress of completion. Audiences are invited to compare the structures of the book when turning the pages, and to reflect on what procrastination brings to us.
Among the most renowned of Thailand’s current crop of prominent artists is Somnuek Klangnok, a contemporary illustrator and painter who has garnered much attention for his unique style featuring exaggerated lines and forms that produce colourful, almost caricature-like depictions. Somnuek’s creative journey began at a young age. Born in the provincial town of Buriram into a family with a farming background, his fascination with art blossomed from constantly being surrounded by nature’s beauty.
Today, Somnuek exhibits his work locally and internationally. His inspiration derives not only from vibrant Bangkok but the cities to which he travels around the world. “It is the people I see in the streets going about their everyday lives that inspires me,” he says.
'Piccadilly Circus Impression'
Woon Lam is one of Singapore’s most eminent, highly respected, third-generation watercolourists. His works are collected extensively in Singapore and internationally and he has been selected for many prestigious awards in Singapore, the USA and Europe.
Mori Yoshitoshi is an influential figure in Japanese 20th Century printing. His colourful work is held in major international collections and generally depict scenes from the Kabuki theatre or subjects related to folk traditions and festivals.
Shin Sang Ho is an internationally known Korean ceramicist whose works can be found in many museums around the world. He is the former Dean, College of Fine Arts at Hongik University in Seoul, South Korea. Shin’s early works originating from traditional celadon, porcelain and bunching ware styles have developed into modern ceramics with a new approach. After a year as an exchange professor at Central Connecticut States University, his works have gone through another transition to a rather different sculptural form. Shin has exhibited his works globally, in places such as the Royal Academy of Arts, London, LongHouse Reserve, New York and Gallery Hyundai, Seoul, to name but a few.
Kazuko Shiihashi lives and works in Tokyo. At first she started designing textiles for traditional kimonos in Kyoto. Then, she moved on to study traditional Japanese painting at Nippon Design School and Musashino Art School in Tokyo, specializing in the Nihonga traditional Japanese painting technique. She uses mineral pigments in her work and has a passion for painting flowers. ‘Every flower I paint is the other self of mine’.