These rising Asian art stars certainly made their mark in 2018, we eagerly await to see what they have in store for us this year.
TEXT: CoBo Editorial Force
IMAGES: Courtesy of the artists
1. Korakrit Arunanondchai (b.1986, Thailand)
Blazing a fierce trail in 2018, Korakrit’s list of accomplishments seems unending.Highlights no doubt include his curatorial project Ghost:2561, an exhibition dedicated to video and performance art concurring with the opening of the Bangkok Art Biennale.He ended the year with a bang with an extremely popular and critically acclaimed show featuring his theatrical video work, No history in a room filled with peoplewith funny names 5, at Carlos Ishikawa, London.Constantly pushingthe boundaries of not only contemporary art but also an artist’s role in society, 2019 is undoubtedly shaping up to be a dynamic year for this young Thai artist.
2. Anne Samat (b. 1973, Malayasia)
Trained as a weaver, and known for her vibrant, textural, assemblage sculptures which often straddle the line between the masculine and feminine, Anne Samat is a transgender artist who’s popularity in Asia has been on a constant rise.Distinctive and unmissable, her striking works have been seen at many an art fair, the Yokohama Triennale, and will be exhibited at prestigious venues throughout 2019 such as Stories We Scare Ourselves With, Museum of Contemporary Art, Taipei and the much awaited SPECTROSYNTHESIS II- Exposure of Tolerance: LGBTQ in Southeast Asia (SPECTROSYNTHESIS II). Samat has been commissioned to make a work especially for this show, which will be the largest-ever survey of regional contemporary art that explores lesbian, gay, bisexual, transsexual and queer creative history in Southeast Asia and beyond, at the Bangkok Arts and Culture Center, co-presented by the Sunpride Foundation.
3. Handiwirman Saputra (b. 1975, Indonesia)
Exhibiting at the Asia Pacific Triennale as well as a part of the Mori Art Museum collection show, 2018 seemed to be a mere warm up for Saptura leading up to an exciting 2019.Selected to represent the Indonesian pavilion for the Venice Biennale on a collaborative work, his work will also be a part of a large scale exhibition on Indonesian Art, at the National Gallery.
4. Albert Yonathan (b. 1983, Indonesia)
Since representing Indonesia at the Venice Biennale in 2013, Yonathan’s distinctive ceramic based work has generated much interest. The subject of a solo exhibition at Mizuma gallery, Singapore as well participating in both the Echigo-Tsumari Art Triennale, Tokamachi, Niigata, Japan and DISINI Festival in Singapore, 2018 has proved to be an active year for the artist, building off of the momentum from 2017, where his work was included in the acclaimed show SUNSHOWER: Contemporary Art from Southeast Asia 1980s to Now at MORI Art Museum, Tokyo, Japan in 2017. 2019 brings with it more opportunities to view Yonathan’s meticulously composed sculptural installations.
5. Pannaphan Yodmanee (b. 1988, Thailand)
After being the awarded the prestigious Bennessee Art Prize in 2016, Yodmanee seems to be on nothing short of a roll.Her organic exquisite, mesmerizing installations which imbibe Buddhist philosophy and traditional Thai art forms,have been included in the Singapore Biennale (2016) Bangkok Art Biennale (2018) as well as the Asia Pacific Triennale (2018).Another notable achievement was picking up representation from Tang Contemporary.With a remarkable set of achievements accomplished at age 30, we look forward to seeing what she has in store for 2019.
6. Qiu XiaoFei (b. 1977, China) Qui’s surreal “dreamlike” paintings composed his first show Fade Out in North America, at Pace New York in March of 2018. The show traveled to the gallery’s Seoul space at the end of the year and will continue through the beginning of 2019. Touted as a member of China’s new generation of painters redefining Chinese abstraction, 2019 will see Qui assuming this role and pushing the boundaries of painting even further.
7. Tomoo Gokita (b. 1969, Japan)
After opening a solo exhibition featuring his signature monochoromatic portraits with Blum and Poe Gallery , LA for the first time, Gokita followed with an opening inaugrating the Take Ishii Gallery in Hong Kong. This wasn’t the artist’s first exhibition in Hong Kong this year, he kicked of with an opening at Mcnamara Projects in Wong Chuk Hang in January. His immense popularity seems to be only increasing in this coming year.
8. Martha Atienza (b. 1981Phillipines)
The half Dutch, half Fillipino artist is one of the very few artists from the Philippines who’s practice is immersed in video art. Her video installation, “Our Islands,” has already won her the Baloise Prize at Art Basel in 2017. Actively exhibiting in 2018, she was invited to participate both in the Taipei Biennale and the Asia Pacific Triennale, finding a prestigious problem to expose environmental issues, particularly those pertinent to our oceans. Coming from a family of sea-farers, Atienza’s use art as a catalyst for social change by using local histories to address global issues of migration, labour, environmental degradation and identity. In an increasingly unstable world, Atienza’ s work will undoubtedly have an even greater effect in her upcoming projects for 2019.
9. Charwei Tsai (b. 1980, Taiwan)
Already exhibiting with galleries around the world, Tsai’s breakthrough perhaps occurred when in 2017, the Hayward Gallery at Southbank Centre, London commissioned Tsai to create Hear her Singing, a poignant video work characteristic to her practice made in collaboration with Women for Refugee Women, Bedford Music in Detention and Testing Tashi Gyalthang.Her deeply spiritual works are centered around Buddhist philosophy.2018 proved to build on her previous breakthrough, asshe had her first solo exhibition in the UK, Bulaubulau, at Centre for Chinese Contemporary Art in Manchester.Her mesmerizing piece Circle was also included as part of the blockbuster Minimalism exhibition in Singapore at the ArtScience Museum, which will continue until April 2019.
10. Prajakta Potnis (b. 1980, India)
Known for her politically charged works, which are conceptually gritty but visually simple, and at times almost eerily chilling, 2018 saw Potnis’s work exhibited at twosignificant international exhibitions: The Sharjah Art Foundations, A Tripoli Agreement and Facing India Kunstmuseum Wolfsburg, Germany (the first of it’s kind in the country – featuring six female Indian artists).
11. Siren Eun Young Jung (b. 1974, Korea)
Winner of the 2018 Korean Art Prize, artist Siren Eun Young Jung, seems only to be shining brighter in 2019 as one of the chosen artists to represent the Korean Pavilion for the upcoming Venice Biennale. She explores identity politics and wider questions around queer artistic practices, through examining historical archives.Before participating in the 2018 edition of the Shanghai Biennale she has also exhibited at the Haus der Kulturen der Welt in Berlin, NTU Centre for Contemporary Art in Singapore, Centre Pompidou in Paris, and the Eleventh Gwangju Biennale.
12. Lu Yang (b. 1984, China)
Refusing to be defined by art world prescribed labels, this dynamic young artist has gained tremendous attention for her multimedia works which deal with subject matters of the internet and identity and incorporate elements of gaming, VR, anime and manga. Having already exhibited extensively on a global scale, the artist had works in two particularly exciting shows in 2018, One World Exposition 2.2#likeforlike at the Hong Kong Art Centre and Customized Reality: the Lure and Enchantment of Digital Art, National Taiwan museum of Fine Arts, Taichung, Taiwan, not mention a string of solo exhibitions in past couple of years. With rapid tech advances being made on a daily basis, audiences are curious to see how she will evolve her practice.
13. Nadim Abbas (b. 1980, Hong Kong)
2018 has proved to be a fruitful year for Abbas, who installed a public sculpture, P-Scape, for the one of the biggest institutional openings of the year – Tai Kwun, Hong Kong and participated in two biennales – Munich and Shanghai.His performance piece for the Shanghai Biennale, 4 rooms, in particular has proven to be extremely popular and mentioned in countless reviews as one of the highlights of the exhibition.2019 will see Abbas producing a comic book, and presenting a solo presentation at Vitrine Art Gallery’s booth at Art Basel Hong Kong.
14. Chulayarnnon Siriphol (b. 1986, Thailand)
This multi-award winning artist straddles the role of artist and filmmaker through his work which ranging from short, experimental, documentary film to video installations. Screened extensively on a global scale, his work has most recently been seen in Ghost:2561, Bangkok, Thailand (2018), M+ Screenings: Southeast Asia Moving Image Mixtape, and most notably his short PLANETARIUM, premiered at 2018 Cannes Film Festival as part of 10 YEARS THAILAND, a highly acclaimed work by 4 Thai directors (Apichatpong Weerasethakul, Wisit Sasanatieng, Aditya Assarat and Chulayarnnon Siriphol) in the Special Screenings section. The subject of a solo exhibition From Earth to Heaven, at the Organhaus Art Space in Chonqing, Siriphol does not seem to be slowing down for 2019.
15. Tao Hui (b. 1987, China)
Generating tremendous interest and gaining notable recognition, Tao Hui’s works casts a light on cultural identity politics through various artistic mediums such as video, objects, and installation. His bizarrely rendered and disorienting scenes have found themselves included in the Frontier: Reassessment of Post-Globalisational Politics’, OCAT Institute, Beijing, China and How Little You Know About Me’, The National Musuem of Modern and Contemporary Art, Seoul, South Korea, both in 2018. The subject of two solo shows last year,The History of Southern Drama, Scene A’, Chi-Wen Gallery, Taipei, Taiwan and ‘Tao Hui’, The Breeder in Athens, Greece, Tao’s started 2019 with a beautiful show Rhythm and Senses, currently on view at Edouard Malingue gallery in Hong Kong,
16. Zoya Siddiqui (b. 1990, Pakistan)
Siddiqui has had quite the break-out year, one incredibly well deserved given her innovative practice investigating “the implied eye of the technology used to film or photograph,” simultaneously pushing boundaries with her video, performance, photography and installation based art.Gaining much visibility at the beginning the year with a solo booth at India Art Fair, she continued to secure a residency with the Delfina Foundation in London and a solo shows in both India and US, and further participated in Video Now Asia, a satellite presentation of FIAC.
17. Song-Ming Ang (b. 1981, Singapore)
Selected to the Singapore representative for the 2019 Venice Biennale, Song-Ming Ang’s sound based artistic practice will take the form of Music for Everyone, for the Singapore Pavilion.Curated by Michelle Ho, the exhibition’s works will involve him inviting members of the public to send him handwritten letters, describing their lives.He in turn will respond to each with a a “mixtape” of songs that range from classical to pop, yielding an interactive quest exploring the relationship between music and society.Based between Singapore and Berlin, the artist has exhibited extensively on a global scale, with this most recent exhibitions in 2018 being Festival of Live Art, at Arts House, Melbourne and Exceptions of Rule, at NTU ADM Gallery, Singapore.
18. Samnang Khvay (b. 1982, Cambodia)
Since his selection to participate in Documenta 14 in 2017, Samnang Khvay has risen to prominence, accelerating pre existing interest in the Cambodian contemporary art scene.With an impressive CV, most recent highlights include his group exhibitions Animals & Us, Turner Contemporary, Margate, UK, When animals talked to human, Travesia Cuatro Gallery, Madrid, Spain, and the Biennale of Sydney, Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney, Australia, all in 2018 alone. He has previously had solo shows all over the world including North America, Europe, and various countries in South East Asia.An artist activist of sorts, Khvay has been instrumental in developing the contemporary art foundation in Cambodia, as founding member of Stiev Selapak, an art collective dedicated to preserving and remembering Cambodian history and exploring continuities in visual practices disrupted by civil war and the Khmer Rouge regime.Through this he has accomplished establishing two nonprofit art spaces in Phnom Penh: Sa Sa Art Projects (which he teaches contemporary art classes, and SA SA BASSAC, a gallery, resource center, and reading room.
19. Thao Phan Nguyen (Vietnam)
Awarded the grand prize for the fourth edition of the triennial APB Foundation Signature Art Prize 2018, Thao Phan Nguyen certainly seems to be going places.Her work Tropical Siesta, which won the prize, is part of a larger body of work the artist has been developing, entitled Poetic Amnesia.Based on the exploration of French Jesuit missionary Alexandre de Rhodes life and work (considered the father of the romanised Vietnamese script) as he travelled through Vietnam in the 17th century, Poetic Amnesia was most recently exhibited for the Rolex Arts Weekend, Gemäldegalerie, Berlin. After this acclaimed project, we are excited to see what the young Vietnamese art develops for 2019 .
20. Maung Day (b. 1979, Myanmar)
Hailing from Myanmar, Maung Day is a multi-faceted individual, working chiefly as a poet and artist. In 2018, his work was most notably exhibited as a part of the acclaimed exhibition, A Beast, A God, and A Line, which travelled from Dhaka to Hong Kong to Warsaw to Yangon.He also had a solo show at Myanm/Art, proving to be increasingly significant and visible voice, rising from a slowly emerging regional art scene.