ArtReview Asia recommends ten exhibitions

in Shanghai, Singapore, Seoul, Jakarta, Vaduz, London, Eindhoven, Madrid, Melbourne

Li Ming, Straight Line, Landscape (detail), 2014–16, 26-channel HD video, colour, sound, dimensions variable. Courtesy the artist Yu Youhan, Terracotta Army on Yimeng Mountain, 2017, acrylic on cotton, 206 x 269 cm. Courtesy the artist Ming Wong, Making Chinatown (detail), 2012, seven-channel colour video installation. Courtesy the artist Jonas Mekas, Outtakes from the Life of a Happy Man (still), 2012, 16mm video, colour, mono, 68 min. Courtesy the artist Yayoi Kusama, Infinity Mirrored Room – Brilliance of the Souls, 2014, mirror, wooden panel, LED, metal, acrylic panel, water, 287 x 415 x 415 cm. © the artist. Courtesy Ota Fine Arts, Tokyo & Singapore Kimsooja, Encounter – Looking into Sewing, 2012. Photo: Aaron Wax. Courtesy Kimsooja Studio, New York Jewyo Rhiis and Jihyun Jung, Dawn Breaks, 2017 (installation view). Photo: Jijyun Jung. Courtesy the artists Rasheed Araeen, Opus F3, 2014, acrylic on canvas, 160 x 160 cm. Courtesy the artist Cai Guo-Qiang and volunteers during the creation of gunpowder painting Day and Night in Toledo at the Salón de Reinos (Hall of Realms), Madrid, 2017. © Museo Nacional del Prado, Madrid Zanele Muholi, Buzani (Parktown) (from the Somnyama Ngonyama series), 2016, gelatin silver photograph, 80 x 56 cm. © the artist. Courtesy the artist, Stevenson, Cape Town & Johannesburg, and Yancey Richardson, New York


Hugo Boss Art Award 2017 at Rockbund Art Museum, Shanghai, through 11 February

The finalists of this year’s Hugo Boss Art Award, Li Ming (China), Tao Hui (China), Yu Ji (China) and Robert Zhao Renhui (Singapore), present their work in an exhibition curated by Li Qi. A concurrent series of public and educational activities including talks, seminars, forums and workshops will take place for the duration of the exhibition. The winner will be announced in November.


Yu Youhan, Terracotta Army on Yimeng Mountain, 2017. ARA Winter 2017 Previews
Yu Youhan, Terracotta Army on Yimeng Mountain, 2017, acrylic on cotton, 206 x 269 cm. Courtesy the artist 

Yu Youhan at Shanghart, Shanghai, 10 November – 15 January

Yu Youhan’s solo exhibition opens during West Bund Art & Design (conveniently located in the same complex), and will showcase both his latest and rarely seen early works. The Shanghainese artist is typically recognised for his ‘political pop’ aesthetics, as well as his abstract landscape paintings that play with the concepts of time and space by merging historical references with the contemporary, while challenging the style of abstraction by incorporating figurative elements.


Ming Wong, Making Chinatown (detail), 2012. ARA Winter 2017 Previews
Ming Wong, Making Chinatown (detail), 2012, seven-channel colour video installation. Courtesy the artist 

Cinerama: Art and the Moving Image in Southeast Asia at Singapore Art Museum at 8Q, Singapore, 17 November – 18 March

In this group show, hand-drawn animations, films and mixed-media installations explore individual and collective memory, identity and politics – featuring artists Amy Lee Sanford, Hayati Mokhtar, Jeremy Sharma, Korakrit Arunanondchai and Alex Gvojic, Ming Wong, Narpati Awangga a.k.a oomleo, Sarah Choo Jing, The Propeller Group, Tromarama and Victor Balanon. The exhibition will be accompanied by a film programme and various workshops, with the aim of expanding the discourse surrounding Southeast Asian moving image.


Jonas Mekas, Outtakes from the Life of a Happy Man (still), 2012. ARA Winter 2017 Previews
Jonas Mekas, Outtakes from the Life of a Happy Man (still), 2012, 16mm video, colour, mono, 68 min. Courtesy the artist

Jonas Mekas at MMCA, Seoul, 8 November – 4 March

At ninety-four, Lithuanian-born poet, artist and leading proponent of avant-garde cinema Jonas Mekas is receiving his first retrospective in Asia. Looking back at a 6o-year career, the show presents a vast selection of the artist’s poetic, diaristic yet nonnarrative videos capturing moments of beauty in the everyday, over 700 photographs and film stills printed for the occasion, as well as parallel screenings of some of his seminal feature films.


Yayoi Kusama, Infinity Mirrored Room – Brilliance of the Souls, 2014. ARA Winter 2017 Previews
Yayoi Kusama, Infinity Mirrored Room – Brilliance of the Souls, 2014, mixed media, 287 x 415 x 415 cm. © the artist. Courtesy Ota Fine Arts, Tokyo & Singapore

Art Turns. World Turns at Museum MACAN, Jakarta, through 18 March

The long-awaited Museum MACAN, Indonesia’s first contemporary art museum, opens its doors with a showcase of modern and contemporary art from Southeast Asia and beyond drawn from its own collection. Aiming to reflect local-global kinds of connections, the show, cocurated by Agung Hujatnika and Charles Esche, features work by over 60 artists, ranging from Heri Dono, FX Harsono and Srihadi Sudarsono to Jean-Michel Basquiat, Gerhard Richter and Takashi Murakami.


Kimsooja, Encounter – Looking into Sewing, 2012. ARA Winter 2017 Previews
Kimsooja, Encounter – Looking into Sewing, 2012. Photo: Aaron Wax. Courtesy Kimsooja Studio, New York 

Kimsooja at Kunstmuseum Liechtenstein, Vaduz, through 21 January

The Korean-born artist’s approach to videomaking is akin to that of a weaver: threading and looping disparate cultures and narratives together, creating something far greater than the sum of its parts. In the fourth chapter of her ongoing work Thread Routes (2010–), premiered in this solo exhibition, subject reflects method as she traces textile traditions through a variety of global cultures.


Jewyo Rhiis and Jihyun Jung, Dawn Breaks, 2017. ARA Winter 2017 Previews
Jewyo Rhiis and Jihyun Jung, Dawn Breaks, 2017 (installation view). Photo: Jijyun Jung. Courtesy the artists 

Jewyo Rhii and Jihyun Jung at The Showroom, London, 6 December – 27 January

In this new iteration of an ongoing collaboration between the two Korean artists (initiated in 2015 at the Queens Museum, New York, with versions staged at last year’s Gwangju Biennale and at the Art Sonje Center, Seoul, this year), a series of kinetic sculptures, made of found materials such as wood, wire, sheets of MDF and metal, will be installed in the London not-for-profit gallery. These are mere props for performance, though, the performers being members of the local community invited in for a series of workshops.


Rasheed Araeen, Opus F3, 2014. ARA Winter 2017 Previews
Rasheed Araeen, Opus F3, 2014, acrylic on canvas, 160 x 160 cm. Courtesy the artist

Rasheed Araeen at Van Abbemuseum, Eindhoven, 2 December – 25 March

In this (long overdue) retrospective of Araeen’s work, expect to find his early painterly experiments as a young artist in Karachi during the 1950s and 60s and his better-known, pioneering work with minimalist sculpture, made on arrival in London in 1964 (one such work, from the Zero to Infinity series, 1968/2007, opened Christine Macel’s Venice Biennale this year). In later life Araeen’s work became nakedly political; a result not least of his being sidelined by the artworld establishment.


Cai Guo-Qiang and volunteers during the creation of gunpowder painting Day and Night in Toledo at the Salón de Reinos (Hall of Realms), Madrid, 2017. ARA Winter 2017 Previews
Cai Guo-Qiang and volunteers during the creation of gunpowder painting Day and Night in Toledo at the Salón de Reinos (Hall of Realms), Madrid, 2017. © Museo Nacional del Prado, Madrid 

Cai Guo-Qiang at Prado Museum, Madrid, through 4 March

This solo exhibition by the US-based Chinese artist will concentrate on wall-hung works (the artist is perhaps best known for his firework performances), creating in situ at least 8 of the 30 gunpowder ‘paintings’ on show. Alongside these will be examples of the artist’s paintings in acrylic and oil. Two figures loom large: El Greco, who the artist has long cited as inspiration, and Cai’s father, Ruiquin, whose drawings on matchboxes, which initiated the artist’s love of art, will also be on display.


Zanele Muholi, Buzani (Parktown) (from the Somnyama Ngonyama series), 2016. ARA Winter 2017 Previews
Zanele Muholi, Buzani (Parktown) (from the Somnyama Ngonyama series), 2016, gelatin silver photograph, 80 x 56 cm. © the artist. Courtesy the artist, Stevenson, Cape Town & Johannesburg, and Yancey Richardson, New York 

NGV Triennial at National Gallery Victoria, Melbourne, 15 December – 15 April

Featuring more than 100 artists and designers from 32 countries, the inaugural edition of this new triennial promises to be a (welcome!) assault on the senses. Alongside works by the likes of Uji Handoko Eko Saputro (the Indonesian artist is making three new huge paintings in his graphic style) and the vast, carpetlike sculptures of Argentinian artist Alexandra Kehayoglou, the exhibition features immersive projects by Norwegian ‘smell designer’ Sissel Tolaas, an installation by Yayoi Kusama, in which visitors will be invited to ‘obliterate’ a room with flowers, and a hugely ambitious multimedia work by Japan’s teamLab, in which digital technology mimics the movement of water and the experience of being at sea.


From the Winter 2017 issue of ArtReview Asia