Season’s Readings!

ArtReview Asia’s pick of books to read this winter

ArtReview Asia’s pick of books to read this season. Photo: Mikael Gregorsky

Islamic Empires book cover. ARA Winter 2019

Islamic Empires: Fifteen Cities that Define a Civilization by Justin Marozzi | Allen Lane, £25 (hardcover)

The English journalist and historian Justin Marozzi frames this epic study as a corrective to current perceptions of the Arab world, both within it and without it: ‘the only thing we’re leading the world in is terrorism’ says an ‘embarrassed’ Tunisian friend quoted in the preface... continue reading


Spread from Sohrab Hura’s The Coast. ARA Winter 2019 books

The Coast: Twelve Parallel Short Stories by Sohrab Hura | Self-published (Ugly Dog), INR 3000 / $80 (hardcover)

A pair of lovers, a parrot, a bloodstained blade, a blind dog, rats fighting, people fighting, people laughing, crying, praying, holding each other, hurting one another. Each of these nighttime scenes – a few of many – is duplicated in Delhi-based photographer Sohrab Hura’s photobook... continue reading


Spread from Gathering: Political Writing on Art and Culture. ARA Winter 2019 book

Gathering: Political Writing on Art and Culture by Marian Pastor Roces | DeLaSalle-College of Saint Benilde / ArtAsiaPacific Foundation, PHP 2,300/$77 (hardcover)

It is almost impossible now to think of the Philippines in any way that might be independent of its current political strife. Even the attempt to do so screams naivety. Marian Pastor Roces is one art critic who has always asserted, since the dictatorial era of Ferdinand Marcos, that art and life at large are inseparable... continue reading


Grandma, I Want A Penis by Dusadee Huntrakul

Grandma, I Want a Penis by Dusadee Huntrakul | Bangkok City City Gallery, THB 700 (hardcover)

This charming tale is based on the true story of Thai artist Dusadee Huntrakul’s wife, Pat. As a child with two brothers who played ‘pee pee fencing’, she badgered her grandmother to buy her a penis from the market ‘to attach to [her] vagina’... continue reading