Friday, December 28, 2007

Happy Holidays

Wishing all of you a great holiday season and good wishes for the new year.
Thanks for your loyal support to my blog.
I will be back with new posts for the new year.

Monday, December 24, 2007

Merry Christmas

Saturday, December 22, 2007

the factory

OK, of course, this isn't Warhol's factory. This is the art factory of one of the most capitalistic places on Earth: China, in particular, Shenzhen.
The Atlantic has a great article about the art factories in Shenzhen. They're even knocking off one of their own stars: Yue Minjun.
Ha ha ha ha.

Friday, December 21, 2007

Artforum - best of 2007

One thing I enjoy about the end of the year is the year end wrap up. The recent issue of Artforum which is as thick as a September Vogue does a great overview.
This is refreshing as lately I seem to be talking only to curators and arts administrators who despise artists and arts journalists who don't really like art.
So reading well-written passages about art by people who are deeply passionate about art is like vitamins to my soul.

Thursday, December 20, 2007

The Power of Creativity,1518,523409,00.html

Oscar Niemeyer recently turned 100 and he's still going strong with lots of ideas and projects that he's working on. This shows how creative activity will keep a person young and hopefully can inspire all of us to live life fully.


Read more at the above link about this famous architect who created Brasilia. The photo is from that site and shows Brasilia's National Museum and its space-age like ramp.

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

ART iT - Japanese/English art magazine

I recently bought this issue of ART iT, a bilingual Japanese/English art magazine based in Tokyo. Publisher Ozaki Tetsuya is celebrating the mag's fourth anniversary.
With sharp writing, great layout and photos, this is a must-read for those interested in contemporary art. This issue focuses on the Tokyo scene.

Art Market Frenzy

Picture of a berry eating lemming courtesy of

Should the value of art be determined in accordance to its value in the art market? In other words, is an artwork that sells for one million dollars intrinsically better than a work that has no market? Why should we allow currency to determine the value of an art work? That seems like a rather shallow standard to hold an artwork to.
Most recently in Taiwan, collectors are frantically buying art. Why such sudden interest? The local market was extremely inert for the longest time. But it is with the gamut of media pushing the TV viewer to believe that art collecting is much more lucrative than playing the stock market. So now all the lemming-like investors are collecting art, but not for the purpose to enjoy it and better their lives; instead these nouveau collectors have as much desire to hold on to newly purchased art as to holding onto their shit.

Friday, December 14, 2007

Fake Terracotta Warriors

Oops! We're fake.

According to Reuters, several Xi'an terracotta warriors on view at the Hamburg Museum of Ethnography may turn out to be fakes.

Kaiyodo & Otaku Culture at the Taipei Fine Arts Museum

The Taipei Fine Arts Museum is currently showing Desire and Consumption: Kaiyodo and Otaku Culture, which is mainly plastic anime and manga figurines of busty maids and transforming robots.
Recently a Taipei city counselor registered a complaint about the 'obscene' toys on display.
Hey, aren't museums supposed to be the place to show sexy naked women?

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Mark Wallinger, Turner Prize, Anti-Iraq War Art

Okay, many blogs/news stories covered this. Mark Wallinger won the Turner Prize 2007 for his exacting replica of the anti-Iraq war protest staged by Brian Haw in Parliament Square from 2001 to 2006.
The work was hailed for its "immediacy, visceral intensity and historic importance."


I'm a firm believer that art can be used for social change and bring noteworthy issues to the public's attention. But here I'm a bit cynical. Does awarding this work create change in policy to ending the sanctions and war in Iraq or is this just a superficial feel-good work to say, yes, I'm liberal because I agree with the artist's sentiment? In other words, does this work come alive and change lives?

Details of the award here:

This work makes me more curious about Brian Haw.

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

my Christmas wish list

Taiwan’s postal service currently stamps the grammatically-challenged slogan “UN for Taiwan” on every piece of outgoing mail and it is also printed on every local store receipt. This wishful verbalizing underscores Taiwan’s desire to be part of the international circuit. Now, Taiwan has no chance in hello to be taken seriously as a world player as long as China keeps saying no.

It is with this problematic tension and the seemingly irresolvable solution that I would have liked to see this issue addressed directly within the next Taipei Biennial scheduled for September 2008. Not only that. We all know that lately the artworld is spending lots of time/money in Beijing and Shanghai.

Instead of the tired model of a Euro/American curator being picked first and then choosing a Taiwanese one for the biennial, wouldn’t it have been much more exciting if the Taipei Biennial 2008 curators could be Fei Dawei and Victoria Lu?

Paris-based critic/curator Fei Dawei was recently named artistic director at the newly opened Ullens Art Center in Beijing. Victoria Lu, who curated exhibitions in Taiwan, was director at MOCA Shanghai and wrote extensively with a feminist slant about women artists in Taiwan.

I think this combination would give us a new perspective about contemporary art especially coming from two experienced curators with firsthand knowledge from this Chinese part of the world.
It also wouldn't hurt Taiwan to include a dash of femininism as so many shows seem to forget that point.

Sunday, December 9, 2007

William Carlos William's The Red Wheelbarrow

The Red Wheelbarrow
so much depends
a red wheel
glazed with rain
beside the white

Saturday, December 8, 2007

Vanessa Beecroft's VB61 Still Death! Darfur Still Deaf?

Photo courtesy

Whew! I heaved a sigh of relief when I heard they got the teddybear-Mohammed-naming rabble-rousing English teacher off the streets of Sudan. Really. Now the world is much safer.
Sudan, what a tolerant country.
Artist Vanessa Beecroft gave a shout out to Sudan when she created a performance at the opening of the Venice Biennale this past June.
Her piece titled, VB61 Still Death! Darfur Still Deaf? involved 30 Sudanese women darkened with makeup lying prone on a white canvas. Over a 3 hour period, the artist poured blood-red paint on and around the deathlike immobile women, both referencing Viennese Actionism and Sudan's wonderful treatment at Darfur.
Here's a video of the live performance:
My first reaction was cynical to this work as I thought it was a bit gratuitous, but upon subsequent viewing I find it extremely moving. The performance also moves from a solitary artist's position to a very public work about the world shared by the Sudanese performers and the audience. The work suddenly shifts from micro to macro in an alarming instant, like a tsunami.

Thursday, December 6, 2007

Artist Sooreh Hera: Censorship, Fear of Fundamentalists

This image is from Iranian artist Sooreh Hera.
Her work is banned from showing at the muncipal museum of The Hague out of fear of offending anyone. Hmm, I wonder who that could be? Senator Larry Craig?
No, I think here they are afraid of offending people who get easily offended by children naming a teddy bear Mohammed.
Then this same group of people probably won't think too kindly about Sooreh Hera's work titled Adam and Ewald, a photo of two gay men wearing masks that depict Mohammed and his son-in-law Ali.
For further info, this blog has a lot of coverage and links:

Here's the artist's website:
I really can't stand self-censorship. What do you think?

Monday, December 3, 2007

Bruce Nauman's 40 year old neon sign

Bruce Nauman's neon sign made 40 years ago (!) says "The true artist helps the world by revealing mystic truths."
This statement still resonates today and is a nice thing to ponder in the morning, a bit like a Zen koan. The photo comes from which has an attractively designed website.

Saturday, December 1, 2007

Susan Kendzulak's painting

"Discovering the Lies and Deceits of a Loved One"
oil on unstretched canvas, 2 meters x 2 meters, 2000

Takashi Murakami, tonight, at Taipei Arena

Takashi Murakami's new book discusses how to run art as a business. The Chinese translation hit the bookstores recently in Taiwan.
And tonight he appears at the huge sports stadium, theTaipei Arena, to promote his book and discuss his cultural concepts.
He's very hot in Taiwan with the fashionista and design crowd and all those 20 and 30-somethings who still live with mom and dad so they have a lot of disposable income for pricey handbags.
Not so sure of his appeal with the contemporary art crowd though.