Both Here and There: “Transnational” Asian Contemporary Art
Rebecca Brown, associate professor in history of art and chair of Advanced Academic Program in Museum Studies at Johns Hopkins University, Editor-in-Chief of Art Journal
Korean-born, US-based artist Do Ho Suh stitches panels of translucent, silky fabric together to reconstruct the space of his apartments in New York and Seoul, producing ethereal, floating spaces in the gallery. Amsterdam-based Chinese born artist Ni Haifeng paints his body with designs from Chinese blue-and-white porcelain created for the Dutch market, linking mercantile flows of objects with the movement of his own body around the world. Delhi-based Vivan Sundaram collages photographs of his aunt, the artist Amrita Sher-Gil, tracing her life and work as she and her family moved from Simla in the foothills of the Himalayas, to Paris and Budapest and back, putting her global travel in motion again in his photographic works. These artists all explore the cosmopolitan flows of artists and art objects that shape our world today and have done so for centuries. We will delve into the questions these works raise, exploring what it means to be “transnational” and asking whether that means we should still group artists based on the location of their birth.
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