10 Must See Exhibitions in Asia – 2018 Q1 (Jan – Mar)

In this new CoBo series, to be published every quarter of the year, we selected the ten best exhibitions in Asia for you to visit in the next three months.

TEXTS: CoBo Editorial Force

IMAGES: Courtesy of the galleries and museums

All the art lovers and collectors get ready for the next three months ahead, which will be filled with not-to-be-missed art events, spread all over Asia. With Biennales and Art Fairs presenting their own shows and new galleries opening with top-notch exhibitions, there is plenty to choose from.

But don’t worry about losing your bearings: here at CoBo we hand-picked the very best ten shows that, we assure you, everyone won’t stop raving about throughout the year.

1 – Entang Wiharso, Half Degree of Separation – Tang Contemporary Art, Bangkok11 January – 25 February 2018

“Half Degree of Separation” is Wiharso’s first solo show in Thailand. The exhibition features a new body of work created in his studio in Indonesia and during his 2017 residency in New York City at International Studio & Curatorial Program.

In describing the concept for the show, Wiharso says: “Half Degree of Separation comes from the idea of ‘six degree of separation,’ when you always have a connection to others in six steps or less. Half degree of separation is the acceptance or refusal of connectivity, whether cultural or identity, with others.”

2 – Negotiation in Contested Space, Art Heritage Gallery, New Delhi

13 January – March 02 2018

This show at Art Heritage gallery in Tansen Marg, New Delhi, is part of the India Art Fair’s programme aiming to promote cultural discourse and to engage a diverse audiences. The artists featured in the show are Iranna G. R., Gigi Scaria, Pooja Iranna, T. V. Santhosh, Jyothi Basu & N. N. Rimzon.

After its first debut at The Guild, the show conceived by curator Renuka Sawhney presents artists using modernist, traditional and contemporary representations and crafting languages accommodating multiple subjects, objects and contexts.

3 – Lettres du Voyant: Joseph Beuys × Nam June Paik – HOW Art Museum, Shanghai

20 January – 13 March 2018

The exhibition will present the important and representative works by German artist Joseph Beuys (1921 – 1986) and Korean-American artist Nam June Paik (1932 – 2006) throughout their artistic careers.

Responsible for developing the Fluxus art movement, Beuys and Paik’s works personify the context at the time and their experiences. The reference to the Lettres (‘Letters’) in the show title implies the inextricable relations between the works of the two artists, and evokes a profound friendship.

4 – Shared Coordinates 2018, co-presented by Silverlens, ROH Project, Fost Gallery and Edouard Malingue Gallery, Singapore

20 – 26 January 2018

Four leading Southeast Asian galleries (Singapore-based FOST Gallery, Jakarta-based ROH Projects, Hong Kong and Shanghai-based Edouard Malingue Gallery, and Manila-based SILVERLENS ) will join forces during the Singapore Art Week 2018 at the Arts House, bringing together artists in their second edition of Shared Coordinates in Singapore.

This group show celebrates the region’s wealth of artistic expression through contemporary art and features artists Adeel Uz Zafar, Aditya Novali, Chati Coronel, Eric Baudart, Grace Tan, Heman Chong, I-lann Yee, Jeremy Everett, Martha Atienza, Rendy Raka Pramudya, Song-Ming Ang, Tromarama, Wawi Navarroza, Wiyoga Muhardanto, Wyn-Lyn Tan, and Yuan Yuan.

5 – “Transaction of Hollows”, Melati Suryodarmo, ShanghART, Singapore

25 January – 25 February 2018

Melati Suryodarmo is known for her work ranging from video and photography, to installations, while durational performance remains her best known art form. As part of Singapore Art Week 2018, ShanghART Singapore will present a two-month long solo exhibition of her work.In addition, the gallery will also be staging Suryodarmo’s performance, Transaction of Hollows, a live, durational performance which will take place over two days.

6 – Michaël Borremans: Fire from the Sun  David Zwirner, Hong Kong

27 January – 10 March 2018

This exhibition of paintings by Michaël Borremans will inaugurate David Zwirner new gallery’s space in Hong Kong. “Fire from the Sun” includes small and large scale works that feature toddlers engaged in playful but mysterious acts with sinister overtones and insinuations of violence.

Reminiscent of cherubs in Renaissance paintings, the toddlers appear as allegories of the human condition, their archetypal innocence contrasted with their suggested deviousness. Other paintings in the exhibition depict obscure machines and enigmatic presences suggesting an element of scientific experimentation. 7 – Bearing Points at Dhaka Art Summit, Dhaka

2- 10 February 2018

“Bearing Points” is the new initiative at Dhaka Art Summit 2018 which will comprise large-scale thematic presentations from artists and architects, orienting the viewer towards lesser explored transcultural histories of the region. The show will be curated by DAS Chief Curator Diana Campbell Betancourt, and will be weaving together strands of thought from the nine other guest curated exhibitions in the Summit.

The show puts Bangladesh at the centre of its own cartography rather than at the periphery of someone else’s, recalibrating how we think about art in South Asia by focusing on the increased inclusion of minority positions and conflicted terrains.

8 – Louie Cordero, Kawayan De Guia, MO Space, Manila

24 February – 25 March 2018

If you drop by Manila for Art Fair Philippines, from 1 to 4 March 2018, make sure to not miss this show at MO Space, an innovative artist-run gallery that showcases works by Manila’s most dynamic contemporary artists.

The show will juxtapose the work of Kawayan De Guia – who creates assortments of objects, icons and texts, irrationally arranged – to the one of Louie Cordero, who works with anatomical innards, muscle tissue, veins, and eyeballs to construct new, unclassifiable species.

9 – Duo Solo Exhibition : Zhao Yang + Betty Woodman, K11, Shanghai

8 March – 15 April

Betty Woodman, House of the South, 1996. Glazed earthenware, epoxy resin, lacquer, paint.

Late artist Betty Woodman was a sculptor who took an audacious turn when she began to transform traditional pottery, her usual medium, into innovative multimedia art, moving her work from kitchen cupboard shelves to museum walls.

In this show her work will be showcased alongside the one of Zhao Yang, whose graphic world is composed by virtual figures and absurd images playing on contradiction. The idea is to showcase how these two artists from different traditions, regions, background and gender, work on the theme of the body.

10SUPERPOSITION: Equilibrium and Engagement at 21st Biennale of Sydney

16 March – 11 June 2018

The title for the show of the 21st Biennale of Sydney adopts the quantum mechanical term ‘superposition’ which, in quantum theory, refers to the ability of electrons to occupy multiple states at once.

Drawing from this idea, the participating artists in the 21st Biennale of Sydney have been chosen to offer a panoramic view of how opposing understandings and interpretations can come together in a state of equilibrium. It is curator Kataoka’s hope that their artworks will serve as a catalyst for thinking about these principles and concerns, and encourage each of us to consider our own position in society as a starting point.