Stephanie Bailey

  • picks September 08, 2018

    “Tell Me A Story: Locality and Narrative”

    This exhibition, curated by Amy Cheng and Hsieh Feng-Rong, reflects on Asia’s evolving identity through the eyes of twelve artists. The show opens with Haejun Jo and Kyeong Soo Lee’s A Ship Believing the Sea is the Land, 2014: a wooden fishing boat coated in paraffin, inside which a small screen plays the film Scenery of Between—inspired by a boat discovered on reclaimed land in Gunsan City, home to a US military base. Around this installation are artifacts, from a wax kangaroo to a wooden turtle, and framed drawings hung on the wall illustrating Jo’s father’s memories of Korea’s twentieth

  • Lawrence Lek

    In the belly of Hong Kong’s mass-transit railway system, along the underground walkway connecting the East Tsim Sha Tsui and the Tsim Sha Tsui lines, is Chi K11 Art Space, in the basement of the K11 Hong Kong Art Mall, where Lawrence Lek’s exhibition “2065” took place. Viewable through the glass panes that separate this project space from the transit walkways, the show was modeled after a gaming parlor and assembled in a low-lit, red-carpeted space. Here, a suite of high-definition, computer-generated-image (CGI) videos and five playable open-world video-game simulations—old-school consoles

  • Brisa Amir

    “Slow Painting” was an impressive display for an artist just out of college. The “paintings” were constructed out of sheets of thick paper stained by raindrops, coffee spills, and paint splatters, among other liquids, often overlaid or connected at their edges, and worked on with smudges, lines, splashes and splatters of graphite, emulsion, acrylic and oil paint, and charcoal—details that “finish” what are essentially action paintings executed in gradual time. Thirty-one small examples of such work were presented on the back wall of this gallery’s main space: The studies reflected a commanding

  • Izumi Kato

    Most of the sculptural characters that Izumi Kato crafted for this exhibition (all works Untitled, 2017) have heads made of granite that the artist collected from the reclaimed landfill close to his coastal studio. He selected these pieces of rock for their shape and texture, which recall those of suiseki (decorative stones) or scholar’s rocks, and treated them minimally, attaching them to bodies made mostly from wood, painting them a variety of colors, and standing the results on simple wooden pedestals. (The artist made other figures from pieces of leather and soft vinyl, their “limbs” splayed

  • Hank Willis Thomas

    “The Beautiful Game,” Hank Willis Thomas’s first solo exhibition in London, built on his ongoing study of the relationship between sports, nationalism, and the history of slavery in the United States. Previous works have included photographs such as Scarred Chest, 2004, which shows the Nike logo digitally rendered on a black body as a raised scarification, and The Cotton Bowl, 2011, depicting a US football player in a starting pose mirrored by a man picking cotton. Here, taking the transnational legacy of European football as his focus, Thomas presented ten quilts composed like (or even directly

  • Hera Büyüktaşçıyan

    One work in particular captured the essence of Hera Büyüktaşçıyan’s solo exhibition “Write Injuries on Sand and Kindness in Marble.” The Relic, 2016, is a bronze cast of two hands extending to mid-forearm and resting on wooden blocks, in front of which other blocks hold arrangements of gray mosaic chunks. The hands are turned palms up to reveal the imprints of mosaic tiles on their surfaces—an homage, Büyüktaşçıyan notes in the accompanying publication, to the workers who, legend has it, lost their fingerprints (or fingers) during the Taj Mahal’s construction, when sanding and smoothing

  • “Soil and Stones, Souls and Songs”

    “Soil and Stones, Souls and Songs” is a dense and unruly assemblage of things, ideas, and histories that express the complicated, tumultuous, and “intertwined lines of tension and narratives” that exist today in “the Asian sphere and beyond,” as its curators, Cosmin Costinas and Inti Guerrero, write. This show—a collaboration between Para Site and Kadist, first presented in a different configuration at the Museum of Contemporary Art and Design in Manila in 2016—includes work by forty-five artists or artist collaborations. Some feature in one of three specially curated interventions,

  • Wong Ping

    “Who’s the Daddy” felt like a peep show of the infantile perversions of a Hong Kongese otaku, one of those techno-isolationists who’ve replaced real life with virtual fantasy. It opened with two vacuum bags—one filled with Froot Loops, the other with candy—each encasing a 3-D-printed fetus. Titled Indulgence 2016 and Indulgence 1999, respectively (all works 2017), they hung by the gallery’s entrance, near Unfilial Hell, a large LED panel positioned in a corner like a grand stele, its colored lights depicting a phallic mountain complete with an occasional lightning streak, in front of

  • Rehana Zaman

    Tell me the story Of all these things, 2016, the video work that comprised Rehana Zaman’s recent exhibition, was shown in three segments, presented on two freestanding screens in the ground-floor gallery and projected on a basement wall. The piece takes Theresa Hak Kyung Cha’s 1982 experimental novel Dictee—about the author, her mother, Joan of Arc, Greek goddesses Demeter and Persephone, and the early-twentieth-century South Korean freedom fighter Yu Guan Soon—as its starting point; the title comes from two lines in the book addressed to the Muse, depicted in Zaman’s nonlinear narrative

  • Panos Tsagaris

    At the gallery entrance, a large canvas, The White Lady of the Glaciers (all works 2016), hung on a narrow, freestanding wall partially blocking the view of the space behind it. All white, save for details rendered in gold leaf (a small circle resting on a white curve at the top, a semicircle below), the work invoked an icon in both title and position—as if marking the entrance to a citadel. A sense of the sacred resonated, too, in the construction of the canvas—which echoed the show’s title, “TIME” (curated by Maria Nicolacopoulou)—when one considers the lengthy (and meditative)

  • Basel Abbas and Ruanne Abou-Rahme

    Basel Abbas and Ruanne Abou-Rahme’s exhibition “And yet my mask is powerful” followed the same formal logic the artists honed in their three-part project The Incidental Insurgents, 2011–15, which combined a range of reference points—from Jean-Luc Godard to Victor Serge and Roberto Bolaño—into an archive assemblage and film installation. But whereas The Incidental Insurgents presents a kind of road trip, this exhibition offered a journey on foot and up close, expressed through a collection of objects, documents, and notes, and an immersive multiscreen video projection about a group of

  • picks October 24, 2016

    Candice Lin

    Central to Candice Lin’s current exhibition, “A Body Reduced to Brilliant Colour,” is System for a Stain (all works cited, 2016), a distillation apparatus where popular colonial commodities, such as tea and cochineal, form a dark-red liquid in a shallow wooden tank. Slim plastic tubing emerges, snaking its way to a neighboring room, where it coils onto a floor covered with white marble laminate. As the red fluid gathers in puddles, an audio work, A Memory Blushing with Innocence, reveals the physiological and psychological effects of colonialism for both master and slave, as told through the

  • picks July 28, 2016

    “Bibelot”

    The annual summer group show here always offers a considered and nonhierarchical interweaving of historical and contemporary art works. This year’s offering, “Bibelot,” meaning a treasured ornament, is no different. An eclectic array of artists and pieces are presented, such as a carved boar’s skull and four shell necklaces created by cannibal tribes in Borneo and Tanzania, respectively. The exhibition opens with Goshka Macuga’s Boy, 2007—a tree hung upside down with shoes attached to the bottom of two branches—paired with two nineteenth-century wooden chairs from Crete. In another room, Daniel

  • picks July 13, 2016

    “Honey; Love; Pheromones”

    Rallou Panagiotou, the deft curator of this show, has a soft spot for a modernism weathered by the sea, as encapsulated in the Morandi-esque ceramic vessels that emerge out of what feels like a salty surface in Aliki Panagiotopoulou’s canvas mounted on powder-coated metal, titled Still Life, 2016. In this exhibition, which evokes the essence of a Greek island summer, sight and sound have been translated into representations—from Margarita Myrogianni’s photographs of a sea view taken through a summer-house window on Tinos island to Alan Michael’s impressive painting of a hyperreal seascape rendered

  • Seher Shah

    There is a sense of ambiguous monumentality to Brutalist architecture—for example, structures such as Le Corbusier’s Unité d’Habitation (Housing Unit), known as “the radiant city,” completed in Marseilles in 1952 and described by the architect as “the first manifestation of an environment suited to modern life.” This three-dimensional béton brut (rough-cast concrete) grid comprises 337 apartments designed to house some sixteen hundred residents alongside shopping areas, a hotel, and a rooftop terrace. Its design has been adapted worldwide since, at times with glorious results: for example,

  • Cédric Maridet

    Cédric Maridet’s “Fragments of Future Histories” felt like a slick steampunk take on contemporary exploration. The exhibition of photographs, videos, assemblages, and kinetic sculptures opened with Rise, Fall, 2016, an acrylic tank, placed on a wooden pedestal, comprising four compartments filled with distilled water, ethanol, camphor, potassium nitrate, and ammonium chloride. This chemical admixture resulted in white, snowflake-like formations of crystals that adhered to the acrylic walls, sat on the surface of the water, and gathered at the bottom of the tank. An LED placed in the vessel’s

  • Tromorama

    The paradox of perception is that what we see is never what we see. In “Panoramix,” the Indonesian collective Tromarama took on this conundrum through a collection of works brought together as a single installation, though each work is individually titled. The assemblage opened with a video, also titled Panoramix (all works 2015), projected on a hanging screen, showing a lush close-up of tropical leaves. The scene remains still until it slowly begins to flutter like a hanging cloth responding to gusts of wind, flapping backward to reveal a dark space behind it. The image gives way only to reveal

  • Andreas Lolis

    At the Third Athens Biennale in 2011, a group of sculptures by Andreas Lolis, all Untitled, from the series “21st Century Relics,” 2011–, were positioned on the floor in one of the many abandoned classrooms of Diplareios, a former art and design school in a run-down part of the historic center of Athens. The works at first appeared to be ready-made cardboard boxes. In fact, closer inspection revealed these boxes to be marble, carved and painted by the artist himself. Visitors were compelled to take a second look; a few even dared to run a finger against the precious surfaces. Suddenly, the

  • Susan Hiller

    In 2011, Susan Hiller staged a major retrospective at Tate Britain in London. At the time, Hiller—whose background is in anthropology—expressed relief that her art had received enough attention to keep her going, but not enough to create the kind of market demand that would encourage overproduction. Go to most retrospectives, she noted, “and you’ll see that all the interesting work is at the beginning.” Her debut exhibition at London’s Lisson Gallery, curated by Andreas Leventis, makes clear Hiller’s resistance to such a fate.

    Take On the Edge, 2015: “a collection of 482 views from 219

  • Wael Shawky

    One of the most popular and critically acclaimed works in Adriano Pedrosa and Jens Hoffmann’s 2011 Istanbul Biennial was Cabaret Crusades: The Horror Show File, 2010, Wael Shawky’s video inspired by Amin Maalouf’s 1983 book The Crusades Through Arab Eyes, which tells the story of the Western conquest of the Middle East as represented by Arab sources. The first installment of Shawky’s then-developing Cabaret Crusades trilogy, The Horror Show File covered the period from 1095 (when Pope Urban II declared the First Crusade) to 1099, the year Jerusalem, until then under control of the Fatimid