Venus Lau

  • Ho Tzu Nyen, The Nameless, 2015, two-channel HD video, color, sound, 21 minutes 51 seconds. From “Ghosts and Spectres—Shadows of History.”

    Venus Lau

    1 “GHOSTS AND SPECTRES—SHADOWS OF HISTORY” (NTU CENTRE FOR CONTEMPORARY ART SINGAPORE; CURATED BY UTE META BAUER AND KHIM ONG) Apparitions are a common metaphorical medium for an unspoken and unmourned past, and the works in this show, which addressed various traumatic Asian histories of the postwar period, featured ghosts in myriad guises. The video installation The Nameless, 2015, by Singapore-based artist Ho Tzu Nyen, comprises clips of the Hong Kong actor Tony Leung, edited together so that he appears to inhabit the persona of Lai Teck—one of fifty aliases used by the phantom-like

  • Chen Chieh-jen, Empire’s Borders 1–2, 2008–2009, ink-jet print, 25 5/8 × 39 3/8".

    the Tenth Shanghai Biennale

    THE PROTAGONIST of Jia Zhangke’s 2004 feature film The World dreams of freedom amid the earth’s most renowned sculptures, landmarks, and sites. Although it seems she has never left her country, she wanders daily through a miniature replica of the globe at the Beijing World Park. Biennials similarly attempt to refract the world through a prism of cultural production; the earliest such exhibition, the Venice Biennale, was born in the era of the all-encompassing international exposition. Of course, the world reflected by today’s biennials is no longer shaped by the modernist gaze of the rational,

  • “Chen Shun-Chu: Coral Stone Mountain”

    Coral stone, or laokushih, is commonly used in the architecture of the Penghu Islands, where the late Taiwanese artist Chen Shun-Chu (1963–2014) grew up. The title of Chen’s first major retrospective in Taiwan references this porous oceanic rock to draw out the concepts of home, family, and memory that haunt his cool abstractions of domestic spaces, architecture, and sprawling landscapes. Tracing his career chronologically, this exhibition of approximately two hundred works made between the 1980s and 2010 will explore the artist’s engagement with these themes and his

  • View of “He Xiangyu,” 2014. From left: Copper, 2014; Lemon Flavored, 2014; RRL, 2014; Endless Copies, 2014.

    He Xiangyu

    Sometimes small surprises are better than big ones. He Xiangyu has previously made a life-size leather tank and reduced 127 tons of soda to coal-like residues, so I was expecting to see grand-scale works again in his latest show, “Dotted Line.” Instead, he presented the series “Lemon Flavored” (all works 2014), consisting of small paintings in which the title is repeated on backgrounds of white, green, and yellow. There were sculptures, too, but again, of modest scale—for instance R&L, a white sock with the letter R embroidered on it encased in a small metal vitrine and another, bearing

  • Rosa Barba, Stage Archive, 2011, 35-mm film, Perspex, guiding rollers, neon lamps, engine, 3' 3“ × 10' 6”. From “Thingworld.”


    The “new” in new media––in some accounts––derives from the rupture created by an object’s materiality and its effect on human senses. “Thingworld: International Triennial of New Media Art,” however, focused on objects themselves. And yet curator Zhang Ga kept the premise of this third edition of the New Media Triennial closely tied to theory. Spread over eleven rooms, the ambitious exhibition was divided into three parts: “Monologue: Ding an Sich,” “Dialogue: Ding to Thing,” and “Ensemble: Parliament of Things,” referring to Kant’s unperceivable object and Bruno Latour’s actants that come into

  • Liu Wei, Purple Air VI-15, 2007, oil on canvas, 31 x 118”.
    picks June 10, 2010

    “The Burden of Representation: Abstraction in Asia Today”

    Two works from a previous generation––one by Yang Jiechang and another by Ding Yi––are positioned near the entrance of this exhibition, arousing speculation and questioning the discourse and production of Asian abstract art in recent decades. By contextualizing these works alongside the output of younger artists, this show seems to construct a spatial version of a new history.

    Lee Kit’s series “Story,” 2010, comprises drawings on cardboard based on fabric patterns Lee found on the Internet. In these Rauschenberg-like works, trademarked logos are buried under angular shades of color. Nearby, Liu