• Kim Young Jin, I, My, Me, 2004, 2-channel synchronized video projection, pleated screen, two DVD players, and two projectors.

    Past in Reverse: Contemporary Art of East Asia

    San Diego Museum of Art
    1450 El Prado, Balboa Park
    November 6–March 6

    The regionally themed survey of contemporary Asian art, met with generic “East meets West” curatorial rhetoric, can seem as outdated as fusion cuisine. After a nearly decadelong succession of such offerings, “Past in Reverse” explores how twenty-one artists and collectives reinterpret indigenous forms such as scroll paintings. The show not only presents the usual suspects (Cai Guo-Qiang, Wang Qingsong) but also takes a risk with a long roster of unknowns, suggesting that while East Asia now has claim to a bevy of internationally established artists, it remains a hotbed of experimentation.

  • Byron Kim with Grunion Run, 2001. Photo: Dennis Cowley.

    Byron Kim

    Berkeley Art Museum and Pacific Film Archive (BAMPFA)
    2155 Center Street
    September 15–December 12

    Museum of Contemporary Art San Diego | Downtown
    1100 and 1001 Kettner Boulevard
    May 29–September 4

    Samsung Museum of Modern Art

    March 10–May 8

    Byron Kim’s exquisitely subjective monochromes are suspended between the reflective, heady abstraction of Reinhardt, Marden, and Rothko and the deft, politically incisive Conceptualism of Felix Gonzalez-Torres and Glenn Ligon. Alternately indexing skin, Korean celadon pottery, a station wagon, and even a Brooklyn public pool, his paintings will be shown to great effect in his first major solo museum exhibition. Against the BAM’s neo-brutalist architecture, the hazy atmospheric surface effects of these thirty-two works should betray an unbearable lightness of being.