The opening section of HIGHLIGHTS features: LA-based Japanese artist Koki Tanaka
, who pursues the Super-Everyday to find beauty in the ordinary, as explained by Miwako Tezuka; Chinese artist Li Ran, framed by Ho Rui An as attempting to get over the "postcolonial hangover"; Basir Mahmood, who directs his pragmatist gaze upon what Gemma Sharpe describes as the sociological imperatives of Pakistan's urban life; Korean New Zealand artist Seung Yul Oh, whose practice is read by Emma Bugden as blurring the lines of art and play; and Filipino artist Maria Taniguchi, whose patterns and repetitions are, according to Joselina Cruz, elements of her latent archeology.
Evocatively titled The Making of Asia, the MAIN THEME section discusses the creation and diffusion of local narratives in the Asia Pacific region: editor-in-chief Alessio Ascari interviews Lars Nittve, the director of Hong Kong's megamuseum M+; art duo Desire Machine Collective talk to Shai Heredia, the founder of India's most cutting-edge film festival; Gavin Wade speaks to Cao Fei
about his new film and the problem of urbanization in metropolitan China; and a panel discussion brings together art initiatives from in and beyond the region—Arthub Asia, Guggenheim UBS Map, Asia Art Archive, and Tate Research Centre: Asia Pacific—around the idea of network.
Sitting between the traditions of cinema and visual art, the work of Chinese artist Yang Fudong
—the protagonist of this issue's MONO—resonates with the cinematic and photographic tropes of a city and society that is also “in between”: the decadent aura of Shanghai in the 1920s and 1930s. As discussed in an essay by Davide Quadrio and Noah Cowan and an interview by Li Zhenhua, Fudong's crisp black-and-white 35mm films enact a subtle interplay between the political and the abstract, revealing the artist's passionate attraction to beauty and a rarified approach to the haunting questions of contemporary life.
Lastly, this issue's section of REGULARS features Hans Ulrich Obrist
introducing Thai artist Korakrit Arunanondchai
; Gary Carrion-Murayari staging a three-way interview with art collectives The Propeller Group (Vietnam) and CAMP (India); Carson Chan meeting cultural activist Ou Ning; Melanie Pocock reporting on the art scene in Singapore; and Fredi Fischli and Niels Olsen rediscovering the art of cult psychedelic artist Keiichi Tanaami
The issue is enriched by our seasonal TIPS on following, reading, listening, stopping by, meeting and visiting; as well as by three SPECIAL INSERTS, including a selection of paintings by Chinese artist Wang Xingwei; pictures by Japanese photographer Keizo Kitajima; and a series of digital collages by Filipino artist Pio Abad.