Featured image: Heri Dono, The Mountain Dragon, 160 x 200 cm
Another summer is here, and another amazing number of artistic offerings and exhibitions from Asian artists are made known. Here is a list of Asian artists we think will make waves this summer who is a must to watch out for over the warmer months. Hailing from across the region these artists represent the great works coming out of this continent. From the more established works of artists from mainland China to the exciting works coming out of South East Asia, this list is sure to pique any art lover’s interest.
Henri Dono, Indonesia
(See featured image)
Henri Dono’s works stand out with his uniquely contemporary Javanese style inspired by traditional puppet theater “Wayang Kulit” subjects.
Since Dono started painting, Dono has developed a fantastical world of contrast in his paintings. Humorously juxtaposing reality with imagination, folk with contemporary art, politics with fiction, the tension between these opposing forces create narratives that cut across a complex, multi-layered system of ideologies.
Heri Dono’s artistic methodology re-examines power structures through satirical illustrations of humans versus the Other, man versus machine, offering a kind of passage for others to survive real-life transitions during challenging times.
Rodel Tapaya, Philippines
At the heart of Philipino artist, Rodel Tapaya’s work is his ongoing amalgamation of folk narrative. A contemporary reality which the artist has created within the framework of memory and history.
Utilizing a range of different materials–spanning from acrylic on large cloth canvases to under-glass painting, dioramas, and drawings, sketches–Tapaya filters his observations of the world through folktales and his pre-colonial historical research, thus creating whimsical montages of characters depicted in his paintings.
Dinh Q. Le, Vietnam
Le’s work and art practice revolve around the themes of identity, history, and memory, which span various mediums from his well-known woven photographs and tapestries to handmade paper, and video and mixed-media installations that question the reception and consumption of images and how visual culture may inform a national identity.
Le and his family fled Vietnam in 1978 and lived in refugee camps in Thailand before relocating to America. While living and schooling in California, Le was sparked by the prevailing perceptions of the Vietnam War and its lingering consequences on the Vietnamese people.
Ai Weiwei, China
Ai Weiwei is an artist who needs no introduction, Ai is a leading contemporary artist, activist, and advocate of political reform.
Renowned for making strong aesthetic statements that resonate with timely phenomena across today’s geopolitical world. From architecture to installations, social media, photography to documentaries, Ai uses a wide range of mediums as expressions of new ways for his audiences to examine society and its values.
Look out for Ai Weiwei’s upcoming solo exhibition at Tang Contemporary’s Bangkok location in September. For more information, check out their website.
Zhao Zhao, China
Born in the west of China in Xing Jiang, Zhao Zhao was a former assistant to Ai Weiwei and spent many years working together on Ai’s multiple projects until the Chinese government dissolved the duo’s partnership.
Today, Zhao is regarded as a significant figure among the young post-80s generation of contemporary Chinese artists. Zhao Zhao’s work is often associated with anti-authoritarian or non-conformist tendencies, renowned for confronting existing ideological structures and exercising the power of individual free will in his work.
Zhao’s work reflects on the passage of time. Using his uncanny ability to evoke the presence to shattered glass on canvas. Zhao creates an image in an instant as the basis for works that are durable and eternal, an explosive disruption of time–an eternal condition of cracks and fragments, traces left by reality.
Also read: Asian Art Collectives You Need to Know About