In keeping with the objectives defined during its first year in 2015, ASIA NOW, Europe’s first boutique art fair devoted to contemporary Asian art, continues its exploration of emerging scenes and more established artists from 18 to 22 October 2017. For its third year, ASIA NOW welcomes around thirty Asian and Western galleries recognised as being highly influential in promoting and supporting contemporary artists from Asia at an international level.
ASIA NOW continues to showcase the value of artists from a group of more than 10 countries, from China to Japan, and to present the new perspectives and issues for contemporary Asian art and its market: the value of its artists, its potential for development and its rising stars. ASIA NOW asserts once again its commitment to deciphering the Asian art scene, understanding its evolution, its transformation, its issues and above all its true nature.
As an ideal platform for dialogue and interaction dedicated to contemporary artistic creation, this year ASIA NOW addresses in greater depth the Korean artistic scene through a special programme coordinated by Korean curator Joanne Kim, in collaboration with the Busan Biennale curatorial team.
The fair also renews its association with Christie’s for the Design Project, presented this year by Studio MVW.
“ASIA NOW encourages reflection and thinking by taking on a fresh look at Asian contemporary art through a programme of rigorous exhibitions and engaged, relevant conversations. The subjectivity of the selection process embraced by the fair, as well as the curatorial dimension of the scheduled events, bear witness to the desire to give meaning while allowing a certain form of alienation by encouraging a voluntary loss of familiar bearings. With this third edition, we pursue our objectives: – Staying selective while revealing the diversity of practices and exposing the most thorough experimentations of the Asian scenes. – Maintaining a human-size format and confirming our position as boutique art fair which facilitates encounters and discussions between exhibitors, artists and collectors. – Preserving the freshness and passion and resisting the pressures of globalisation and standardisation. – Showing the unexpected, the non-consensual; surprising, inspiring, at the risk of sometimes disorienting the visitor.
ASIA NOW is an ideal platform for exchanges dedicated to contemporary Asian cultures. The fair aims to share with the most sophisticated collectors, institutions, and all those wishing to learn more about the Asian contemporary scene, a rigorous selection consisting of the most influential galleries and validated by our experts. We strive to present the established talents of today and the rising stars of tomorrow: the artist closely followed by the major local collectors and connoisseurs of these scenes, supported by the best galleries and found in the best museums and foundation in the region. The mission of ASIA NOW, in allowing galleries to leave their local setting to meet French, European and international institutions and collectors present in Paris during FIAC, is to bring to light a selection of the best artists, those most interesting to collect and follow today.”
Alexandra Fain, Director and co-founder of ASIA NOW
ASIA NOW | Korean art under the spotlight
While the 2016 fair explored the emerging creativity in Southeast Asia, this year ASIA NOW turns to the many facets of the South Korean scene, with a special programme coordinated by the young curator Joanne Kim.
The Korean Platform will feature established and up-and-coming artists whose work can be discovered on the stands of the CHOI&LAGER Gallery, Gallery Su, The Columns Gallery, Gallery SoSo and Galerie Maria Lund, amongst others. This will be complemented by a programme of conferences, video screenings and performances.
“ASIA NOW is the one of the best venues to introduce these new faces of the Korean Contemporary art scene in a specifically Asian art context which allows for the richer understanding of their artworks not only individually but also in their social context. In the project venue, the visitors will encounter the artists’ most recognised works, a vision of the promising potential and the new directions of contemporary Korean art scene”
Joanne Kim, curator of the Korean Platform
an/other avant-garde performance | 2018 Busan Biennal
This year, ASIA NOW joins forces with the 2018 Busan Biennale’s curatorial team to host the second part of the ‘an/other avant-garde china-japan-korea’ project presented during the 2016 Biennale.
For ASIA NOW, the Busan team has chosen to focus on the works of Jooyoung Kim, a leading figure amongst the first generation of Korean artists engaging in performance art. A pioneer of the “Nomadism” concept as a form of artistic activism, Jooyoung Kim is renowned for her projects and installations through which she frees herself from institutional constraints. “Nomadism, tracking and wondering are for me the real state of art. I would say: An experience among the landscape, a geographic action upon feelings that is both psychic and physical. The print of walking is important in terms of place, context, territory. Nomadism has a transverse meaning: it is the negation, a way of taking down preconceived ideas such as: "the best art is beauty"; "an artist must be displayed in a museum"; "art creates a distance with reality"... All ideas already presented in Art History until now,” she explains.
“We are very thrilled to start the collaboration between ASIA NOW and the Busan Biennale this year. The Busan Biennale is the first biennale of Korea that was voluntarily organized by local artists in 1981. Last year’s project ‘an/other avant-garde china-japan-korea,’ was co-curated by five curators from China, Japan and Korea; this exhibition featured autochthonous experimental avant-garde art of China, Japan and Korea from the 1960s through the 1980s. The Project exhibited 148 artworks by 65 artists (teams), accompanied by joint archives and supporting materials on China-Japan-Korea to provide context and background on China-Japan-Korea avant-garde art within the world art history. ASIA NOW is the one of the best venues to introduce where the Busan Biennale is heading and where it comes from.”
Lim Dong-Lak, Executive Director of Busan Biennal
Artists’ Films and Talks | Korean Arts Management Service (KAMS)
ASIA NOW has teamed up with the Korean Arts Management Service (KAMS) for its Artists’ Films and Talks programme. The fair will present films by three leading lights of the contemporary Korean art scene: Kelvin Kyung Kun Park, Ayoung Kim and Lee Wan. Each screening will be followed by a discussion with the artist.
>> Kelvin Kyung Kun Park – A Dream of Iron (2014)
Seoul-based artist Kelvin Kyung Kun Park, will present his documentary A Dream of Iron (2014), which opened the Berlin International Film Festival and was also shown at the Museum of Modern Art in New York and the Sharjah Biennale. He also received the Berlinale NETPAC Award for this documentary.
Through a series of film sequences, Kelvin Kyung Kun Park recounts the end of a love story and the quest of a woman who sets out in search of God. The unhappy narrator also attempts to find love amongst whales, at sea, with the Pohang Steel Company and at a Hyundai construction site.
>> Ayoung Kim – Zepheth, Whale Oil from the Hanging Gardens to You (2015)
Presented at the main exhibition of the 56th Venice Biennale, Zepheth, Whale Oil from the Hanging Gardens to You will be screened at ASIA NOW in the presence of Ayoung Kim.
Reflecting his own family history, Ayoung Kim has devoted himself to extensive research into a fossil fuel that has become a central motif of globalisation: oil. Zepheth, Whale Oil from the Hanging Gardens to You recounts the development of the oil industry in the Middle East. An audiovisual experience incorporating data, language and sound on the theme of oil as a « miraculous substance that mediates between the Earth and the human race, the world economy and the 20th century modernity.».
>> Lee Wan
Selected to represent South Korea at the 2017 Venice Biennale, Lee Wan belongs to a younger generation of Korean artists. Through his work, Lee Wan explores the hidden lives of people exploited by the dynamics of global power, in both Asia and the rest of the world.
ASIA NOW I Collector’s screening
The Chinese Lives of Uli Sigg | by Michael Schindhelm
Considered to be one of the most influential collectors of contemporary Asian art, Uli Sigg has chosen ASIA NOW to present a preview of Michael Schindhelm’s documentary about him, entitled The Chinese Lives of Uli Sigg. Screened for the first time in its entirety in Paris, the film will be followed by a discussion with Uli Sigg.
A native of Switzerland, Uli Sigg played a significant role during the economic opening-up of China after Mao, and continues to do so today. Arriving in China in 1980 as an entrepreneur and economic expert, he devoted himself to art in order to gain a greater understanding of the country. Over the years he built up one of the world’s largest collections of contemporary Chinese art.
The Chinese Lives of Uli Sigg
offers us for the first time ever a glimpse into the exciting and remarkable life of this entrepreneur, diplomat and art collector.
Over the years, he put together one of the most considerable contemporary Chinese art collections, which he donated in large part to M+, a museum in Hong Kong due to open its doors in late 2018 (by architects Herzog & De Meuron). This donation of over 1,200 works is the most important made to this day by a private collector to a museum. The Chinese Lives of Uli Sigg
offers, for the first time, a glimpse at the extraordinary life of the businessman, ambassador and art collector.
Contemporary artists such as Ai Weiwei, Zeng Fanzhi, Cao Fei, Fang Lijun and Wang Guangyi consider him to be a friend and mentor to whom they can entrust their works to protect them from arbitrary destruction by the authorities.