10. Apichatpong Weerasethakul: Perhaps best known for his Palme d’Or-winning film, Uncle Boonmee Who Can Recall His Past Lives (2010), Weerasethakul produces feature films and video works that focus on the people of his native Thailand. He often improvises and rarely employs professional actors in his works, of whose dreamlike quality the artist has said, “sometimes you don’t need to understand everything to appreciate a certain beauty.”
9. Tatsuo Miyajima: Miyajima operates within specific material parameters: his LED lights (the artist’s primary “medium”) come in a limited range of color and count between numbers 1 and 9 without ever reaching 0. The ticking numbers reference Buddhism and themes of inevitability, universality, and mortality.
8. Guo Wei: Guo’s paintings are at once realist and distorted, poignant and haunting. Though he originally gained recognition for his paintings of children, the artist’s more recent paintings have been described as recording “the awkward egotism of adolescence.”
7. Peter Alwast: An award-winning Polish-born Australian artist, Alwast works across several media, including sculpture, painting, and video. The uniting concern of his practice is a digital sensibility and toolset—he frequently uses CAD and 3D animation to imagine and execute his works.
6. Lluís Cera: The Spanish sculptor is truly a magician with materials, making whatever he’s working with—marble, wood, aluminum, granite, iron, or bronze—appear as malleable as plastic.
5. Satoshi Hirose: The materials Hirose uses in his sculptures and installations are often unremarkable in themselves—like lemons, chocolates, spices, paper, money, cloth, salt, or beans—but they become protagonists and symbols in narratives about history, memory, and culture. In the artist’s own words, his art is “defined as an art that invents […] a unique aesthetic code or behavior by rearranging small fragments.”
4. Uji Handoko Eko Saputro (a.k.a. Hahan): A mainstay in the underground comic and street art culture of Yogyakarta, Indonesia, Hahan renders cartoonish and garishly colorful figures that critique the contemporary art market, particularly in his home country. For instance, Lucky Country Series #2 appears like fingers crossed from one side, but gives us the middle finger when it’s viewed from behind.
3. Yeesookyung: The Seoul-based ceramist is best known for her “Translated Vases,” a gorgeous series of works made by shattering ceramics and patching them back together in new formations using epoxy and gold leaf.
2. Zhao Wou-Ki: Classically trained in calligraphy in China but inspired by Paul Klee, Paul Cézanne, Henri Matisse, and Impressionism, Zhao moved to Paris in 1948. He earned praise and encouragement from the likes of Pablo Picasso and Joan Miró after his first exhibition in France, embarking on a lengthy career that ended with his death at 93 last year.
1. Robert Zhao Renhui: Renhui is one of Singapore’s most famous conceptual artists, better known by many for the fictional Institute of Critical Zoologists that he “founded” and through which he creates his works and exhibitions. His works explore the complex and often-toxic relationship between humans and animals. “The Institute of Critical Zoologists is a place where I can seek a different way to look at animals,” he says. “[It’s] a space in which my concerns can be experimented with, produced and mapped out in a systematic and formal way.”