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Art Toronto presents Beyond Geography  |  View in Browser

Art Toronto, Oct 26-29, 2012
Beyond Geography

Art Toronto is pleased to introduce Focus ASIA, an initiative designed to introduce collectors to the dynamic contemporary art practice of the world’s largest continent. Focus ASIA is an invitational section of 13 contemporary galleries from 7 countries as well as a related curated project by the South Asian Visual Arts Centre (SAVAC) and an engaging program of panel discussions and keynote presentations by leading art professionals from the international art community. This year’s feature project, Beyond Geography, is a thought-provoking exhibition of video work and installations that asks: What kind of art do audiences expect to be produced by a diverse group of artists who happen to have lived in Asia or are of Asian descent? When looking at specific materials used by these artists, is one more or less inclined to support or change our perceptions of ‘Asia’?

Curated by Shengtian Zheng and Katherine Don, the Focus ASIA highlight exhibition Beyond Geography presents mixed media and video installations, including The Village and Elsewhere series by Araya Rasdjarmrearnsook, 'Writing in the Rain' by FX Harsono, 'Cheng Zhang De Fan Nao' by Rutherford Chang,'One by One' by Kan Xuan, 'War of Java, Do You Remember?' by Jompet Kuswidananto, Ons Aller Belang by Tromarama, 'Beyond Geography' by Li Ran, the monumental work on paper Untitled 2008-2011(Map of the Land of Feeling) by Rirkrit Tiravanija, engraved Surfboard series by Tomas Vu, Anonymity lightbox series by Poklong Anading, the book of yellow by Sarindar Dhaliwal, Cloudscape fiber sculptures by Xiaojing Yan and Aaron Taylor Kuffner’s fully robotic Indonesian drum orchestra, The Gamelatron.

As the presenting sponsor of Focus ASIA, Yishu Journal of Contemporary Chinese Art will feature a series of 50 interviews with contemporary Chinese artists who have graced the cover of the publication from 2002 to 2012. Yishu Interviews marks the 10-year anniversary of the Vancouver/Taipei-based arts journal. A selection of these interviews will be launched at Art Toronto 2012 and will be accessible online at Yishu Interviews is produced by Shengtian Zheng, Don Li-Leger, Debra Zhou and Lin Li.


Header image: FX Harsono. Courtesy of Tyler Rollins Fine Art - New York, USA

Talks & Tours

No More Westerns:
How are artists creating art for consumption?
Friday, October 26, 1PM

Shengtian Zheng, Independent curator and scholar, currently Managing Editor of Yishu Journal of Contemporary Chinese Art, and Katherine Don, Founder of Red Box Studio, Beijing will discuss how the access to Western culture and new media in Asia is undoubtedly a great influencer of change for contemporary art being produced in Asia today. Set against the backdrop of different cultural contexts, as well as within evolving art industries, how are artists adapting to these shifts in global perspective? Is the production of contemporary art a reflection of society in Asia today?


Organized by The Power Plant Contemporary Art Gallery
Philip Tinari: Museums for China
Friday, 26 October, 6PM

Philip Tinari is Director of the Ullens Center for Contemporary Art in Beijing, an independent museum with an annual viewership of over half a million visitors. He is also founding editor of LEAP, the international art magazine of contemporary China. Tinari is a contributing editor to Artforum and adjunct professor in the College of Humanities at the Central Academy of Fine Arts, Beijing. He was previously China advisor to Art Basel and academic consultant to the Chinese contemporary art department at Sotheby’s. He has written and lectured widely on contemporary art in China. He holds an MA in East Asian studies from Harvard University, a BA from the Literature Program at Duke University and was Fulbright fellow at Peking University. Tinari’s talk will discuss the proliferation of museums throughout China and ask who these institutions will serve, and to what end. He will reflect on the distinct challenges and opportunities of presenting contemporary art to a Chinese public.

* Power Talks tickets can also be purchased in advance at, from the Harbourfront Centre Box Office (416.973.4000) or at the door. Doors open 15 minutes before the start of each lecture and seating is limited.


Institutions for the Future:
Are Asian institutions stifling artistic creativity?
Saturday, October 27, 1PM

Artistic practice in Asia is challenged by evolving standards or lack of precedence within institutions. In a sense, it has been taken out of the hands of artists who are now forced to adhere to the protocol and rules of what is a huge, largely consumerist art industry. Keith Wallace, Editor-in-Chief of Yishu Journal; Biljana Ciric, Independent Curator, Shanghai; Haema Sivanesan, Executive Director, Centre A, Vancouver, and Birgit Zimmermann, Director, Galerie Zimmermann Kratochwill, Graz and Manila will look at how the different histories and existing art infrastructures vary between China, Vietnam, the Philippines, Indonesia, Malaysia, Singapore and India, as well as discuss how artists are strategizing to regain control of their destinies.


Saturday, October 26-29, 3PM Daily

Join Katherine Don, Co-Curator of Art Toronto’s special feature Focus ASIA for a tour of its participating established and emerging galleries and the related curated exhibition Beyond Geography. From photography to painting, sculpture, video and multi-media installation, you’ll experience a diverse view of the Asian art scene through work from China, Taiwan, Japan, Korea, India, Indonesia, the Philippines and Southeast Asia

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