Jakarta’s Museum MACAN (Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art in Nusantara) presents “Somewhere, Elsewhere, Nowhere,” a major survey exhibition of Filipino artist duo Isabel and Alfredo Aquilizan (b. 1965 and 1962), through October 8. The show features large-scale installations, sculptures, and drawings from the artists’ 20-year careers, as well as their new works.
Isabel Aquilizan and Alfredo Aquilizan are husband and wife and artistic partners. The duo first made a name for themselves in the late 1990s and early 2000s, when contemporary art was just beginning to emerge in the Philippines. Since then, they have gained international recognition for their work that explores the impact of migration and travel on personal identity and the private sphere of the home.
Their use of everyday objects as materials is distinctive. Trivial objects such as cardboard, slippers, toothbrushes, and blankets are used in their works to evoke issues of personal identity, history, travel, and migration. Many of the works are created in workshops with local residents or in collaboration with local artisans.
“See Me, See You: Early Video Installation of Southeast Asia” in the National Gallery Singapore is a video art exhibition consisting of two parts that end in February next year. The exhibition highlights and reenacts key moments in the early emergence of video installation art.
In the 1980s and 1990s, artists attempted to combine video with traditional art genres such as installation, performance, and participatory art. This trend began in the West in the 1960s, and Asian artists were influenced by it while also experimenting with their own.
The exhibition is divided into two parts, showcasing the work of 10 Southeast Asian artists. Part 1 features Apinan Poshyananda (Thailand), Baharudin Mohd Arus (Malaysia), Chng Nai Wee (Singapore), Johnny Manahan (Philippines), and Jean Marie Syjuco (Philippines) through September 17. Part 2 features Heri Dono (Indonesia), Hasnul Saidon (Malaysia), Ray Langenbach (Malaysia), Vincent Leow (Singapore), and Krisna Murti (Indonesia) from October 13 to February 4 next year.
The National Art Center, Tokyo (NACT) presents “Ramble in the Cosmos-From Primeval Fireball Onward,” a solo exhibition by Chinese contemporary artist Cai Guo-Qiang (b. 1957), through August 21.
Cai Guo-Qiang is internationally known for his paintings, installations, and events using gunpowder. He developed his gunpowder technique while staying in Japan from 1986 to 1995. Since then, his works with gunpowder have expressed the infinity of the universe from a perspective that combines astrophysics and ancient Eastern philosophy.
In 1991, the artist held a solo exhibition, “Primeval Fireball: The Project for Projects,” in Tokyo, which became a milestone for the artist. After 30 years, the show in NACT reintroduces the main works from the past exhibition and presents the artistic trajectory he has developed for the past 30 years. Archives, documentaries, and the artist’s writings are also featured to trace the journey.