STPI – Creative Workshop & Gallery is Singapore’s national contemporary art museum founded in 2002, which holds exhibitions, provides technical support to artists, and organizes creative workshops. Through June 4, STPI presents “We Don’t Recognize What We Don’t See,” curated by Hans Ulrich Obrist (b. 1968) and featuring Rirkrit Tiravanija (b. 1961).
Tiravanija is a Thai contemporary artist who gained international recognition in 1990 for his New York exhibition where he cooked and served food for audiences. Over the past decade, Tiravanija’s work has addressed the diversity of life on Earth, their extinctions, and the devastating impact of human civilization on ecosystems. In terms of technique, he has participated in three residencies at STPI since 2014, developing his work with thermochromic inks and 3D printing technologies.
In this exhibition, the artist criticizes the history of humans being blind and disregarding the crisis of animal disappearance. In his new series ‘Extinction,’ he brought the paintings by old masters and erased all traces of life. He then printed extinct or endangered animal species in a way only visible by shining ultraviolet light on them.
The National Gallery of Victoria (NGV) in Melbourne presents Broken Spectre (2022) through October, a documentary film by Richar Mosse (b. 1980). The film was shot in the Amazon Basin between 2018 and 2022. The film premiered at the NGV and is now screening in NGV and London.
Presented across an immersive 20-meter widescreen panorama, the film addresses the ongoing deforestation of the Amazon rainforest. It utilizes three different filming techniques to deal with the multiple narratives of the environmental crisis. Microscopic images reveal the Amazon’s ecosystems scientifically, while satellite imagery using multispectral sensitivity cameras provides an aerial map of the contrast between the degraded land and pristine nature.
The black-and-white cinematic images reveal conflicting human forces: the raids of illegal gold miners, the struggle for survival by indigenous Amazonians, and Brazilian cowboys who set fire to their land as the international livestock and leather businesses wanted. These black-and-white images resemble Western movies about natural destruction and human conflicts. The destruction that is happening feels like fiction, skewering our numbness to the problem.
UCCA Center for Contemporary Art in Beijing presents “Who is He? A Geng Jianyi Retrospective” through June 11. China’s contemporary art history is said to have begun with the ’85 New Wave’ movement in 1985. Geng Jianyi (1962-2017) was a representative figure of the new generation after the New Wave, especially in Chinese conceptual art. The exhibition presents archives to suggest the artist’s place in Chinese art history.
The artist began his practice with paintings but gradually expanded to other mediums such as ready-made installations, photography, performance, and video. As a conceptual artist, he tackled the essential question of the meaning of art and attempted to see everyday objects and phenomena from a different perspective.
Geng is best known for using photosensitive paper to blur the outlines of portraits. The faces printed on the photosensitive paper are not distinct, revealing a relationship that the artist was interested in: the dissolution and marginalization of the individual within the collective. Featuring 90 works spanning the artist’s career, who passed away in 2017, the retrospective was first held at the Power Station of Art in Shanghai until February this year before arriving in Beijing in March.