CFCCA Curating China conference

Despite the downpour, the trip to Manchester to attend the CFCCA conference on curating china, was highly rewarding. In fact, I wasn’t at all surprised to see that it’s a sold-out event. This is the first time I visited CFCCA after their rebranding campaign. I’m not sure if I like the branding colour (yellow) much,…

Musings on the BP Portrait Award 2013: Carl Randall

Among the exhibits this year, what touches me most is the set of commissioned work by Carl Randall, featuring modern life in Japan. Having spent years in Japan, his paintings of Japanese city workers are marked by keenness of observation and his authentic interpretation of Asian lifestyle. Frequently using flattened images and creating crowds out…

Thoughts on Taylor Wessing portraits: framing the everyday

Among this year’s Taylor Wessing photography prize shortlisted entries, the portraits that draw me most are those that frame and articulate the offguarded moments of people, revealing the poetic quality in off-stage, everyday rituals. James Russell Cant’s picture Heather and Her Friends captures a candid moment of teenagers fascinated by online contents: the hypnotised looks…

power of making at V and A: craftsmanship and imagination

V&A’s latest show The Power of Making is a thoughtful showcase of modern craftsmanship and its relationship with imagination. While the theme is nothing new, I’m struck by the choice of objects in this collection. From gigantic wool knit, a gorilla made of metallic coat hangers, bio-degradable coffins to spray-on fashion, the objects question the…

Yohji Yamamoto

I went to see Yohji Yamamoto‘s current show at the V&A, his first UK solo exhibition. There in a room of white light, you see the sheer simplicity of clean lines and shades of red, black and white, whispering fashion. It isn’t the size that undermines the exhibition but rather the want of a compelling narrative….

The candid work of Japanese artist and printmaker Emiko Aida

I came across Emiko Aida‘s art prints first at the International Art Fair this year in Royal College of Art, and later at the art print specialist shop For Art’s Sake in Ealing. A 60x40cm aquatint art print called Reverie in the Rain caught my attention. A girl is asleep, in the background a verdant…

A poem for Gabriel Orozco: the global artist

My hands are my heart or my heart is my hand hiding the fingers in the soft of my palm. You cannot read the lines on my palms, but feel the strength in my arms. I am the clay man with strong muscles sitting in front of a kitchen table in New York, in Mexico, in Paris….

West kowloon arts hub in Hong Kong part 1

Graham Sheffield, former artistic chief of Barbican Centre in London has decided to quit his role as CEO of Hong Kong’s HK$21.6 billion (£1.8 billion) West Kowloon arts hub project after five months. He has resigned due to health reasons, although many think that there must be more that triggered his abrupt decision to leave….

Taylor Wessing Photographic Prize

On days when I work in the art gallery office, I like to prop the Taylor Wessing Photographic Prize postcard on my desk near the computer screen. Wafa by Felix Carprio, the portrait of the young Muslim woman fascinates me, with her embroidered green headpiece and her demure, timeless and placid smile. Another gripping image…