• News
  • Mar 08, 2024

Weekly News Roundup: March 8, 2024

SHU LEA CHEANG, UKI, 2023. Digital color video with color and sound: 80 min. Courtesy the artist and LG Guggenheim Art and Technology Initiative. 

Shu Lea Cheang Wins LG Guggenheim Award  

On March 4, the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum and South Korea’s multinational conglomerate LG named artist and filmmaker Shu Lea Cheang as the 2024 LG Guggenheim Award recipient. The artist will receive an unrestricted prize of USD 100,000. Cheang is the second recipient of the award launched by the LG Guggenheim Art and Technology Initiative, a five-year collaboration designed to research, honor, and promote artists working with technology. Cheang’s career spans four decades and has engaged with emerging technologies since the 1990s, during the advent of the internet. She explores themes of science fiction, queer aesthetics, and community building through her use of code, gaming engines, software design, hacking strategies along with traditional mediums like installations, film, and performance. The 2024 LG Guggenheim Award ceremony is sponsored by LG Display and will be held on April 2 at the Guggenheim Museum’s 2024 YCC Party in New York. 

Portrait of MINEO MIZUNO. Courtesy Huntington Library, California. 

Mineo Mizuno Sculptural Commission For Huntington Library

The Huntington Library, Art Museum, and Botanical Gardens in San Marino, California announced its commission of a site-specific sculpture titled Homage to Nature (2024) by Japanese-American artist Mineo Mizuno. The monumental work (approximately 5 by 3 by 4 meters) will be situated in the north of the Munger Research Center, in an area named the Stroll Garden. Homage to Nature explores the fragility of the Earth’s ecosystem, specifically, the destruction of forests and its potential for regeneration. The latter component will be expressed with a “fire landscape” planted to the south of the sculpture, to mimic new growth that occurs naturally after a fire. Homage to Nature is the final installment in a series of works by the artist currently on view at the Huntington, including Komorebi – light of forest (2022), Thousand Blossoms (2020), Nest (2022) and Teardrop with Calligraphy “Zero” (2010). Homage to Nature will be unveiled on May 25, 2024, and will remain on view for five years.

(From top to bottom, left to right) Portrait of HAEJU KIM, ASLI SEVEN, FANG YEN-HSAING, ANNE DAVIDIAN, and MERV ESPINA. Courtesy Asian Art Biennial.

Asian Art Biennial Announces Curators  

*updated on March 19, 2024

The National Taiwan Museum of Fine Arts in Taichung, organizer of the 2024 Asian Art Biennial, announced its curatorial team on March 7. Led by independent Taiwanese curator and art critic Fang Yen-Hsiang, the team includes Manila-based curator Merv Espina, Istanbul- and Paris-based Asli Seven, Anne Davidian from Armenia (and co-curator at the Armenian pavilion of the Venice Biennale 2022), and Singapore-based Haeju Kim, who the curator of the Singapore Pavilion at this year’s Venice Biennale. In the press conference, Fang said that they “hope to develop the biennial through collective discourse, to reconstruct the understanding of Asian art by breaking through racial, political and geographical boundaries in this international team.” Suspended last year due to the pandemic, the Asian Art Biennial will open on November 16 at the National Taiwan Museum of Fine Arts, in Taichung, and runs until February 28 next year. 

Installation view of LORETTA PETTWAY’s Log Cabin, 1980, cotton and cotton-polyester blend. Courtesy Lorenzo Legarda Leviste. 

Collectors Withdrew Artworks From Barbican Exhibition

The Barbican Centre in London removed two quilted artworks from the ongoing exhibition “Unravel: the Power and Politics of Textiles in Art” after collectors Lorenzo Legarda Leviste and husband Fahad Mayet requested their withdrawal. The institution had recently cancelled a discussion slated for February on the Israel-Hamas war led by Indian essayist Pankaj Mishra, a move Leviste deemed “disturbing and alarming” and a “blatant act of repression.” In the place of the removed works—two quilts by Alabama-born artist Lorettta Pettway—the Barbican installed signs that read: “These two works have been withdrawn at the request of the lenders, as an act of solidarity with Palestine, in response to the Barbican’s decision to not host the London Review of Books (LRB) Winter Lecture Series.” Chief executive Claire Spencer claimed there was not enough time for the institution to properly prepare for the contentious discussion, but that there was “no intention to censor the speaker involved.”  

Interior of the Hirshhorn Museum in Washington, DC. Courtesy Hirshhorn Museum. 

Hirshhorn Museum Expands Collection  

On March 6, the Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden in Washington, DC, announced its acquisition of 141 photographs by 20 Chinese artists made between 1993 and 2006. The artworks were a gift from New York-based collector and publisher Larry Warsh and include coveted avant-garde photographs by artists such as Cui Xiuwen, Rong Rong, Song Dong, Zhang Huan, and Zhang Peili. Hirshhorn director Melissa Chiu stated: “The breadth of his gift of experimental photography is unprecedented in the Hirshhorn’s almost 50-year history.” The institution first unveiled Warsh’s gift in the large-scale exhibition “A Window Suddenly Opens: Contemporary Photography in China,” which had opened in November 2023 and ended on January 7. All 141 artworks will now become part of the Hirshhorn Collection, expanding its impressive repertoire of works from the 19th century onward.

Exterior of the Busan Museum of Contemporary Art. Courtesy Busan Biennale. 

The Upcoming Busan Biennale to Open in August 

The Busan Biennale, one of Korea’s two leading mega-exhibitions, announced that it will open in August 2024, one month earlier than in past editions. According to the Biennale’s Organizing Committee, the change in dates aims to take advantage of seasonal tourism in Busan, a southeastern port city that is considered South Korea’s “summer capital.” Inspired by pirates’ historically anarchist societies and the Korean Buddhist concept of Doryang, the 12th edition is themed “Seeing in the Dark” and led by co-artistic directors Vera Mey, an independent curator born in New Zealand, and Phillippe Pirotte, a Belgian art history professor, writer, and critic. Slated to run from August 17 to October 20, 2024, the Biennale will take place across multiple venues, including the Busan Museum of Contemporary Art and the city’s Modern and Contemporary History Museum. 

Subscribe to ArtAsiaPacific’s free weekly newsletter with all the latest news, reviews, and perspectives, directly to your inbox each Monday.