Asia NOW Preview
Asia NOW opens its 8th edition in a beautiful new location in the Monnaie de Paris. This year’s fair puts a spotlight on ceramics and offers an expansive look at contemporary art across the continent.
Asia NOW opens its 8th edition to the public on October 21st, in a new location at the Monnaie de Paris. This historic setting on the left bank of the city, will also host an exhibition, installations, outdoor projects, performances and conferences in connection with the fair. Asia NOW brings together 88 contemporary galleries, featuring the best emerging and established artists from across Asia and its diaspora, continuing its exploration of the various artistic scenes of West Asia to Southeast Asia across more than forty countries, from Central Asia to the sub-continent via Asia Pacific.
Alexandrea Fain, the founder and director of Asia NOW entrusted the direction this year to Kathy Alliou, Director of the Department of Fine Arts in Paris. The theme of this year’s event is “Feux de Joie” which embraces the ‘fire arts’ such as metalworking and glass, but more particularly with ceramics, which are given a special place in this year’s events. Collaboration and collective acts are underscored in this year’s edition as well, emphasizing the sense of community and collective experience.
The timing for this year’s edition coincides with the inaugural Paris+ fair by Art Basel, putting Paris in the spotlight as a new centre for contemporary art and culture.
In addition to the exhibiting galleries, Asia Now presents a selection of special projects and installations. For Mingei Asia Now, guest-curator Nicolas Tremblay was invited to conceive a ‘carte blanche’ exhibition, in which he pairs ceramics made by twelve contemporary Asian artists including Lee Ufan, Ai Weiwei, Wang Keping and Mai Thu Perret, among others, with historical pieces by unknown Japanese craftsmen. Trembley is interested in exploring the idea of Mingei, a movement that was established in 1925 by Japanese philosopher and aesthete Sōetsu Yanagi and potters Kanjiro Kawai and Shoji Hamada, and is based on the beauty and importance of everyday, ordinary and utilitarian objects. The exhibition shows the connection between past and present and the influence that this movement has had on contemporary makers.
A special exhibition of ceramic amphorae are part of a special project with 91 530 Le Marais, a cross-disciplinary farm that brings artists into the farming process.
Kathy Alliou has also curated a special section for site specific works across the five courtyards of the Monnaie de Paris. The installations work in dialogue with the classical architecture of the building in a natural way, creating new relationships and unexpected connections.
Other special projects include “Gulf Futurism”, an exhibition that presents video art by contemporary female artists from the Gulf region, “Hatch”, with work by English-Singaporean artist Kara Chin, and a fireworks performance by Cai Guo Qiang.
Throughout the 5-day long event, there will be select conferences and discussions including one by the non-profit group Thanks for Nothing that will discuss the issues of artists working in danger for various reasons across Asia and the diaspora. In addition, there will be book releases and special performances through the three-day long event, as well a a host of off-site exhibitions curated in connection with the fair.
Asia NOW is open to the public from October 21st – 23rd, 2022.