After Darkness reveals the multiple ways that artists from Southeast Asia have renegotiated painful histories.
The first survey of Chinese installation artist Lin Tianmiao at Asia Society, called Bound Unbound, could not have a more fitting title. The artist’s sartorial sculptures, grotesque bodies, and fibrous compositions illustrate an artist bound by cultural convention creating art unbound in technique and concept.
Yoshitomo Nara’s retrospective Nobody’s Fool at Asia Society is what you would get if art museums loosened up and let themselves have some fun. After climbing the institution’s glassy modern stairs, what greets visitors isn’t a succession of white-walled galleries but a mishmash of wood-walled cubbies and tiny chambers that force participants to kneel down and greet Nara’s drawings, paintings and sculptures on their own terms: close to the floor, like a child exploring a new world. And that’s what Nara’s work is all about: a journey through a world influenced by childhood, small emotions writ large and wonder in hidden corners.
Everything that matters happens in an office these days. To survive in today’s world, one can’t help but burn with curiosity about why some rise to the top while others gets stuck at the bottom box of the organizational chart. The Office, Mad Men or The Devil Wears Prada all hit this nerve with verve. But what’s been missing for me is that spunkier imagery and wilder narrative that video art can get away with. Cao Fei fills this void in spades with her 2002 video “Rabid Dogs” on view till Sunday at the Asia Society.