Naima Morelli

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loredanaMAAIAM

CoBo Social has just published my new article where I discuss the show DIASPORA Exit, Exile, Exodus at MAIIAM in Chiang Mai with the curator Loredana Pazzini-Paracciani, as well as the importance of tackling geopolitical change in Southeast Asia from a variety of angles.

Here is the link to the piece

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stilness3
Back with some updates from my life. There is noting better than a warm, sleepy Saturday morning without super-urgent deadlines for articles, to stop for a second and ponder and reflect on the amazing ride I have been on since the beginning of the year. Basically, a moment of quiet to park the horse and smell the roses. I feel this is somewhat necessary to have a clearer picture of my narrative, because of course it’s a story, but we humans need to make sense of things, and it’s fun, and my heart longs for it! I feel that when I’m talking with friends I tend to focus on the problems, maybe because I have identify them as the alley to let it all out. But my public writing, whether for these occasional rants or even in my articles, is really the place where I feel compelled to look at beauty, while not shying away from complexity. I feel it’s my wiser self talking, and I’m happy to get raw and vulnerable. Well, most of the times!

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stievselapak

Little by little parts of my Cambodia research/reportage are coming out in the press: here is a piece on the Phnom Penh-based supergroup Stiev Selapak which has just been published on the Singapore-based art magazine Art Republik. Can’t wait to have the physical copy in my hands!

Here is the link to the article

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1

I love the end of the year so much. Looking back and taking stock of what worked and what didn’t, because acknowledging that even what apparently didn’t worked is the seed for something even bigger to happen. And also, recognizing that nothing is ever wasted, and everything will converge eventually, because it’s all you, all one person is one universe following his own personal trail of crumbs.

In the past few months I haven’t posted on the blog my regular rants/reflections on my journey through life. This is because I realized that instead of being focused on the present and what was at hand, I was rehearsing the “narrative of my life” a little too often. Too much of looking back and planning ahead, instead of sitting down, spot the priorities and get down to them. Which resulted a dispersive mindset and lazy habits. And now that is the right time to reflect, look back and appreciate, it just feels so much better. A few lessons have unfolded. And while of course everything is unfolding all the time, I feel that right now I can see a motif appearing, whereas in the past few months it was more the phase where everything was colliding before taking a recognizable form.

Enough with vagueness! Let’s get down to the specifics; one thing I learned this is that when you ask your friends for feedback in a particular area of your life they know you well for, they will always tell you that “in the past you were so much better at this.” Of course you know that this is not true. There were movements where you showed up with your higher self in that sector. One particularly focused training session, a period where you were really pushing with work, another week where you realized a set of very good comic book pages. Growth is never even. You’ll have moments where you are quietly learning in some areas and it doesn’t show, and moments where it finally come up. It’s a gift to have friends to keep you in check, but most importantly you have to regularly practice, day in day out.

On the edge of 2017 I can see how all the expressions of my being are starting to come together, and hopefully in 2018 they will find a way to coexist harmoniously as an even flow. Ok, let’s be more specific. I guess I’ll start by looking at the year through the lens of my different practices.

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collectingcambodia

Art Republik Issue 17 is just out. You will find there my article on collectorship in Cambodia, where I have interviewed curator Reaksmey Yean, dancer and collector Sophiline Cheam Shapiro and artist Sophal Neak, discussing the concept on building an art collection in a country where the art infrastructure is still absent.

Here is the link to the pdf version of the piece

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Bureaucracy

CoBo has just published my new piece titled “5  Singaporean artists working with the theme of Bureaucracy”. Researching the Singaporean art system and the artists’ practice, I noticed the emergence of this set of preoccupations with organisation, repetition, boredom, archiving, censorship, procedures, rules – which definitely dismantles the romantic idea of the artist as we conceived it. Bureaucracy is so pervasive in society such as the Singaporean one, that becomes not only a conditio sine qua non for art to be happening, but also a subject in itself to reflect on.  This article features artists Jack Tan, Terry Wee, Zihan Loo, Lim Tzay-Chuen and Lai Yu Tong.

Here is the link to the piece

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artbars

Art bars and restaurants come in all shapes and sizes; you can go from contemplating art integrated with the café design, to walking into a conceptual artwork. For CoBo Social I looked at some of the most interesting bars and restaurant around the world founded and operated by artists.

Here’s the link to the piece

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Australiana

D_Railed magazine has just published my new article called  “A New Book On Australian Contemporary Art Foregrounds Questions About Diversity” – the article is based on the polemics about the lack of diversity in the image of Australian art, ensued after the publication of a new book entitled Australiana to Zeitgeist: An A-Z of Australian Contemporary Art (2017). But is Australian contemporary art as white as it seems? And how is it perceived abroad? I address these question in the piece talking with artist Tony Albert, curator Natalie King and Sophia Cai, and of course Melissa Loughnan, the author of the book.

Speaking of books – this is my latest article submitted for July, as I’m devoting August to finish my own book on Singapore Contemporary Art. Since the first of August I have been diving deep into it, getting into a hyper-focused state whether I’m travelling on noisy Neapolitan trains, sitting in quiet Sorrentinian cafès in the garden, in waiting rooms, libraries or at my kitchen table at home. This is an important lesson I have learned from my friend Giovanna – you don’t need to wait the perfect conditions to do the work – just get concentrated, wherever you are. Soon I’ll probably write a post about my new mind state and routine, but for now…

Here is the link to the D_Railed article

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feminismindonesia

My fourth piece for Culture360 – the webmagazine of the Asia-Europe Foundation – has just been published. It’s always a joy to see my words out there, also because I get to write about two of my favourite subjects: feminism and Indonesian contemporary art.

For this piece called “Feminism and women artists in Indonesian Contemporary Art” I have interviewed the amazing researcher Wulan Dirgantoro, art historian Farah Wardani and artist Samantha Tio (Mintio).

Here is the link to the piece

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supernatural2

For the Hong Kong webmagazine and collectors’ platform CoBo I usually write about Indonesian and Singaporean artists, and the dynamics of their art systems. It goes without saying that the two art environments are highly connected. Sometimes an event or a show happens which remixes the way the two art systems interact, and that’s precisely what happened with the Super/Natural show in Yogyakarta, by Gajah Gallery.

In this piece I look at this pioneering operation, talking with the gallerist Jasdeep Sandhu and the two curators, trying to ponder what this show meant, and if it can have a legacy for the evolution of both the Singaporean and the Indonesian art systems.

Here’s the link to the piece

 

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cambodiaspaces
In freelance writing there is a time to sow and a time to harvest. In the past couple of months I have written a few articles that have been published all in these last few days. It always a joy to see my words in print, so if you are around Singapore grab a copy of this month’s Art Republik.

You will find a piece on two very interesting art spaces in Phnom Penh, with my interviews to the fantastic Meta Moeng and Erin Gleeson, who are both greatly contributing in animating the local art scene.

Here’s the link to the pdf version of the piece

 

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pich

Cambodian artist Sopheap Pich is part of the show “Viva Arte Viva” by Christine Macel at the Venice Biennale. In this piece for CoBo – part of my report on this year’s Venice Biennale retrace the artistic vision of Pich to better understand how to look at his work in this international avenue.

Here’s the link to the piece

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