Naima Morelli

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Tag "primo marella"

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Ruben Pang

“Wait! Is it allowed to talk about incest on the Singapore metro?” I abruptly asked with an alarmed note in my voice to the scrawny guy in front of me, holding onto the bar of the red line. I looked for a reaction in the faces of the people on the metro. Nothing. Someone told me that Singaporeans don’t complain to your face. In their heads though, they had probably already labelled me as a loud-speaking Italian as soon as I opened my mouth.

“We can talk about whatever we want!” replied Ruben Pang in a stubborn tone which implied than yes, it was not advisable to talk about incest on the Singapore metro, but rules didn’t apply to us free-thinkers.

Ah, the fleeting camaraderie you establish for a few hours with some of the artists you interview! I really liked Ruben Pang, but I was wary. In three hours, he had already told me three times that he is a person who gets easily bored. The thing with these ultra-nice people is that they never say what they truly want. They endure boredom, endure struggles, and they act as if everything is fine. On top of that, Ruben also declared to passionately admire the stoics, especially Seneca. He finds their endurance in the face of sufferings and the fact they never complain, totally badass.

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indopoppainting


Indo Pop Painting draws influences from comics and graffiti. In this essay for the Hong Kong-based webmagazine CoBo I analyze a style that goes beyond a simple market trend. From the “fathers” of the style, such as Eddie Hara, Heri Dono and Agung Kurniawan, to the “older brothers” Uji ‘Hahan’ Handoko and Eko Nugroho, and the plethora of younger 20-something artists, Indo Pop is here to stay.

Here is the link to the article

 

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FahranSiki

A few months ago I met Indonesian artist Farhan Siki for his show “Trace” at Banca Generali, in Milan. We spoke about the exhibition and his approach to art. Hong-Kong magazine CoBo has just published the interview, along with a short video of part of our conversation.

Here is the link to the piece + video

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book
I’m a big fan of reading how writers organize their research and how they put their books together. I figured it would be interesting to detail the way I’m working at my new book on young artists in Singapore. In this post I’ll walk you through the first few stages from the preliminary research to the first draft.

First phase: preliminary research.  I read articles about Singapore art scene and books on Singapore urbanism, political and economical situation. I interviewed Lee Wen when he was in Rome, I met up with Italian artists who went to Singapore on a residency, and talked to a couple of Singaporean curators visiting Italy, included Paul Khoo. I stayed two weeks in Paris for the Singapour en France event, composed by the Paris Art Fair and the exhibition “Secret Archipelago”. In both case I interviewed artists, curators and gallery owners. Back home, I talked with via skype to other Singaporean artists, mainly for magazine articles. Finally, I went to Milan to visit the exhibition “Bright S’pore” at Primo Marella gallery and saw some works in person.

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RZR014
Some time ago a friend of mine – Bietolone we will call him – told me that he was waiting at the clinic of venereal diseases in London (a banal candida, he quickly added). In the waiting room a tall slim bombshell from Russia struck up a conversation. She said she was sick of London and she wanted to move elsewhere. Like, in that very moment. She explained she was a sculptor, and England was no place to live for an artist anymore. When he heard that Bietolone gulped. He notoriously had a soft spot for artists. He would have already asked her out if only they wouldn’t have met at the clinic of venereal diseases.

She proclaimed that the future for the arts was in Asia, and she had already picked a city to live: Singapore. She threw her blonde hair behind her shoulders and asked Bietolone in a heavily accented English: “Do you want to come with me?”
“Let me think about it” he replied seriously.
She scribbled her number on a piece of paper, gave it to him and disappeared in the stairwell before even getting her diagnosis.

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shixinning

The Italian magazine Art a Part of Cult(ure) has just published my review of Shi Xinning’s exhibition “Idea or Event” at Primo Marella Gallery, Milan.

Here the link to the review

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oky1

I came to know about the young Indonesian artist Oky Rey Montha from his solo show at Primo Marella Gallery in Milan and I’ll end up interviewing him for my book on contemporary art in Indonesia.

He seems to be the kinky and eccentric kink of artist that loves to get lost in his imagination.
With a dark, tim burtonian look and emo hair and makeup he’s directly out from one of his paintings.
His work reminds me of the pop-surrealism trend and is inspired by comics. Asian market sought this kind of paintings; at the same time Oky himself seems not to care too much about the market.
I look at him as a symbol of his generation that isn’t bother anymore with tradition and Wayang Puppets, but it’s more into pop and fantasy realms.
At the same time he knows how to take advantages of the web and he’s launching is own clothes collection called “Piratez” on facebook and on the blogosphere. He’s also an indie musician and loves to make drum performances during the exhibition openings.

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