Naima Morelli

While I’m recovering from a very intense and rewarding Singapore art week, an article very dear to my heart has just been published on ArtAsiaPacific’s latest Almanac.

It’s an interview with Burmese artists Nge Lay and Aung Ko about the latest developments in Yangon when both artists were still living there. There is a snippet of the piece online, but you can read in full on the paper edition of the magazine.

Here is the link to the piece online

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My article about female/feminist literature in Libya was published – in its Dutch translation – on the 214 December issue of the magazine 360.

Here is the link to the piece online

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“My works stem from personal experiences so naturally whatever’s around me would seep into my works,” says leading Thai artist Pinaree Sanpitak, who I have recently interviewed for Culture360.

With a deep knowledge of materials, as well as a strong conceptual vision, her artworks address motherhood, womanhood, and a deep investigation of the self – often with references to her native Thai culture.

Here is the link to the interview

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A gallery display featuring several small art works hung in a row, which appear to show variations of an image of Christ

My second piece for the Financial Times looks into three independent art spaces in Singapore.

The article is for a special supplement focused on Southeast Asian art, coming out in conjunction with the Singapore Art Week.

Here is the link to the piece

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The Financial Times has just published two articles of mine on a special supplement focused on Southeast Asian art, coming out in conjunction with the Singapore Art Week.

In this first piece I highlight the presence of Mynmar art at the art fairs in Singapore this January. It’s part of my ongoing investigation on Myanmar art within the current complicated political scenario of the country

Here is the link to the piece

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The third edition of Ramallah Art Fair at Zawyeh Gallery in Ramallah [Instagram/ramallah_artfair]

The first article published this year is about the third edition of an atypical but important art fair that takes place in Ramallah, Palestine.

It’s the second year that I follow tis partly physical partly virtual art fair, and this time I spoke with the fair’s director for Middle East Monitor.

Here is the link to the piece

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How to define this year? I’d say, the first six months were spent living to the fullest, going deep into feeling and emotions, both positive and negative. The second half of the year was spent working blissfully, in alignment, building on the life force that was experienced in the first part of the year. 

With living through so much heightened emotion, my heart was never empty. That included some very tough moments, which taught me that beauty is always the cure. In the hardest moments, when you are called to rise up to the occasion, keep carrying on, emboding a stoicism of sorts, you can still look up and notice how the sky and the earth looked like their were painted by El Greco. An yes, we might not measure up to the challenge – not immediately. We might still feel the urge to run away and not endure it. Not to sacrifice oneself – which in the Latin root of the word means “make sacred”. But we can still do our best to keep practicing what’s right.

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The Italian weekly magazine Internazionale has published my piece “Gli artisti resistono in esilio”, on the Burmese artists working in exile. Once again, I’m humbled and honoured to get the chance to be a vehicle for the voices of Burmese artists, and testify their incredible strenght and resilience.

Here is the link to the piece online

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My series on the behind-the-scenes of arts writers’ lives for Plural Art Mag continues with a conversation with Kim Tay.

Tay is a long-standing founding member and Gallery Director of The Artling, an online gallery, art consulting firm, and web magazine.

Here is the link to the piece

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Bashar Alhroub [Zawyeh gallery]

The new Dubai show of Ramallah-based artist Bashar Alhroub looks at his native city Jerusalem as a place with multiple identities. “When you are in Jerusalem,” Alhroub told me, “you never feel you are in one single place. You never feel that the city is belonging to anyone, although everyone claims it as theirs.”

The artist’s new show opened on 14 November at Zawyeh Gallery in Dubai, and last until 5 January. Called “Tracing Boundaries”, the artist focuses on Jerusalem as a religious symbol, while also looking at it as a subject of pop culture. He traces the boundaries between holiness and material culture and invites the visitor to observe a fine line between spirituality and commercial clutter.

I have interviewed the artist for Middle East Monitor

Here is the link to the piece

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We have read over and over again about the routines of our favourite artists, what time they wake up, and how much time they spend thinking about their art compared to creating works. We have seen pictures of hidden corners in their studios and learnt about their favourite brand of oil paints and their go-to factories to realise installations. 

The same goes for curators. We might know the books and theories they reference, and we have become familiar with what drives art collectors. But what is definitely less explored are the joys and sorrows of being an arts writer.

That’s why here at Plural we decided to start a series where we speak with some of the most eloquent arts and culture editors from the region to explore the behind-the-scenes of being a writer.

We kick off the series with Chloe Chu, former Managing Editor at one of the most respected publications in the region and beyond: ArtAsiaPacific (AAP).

Here is the link to the piece

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I have written about Indonesian emerging artist Victoria Kosasie – whose work I discovered thanks to the Bandung Contemporary Art Awards – for the November/December issue of ArtAsiaPacific.

Undoubtedly one of the most important magazines about contemporary art in Asia, writing for ArtAsiaPacific has always been a goal of mine since starting researching Southeast Asia more than 10 years ago. This is my second piece for them.

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