Naima Morelli

Archive
Research

Despite a lack of cultural spaces, as well as ongoing political and economic instability, Libyan artists are determined to nurture their diverse arts scene.

I have spoken to a few of these important figures, working from Tripoli, Benghazi or from abroad, for Middle East Eye.

Here is the link to the piece

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It has been a few months now that I have been working on two articles about Libyan contemporary art for the webmagazine Middle East Eye.

The first one of the two just came out. Here we look at the younger talents in the country and in the diaspora, Shefa Salem, Tewa Barnosa, Mohamed Abumeis, Malak El Ghuel and Faiza Ramadan, with the observation from gallerist and expert Najlaa Elageli from Noon Arts.

Here is the link to the piece

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I’m very happy to announce that “This is how it is” the monograph of Malaysian artist Yeoh Choo Kuan, is finally out, published by Richard Koh Fine Art. I have written the book’s texts that translate and interpret the different phases of the artist’s career, and realized interviews that figure as segments in the book.

The book features also a foreword by curator and critic, Louis Ho and was edited by writer Rosa Maria Falvo. It presents a number of images of the artist’s work, from his formative years (2011-2014) to the more recent installations and the iconography of traditional Sinophonic visual culture (2018-2020).

You can find the book at Richard Koh Fine Art

From the first dialogues with the artist and the gallerist back in 2019, to visiting the artist’s studio and getting to know the artist’s environment in January 2020 – right before the start of the pandemic – it has been an incredible journey of discovery. Both in the real world – getting to Kuala Lumpur to see the works in person – and at my working table, through the process of writing.

So, about the writing. To talk about some artworks you necessarily need to excavate deep truths. And Choo Kuan’s monograph was definitely a work where the pen was really attuned to the spirit. What I mean by that? Let me back off a bit and explain where I come from in terms of books.

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The drill is simple, yet it’s one that we can hardly keep in mind. Don’t fool with Mother Nature. And take responsibility for your behaviour towards all species. This is what the pandemic is teaching us, and what Thai artist Ruangsak Anuwatwimon has been speaking about through more than a decade of highly impactful, heartbreaking artworks. 

I have interviewed the artist and the curator Loredana Pazzini-Paracciani for the show Reincarnations III – Ecologies of Life is presently showing at Warin Lab Contemporary, Bangkok. The piece is on Plural Art Mag.

Here is the link to the article

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I went to Cambodia for the first time in 2018, doing Siem Reap, Battambang and Phnom Penh. During my one month research trip I spoke with as many artist, curators, gallerist that I could.

Cambodia and its arts scene operated a deep transformation in my spirit, and I became very fond of the burgeoning art scene there, steadily developing despite the many difficulties.

One of the most deep, articulated conversation that I had during that time was with artist and curator Vuth Lyno. When I visited him at the art space Sa Sa BASSAC in Phnom Penh, I mostly asked him about the art community.

This time, I have interviewed him for Plural Art Mag, about it latest work Sala Samnak at Mirage Contemporary Art Space, Siem Reap.

Here is the link to the interview

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I have been following the Taipei Biennial for three editions now, and I have always found an incredible timeliness of themes, and a great execution.

I have written about the 2020-2021 edition for Plural Art Mag, a cool and energetic new magazine from Singapore that I had the great pleasure to collaborate with.

The article is an interview with the curators of the new edition of the Taipei Biennale, Bruno Latour, Martin Guinard and Eva Lin

Here is the link to the piece

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Among the different research I’m currently conducting around different themes and places in contemporary art, one of the interest trail in Italian colonialism in North Africa.

I have written some pieces about Italian colonialism in Libya, and now I looked at Ethiopia and Eritrea with Eritrean-born artist Dawit L. Petros.

He has focused for over a decade on a critical re-reading of colonialism. His artworks aim for an introspective and textured analysis of the historical factors that determined migrations, and his practice always includes extensive research on the field.

Here is the link to the piece

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The Australian webmagazine Artshub has just published my new piece titled “Why Singapore is the new gateway for the Southeast Asian art scene”

I had a steady collaboration with this amazing platform in the past, which started when I was actually living in Melbourne and carried on throughout the different changes of base.

It was interesting to connect my three years of research on the Singapore contemporary art scene with what I could appreciate last month during the Singapore Art Week.

Of course, my piece is very positive because it’s no mystery that I love Singapore and I have a lot of faith in the way things are developing there.

Here is the link to the article

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How to talk about spiritual matters in a highly secularised, hyper-pragmatic society? This was the question artists exhibiting in the show “Pneuma: Of Spirituality in Contemporary Age” at the Stamford Art Centre in Singapore grappled with during the 2020 Singapore Art Week.

The webmagazine Qantara has just published my piece on the show.

Here is the link to the piece

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The Italian magazine Internazionale has translated and published my article on artists reflection on the responsibilities of Italian colonialism in Libya.

I originally wrote the article for Middle East Eye. It features interviews with filmaker and writer Khalifa Abo Khraisse, artist and videomaker Martina Melilli and multimedia artist Leone Contini.

Here is the pdf version of the piece

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At the beginning of 2019 I realized one of my yearly reportages on contemporary art in Thailand. Among the most interesting artists I have interviewed is Tawatchai Puntusawasdi; our conversation has just been published on CoBo.

Here is the link to the interview

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CoBo has just published my interview with Maline Yim, which I realized some time ago during my Cambodia reportage, adding some reflections based on “The Shadow of Change,” her solo exhibition earlier this year at Richard Koh Fine Art in Singapore.

“Yim lives in a house surrounded by a garden, which the artist personally tends to. The flower and plants are protected from the outside by a wall, representing a boundary that likewise allows safety for a life shaped by her gift for art-making. Here, Yim can be the nurturer—of her plants, her family and her art practice. “

Here is the link to the interview

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