Naima Morelli

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I have written a new article on Ming Wong’s project Wayang Spaceship at the Singapore Art Museum for the Singapore Art week Plural Art Magazine.

The work blends traditional performances and science fiction, associating found photographs of Wayang actors from Singapore and Malaysia from the 1950s-70s to illustrations of Soviet space exploration and science fiction from the same period. Wong also added layers of Chinese brush paintings and dichroic film that change colour at different angles.

Here is the link to the piece

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My interview with Vietnamese artist Trần Trọng Vũ has just been published on ArtAsiaPacific’s website.

I met the artist for his big show at A2Z gallery in Paris last October, and we did the interview half in French, half in English! Phew! It was fun, and the artist was extremely generous and kind – his work, ça va sans dire, is incredible!

Some of you know that my next cohesive research will be in Vietnam. I will spend one month there, most likely next year, so this interview adds a big piece to my understanding of art coming from the country!

Here is the link to the interview

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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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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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Artist and curator Alia Zaal

Responding to Impressionism, UAE artist Alia Zaal studied the natural landscapes of Vétheuil, Abu Dhabi and Dubai, both in their natural and artificial ecosystems, finding connections between her own UAE landscape and the impressionist one. The artist reimagines familiar scenes of the sea, the desert and the city lit by the sun, the moon and street lights.

I have interviewed Alia Zaal for Middle East Monitor.

Here is the link to the piece

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There is but one truth spoken in many different languages. This belief lies at the core of Indonesian artist Eddy Susanto’s practice. With his artworks that examine the cultures of Europe and Java, he signals to us that while the forms, protagonists and settings of each culture’s mythologies differ, they ultimately convey similar fundamental truths about humanity. 

Over the years, Eddy Susanto has reframed how the East and West meet. The Jakarta-born, Yogyakarta-based artist is on a mission to uncover the culture and seminal texts which are the patrimony of the Javanese. However, some of these have been forgotten over time, due to reasons such as the limits of oral transmission, the impact of colonialism and, later on, mass culture.

I have written about Eddy Susanto’s show I have curated in Venice for Plural Art Mag.

Here is the link to the piece

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Cambodian artist Pen Robit’s work constantly bounces between figuration and abstraction. In the unpredictability of his style and subjects, he shows a willingness to explore and expand his understanding of reality through his artistic practice.

“I paint to discover the world, history, and reality through colour,” he tells me from his home studio in Phnom Penh. “I don’t care if what I’m doing is seen as contemporary art or not – my approach to painting is very classical, and I constantly look for a way to connect with the history of art.”

I have interviewed the artist for Plural Art Mag

Here is the link to the interview

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Courtesy of Dia Mrad and Zawyeh Gallery

“The Road to Reframe” by Dia Mrad is a photo series capturing local architecture after the explosion at the Beirut port on Aug. 4, 2020, and one of the most interesting works that has been presented at Art Dubai.

I have interviewed the artist for Al-Monitor

Here is the link to the interview

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Middle East Eye has just published my gallery piece on a new exhibition which sheds light on coastal landscapes in Palestine, how they’ve changed over time and the narratives that have emerged.

A People by the Sea at the Palestinian Museum in Birzeit, aims to change the standard depictions of Palestine and showcase stories that are often overlooked.

Here is the link to the piece

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Podcasts have been my constant companions since their inception, so I was thrilled when artist and journalist. Joana Alarcão interviewed for her “Insight of an Eco Artist” podcast.

In the interview I spoke a ton about researching Southeastasian contemporary art, my writing about art in the MENA region and even a little about my graphic novels, so the interview was divided in two parts.

Here is part 1 of the podcast

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Farah Saleh in What My Body Can/t Remember (2019) © Chris Scott , courtesy of the artist

Where does a refugee find her homeland? Perhaps in unexpected places; a memory of the country might emerge through the most mundane gestures, or even from a simple interaction with certain objects.

I spoke about this subject with Palestinian dancer Farah Saleh for Middle East Monitor. Farah is preparing a new interactive live performance installation called PAST-inuous for the upcoming Dance International Glasgow.

Here is the link to the piece

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