Naima Morelli

Archive
Tag "contemporary art"

“The Visual Arts Forum started in the streets with the idea that art is an important tool for transformation,” explains Deema Ershaid, the Visual Art Forum’s Executive Director. “Palestinian artists felt a strong sense of responsibility during that phase, a feeling that they had to do something; they wanted a say in what was happening; they longed to be a part of people’s lives.”

I have interviewed Deema and artist Rafat Asad for Middle East Monitor, to talk about the development of the art school Visual Art Forum in Palestine.

Here is the link to the interview

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Can machines create value? And do objects have meaning if there are no humans around to experience them?

These are the questions that Singapore artist Gerald Leow has been grappling with in the past few months. If you’re based in Singapore, you might have seen his latest work while walking by Marina Bay Sands. Called Perpetual Motion, it’s a series of column-like sculptures with reflective surfaces that appear to be in constant dialogue with the skyscrapers on the bay.

I have to say that Gerald is one of my favourite Singaporean artists, and I have been following his work since 2015. Plural Art Mag has just published my article on his new exhibit:

Here is the link to the piece

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Desk

The question each one of us who loves art, and perhaps works in the art field must ask oneself is: with much uncertainty still looming in the upcoming year, how do artists, curators, art writers, and art appreciators keep themselves in the loop, not only growing their artistic sensitivity, but also becoming a vehicle for change towards a better society?

Global Comment has published my piece where I detail some strategies and a framework to re-articulate our approach to the art world in 2022 with renewed energy.

Here is the link to the piece

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Andonowati at home with a work by Tisna Sanjaya in the background. Courtesy of Andonowati.

It was an honour and a privilege to start my collaboration with Larry’s List with this interview with one of the people I admire and respect the most in the art world: Andonowati.

She is not only a extremely savvy collector with a heightened sensitivity for art, but also an accomplished mathematician, a collector, a gallerist, a business person, an art initiator, and entrepreneur and also an incredibly compassionate and kind human.

I first met her through my research on Bandung-based artist Eddy Susanto and learned about her gallery and foundation Lawangwangi Creative Space in Bandung. In 2010, Andonowati launched the Bandung Contemporary Art Award (BaCAA) — one of the most prestigious art awards in Southeast Asia, which I took part of as a judge in 2019.

Here is the link to the interview

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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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Whirling on site at Beit Beirut [Zena el Khalil]

In my research on contemporary art I started to focus a lot on the spiritual values that artists carry with them and let come through their artworks and practice – despite the many hardships they might be facing.

In this sense, the life experience of Zena El-Khalil, a wonderful artist I had the pleasure to interview for Middle East Monitor, is emblematic. We talk specifically of her way of coping with the terrible explosion that has devastated Beirut, and the way art and her spiritual practice have helped her to look for the spring to come.

Kicking off the new season of articles with this interview makes me really proud, warms my heart and encourages me to look at the struggles in life with a different perspective. Hope it will do the same for you:

Here is the link to the article

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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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My article on Italian colonialism in Libya has just been published by Middle East Eye. The piece explores how filmmakers and artists are exploring a largely neglected history of Italy’s presence in Libya in the 20th century.

It took me some three months to get all the voices together and get a clear picture of history. Thought I’m taking the art lens, this artist and country and type of research is a bit outside my comfort zone, so I was tempted to stop at what I had a few times.

It took a very determined editor to allow me to go all the way down with it. Like all the difficult things in life, this allowed me to bring my understanding and writing to a new level.

Here is the link to the piece

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Ruangsak

CoBo has just published one of my favourite interview from my reportage in Thailand, the one to Bangkok-based artist Ruangsak Anuwatwimon.

Ruangsak feels compelled to fight for environmental awareness. His poetic installations take on this cause, revealing the brutality of humans towards the Earth, buried under a beautiful surface.

Here is the link to the interview

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Pattana

Another article from my reportage in Thailand. This is an interview with artist and photographer Pattana Chuenmana, and has been just published by CoBo.

Here is the link to the interview

 

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Torlarp
More from my reportage on Thai contemporary. This piece, just published by CoBo, is an interview to Chiang Mai artist Torlarp Larpjaroensook, owner of Seescape Gallery. I have really great admiration for this self-made-man, and of course self-made-artist, who is all about the community.

And as a side note, I started doing this job, arts writing, more than 10 years ago now. And yet, every time an article of mine is published, I’m still so thrilled and grateful. The interviews, the chance to ask questions, the artworks, the artists, the magazines I write for and my incredible editors, the people I met, the people I traveled with, the chance to explore the world, to learn about it through its artists, the impressions, the learning, the struggles and still being here to tell tale.

I feel incredible blessed to live this life, doing this job. Hopefully some glimmer of the bliss, both mine and the one of Torlarp’s, will transpire through the lines.

Here is the link of the interview

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Donna Ong

Part of the charm of the forest is that it is supposed to be dangerous and mysterious. In this way you can still appreciate it but in a safe way. It’s an interesting metaphor about what is happening in Singapore. In the first chapter we have already talked about the work of Donna Ong in respect to the idea of tropical nature. We looked at “The Forest Speaks Back” which explored the idea of the tropics, by conveying two different points of view: that of the colonisers, and those of natives. Donna is interested in how the narrative for nature in Singapore has changed and evolved: “I think previously there was a lot of emphasis on the Garden City, so we had tropical nature but made it into a garden. A tamed tropical garden rather than a forest.”

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