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  • Dec 25, 2020

Season of Giving: Friday News Roundup

TANG KWONG SAN, Bedroom (detail), 2019, graphite on paper mounted on wood, photogram, 177 × 248 cm. Courtesy the artist

As the year-end approaches—no one is going to miss you, 2020—art organizations are making a few final announcements of their grants, programs, and events for 2021.

On December 21, Hong Kong’s leading nonprofit space Para Site released the names of the 25 Hong Kong artists who will each receive HKD 20,000 (USD 2,580) as part of the first No Exit Grant for Unpaid Artistic Labour. From a pool of 110 applicants, the jury—comprising artists Ocean Leung, Wong Ka Ying, and Samson Young, as well as Celia Ho, Para Site curator, and Anqi Li, Para Site curator of education and public programs—selected 20 practitioners; the remaining five were picked by lottery. The grantees are: Suze Chan, Chan Ting, Samson Cheung Choi Sang, Chu Hoi Ding, Chung Wing Shan, Elaine W. Ho, Hui May Ling, Hui Ka Chun, Kong Yiu Wing, Lai Lon Hin, Aaron Lam Kwok Yam, Leung Wai Yan, Li San Kit, Ling Pui Sze, Lui On Kiu, Jolene Mok, Angela Su, Tang Kwong San, Jaffe Tse “Zenda,” Wong Sze Wai, Denise Wong Wan Sze, Wong Winsome Dumalagan, Yan Wai Yin, Yip Kin Bon, Yue Yuen Yu.

The 2019 Focal Point Art Book Fair at Bait Obaid Al Shamsi, Sharjah. Courtesy Sharjah Art Foundation.

On December 17, researchers Ali Essafi, Ridha Moumni, Gabriella Nugent, and the online, bilingual journal hākārā were named the four winners of Sharjah Art Foundation’s Focal Point Publishing Grant, which supports art historical research on global modernism in the Middle East, Africa, and South Asia region. Ali Essafi will examine the North African tradition of the Halakat in the works of four filmmakers; Moumni studies the legacy of the School of Tunis (1943–1979); Gabriella Nugent is researching Egyptian artist Inji Efflatoun and her relationship with Mexican muralists including David Alfaro Siqueiros; and hākārā proposes the mapping of regional modernism in India in the form of a visual arts reader. The projects will be published by Sharjah Art Foundation and presented at future editions of the Focal Point Art Book Fair—the third iteration of which was held on December 16–19, 2019, in Sharjah.

Small-scale, local, and/or digital—those are the directions that art fairs have headed in the pandemic era. Turkey’s latest round of curfews and weekend lockdowns is no impediment to Contemporary Istanbul, which opened this week online and runs through January 6. Just after the New Year, a micro-fair of seven galleries, dubbed the Quarantine Art Fair, is happening January 7–10, outside of Melbourne in the Commanding Officer’s House and Grounds on the clifftop of Portsea’s Point Nepean National Park. The event includes Neon Parc and Station, and will be a scenic destination for a summer crowd. The Auckland Art Fair has announced the more than 30 galleries participating in its next edition later in the antipodean summer, on February 24–28, at The Cloud on the Auckland city waterfront.

For those of you vacationing on your sofa, starting December 25, you can stream Trinh T. Minh-ha’s film Surname Viet Given Name Nam (1989) from NTU Centre for Contemporary Art Singapore’s online program. Kadist has an online version of the videos from its current exhibition at the Guangdong Times Museum, “Frequencies of Tradition” with works by Yoeri Guépin, Ayoung Kim, Ming Wong, Erika Tan, Ho Tzu Nyen, and Ashoke Chatterjee in collaboration with Alexander Keefe. And for those missing KTV lounges, M+ debuted Henry Chu’s online project called Canto Cocktail (2020), which uses an algorithm to generate Cantopop sing-alongs based on classic karaoke favorites, so can you sing along from the safety, and privacy, of your home.

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