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Parallel Realities: Asian Art Now - January 24- April 9 2006
Fifty artists from twenty one countries - The 3rd Fukuoka Asian Art Triennale from the
Fukuoka Asian Art Museum in Japan

Blackburn Museum and Art Gallery presents a landmark exhibition of contemporary Asian
art comprising of fifty artists from twenty-one countries. The exhibition presents a wealth
of works covering digital art, sculpture, games and comic strips, photography, film,
painting and craft reflecting experiences from cultures living side by side yet often
separate.

Parallel Realities: Asian Art Now is also a response to the post 9.11 world. In exploring
the 'parallel realities' of Asia, where high-tech images have spread to the daily life of all
people and cultural groups, the artists suggest the potential of manipulating both the
technology and their popular cultures to overcome the boundaries of societies that exist
in parallel.

Furthermore, this is the first European visit and bringing the exhibition to the UK will
hopefully lead to people crossing the boundaries of our own 'parallel realities' in British
society. UK audiences already know some of the artists - Cao Fei, Yang Zhenzhong, Yang
Fudong and Rashid Rana.

It also represents a unique collection of personal and often disturbing work that will
challenge our UK perspective of 'Asian-ness'. Chang Yoong Chia's (Malaysia) Quilt of The
Dead; the stitching of representations of faces from the obituary columns came from his
attempt to mourn his grandmother's death after watching her children from different
religions arguing the way she should be buried. While Ly Daravuth's (Cambodia) The
Messengers portrays images of child messengers used by the Khmer Rouge and asks
'how much were they involved?'

Representative of the range of artists include:

     Chieh-
Chen Chieh-jen (Taiwan)

Chen Chieh-jen was inspired to shoot this film whilst exploring locations he had filmed in
the past. On one occasion he encountered a low-key sign for a proposed real estate
development. Instead of the usual glossy computer-generated images and hyperbolic text,
this sign simply had the words ‘Majestic Town’ with an arrow pointing towards a vast
wasteland and some derelict factories. He gained access to the empty offices through his
contact with itinerant workers from this area. He invited these workers to roam around
the deserted buildings while he recorded their travels.

The resultant film is a beautifully shot record of the ongoing process of reconstruction
and demolition. The film does not tell the beginning or end of an actual incident, but hints
at the countless memories that may be contained in each place through which the
workers journey.
In 2005 Chen Chieh-jen showed in ‘The Agony and the Ecstasy’ at FACT, Liverpool and
exhibited at the 51st Venice Biennale.

Deang Buasan (Thailand)

When he was young, Deang Buasan’s younger brother was drowned. He did not cry, but
the sadness became an integral part of his being. He felt sure that he had not been a
good brother to his sibling while he had been alive. When he made the piece ‘Brother’, he
had two small nephews. The act of making assisted in relieving some of the sadness and
guilt associated with his brother. The child in the painting is not a portrait of his brother.
He is a symbol representing a memorial to something that is lost, and perhaps the last
thing Deang Buasan can do to mourn his younger brother?

Nazlee Laila Mansur (Bangladesh)

Mansur describes herself as a woman artist from the Third World. This identity is integral
to her work, in particular the four paintings in this exhibition. The two works from the
‘Usable Painting’ series express Mansur’s observation of women as nothing more than
commodities in her society. The other paintings in the exhibition are from the ‘Louis
Kahn’ series. These are titled after the world-famous architect of the Bangladeshi
National Assembly Building. They refer to real incidents of atrocities visited upon women
in Bangladesh, and the lawmakers’ apparent indifference to such gruesome incidents.

Her key observation is that it is not only the physical condition of violence and cruelty that
discriminates against women, but also the psychological bondage imposed upon the
mental frame of both male and female members of society.

Shilpa Gupta (India)

Everybody Bend; Don’t Talk; Don’t See; Don’t Hear! In this life-sized projection, the seven
figures are dressed in camouflage which has become increasingly fashionable since the
War on Terror campaign began. Gupta suspects that these camouflage clothes make the
wearer feel cool and impervious to terror, since they imply the physical strength of the
armed forces. Click on the figures and they move, they imitate. 1-2-3-. Click. One Bend,
Two Bend, Three Bend, Stay. Click. Look Straight – Don’t See – STAY. etc.

Having been dumbed down in capitalist society we enjoy being programmed. We find
instant satiation and loss of memory in turning ourselves into puppets. Mental and
physical activity slips from the mechanical to the mindless, deteriorating into fear class
and violence against an enemy that does not exist in a world where global consent is
hijacked to engage in wars.
Shilpa Gupta will show in the Liverpool Biennial in 2006. At the age of 29, her impressive
exhibition CV includes Tate Modern’s ‘Century City’ (2001) and Manchester City Art
Gallery’s 2002 show ‘New Indian Art: Home Street Shrine Bazaar Museum’.

Ham Jin (Korea)

Ham Jin describes his work as “a story of harmonious love among powerless, small and
trivial creatures”. The work ‘Encounter’ exists in a niche between the floor and the wall of
the exhibition space. It is 1cm high, which means that visitors have to bend or lie down to
the eye level of the miniatures…
Ham Jin showed in the Korean Pavilion at the 51st Venice Biennale.

VENUES

To engage a variety of audiences the exhibition will ‘spread’ over the town with
installations in the Museum and Art Gallery, Blackburn Rovers Football Club and
Blackburn Cathedral.

DATES AND OPENING HOURS
Media View             Tuesday 24th January 2006, 10am – 6pm
Open to the Public     Wednesday 25th January 10am – 4pm Tuesday - Sunday
(Please note, opening times for each venue may vary please phone 01254 587913 for
details)

For further information and publicity images please contact David Crombie on tel:
      876-                  156545
0208 876- 5286 or 07966 156545 or email davidc@dotandot.co.uk
For public information please phone 01254 587913 or check www.c21.tv
PARALLEL REALITIES ARTISTS WHO HAVE PREVIOUSLY EXHIBITED IN THE UK

   •   Cao Fei - ‘Between Past and Future: New Photography & Video from China’,
       Victoria & Albert Museum, London, 2005 – 2006
   •   Yang Zhenzhong - ‘Between Past and Future: New Photography & Video from
       China’, Victoria & Albert Museum, London, 2005 – 2006; ‘Biennale! Artist Film &
       Video’ temporarycontemporary, London, 2005
   •   Yang Fudong - ‘Between Past and Future: New Photography & Video from China’,
       Victoria & Albert Museum, London, 2005 – 2006; ‘An Estranged Paradise’, Mead
       Gallery, Warwick Arts Centre, 2005; ‘Time Zones: New Photography and Video
       from China, Tate Modern 2005; Liverpool Biennial 2004
   •   Rashid Rana - ‘Another Vision: 50 years of Pakistani Art’ venues in London and
       other international venues, 2000
   •   Shibu Natesan - Arnolfi Gallery , Bristol; Norwich Gallery, Norwich. Natesan lives
       and works in Vadodara (India) and London
   •   Hema Upadhyay – ‘Indian Contemporary Art, Chelsea College of Art, 2005

FUKUOKA ASIAN ART MUSEUM

Fukuoka Asian Art Museum is the only museum in the world to systematically collect and
exhibit Asian modern and contemporary art. Their collection is not an imitation of Western
Art, nor repetitions of traditional work. Instead they represent the changing world of
modern Asia. www.fukuoka-art-museum.jp/english/

WHY BLACKBURN ?

The idea to bring the Third Fukuoka Triennale to Blackburn was formed in early 2003,
after the Head of Blackburn Museum & Art Gallery, Paul Flintoff, visited the southern
Japanese city of Fukuoka on a trip funded by the Arts Council of England. The trip
included a visit to the Fukuoka Asian Art Museum where they had recently shown their
second Triennale exhibition of contemporary art from different countries and regions in
Asia.

Despite the very obvious differences, Paul was struck by many similarities between
Fukuoka and Blackburn. Fukuoka had been through a difficult time following the decline
of its local industry and was going through a similar period of regeneration as in many UK
northwest towns. Blackburn's history is also inextricably linked with Asia with early trade
links with India and the later migration from the subcontinent to Blackburn and Darwen
just as Fukuoka has always looked seaward towards Korea rather than inwards.

Arts and culture were key with their potential to bring in tourists and investors from
outside the city. Paul admired the impressive way in which Fukuoka Art Museum, despite
being a long way from the Tokyo art scene, had managed to turn itself into an
internationally recognised centre for contemporary art within 25 years. Perhaps there
were lessons for Blackburn which also felt far from the London art scene?

In 2004 Blackburn with Darwen Borough Council gained funding for this project through
the Millennium Commission's Urban Regeneration programme enabling them to secure
the very first showing of work from the Triennale outside Fukuoka. The council already
holds important pieces of Asian art and this exhibition will strengthen the Borough’s
position as a significant UK centre of contemporary culture.

Parallel Realities: Asian Art Now is part of C21 a yearlong programme of cultural events
across Blackburn with Darwen. www.c21.tv
ARTISTS

Taiwan
44. Wu Mali, Born in Taipei, 1957
45. Chen Chieh-jen, Born in Taoyuan (Taiwan), 1960
46. Tseng Yu-chin, Born in Taipei, 1978

Pakistan
01. Rashid Rana, Born in Lahore, 1968.
02. Bani Abidi, Born in Karachi, 1971
03 Masooma Syed, Born in Hyderabad, 1971

India
04 Shibu Natesan, Born in Kerala, 1966
05 Hema Upadhyay, Born in Vododara (Baroda), India, 1972
06 Shilpa Gupta, Born in Mumbai (Bombay, India), 1976

Sri Lanka
07 Pala Pothupitiya, Born in Deniyaya (Sri Lanka), 1972

Nepal
08 Sujan Chitrakar, Born in Kathmandu (Nepal), 1974

Bhutan
09 Kama Wangdi & VAST (Voluntary Artist Studio, Thimpu)
Kama Wangdi was born in Phunaka (Bhutan), 1958
10 Tashi Wangchuk, Born in Paro (Bhutan), 1976

Bangladesh
11 Nazlee Laila Mansur, Born in Rajshahi (Bangladesh), 1952
12 Abdus Salam, Born in Comilla (Bangladesh), 1971

Myanmar
13 Wah Nu, Born in Yangon (Myanmar), 1977
14. Phyoe Kyi, Born in Taunggyi (Myanmar), 1977

Thailand
15. Thaweesak Srithongdee, Born in Udonthane (Thailand), 1970
16. Deang Buasan, Born in Mukdahan (Thailand), 1976
17. Chakkrit Chimnok, Born in Chaiyaphum (Thailand), 1978

Laos
24. Kanha Shikounnavong, Born in Vientiane, 1957

Malaysia
18. Bibi Chew Chon Bee, Born in Kuala Lumpur, 1969
19. Chang Yoong Chia, Born in Kuala Lumpur, 1975
20. Azliza Binti Ayob, Born in Kuala Lumpur, 1975

Singapore
21. Kill Your Television (KYTV), Choy Ka Fai: Born in Singapore, 1979.
Rizman Putra: Born in Singapore, 1978.
22. Zai Kuning, Born in Singapore, 1964
23. Ho Tzu Nyen, Born in Singapore, 1976

Cambodia
25. Marine Ky, Born in Phnom Penh, 1966
26. Ly Daravuth, Born in Kampong Thom Province (Cambodia), 1971

Vietnam
27. Tiffany Chung, Born in Danang (Vietnam), 1969
28. Dinh Thi Tham Poong, Born in Lai Chau (Vietnam), 1970
29. Tiarma Dame Ruth Sirait, Born in Bandung, 1968
30. Kuswidananto A.K.A. Jompet, Born in Yogyakarta (Indonesia), 1976
31. Pius Sigit Kuncor, Born in Jember (Indonesia), 1974

Philippines
33. Alwin Reamillo
34. Nona Garcia, Born in Quezon (Philippines), 1978

Mongolia
35. Sereeterin Dagvadorj, Born in Bulgan (Mongolia), 1954

Japan
47. Yamaguchi Keisuke, Born in Hyogo (Japan), 1962
48. Ito Ryosuke, Born in Sapporo (Japan), 1963
49. Sumi Takamasa, Born in Kitakyushu (Japan), 1968
50. Shiota Chiharu, Born in Osaka, 1972

Brunei
32. Ali Haji Abd Rahim

China
36. Yang Zhenzhong, Born in Hangzhou (China), 1968
37. Yang Fudong, Born in Beijing, 1971
38. Cao Fei, Born in Guangzhou (China), 1978
39. Chi Peng, Born in Shandong (China), 1981

Korea
40 YOUNG-HAE CHANG HEAVY INDUSTRIES
Chang Young-Hae: Born in Korea. Marc Voge: Born in US.
41. Hong Sungmin, Born in Seoul
42. Jo Seub, Born in Onyang (Korea), 1975
43. Ham Jin, Born in Seoul, 1978

				
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