Many Asian markets have been on the rise in the past couple of decades and so is contemporary art, or any kind of art for that matter. Asia has a couple of established art hubs, with Hong Kong in the leading position, and due to cultural differences and distinct aesthetic traditions from all over the region, the entire category of Asian contemporary art has a great variety of directions and representations.
This question is particularly relevant when it comes to south-east Asia. In countries such as Cambodia or Myanmar, the artists oftentimes take it upon themselves to create artwork that opposes authoritarian political systems, criticizes the way societies and countries are ruled and aim at providing space for discussion and change. Places such as Hin Bus Depot in Malaysia, 98B COLLABoratory in the Philippines or Manzi in Vietnam all offer the possibility to discover artwork that is controversial, critical of societal, political and cultural practices and highly conceptual.
Speaking of the most well-known places to discover highly acclaimed contemporary art, Asia has many of them. National Gallery in Singapore is not only a popular location for spectacular wedding shots, it also contains some impressive contemporary art examples that include works by both local and international artists. Museum MACAN in Indonesia’s capital city Jakarta is in the list of TIME’s World’s Greatest Places not without a reason. It fosters contemporary art and is the first place of such kind in Indonesia. M+ in Hong Kong is also an impressive location. It contains momentous works and is full of highly conceptual and controversial works, so it is important to leave your mind open for interpretation and comprehension to truly experience this museum’s exhibitions.
There are numerous Asian contemporary artists that have gained both local and international recognition and since the numbers and the variety is so great, there is not one list that could encompass such diversity. Nevertheless, here are some names to know about:
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