A daily bulletin of news & opinion

17 August 2013


Ai Weiwei: According to What?

Ai Weiwei is kept under house arrest in Beijing, but his voice continues to be heard across the Pacific Ocean in the form of his travelling exhibition Ai Weiwei: According to What? The show arrives at its third out of five North American stops this weekend at the Art Gallery of Ontario in Toronto. China's most prolific artist may splay priceless antiques with bright colours and smash an ancient ceramic vase, but pieces such as “Coloured Vases” and “Dropping a Han Dynasty Urn” are about much more than just sticking it to authority and tradition. By creating works of art from the remnants of history that still retain their original essence, Ai spurs the viewer to consider the potential for reinvention of established structures.

Art Gallery of Ontario, 317 Dundas Street West. Open Tuesday, Thursday to Sunday 10.00–17.30; Wednesday 10.00–20.30. Until 27 October.



Released in the UK this weekend is Kurdish-Austrian director Umut Dag’s debut film, Kuma (Second Wife). 19-year-old Ayse, played by Begum Akkaya in her first major role, is transported from the Turkish countryside to a Viennese suburb to be the second wife of a 60-year-old man, under the guise of marrying his son. The whole thing is orchestrated by Fatima, the principal wife. She’s dying from cancer and sees Ayse as her replacement. The film explores the ensuing clash of values – what happens when a foreigner is transplanted into a Muslim immigrant family living in western society? Compelling and challenging, Kuma has been lauded by critics and won the Grand Prize at Skip City International D-Cinema Festival in Japan last year.

In cinemas across the UK; see website for details.


Meeting Point: Dual Solo Show of Charwei Tsai and Chi-Tsung Wu

Charwei Tsai and Chi-Tsung Wu were both born in the early 1980s when Taiwan was experiencing drastic political reform and rapid economic growth. Although the two artists were respectively educated in western and eastern contexts, the exhibition is aptly named Meeting Point with respect to their artistic practice: a sensibility towards the poetic aesthetics of the East. Tsai’s series of mixed media was inspired by Hong Kong’s history while Wu’s works reflect upon our perceptions of the physical and natural worlds alongside the mechanisms involved in the transformation of images. This is the closing weekend to visit Meeting Point, a unique dialogue between Tsai and Wu in a city where clashing cultures continue to merge together.

Edouard Malingue Gallery, 1F, 8 Queen’s Road Central, Hong Kong. Open Monday-Saturday, 10.00–19.00. Until 17 August.


25x25: Contemporary Japanese & Australian Printmaking

The opportunity to compare and contrast printmaking techniques and aesthetics from two different cultures as 25 printmakers from Sydney and Japan respectively come together to present a total of 50 prints in an exhibition presented by the Japan Foundation Gallery. Akiko Taniguchi's intricate “Record of Cultivation”, which combines etching, mezzotint and chine-collé techniques while retaining a distinctly oriental essence, showcases how the rich heritage of this Japanese art form has evolved in the modern age.

Level 1, Chifley Plaza, 2 Chifley Square, Sydney. Open Monday to Saturday, 11.00–16.00. Until 30 August.


Pstereo festival

Every third weekend in August, Norway's third largest city hosts international musicians on the picturesque Marinen banks of the Nidelva river at the Pstereo festival. With 7,500 people expected to attend, the two-day summer highlight is a great opportunity to enjoy a late-afternoon pint while basking in The xx's synthpop beats and bobbing along to Stockholm-based Kate Boy's electropop tunes.

Marinen, 7000 Tronheim, Norway. See website for details. Until 18 August.


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