Art Toronto: Focus Asia

Event: Art Toronto: Focus Asia
Date: Thu. October 25, 2012 - Mon. October 29, 2012.
Location: Various Venues (various locations) - Toronto


Art Toronto, the Toronto International Art Fair is going to be held from October 26 to October 29 this year. It is widely acknowledged as an essential platform for networking in the Canadian visual arts community by bringing together collectors, curators, artists and galeries from across Canada and around the world.

Opening Night Preview, a benefit for the Art Gallery of Ontario
Thursday, October 25, 2012

Public Hours
Friday, October 26 – Monday, October 29, 2012
Metro Toronto Convention Centre

To know more about Art Toronto 2012, go to their website.
To view the complete list of Art Toronto 2012 exhibitors click here.

This year Art Toronto is pleased to introduce Focus ASIA, an initiative designed to introduce collectors to the dynamic contemporary art practice of the world’s largest continent. Focus ASIA is an invitational section of 13 contemporary galleries from 7 countries as well as a related curated project by the South Asian Visual Arts Centre (SAVAC) and an engaging program of panel discussions and keynote presentations by leading art professionals from the international art community. This year’s feature project, Beyond Geography, is a thought-provoking exhibition of video work and installations that asks: What kind of art do audiences expect to be produced by a diverse group of artists who happen to have lived in Asia or are of Asian descent? When looking at specific materials used by these artists, is one more or less inclined to support or change our perceptions of ‘Asia’?

Curated by Shengtian Zheng and Katherine Don, Beyond Geography presents over 10 video works, including ‘The Village and Elsewhere’ series by Araya Rasdjarmrearnsook; ‘Writing in the Rain’ by FX Harsono; ‘Growing Pains’ by Rutherford Chang; ‘OFF’ by Kan Xuan, as well as installations including the monumental work on paper  Untitled 2008-2011 (the map of the land of feeling) I-III by Rirkrit Tiravanija, wall sculptures from the Flatland series by Tomas Vu, and a site-specific automated installation of an Indonesian drum orchestra The Gamelatron created by Taylor Kuffner.

As the presenting sponsor of Focus ASIA, ‘Yishu Journal of Contemporary Chinese Art’ will feature a series of 50 interviews with contemporary Chinese artists who have graced the cover of the publication from 2002 to 2012. Yishu Interviews marks the 10-year anniversary of the Vancouver/Taipei-based arts journal. A selection of these interviews will be launched at Art Toronto 2012 and will be accessible online at Yishu Interviews is produced by Shengtian Zheng, Don Li-Leger, Debra Zhou and Lin Li.


1pm Friday, October 26

Shengtian Zheng, Independent curator and scholar, currently Managing Editor of ‘Yishu Journal of Contemporary Chinese Art’ and Katherine Don, Founder of Red Box Studio, Beijing will discuss how the access to Western culture and new media in Asia is undoubtedly a great influencer of change for contemporary art being produced in Asia today. Set against the backdrop of different cultural contexts, as well as within evolving art industries, how are artists adapting to these shifts in global perspective? Is the production of contemporary art a reflection of society in Asia today?

6pm Friday, 26 October
Organized by The Power Plant Contemporary Art Gallery
Philip Tinari: Museums for China

Philip Tinari is Director of the Ullens Center for Contemporary Art in Beijing, an independent museum with an annual viewership of over half a million visitors. He is also founding editor of LEAP, the international art magazine of contemporary China. Tinari is a contributing editor to Artforum and adjunct professor in the College of Humanities at the Central Academy of Fine Arts, Beijing. He was previously China advisor to Art Basel and academic consultant to the Chinese contemporary art department at Sotheby’s. He has written and lectured widely on contemporary art in China. He holds an MA in East Asian studies from Harvard University, a BA from the Literature Program at Duke University and was Fulbright fellow at Peking University. Tinari’s talk will discuss the proliferation of museums throughout China and ask who these institutions will serve, and to what end. He will reflect on the distinct challenges and opportunities of presenting contemporary art to a Chinese public.
* Power Talks tickets can also be purchased in advance at, from the Harbourfront Centre Box Office (416.973.4000) or at the door. Doors open 15 minutes before the start of each lecture and seating is limited.

1pm Saturday, October 27

Artistic practice in Asia is challenged by evolving standards or lack of precedence within institutions. In a sense, it has been taken out of the hands of artists who are now forced to adhere to the protocol and rules of what is a huge, largely consumerist art industry. Biljana Ciric, Independent Curator, Shanghai; Haema Sivanesan, Executive Director, at Centre A, Vancouver, and Birgit Zimmermann, Director, Galerie Zimmermann Kratochwill, Graz & Manila will look at how the different histories and existing art infrastructures vary between China, Vietnam, the Philippines, Indonesia, Malaysia, Singapore and India, as well as discuss how artists are strategizing to regain control of their destinies.

3pm Daily, October 26 – 29

Join Katherine Don, Co-Curator of Art Toronto’s special feature Focus ASIA for a tour of its participating established and emerging galleries and the related curated exhibition Beyond Geography.

Access to programming and tours is included with daily admission to Art Toronto. Tickets are available online or onsite.

4 Responses to Art Toronto: Focus Asia

  1. I am doing a school project on publicity, PR and Social Media promotional use in Independent Films and short films and this would help me very much! Thank you. If anyone is looking for interns to work at the Film festival…please help me.

  2. Cindy says:

    Thanks for listing our event! Advance tickets are available at:

  3. Lost Years says:

    Lost Years Named BEST DOCUMENTARY | Asians On Film Festival Winners 2013, Los Angeles

    Asians On Film Festival
    February 15-17, 2013
    Los Angeles, California

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