START Art Fair, has announced the appointment of its Fair Director, Niru Ratnam, and the final list of exhibiting galleries and artists for the fair to be held at the Saatchi Gallery. Details of a curated section of fair are also announced alongside the 46 galleries from 21 countries exhibiting in the inaugural edition of the fair taking place 26 – 29 June 2014.
Ratnam has been instrumental in bringing on board his choice of young tastemaker galleries to exhibit at the new London fair. The most recent additions include CUC Gallery, one of the few galleries in Hanoi, Vietnam and the first to break out into the international art fair circuit. EOA. Projects was born out of the success of the not-for-profit space Edge of Arabia. It has a special focus on prints and editions by Middle Eastern artists. Kashya Hildebrand shows artists who challenge preconceived notions of nationality and cultural identity. Alma Gallery is one of Eastern Europe’s most exciting galleries. Based in Riga, the gallery’s focus is on the emerging art scene in Latvia.
CØPPERFIELD is one of London’s newest contemporary spaces and is directed by Will Lunn who previously co-directed Summaria Lunn. Roman Road is one of London’s brightest young project spaces and also curates projects in Brussels, and Division of Labour, based in Worcester, will present a joint exhibition stand with Birmingham artist-run space, Eastside Projects. Their participation underlines START’s commitment to emerging art practice in all its varied forms.
Ratnam says: “The full line up makes START an exciting platform for emerging art from around the world. Visitors will be able to discover new galleries and young artists from both new and more established art centres. With over 40 galleries within the setting of the Saatchi Gallery, the fair will offer a focused, beautifully presented experience for collectors and art enthusiasts alike.”
In addition to the galleries section START will feature the Prudential Eye Zone. This specially curated section of the fair showcases some of the most exciting and important work being made by young artists in Asia today. Ranging across video and digital art, installation, sculpture, painting and photography, the Prudential Eye Zone charts the highlights of the successful Prudential Eye Programme which has held exhibitions and published books that act as introductory guides to new art from Korea, Hong Kong, Malaysia and Indonesia, with Singapore as the next stop in January 2015.
19 artists from these 5 countries have been selected to each exhibit several works through which we get snap shot of how artistic practice is developing in these varied regions.
For example the politically aware approach of Hong Kong collective MAP Office is based on humour, games and fiction. Their interactive piece takes the form of a game of darts where players represent a country in the conquest of a disputed island. Adrian Wong bases his series of neon works on the proliferation of signage and commercial messaging that covers his native Hong Kong, a method of appropriation and simulation shared by Wiyoga Muhardanto from Indonesia whose branded sculptures satirise consumer culture.
From South Korea, Shin Meekyoung plays on traditions of forgery by precisely replicating rare vases from soap, whereas Hong Sung Chul aims to inspire the traditional Korean sense of community by bringing viewers together to physically interact with his works, both artists reflecting a typically Korean technically-based aesthetic approach.
Rising above national cultural boundaries the Prudential Eye Zone also incorporates musical performance pieces, larger than life painted portraits and three dimensional installations made using traditional Malaysian weaving techniques.
Prudential Eye Zone Artists:
Hong Kong Silas Fong, MAP Office, João Vasco Paiva, Adrian Wong – Indonesia, Jompet Kuswidananto, Wiyoga Muhardanto, Farhan Siki, Entang Wiharso – Korea, Hong Sung Chul, Kang Hyung Koo, Kim Inbai, Lee Jaehyo, Shin Meekyoung – Malaysia, Ahmad Shukri Mohd, Sabri Idrus, Kow Leong Kiang, Anne Samat, Zelin Seah – Singapore, Song-Ming Ang
Photo: Courtesy Copperfield London Eric van Hove V12 Laraki, 2013 Mixed media: 465 parts / 56 materials 180 x 150 x 150 cm