... but I stopped. Now I'm a dad, and may blog again...

Saturday, March 05, 2011

224: three Asian art books

art_booksDipping once more into the bookshelves which surround me and coming up with more arty-farty gold from around the world.  Three books of art and design from three Asian countries.  Made In China: Contemporary Chinese Design published by Chinese Arts Centre, Manchester; Beyond The Page: Contemporary Art from Pakistan by Anita Dawood (Green Cardamon), Hammad Nasar, Asia House and Manchester Art Gallery, and; Drop Dead Cute: the New Generation of Women Artists in Japan by Ivan Vartanian.

All three are great books, and if I could open a tiny library and show them all to you on a one to one basis I would.  Big Society aside (or ignored) it doesn’t seem likely so forget I mentioned it.  The poorly-lit photos and these few jumbled words will have to suffice for now.  The paintings in Drop Dead Cute are mostly good, but nothing surprising; modern work with Japanese influences in Hokusai, manga, and Takashi Murakami’s superflat.  Great stuff but pretty predictable.




Made in China has the appeal of being tiny (I love tiny little books; might make a good theme for a blog post soon), and showing the emerging commercial, consumer side of China.  It’s an elite side of a country with billions of poor, focusing on the intellectual and the shallow, the aesthetic and the cerebral; yet ignoring the reality of overcrowding and poverty.  But as I said the book is tiny so what can you expect.  Today I seem to be keeping my comments brief and stupid, so before I disappear completely up my own hole, I’ll take a moment to mention Manchester’s Chinese Arts Centre.  Manchester’s Chinese Arts Centre; it’s good.  Ok, done.




Last but not least is Beyond the Page: Contemporary Art from Pakistan which I found in the sale at the Manchester Art Gallery Museum, left over from an exhibition I didn’t know I had missed.  It’s a shame because whenever I catch an exhibition there it always seems to be shit.  Judging by the quality of the art in this book, I missed a treat.  I had no previous knowledge of Pakistani art, but the book displays many great paintings, miniatures, illustrations, sculptures and installations, and the accompanying essays are very interesting.



And so ends a quick blog post with no in-depth thought or analysis; just me saying “I like this”.  At some point I’ll be returning to the subject of Pakistani art.  The book has piqued my interest in something I know next to nothing about, so maybe we could all learn together.  In the meantime: (poorly lit) pictures! (see above).  The End. 

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