Yuko Hasegawa Of The Museum Of Contemporary Art, Tokyo

by Yuko Hasegawa


Apichatpong Weerasethakul and Chai Siri. “Dilbar,” (2013). Digital Film Still. Dimensions Vary. Courtesy Kick the Machine Films and the Museum of Contemporary Art, Tokyo.


Tiffany Chung. “Recovering Beirut: Half-Way Between the Imaginary and Reality 1964-2016,” (2012). Micro-pigment ink, gel ink, and oil marker on vellum and paper. 74.9 x 101.6 centimeters. Courtesy the Museum of Contemporary Art, Tokyo. Photo: Nam Bui.


Tiffany Chung. “The Growth of Cali—City Boundaries: 1780, 1880, 1921, 1930, 1937, 1951,” (2012). Micro-pigment ink, gel ink, and oil marker on paper. 98 x 135 centimeters. Courtesy the Museum of Contemporary Art, Tokyo. Photo: Nam Bui.


Fumito Urabe. “Voyage Map,” (2011). Watercolor on paper. 72 x 72 centimeters. Courtesy the Museum of Contemporary Art, Tokyo.


Monir Shahroudy Farmanfarmaian. “Shazdeh’s Garden (1),” (2009). Mirror and reverse glass painting on plaster and wood. 180 x 110 x 4 centimeters. Courtesy the artist, The Third Line, Dubai, and the Museum of Contemporary Art, Tokyo.

Yuko Hasegawa Of The Museum Of Contemporary Art, Tokyo

マップ: An Exercise in Cardinal Interpretations

Chief curator of the Museum of Contemporary Art, Tokyo, Yuko Hasegawa has maintained an active curatorial career since her appointment as chief curator and founding artistic director of the 21st Century Museum of Contemporary Art, Kanazawa, back in 1999. Also a professor of the Department of Art Science at the Tama Art University in Tokyo, Hasegawa has an impressive track record, including artistic direction of the 7


International Istanbul Biennial in 2001; the curation of Matthew Barney’s Drawing Restraint at the 21


Century Museum of Contemporary Art, Kanazawa in 2005; co-curation of 29


São Paulo Biennial in 2010; and curation at Art Basel Hong Kong in 2013.

In the 11th annual Sharjah Biennial, Re:emerge, Towards a New Cultural Cartography (March 13-17, 2013), Hasegawa tapped more than 100 visual and performance artists to re-examine communication and associations between the Far South (Asia and the Far East through North Africa and Latin America) as they relate to the largely Western-centric view of the current times. Here, she shares her curatorial notes on her selections.

Sharjah Biennial (2013) focused on presenting artists from the Global South where they used to have a global trans-cultural connection in the pre-modern time. Today there is no singular cultural map; each Biennial artist draws their own cultural map through cartographic efforts. The cultural maps were in the eternal process of being drawn, while also being continuously transformed and incessantly corrected. While we saw the 99 maps collectively in the Biennial, a figure arised in the multiple layers. Here I chose four artists from the 11th Sharjah Biennial.

Apichatpong Weerasethakul and Chaisiri Jiwarangsan (Chai Siri) cast young workers in Bangladesh in a work entitled “Dilbar.” Images of ghosts wandering in the city of Sharjah were projected on transparent screens in the Calligraphy Museum, which was once a private mansion. The work intended to be a contribution to the city by learning and interpreting sociocultural memories remembered in the bodies of its residents, and creating a work from the results.

Using real data and fictional visions, Tiffany Chung created beautiful maps showing a variety of political and humanitarian issues confronting us on earth.

Fumito Urabe made poetic and meditative paintings—which presented various maps of the Arabian Sea—and an installation including small wood sculptures of boats and sand on the floor. This peaceful and borderless map reflected his background as the son of a Buddhist monk. The works of mirror mosaics by Monir Shahroudy Farmanfarmaian traversed the broad visual meaning of geometric abstractions and questioned the meaning of formative design. Geometric abstractions have been used in mathematics, Sufism, and astronomy, as well as in contemporary chaology.