Southeast Asia at Frieze London

STPI, Tomio Koyama Gallery and 1335Mabini
By Ho See Wah

Khvay Samnang, ‘Popil’, 2018, digital c-print, 60 x 90cm. Image courtesy of Tomio Koyama Gallery.

Khvay Samnang, ‘Popil’, 2018, digital c-print, 60 x 90cm. Image courtesy of Tomio Koyama Gallery.

Frieze London is set to happen from 3 October to 6 October at Regent’s Park. This year’s fair welcomes over 160 galleries from 36 countries, the highest volume to date. This includes a bigger representation of Southeast Asian galleries and artists. Speaking on the expanded geographical outreach, Frieze Fairs Director Victoria Siddall says the fair will “embody the exceptional international spirit of London, a city that is a meeting point for art, ideas and people from all around the world.”

Do Ho Suh, ‘Wise Man’, 2019, thread embedded in STPI handmade cotton paper, 157.5 x 206 cm. Produced at STPI – Creative Workshop & Gallery, Singapore. Image courtesy of STPI.

Do Ho Suh, ‘Wise Man’, 2019, thread embedded in STPI handmade cotton paper, 157.5 x 206 cm. Produced at STPI – Creative Workshop & Gallery, Singapore. Image courtesy of STPI.

Representing South Korea artist Doh Ho Suh in the main section is Singapore-based STPI – Creative Workshop & Gallery. The presentation features thread-based drawing, a technique in the artist's repertoire developed during Suh's decade-long collaboration with the gallery. Prices for his works range from USD10,000 to USD220,000. Executive Director Emi Eu says, “We are very excited for our first time participation in Frieze London, as it will enable us to connect with the local arts community. London is one of the strongest international platforms, and it is great for showcasing some of the newest artistic developments in Southeast Asia, particularly from STPI.”

Sofu Teshigahara, ‘(Title unknown)’, 1963 Wood, brass. 86 x 74 x 44cm. Image courtesy of Taka Ishii Gallery.

Sofu Teshigahara, ‘(Title unknown)’, 1963 Wood, brass. 86 x 74 x 44cm. Image courtesy of Taka Ishii Gallery.

Fairgoers can look forward to a range of galleries from around wider Asia as well. Tokyo-based Taka Ishii Gallery will bring two artists, Japanese artist Sofu Teshigahara and Portuguese Leonor Antunes, together to create a conversation between their oeuvre of work. The selection of artists for Frieze aptly captures the gallery’s goal of exposing international contemporary artists into Japanese society as well as to create a platform for domestic artists on an international level. Visitors can expect prices of USD10,000 to USD70,000.

Khvay Samnang, ‘Popil’, 2018, digital c-print, 60 x 90cm. Image courtesy of Tomio Koyama Gallery.

Khvay Samnang, ‘Popil’, 2018, digital c-print, 60 x 90cm. Image courtesy of Tomio Koyama Gallery.

Beyond gallery booths, visitors can expect to see performance art as part of its ‘LIVE’ section. Another Japanese gallery, Tomio Koyama Gallery with the support of Delfina Foundation, will be bringing Cambodian artist Khvay Samnang to this segment. “Samnang has created a story out of a political issue – the relationship between Cambodia and China – using physical expression,'' says Owner and Director Tomio Koyama. “I hope the viewers will perceive this performance as one of the significant, ongoing landscapes in Asia.”

Pacita Abad, ‘L.A. Liberty’, 1992, acrylic, cotton yam, plastic buttons, mirrors, old thread, painted cloth on stitched and padded canvas. 239 x 147cm. Image courtesy of Estate of Pacita Abad.

Pacita Abad, ‘L.A. Liberty’, 1992, acrylic, cotton yam, plastic buttons, mirrors, old thread, painted cloth on stitched and padded canvas. 239 x 147cm. Image courtesy of Estate of Pacita Abad.

Apart from the main section, ‘LIVE’ and ‘Focus’ that presents younger artists, there is a new section, ‘Woven’, curated by Executive Director and Curator Cosmin Costinas of Para Site in Hong Kong. Informed by the entanglements of traditional art and contemporary practices, ‘Woven’ seeks to “make visible the histories and continuous legacies of the colonial catastrophe,” says Costinas.

Manila-based Silverlens Galleries will showcase works from the late Filipino artist Pacita Abad’s series, ‘Immigrant Experiences’. Her vibrant and technique-heavy textiles brings out the multi-faceted and diverse expressions of being an immigrant, which ties in well with the curatorial vision of this section. Speaking of Silverlens participation, Gallery Director Isa Lorenzo says the gallery hopes to achieve “further recognition for the artist and further collection of her works into significant collections and museums”. The featured works range from USD60,000 to USD75,000.

This section will include Filipino artist Cian Dayrit, presented by 1335Mabini. Dayrit’s practice questions colonial legacies via reframing the power relations between the conquerors and the exotic Other. The rest of ‘Woven’ will feature six other galleries from Lugano, Mumbai, San Francisco, São Paulo, New Delhi and Hong Kong.

We look forward to seeing how Southeast Asian Art will be received at the fair. For more information, visit www.frieze.com/fairs/frieze-london.