Career: Assistant Professor of Art | Winston Salem State University | Winston Salem, North Carolina, USA
I want to share my recent updates…
As an artist and Scholar, I have taught as Assistant Professor of Art at Winston-Salem State University in North Carolina since 2013. I have actively engaged in creative and research activities. I have investigated human existence in the physical and psychological aspects to understand various stages of human development, by integrating traditional art-making techniques, such as drawing and painting, with new media. I have continuously investigated human existence in human bodies, desires, relationships, and private/public space based on empirical experimentations with drawing, collage, performance, video, animation, and gaming.
As the most recent creative activities, I have actively developed “Intimate Distance Drawings” during the entire year of 2017 with the support of the 2017 Regional Artist Grant from the North Carolina Art Council. “Intimate Distance Drawings” is a series of drawings to visualize the dynamics of intimate human relationships between two people with various drawing experimentations. In addition, I have developed “Trapped in Beauty” with the support of the 2017-2018 Research Initiation Program (RIP) grant from Winston-Salem State University. “Trapped in Beauty” is a wearable art with an augmented reality application for interactivity, which communicates how a perception of our appearances affects our identity, confidence, and self-esteem.
I believe my creative and research activities have shown a strong regional reputation with a national and international reach. From 2013 to 2018, I exhibited a total of 38 exhibitions, 32 of which have a national or international scope. In creative productions, I participated in three solo exhibitions (one international, one national and one regional), five juried exhibitions (one international and four national), 14 media festivals/art fairs (nine international, four national, and one regional), 16 group exhibitions (three international, seven national and four regional), four artist residencies, one public collection, and 17 published reviews, articles, and reproductions of artwork. In research, I have had three presentations at a professional conference/symposium, and four artist presentations at the artist residencies and galleries. In addition, I received three awards and one external grant from the North Carolina Art Council and 13 internal grants from Winston-Salem State University. In the future, I will continue to have creative and scholarly activities through participation in exhibitions, media festivals, art residencies, symposiums, and conferences.
New Trends in the Art Market: The International Art Fair in Asia
What is an international art fair? It’s an open art market for domestic and international artists, art dealers, curators, collectors and the public. Today there are three especially famous international art fairs: Art Chicago in May, Art Basel in Switzerland in June, and FIAC in Paris in October. There are many such fairs in the US and Europe, but in Asia they are new, “hot” events. In 2008, these events in Asia were very successful, both in terms of attendance (250,000 visitors) and sales of $150 million.
Why has Asia become an important new site for international arts fairs? The biggest reason is that the Asian art market has been growing so rapidly. The art auction market has grown from $130 million in 2000 to $2 billion in 2006 in China, and the Korea art auction market has increased from $9 million in 2000 to $180 million in 2006. According to the international art market research company, Art Price, the top sales at art auctions in 2007 were in the US, England, and France, in that order. In 2007 China moved into third place because the domestic demand was growing so rapidly and rising star artists were increasingly commanding sky-high prices. Cai QuoGang and Zhang Xiaogang are the most famous Chinese artists in China and in the world today. A set of 14 gunpowder drawings by Cai QuoGang sold at Christie’s in Hong Kong in 2008 for $9.5 million, setting an auction record for contemporary Chinese art. Also, at Sotheby’s Hong Kong in 2009, Zhang Xiaogang’s untitled figure painting was sold for $5.5 million.
Asia’s international art fairs have quickly succeeded in attracting the public’s interest, which is amazing because this art market was not active and the very notion of an art fair was unfamiliar to the public until recently. Art fairs started to open the door of this market to a public that did not have easy access or enough information about it before. Many Asian countries have focused on developing their economies, and the public has started to think of their quality of life, and one result is that they value artwork for reasons of personal appreciation and financial investment.
In this context international art fairs provide a good chance for the public to satisfy their interest and demands.
A wide range of items produced by artists ranging from young beginners to well-established masters are now available all in one place, and people can compare prices easily and openly without being intimidated by artists and art dealers. Exciting art festivals have also begun to spring up in Asia. These provide programs to entertain the public and to stimulate artists, programs such as special exhibitions to introduce domestic and foreign artists to audiences, guest country events to exchange art and culture with others, artist discovery initiatives to encourage young artists, academic programs for art majors, and forums and artist presentations to give the public a chance to meet artists.
South Korea, China, Japan, Taiwan, Singapore, India, and the United Arab Emirates are now exhibiting their own special trends. KIAF 2008 (the Korea International Art Fair) has come to be widely viewed as one of the most impressive art fair destinations. Two hundred eighteen leading galleries from 20 countries brought 6,000 artworks to the event. Ki Soo Kwon, a young Korean pop artist, and Ki Bong Lee, a well established Korean artist, attracted art collectors and the general public by combining traditional Asian paintings with contemporary art. In his works, Ki Soo Kwon criticizes media stereotypes that efface human individuality in contemporary society through using “Dongguri,” a simple character from black ink drawings. Ki Bong Lee harnesses fog as an important motif that introduces an element of fantasy and transforms objects through an Oriental sensibility.
In Art Dubai, the first Art Fair of the Middle East, Roy Debanjan and Durriya Kazi received great attention for their critical political voices. Roy Debanjan has created a series of works featuring Gandhi as the “Father of the Nation,” an icon of a free India, employing symbols of materialism, technical advancement, and spirituality. And Durriya Kazi presented “Witness,” which consists of two life-size figures made of clay placed on the ground, as her response to the war in Iraq and Afghanistan and to victims of violence and conflict everywhere.
As they have undergone their rapid growth, international art fairs in Asia
have evolved as a marketplace, but they have also served as a forum where people interested in art can learn about it and how to purchase it. In particular, they have learned a few simple steps for any art buyer. These include, first, deciding on purpose and budget. Is the principal reason for buying an artwork appreciation or investment? How much can I afford to buy it? The next step is to collect information about artists and artwork. It is easy to go to the website of art fairs to find information and opinions about artists who might be of interest. The final step is to go the fair and choose the artwork that catches your eye. The most important thing is to develop your eye to recognize good artwork for reasons of appreciation and investment and to believe in your choice from your mind and heart.