The Global Contemporary Art World

The Global Contemporary Art World

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The final installment in the critically-acclaimed trilogy on globalization and art explores the growing dominance of Asian centers of art


This book takes readers on a fascinating journey around five Asian centers of contemporary art and its myriad institutions, agents, forms, materials, and languages, while posing vital questions about the political economy of culture and the power of visual art in a multi-polar world. He analyzes the financial powerhouse of Art Basel Hong Kong, new media art in South Korea, the place of the Kochi Biennale within contemporary art in India, transnational art and art education in China, and the geo-politics of art patronage in Palestine, and he develops a highly original synthesis of theoretical perspectives and empirical research.


Drawing on detailed case studies and personal insights gained from his extensive experience of the contemporary art scene in Asia, Professor Harris examines the evolving relationship between the western centers of art practice, collection, and validation and the emerging "peripheries" of Asian Tiger societies with burgeoning art centers. And he arrives at the somewhat controversial conclusion that dominance of the art world is rapidly slipping away from Europe and North America.


The Global Contemporary Art World is essential reading for undergraduates and postgraduate students in modern and contemporary art, art history, art theory and criticism, cultural studies, the sociology of culture, and globalization studies. It is also a vital resource for research students, academics, and professionals in the art world.
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Product details

  • Paperback | 240 pages
  • 153 x 227 x 12mm | 312g
  • New York, United States
  • English
  • 1. Auflage
  • 1118338510
  • 9781118338513
  • 758,448

Back cover copy

This book takes readers on a fascinating journey around five Asian centers of contemporary art and its myriad institutions, agents, forms, materials, and languages, while posing vital questions about the political economy of culture and the power of visual art in a multi-polar world. The author analyzes the financial powerhouse of Art Basel Hong Kong, new media art in South Korea, the place of the Kochi Biennale within contemporary art in India, transnational art and art education in China, and the geo-politics of art patronage in Palestine, and develops a highly original synthesis of theoretical perspectives and empirical research.

Drawing on detailed case studies and personal insights gained from his extensive experience of the contemporary art scene in Asia, Jonathan Harris examines the evolving relationship between the western centers of art practice, collection, and validation and the emerging "peripheries" of Asian Tiger societies with burgeoning art centers. He also discusses the controversial question of whether the dominance of the art world is rapidly slipping away from Europe and North America.

The Global Contemporary Art World is essential reading for undergraduates and postgraduate students in modern and contemporary art, art history, art theory and criticism, cultural studies, the sociology of culture, and globalization studies. It is also a vital resource for research students, academics, and professionals in the art world.
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Table of contents

About the Author vii


Introduction: "Global," "Contemporary," "Art," "World" 1


Entering the Maze 1


Modernity, Contemporary Art and Globalization 7


Five Asian Centers Within the Global Contemporary Art World 15


Global Crash, Crises and the Art World 20


Contemporary Art in the Friezer 25


1 Doing the Business: Producing Consumption in the Hong Kong Art World 35


Hong Kong Gets the Art Basel Treatment 35


Offshore Art Business in the Global Neoliberal Capitalist Economy 39


Combined and Uneven Development in the Hong Kong Art World 45


Hong Kong's Art World Inside and Outside China 52


2 New Media Art and Cultural Globalism in South Korea 65


The Chic of Global "New Media Art" 65


Contemporary Art as Global Cultural Diplomacy 69


"Glocal Video": Conventions and Critiques 73


Culture, Contemporaneity and the Postcolonial Artwork 76


The "Real DMZ Project": Conflict Art in the Korean Peninsula 80


Contemporary Art Across Global Asia 85


3 Globalizing Indian Contemporary Art: The Biennial as Rhetorical Form 95


The Kochi Biennale Big Sell 96


Kochi as a Global Venue 99


Art at Kochi: Liberal Pluralism Versus Social Engagement with Globalization? 102


The Highs and Lows of Art, Media and Kochi Biennale Capital 108


Utopian Rhetoric in Contemporary Art at the Kochi Biennale 113


4 Social Reproduction of Contemporary Art in the People's Republic of China: Higher Education and the Branding of "Contemporary Chinese Art" 127


Art and Design Education as a Globalization Process 127


Changing Identifications in Art and Design Education in China 132


Contemporary Chinese Art Marketed for Global Consumption 136


Chinese Art and the World Art System 141


5 Contemporary Art and Post -National Identities in the State of Palestine 155


"Palestine is Open for Business"! 155


Grounding the Culture Industry in Palestine 158


Palestinian Museums -of -art -in -waiting 162


The "NGO -ization" of the Contemporary Art World in the State of Palestine 167


Concrete into Dust 172


6 Conclusion: Motifs of Global Fracture in the Art Of Bashir Makhoul and Wang Guofeng 181


Re -Entering the Maze 181


In Girum Imus Nocte et Consumimur Igni 185


Utopian Photo -Mythologies 188


Aesthetic and Social Implications of Digital Photography 191


Aesthetic and Social Implications of Digital Technology 194


Selected Bibliography 201


Index 217
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About Jonathan Harris

JONATHAN HARRIS is Head of Birmingham School of Art at Birmingham City University, UK. He has taught and lectured on modern and contemporary art at universities, museums and galleries worldwide for over thirty years. His The New Art History: A Critical Introduction (2001) remains a classic text, and he has published twenty books as editor, author and co-author, including Globalization and Contemporary Art and The Utopian Globalists (Wiley-Blackwell, 2011 and 2013).
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