NEW YORK, NY.- As our lifestyles become increasingly fast-paced and transient the distinctions between personal and public space, work and leisure have become blurred. Many of the works by the nine artists featured in this exhibition address issues of labor, both individual and collective, while others examine the resilience of communities in the face of environmental changes, whether man-made or through forces of nature.
Most individuals spend the majority of their waking hours at work. Consequently, time can conceivably be marked through the completion of daily tasks. Koki Tanaka (b. 1975, Japan) takes this idea to the extreme through his documentation of mundane actions. The endless looping of these simple activities acts as a visual mantra that eventually negates the act, transcending the monotony of a daily work routine.
Developments in technology meant to improve productivity have irrevocably altered the nature of how and where we work. Manufacturing has become more specialized, often leading to a physical and psychological displacement for those whose training has not evolved to keep pace with industrial progress. This is poignantly illustrated by Chen Chieh-Jen (b. 1960, Taiwan) in Factory.
Displacement of a different kind can be found elsewhere in the exhibition in the works of Dinh Q. Lê (born 1968, Vietnam), Song Dong (b. 1966, China) and the Japanese collective Chim↑Pom (founded in 2005, Japan). Chim↑Poms KI-AI 100 addresses the triple catastrophe of the earthquake, tsunami, and Fukushima Daiichi nuclear disaster that struck Japan in March 2011. Their rousing two-channel video implores viewers to work towards re-building a positive future in the midst of tragedy. The works in this exhibition were selected from the Asia Society Museum collection and include recent acquisitions that will be on view at the museum for the first time.