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Asia Triennial 1 Oct – 27 Nov 2011: More Highlights

A Big Ball Of Wool And Other Stories

Published on October 5th 2011.

Asia Triennial 1 Oct – 27 Nov 2011: More Highlights

COINCIDING with Manchester's sultry Indian summer comes a visual feast of Asian art from 13 countries from India to Mongolia via Pakistan, Korea and Turkey as the UK's only Asian art triennial opens with a flurry of performances and exhibition launches. 

Here are just a few of the highlights: 

One of 25 new commissions, Tasawar Bashir and Brian Duffy present Silsila, Sufi-inspired cosmic journey in sound based on the epic Sufi poem Conference of the Birds, sited in the new £3 million Discovery Centre at Jodrell Bank, home of the giant Lovell telescope. Researching a wide range of wavelengths, an endless musical algorithm translates data sourced from stellar events such as cosmic background noise, star formation, pulsars, solar plasma, and light from galaxy clusters, and combines it with the voice of Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan, arguably the greatest qawwali singer of the modern era using The Optophonic Lunaphone, a device that changes starlight into music.    

Created especially for the John Rylands Library by Indian artist N.S. Harsha, his fascinating series of 50 ‘thought’ garlands are made up of tiny heads based on people the artist has observed in his local library. By wearing the Thought Mala, Harsha wants to transform the John Rylands into a spiritual place full of ritual, as visitors borrow the garlands as they would a book - wearing them, handling them or simply contemplating them - as they explore the gothic splendour of the Library or work in the reading rooms.

He Hai and Deng Dafei from China collectively known as Utopia Group have been rolling a giant ball of wool around Manchester city centre culminating in a performance at Chinese Arts Centre for the launch. Working with local community groups to make the ball, they have rolled it through the streets of Manchester, dressed in fluffy suits to match and the results can be seen on film if you didn't catch them about and about this week.

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Enkhbold Togmidshiirev is a performance artist from Mongolia who was raised in a nomadic family that has been breeding horses for generations.  For his performances, Enkhbold uses his own scaled down, self-built version of a ger; the mobile circular living structure traditionally used by nomadic Mongolian families. Hosted initially by Manchester Museum and then by Islington Mill, Enkhbold will move his ger from site to site using performance to reveal and reflect on his heritage, its culture and traditions contrasting with the very different urban backdrop of Manchester. 

Examining the growth of the VISA industry in Istanbul, artists collective PiST transform Castlefield Gallery into an alternative VISA application and training centre for visitors to ATM11, replacing the obligatory language and cultural exams for emigration to the UK. 

Cornerhouse has bagged the first UK public show of Rashid Rana, one of the most important artsists of his generation from Pakistan. Seemingly abstract works bear closer inspection as his famous mosaic style, using many tiny photo images, is often influenced by popular culture or in his latest work the backdrop is his home city of Lahore. 

Adeela Suleman has created a beautiful new sculpture specifically for Manchester Cathedral. Recognised for her sculptures that appropriate household objects and the decorative crafts of her home city of Karachi, Drained (2011) alludes to the fact that matter, life and even faith, can slip away.

The work curves and glistens, capturing its viewers’ own reflections and leading their eyes into its centre. The unnerving disappearance of water as it spins down a drain is replicated by this circular maze with the work’s shape reminiscent of the circular mazes that pattern the floors of some Christian churches – inviting the congregation to slowly follow their patterns to the middle while meditating along the way. 

Asia Triennial Manchester 1 October – 27 November 2011 www.asiatriennialmanchester.com


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