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Distributed for ArtAsiaPacific

Art and Trousers

Tradition and Modernity in Contemporary Asian Art

With a Prologue by Vishakha N. Desai

Distributed for ArtAsiaPacific

Art and Trousers

Tradition and Modernity in Contemporary Asian Art

With a Prologue by Vishakha N. Desai
An illustrated collection of essays on modern and contemporary Asian art by a key figure of the international contemporary art world.

An illustrated collection of more than thirty essays and 640 color images, Art and Trousers moves deftly between regional analysis, portraits of individual artists, and a metaphorical history of trousers. This book presents a panoramic view of modern and contemporary Asian art, varying its focus on the impacts of invention, tradition, exchange, colonization, politics, social development, and gender. David Elliott spotlights the practice of many leading global artists of the early twenty-first century, including Hiroshi Sugimoto, Cai Guo-Qiang, Ai Weiwei, Xu Bing, Rashid Rana, Bharti Kher, Makoto Aida, Chatchai Puipia, and Yeesookyung, among many others. Art and Trousers offers insight into the development of a key curatorial practice for our times, and it will be an essential resource for anyone seeking to understand contemporary art and the way it operates across borders.

368 pages | 640 color plates | 7 1/2 x 10

Art: Middle Eastern, African, and Asian Art

Asian Studies: General Asian Studies

View all books from Nus Press Pte Ltd


“Challenging and admirably cosmopolitan. . . The book is a catalyst for fresh historical and sociological thought."

Art in America

"Art and Trousers invites all readers interested or involved in some way with contemporary Asian art to respond to it from their own different perspectives. . . . As such, in many ways, the book will undoubtedly contribute strongly to the further development of a vigorous discourse on the different faces of contemporary Asian art.”

Real Tokyo

 “As erudite as it is eclectic. . . A trove of images and facts, with lashings of charm. . . . Art & Trousers is so eclectic and full of obscure facts that it is a volume you dip into rather than read in a single sitting. . . But there are ample rewards for those who persevere. There is an abundance of illustrated materials and an inexhaustible supply of historical titbits."

South China Morning Post

“All literary collections of art-world modernism which go beyond the commonplace self-enclosed confines of Euro-America should have this anthology of essays. . . . The essays on individual artists which make up the remaining half of the book [are] invaluable references.”

Art Monthly

“Through Art and Trousers, the reader can follow Elliott’s work with Asian art broadly conceived through a set of powerful essays that provide the rationale for his work with particular artists and shows his understanding of their work and its significance. The voices of the artists are always present and become an integral part of the wider discourse that is reflected in the themes of his exhibitions and biennales. . . . [This] is a book you cannot do justice to in a single sitting. It contains essays that you want to return to again and again.”


Table of Contents

PROLOGUE  / Vishakha N. Desai 
ME AND MY TROUSERS  / Foreword by David Elliott  
Part 1  / HISTORIES  
The Slippered Pantaloon  
Going Global: Alterity and Other Things at the Museum of Modern Art Oxford 
From Ottoman Empire to Turkish Republic: Modernity at a Time of Change  
Tokyo–Berlin: A Continuing Dialogue from Empire to Democracy  
Bye Bye Kitty!!! . . . : Between Heaven and Hell in Contemporary Japanese Art  
Heaven and Earth : Contemporary Art from the Center of Asia  
Tibet : What If . . . ? Pitfalls of Identity in a Slippery Age  
The Best of Times, The Worst of Times Contemporary Art along the Post-Soviet Silk Road  
Part 2  / STORIES  
Who is Wearing the Trousers?  
KG Subramanyam: An Indian in Oxford 
Jitish Kallat: Fugitive Moments of an Unacceptable Present 
Rashid Rana: The Machinery of Truth  
Naiza Khan: Image and Revelation 
Xu Bing: Tradition, Representation and Language  
Ai Weiwei: The Seeds of Time or the Sands of the Desert?  
Song Dong: “Art, My Last Hope.”  
Sun Yuan & Peng Yu: “Somewhere Beyond Rape and Adultery”  
Xu Zhen: Chaos and Rectitude in the Face of History  
Makoto Aida: The Surface of Things  
Miwa Yanagi: The Four Ages of Woman  
Chiharu Shiota: Time and Distance, Absence and Silence  
Tomoko Kashiki: A Floating World 
Heri Dono’s Paradox: The Arrow or the Kris?  
Chatchai Puipia’s Last Masque: A Funerary Oration  
Rodel Tapaya: “The One You Feed”  
Choi Jeong Hwa: Gangbuk Style  
Yeesookyung: Reflections on a Korean Urn  
Part 3  / MIGRATIONS  
A Short History Of The Trouser  
Cai Guo-Qiang: Earth, Air and Fire  
Zeng Xiaojun: Labyrinths  
Hiroshi Sugimoto: The Faces of Infinity  
Leiko Ikemura: The House Beyond the Horizon  
Nezaket Ekici: The World in a House 
Rasheed Araeen: The Dancer and the Flame  
Bharti Kher: Icebergs in India, Snowballs in Hell  

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