A'da Youl,  Human-Horse Flight , 2019, video. Image courtesy MARTIN GOYA BUSINESS

A'da Youl, Human-Horse Flight, 2019, video. Image courtesy MARTIN GOYA BUSINESS


Building upon the success of its previous guest curator programs, ASIA NOW has invited Xiaorui Zhu-Nowell, Assistant Curator at the Guggenheim New York, to devise this year's Curatorial Platform. Taking its title from the popular internet abbreviation IRL {In Real Life} , the Platform celebrates an emerging generation of artists who are digital natives and whose work critically engages with new media, issues of technology, and the challenges of contemporary art practice within our new sensorial environments. 

Works included in the IRL {In Real Life} Platform approach the subject of digital media and technology through a broader conceptual lens, instead of the often conceived realm of technology as “cutting-edge”, “innovative”, or even “awe-inspiring”.

The IRL {In Real Life} Platform will be enacted in four sections, each of the sections referring to a different mode of interaction: Unboxing, Peer-to-Peer, Hyperlink, and Chat Room.


The Unboxing section takes its name from a genre of popular YouTube videos where a YouTuber will, quite literally, “unbox” or unwrap a new product in front of a camera. The Unboxing section will feature new special projects that will be physically revealed- or unboxed- to the art fair visitors. With a new dedicated exhibition space, the carefully selected projects include some of the most exciting emerging artists working in/from Asia.

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The Peer to Peer section takes its name from the decentralized computer network systems made infamous through early internet file sharing platforms such as Napster and BitTorrent. In a designated space, Peer-to-Peer will be a platform to showcase collectors’ collections and forms a direct network system of their peers.

This portion of the programme will function as a networking hub, where visionary collectors will showcase works from their collections at the fair, as well as discussing them.
Participant collectors include Michael Xufu Huang, Co-founder of M WOODS (Beijing), Lu Xun, Co-founder and Director of the Sifang Art Museum (Nanjing, China), Sylvain & Dominique Levy, Founders of the DSLcollection (France), and Jens Faurschou, Founder of the Faurschou Foundation (Copenhagen, Beijing, Venice) and Masha Sabsay Faurschou, Founder of SABSAY (Copenhagen).


Hyperlink is a series of performances that will run for the duration of the fair and will be activated throughout the entire grounds, at various times. Invited performances may be direct, suggestive, hidden, improvisatory, or otherwise spontaneous, mimicking the interaction - and performativity - that one has when clicking on a hyperlink on-line. Performances in the Hyperlink section will pull from a wide range of performative references, ranging from queer underground raves, choreographed durational compositions, to slam poetry.

Hyperlink features a performance by artist Qinmin Liu, and a nocturne program by Paris-based curators, Pierre-Alexandre Mateos and Charles Teyssou, featuring a DJ set by Proxi.


Lastly, the Chat Room will be a physical space that hosts a range of dialogues. Using the idea of on-line chatrooms as a framework, the Chat Room will connect various artists, collectors, curators, thinkers, and gallerists together, to discuss a wide range of topics in an informal setting.


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