Growing up surrounded by oppression in a country where violent religious and ethnic clashes were commonplace and close at hand, Suryajaya was constrained by strict traditional and conservative values that condemned homosexuality. He needed to get out. He turned 18, alone, on a flight bound for the United States, leaving behind his family and his old life in Indonesia.
Cathedral of the Pines has had a long gestation, and is the product of a lot “personal upheaval”, brought on by a “very tormented relationship” and, finally, a bad divorce. It is, by some stretch, Gregory Crewdson’s most personal work to date.
“Asian soft-porn images all have something in common – the gaze of the performer and how they perform in front of the camera, assuming really iconic poses,” says Ina Jang, a South Korean artist based in New York. “Presumably, they are instructed by someone to behave that way.” Jang’s exhibition Utopia, which recently went on show at the Swiss Musée des beaux-arts du Locle, is inspired by such images. Delving into the depiction of women in Korea and Japan, Jang found a striking stereotype in the so-called gravure (or glamour) magazines popular there – women who are shown as girlish and submissive, sporting pink cheeks and a school uniform “even if they were older than 25”. “I remembered seeing gravure magazines – essentially watered-down versions of Playboy – in every convenience store in Tokyo,” says Jang. “All the females in them are portrayed as passive and helpless, sometimes playful. “When I started researching the pornographic visuals, it hit me that there’s a clear formula in the way women are portrayed in them,” she continues. “I printed out some of …
“There is something amazing going on here,” says Peggy Sue Amison, the artistic director of East Wing gallery in Dubai, speaking of the work of her Ones To Watch nominee Teresa Visceglia. Her words somehow echo the bellow of a circus ringmaster animating an eager audience. “Teresa is a creator who strikes a resonating chord that grabs viewers by the heart. Her works are surreal and immediately bring to mind not only Federico Fellini but also David Lynch and Diane Arbus.”