This book tells about Kyoto: modernity and chaos against tradition, which characterises the city in the collective imagination. We tell this story in black and white, by contrasts.
Blowing Smoke and Seahorses
During his residency in China, Tanis wandered the streets of Chinas ever-expanding cities; its vast construction sites, dirty sweatshops, shopping malls, markets and provisional migrant dwellings in the cellars of enormous apartment blocks. Tanis has a sixth sense for the wry side of life, which is communicated in the books design. Besides the range of 22 different covers, there also seems to be a trick to seeing the images that are locked between the pages. It is precisely this delayed gratification that gives the book its extra value; for knowledge of the world implies an attack on its compactness and seeming logic.
If you’ve been reading our magazine you will have heard of Aram Tanis. This title suits him too, especially when you take a look at his new book Urban Jungle. This publication is a collection of black and white photographs, which he took during his travels in Seoul, Beijing and Tokyo from 2001 to 2008. Tanis finds himself in an urban jungle that is turning into an urban zoo. With this book the artist invites us to take a voyeuristic look at our fellow earthlings as though they are animals in a zoo.
Ji Hyun Song
Ji Hyun Song is the horizontal concentration of urban space, multi-lane motorways, huge parking lots, and office and residential high-rises in Korea's capital, Seoul. Tanis' photographic view of the metropolis that relies on growth and progress reveals itself to be an aesthetic method that is aware of this critique and uses it for its own ends. For all the sober distance of the shots, the images retain a subtext that correlates to the autobiographical, distancing view and in fact attempts to express something like alienation in visual terms. Tanis was born in Korea, but grew up in The Netherlands.
Tanis articulates this ambivalence between fascination and the feeling of being foreign with his view of contemporary Seoul, as he focuses on the surface of things. Tanis' photographs of Seoul compositionally present the dynamism of the large city. His photographs address not only the far-reaching absence of inhabitants in this city as well as the metropolis in which people remain anonymous and lead anonymous lives. What arises is a portrait of the entire body of a city, which in terms of precise observation includes not only the topography but also the structural elements of the social and the economic, and be it only as the empty space in the web of functionally differentiated urban space.
Vanessa Joan Müller
Het Vijfde Seizoen
In meticulous and poetic words Tanis captures thoughts and actions and creates an image of an in itself communicating inner world. The isolation and the absence caused by this disorder are gradually becoming more oppressive. The text, which is partly fiction and partly observation, takes the reader back and forth between different realities. It represents the complex feelings of how someone can experience him or herself as an outsider.
For Parallel Lives Tanis also made pictures on the grounds of the mental health institution where the residency is located and combined them with images from his archive. The sober black-and-white photos show objects as true living creatures, as things to talk to, as things that invade you and feed the fear.
Blind Dogs, Fallen Men
Café Royal Books
Wandering along the streets of China’s ever expanding cities, Aram Tanis focuses on aspects of daily urban life that often escape the eye.
China as mapped by Tanis stands in strong opposition to the image of China advocated by commercial advertising. If the enormous billboards speak of happy shiny family life, these photographs are about solitude and loss. Tanis’s pictures do not reflect the glamour of success that came along with the 2008 Olympics, but the greyish light of the dirty skies over a harsh metropolis.
Café Royal Books
It Was Never Personal
In discussions about racism, discrimination and exclusion of ethnic minorities, people of Asian descent are rarely mentioned, let alone their voices heard in those discussions.
As a baby Tanis came to the Netherlands and grew up with his adoptive parents. He grew up in a white neighborhood and went to white schools. His Asian appearance was always different from others. As a teen he went consciously looking for people with whom he could identify, but there weren't any role models who looked like him.
For It Was Never Personal Aram Tanis photographed torn, mouldy and discarded advertisement posters, that still have elements of this ideal of beauty companies wanted to sell, but at the same time they show the decay, the dirty and the ugly of reality. Now during the corona crisis, the posters are no longer replaced in a number of places, so the decay goes further than usual.
Putting Back The Pieces
OBJECT ONDER / OBJECT BELOW
The title of this book, OBJECT ONDER / OBJECT BELOW, refers to the label the Stedelijk Museum Amsterdam uses in its depot to warn that a covered artwork lies below and thus no objects should be placed on top of it.
This book is a snapshot from the forty-plus years of our art collecting adventure. It tells of the role that art plays in our life.
Pieter and Marieke Sanders
On occasion of Korea being the guest country of the Frankfurt Book Fair, the Frankfurter Kunstverein presented the exhibition Paralleles Leben.
South Korea has in the space of a few decades gone through a development that for other countries takes centuries. The country is technologically highly developed, the urban architecture resembles Western cities, but still the unstoppable will to progress exists side by side with a distinctive awareness of tradition. North Korea, on the other hand, is one of the few still existing communist countries, which hermetically cuts itself off from the rest of the world and defends its ideology against all conflicts and influences from the outside.
On the occasion of the exhibition a catalogue was published.
Participating Artists: Ahn Kyu Chul, Sulki & Min Choi, Sunah Choi, Jay Chung & Q Takeki Maeda, COMPANY (Aamu Song, Johan Olin), Jason Dodge, Matias Faldbakken, Peter Friedl, Rainer Ganahl, Nesrine Khodr, Beom Kim, Minouk Lim, Pol Malo, June Bum Park, Park Chan-Kyong, Mai-Thu Perret, Tobias Rehberger, Seo Jin Soo, Bruno Serralongue, Sean Snyder, Simon Starling, Aram Tanis
Foundation The Fifth Season and Foundation Beautiful Distress
The book Beautiful Distress is the result of the Beautiful Distress Art Manifestation about insanity, which took place in Amsterdam in the autumn of 2017, organized by the foundations The Fifth Season and Beautiful Distress. The book consists of the exhibition catalog, a number of connecting texts and a report of the symposium with recommendations to combat the stigmatization of mental illness.
Participating Artists: Laurence Aëgerter, Aram Tanis, Marieke Zwart, Aldo van den Broek, Yasmijn Karhof, Dirk van Lieshout, Voebe de Gruyter, Marijn Ottenhof, Coco Young, Domenico Mangano & Marieke van Rooy, Kostana Banovic, Doris Denekamp & Geert van Mil, Jantine Wijnja, Rebecca Chamberlain, Guy Richards Smit, Frank Koolen, Anno Dijkstra, Aimée Zito Lema, Alet Pilon, Lotte van Lieshout, Jikke van Loon, Marisca Voskamp, Annemiek Vera, Jean Bernard Koeman, Annaleen Louwes, Christiaan Bastiaans, Berend Strik, Erik van Lieshout, Roy Villevoye, Fransje Killaars, Ingmar Heytze, Lisette Verkerk, Menno Wigman, Tobias Groot, Enrico Garzaro, Anna Lenartowska and others
Gallery Korea 2011
Korean Cultural Center New York
Smoke Bath is a collection of photographs and art work loosely based on the theme of camping, nature and exploring.
The goal of Smoke Bath is to showcase the work of artists that are inspired by nature and raise money for freshair.org in the process. The Fresh Air Fund is an independent, not-for-profit agency that provides free summer vacations to New York City children from low-income communities.
Participating Artists: Alec Soth, Aram Tanis, Ariko Inaoka, Arik Roper, Ben Pier, Boogie, Brad Troemel, Cali DeWitt, Carola Bonfili, Cheryl Dunn, Chris Johanson, Christian Belgaux, Christian Patterson, Coley Brown, Collier Schorr, Dana Goldstein, David Aron, David Potes, Dominic Neitz, Donniella Davy, Dylan Reece, Eden Batki, Ed Templeton, Erik Kessels, Fumie Ishii, Henk Wildschut, Ian Helwig, Junichi Sakamoto, Keiko Ichinose, Kento Mori, Kevin Romaniuk, Kevin Spanky Long, Kevin Trageser, Landon Metz, Lele Saveri, Marius Nilsen, Mark Borthwick, Mark Cross, Mat O'Brien, Philippe Gerlach, Philip Watts, Ray Potes, Richard Prince, Richard Renaldi, Rob Abeyta, Robin Schwartz, Ron Jude, Sake Kota, Sam Falls, Sophie Morner, Takashi Homma, Todd Hido and others
BADGAST In Between PS1 New York and Shanghai
Arts and science can express the spatial and social and ecological qualities - as well as the problems - of our coastal areas, and make them engagingly accessible to the public. These works can transform a destination normally marked by consumption and recreation into a platform for critical communication and serious reflection. This timely reflection on spatial transition processes may act as a strong catalyst in generating public and professional discussions and connect contemporary research and new works to historic and future works and coastal transitions.
Participating Artists: Henrik Lund Jørgensen, Tatiana Fiodorova, Nicoleta Esinencu, Maarten Boswijk, Sachi Miyachi, Jannemieke Oostra, Eric van Straaten, Esther Kokmeijer, Jan de Graaf, Eliane Esther Bots, Frouke Wiarda, Maarten de Kroon, Frank Bloem, Edwin Deen, Chris Dobrowolski, Janine Schrijver, Jacolijn Verhoef, Aram Tanis, Nadine O'Garra, Nathalie Fixon, Fabrice Schomberg, Giuseppe Licari, Cristina Ampatzidou, James Geurts, Ibrahim Ineke, Sieko Kloosterhuis, Gemma Pauwels, Danilo Murro, Ronald Boer, Valerie Dempsey, Annechien Meier, René Jansen, Johanna Reiner, Johannes Hoffmann, Francois Lombarts, Andrea Kessler, Berndnaut Faiss, Bram Esser, Vesta Kroese, Simone Knaapen and others