Asia's 10 Most-Inspiring Visual Artists


Artists are often misunderstood, yet their works are capable of shaping societies and causing civilizations to flourish. Art makes you laugh; sometimes it makes you cry. At times it makes you stop and think. In this issue, Top 10 of Asia ponders upon the world of the visual artist and takes a look at its list of Asia's 10 most-inspiring visual artists who are adding their creative outputs into Asia's artistic reservoir.

Michael Vincent Manalo

A Filipino native, Michael Vincent Manalo works as one of the main artists for a Swiss magazine, Zeitpunkt as a freelance book cover and album package designer and photographer. His works are surrealist and portray nostalgic and dream-like environments; they travel along the path of socio-cultural issues and universal emotions of the human self. He has participated in numerous solo and group exhibitions, artist-in-residence programs, art festivals, lecture and workshop presentations in Australia, Azerbaijan, England, Georgia, Germany, Italy, Japan, Lithuania, Philippines, Poland, Serbia, Singapore, Spain and the USA. Among the awards he has won include First Prize in the Digital Art Category: Chianciano International Award for Digital and Photographic Art 2010 (IT) and Best Photography Illustration from the Redmond Digital Arts Festival 2011 (USA).

Jazoo Yang

Jazoo Yang is a visual artist from South Korea. Her works take a variety of forms, including painting (excretions), installation (excavation), and performance. As an elaboration on her own solitude, a product of the constantly shifting physical and cultural landscape of South Korea's urban space, Jazoo endeavours to explore notions of history and loss in her work. Influenced by the present-day neglect of social legacy and the 'culturelessness' of the modern city, Jazoo aims to salvage that which lies on the fringe of our social consciousness. Apart from her homeland, she has exhibited in New York, Berlin, France, China and Germany.

Jing Chung

Jing Chung was born to an artist family in Malaysia and received her BFA in Interior Design from Academy of Art University, San Francisco, USA in 1995, and MS from University of Lincoln, Lincoln, UK in 2003. From 1996 to 1998, she was a visiting lecturer at the International Modern Design Art College (IMDAC) of Yunnan University and IMDAC of Inner Mongolia Normal University. Combining a unique use of color, technique and detail, she desires to create art pieces that emphasize the spiritual aspect and the conceptual aspect of expression. She paints not to represent the physical form with precision, but rather convey inner feeling and thought. She has received numerous awards including The Italy Design Boom Social Awareness Award (2006) and The Hunting Art Prize of Houston, Texas (2009). Her artworks are exhibited in several countries and are collected by private collectors worldwide.

Shiblee Muneer

Coming from the Patayla Court Family of Miniature Artists where his ancestors used to paint miniatures in the Mughal courts, Shiblee Munir was exposed to Islamic Calligraphy Art at a very young age. He received his initial art education from home before being sent to deepen his calligraphic skills from religious teachers. In 2003, he entered the Naqsh School of Arts in Lahore, Pakistan where he began his formal art education and subsequently transferred to Beaconhouse National University to advance his studies. During his studies, he began adopting contemporary techniques and experimenting with other ways to paint. As an artist, he paints his own world using lines as metaphors to voice his thoughts. For him each line denotes a galaxy of meanings rather than a rigid world. He has participated in many international art exhibitions and symposiumsin China, Egypt, Canada, Germany, UK and USA.

Srinivas Mangipudi

Srinivas Mangipudi was born in 1976 in India. He is a multi-disciplinary artist and an arts-science researcher. His work is an inquiry of the limits between thought and action and exploration in relation to his surroundings. His research interest is cognitive learning through drawing, and building cross-disciplinary interactive applications. He has exhibited his works in India, Canada, Germany, Spain, USA, Brazil and Peru. He currently lives and works in Rio de Janeiro with his wife Peruvian artist Maria Medina and is a fellowship recipient for 2013, from the School of Visual and Performing Arts, Parque Lage, Rio de Janeiro.

Norm Yip

Norm Yip started his career as an architect in Hong Kong before deciding to shift his interest toward art and photography. He received his Bachelor of Arts degree (cum laude) at the University of Saskatchewan and his Bachelor of Architecture degree at the University of Toronto. As an artist, Norm is recognized for his fine art photographs of beautiful and sensuous Asian males. His works have appeared in HK Magazine, WHERE, Global Investor, American Express' Centurion magazine,Studios Magazine (Australia) and Bruno Gmuender's publications (Germany). Celebrities he has photographed include Zhang Yimou, Jennifer Lopez, Ricky Martin, Destiny's Child and Korean pop-star Rain. In 1999, he co-founded the art collective Meli-Melo Artists Alliance (MMAA) where he curated several exhibitions with artists such as Gavin Tu, Neung and Oksana Movchan. He continues to explore painting and photography on a continual basis and exhibits through his own studio in Chai Wan.

P. Gnana

P. Gnana is a distinguished, leading painter and sculptor in Singapore, whose artworks are collected in Southeast Asia, Europe and South Asia. Exemplary paintings by Gnana are also in the collections of the President of the Republic of Singapore and the Singapore Art Museum of the National Heritage Board. Fourteen of Gnana’s large-scaled abstract artworks were commissioned in 2005 by Singapore's Ascendas Pte Ltd for the International Tech Park in Chennai. Gnana is a recipient of the LASALLE Scholarship of the LASALLE College of the Arts (Singapore), from where he received his formal training in the art of painting. Gnana's art is synonymous with the metaphorical representation of the cow, which is a phenomenon in its own right. Experimentations and serious meditations are key instruments that have shaped Gnana’s creative journey throughout the past sixteen years, thus allowing him to rejuvenate in a world of constant change and fluctuating emotions.

Miseon Yoon

A BFA in Textile Art graduate from Hongik University in Seoul, South Korea, Miseon Yoon learnt the basics of fabrics at university. During her studies, she began developing her own technique and discovered a way to create artworks. Her works are completed by sewing fabrics that she later paints with her hands. Her themes in art stem from a prolonged sense of repressed emotions, unstable emotions, anxieties and feelings that she translates onto her canvas. Working with various hand-painted fabrics she has created, she gains inspiration from people and animals. She works from her studio in Seoul and has exhibited in solo and group exhibitions in Seoul and New York.

Hansen Thiam Sun

The purity and beauty of the environment in which this Indonesian artist grew up stimulated young Hansen to become deeply interested in art. After graduating from college in 1984, he worked for an American yacht manufacturing company as a designer and technical drawing specialist and studied Yacht Design at Westlawn School of Yacht Design in Connecticut. Under the guidance of an architect and painter, Georgian, he has developed his own sense of style marked by an original and distinctive play of strokes that are characteristically simple and spontaneous. His works overflow with reflections of life in its myriad manifestations - reflection that are both subtle and philosophical. As a result, he has developed a unique style that is a mixture of semi abstract and minimalist.He has exhibited in Singapore, Indonesia, USA, UK, Spain and China.

Labadiou Piko

An artist from Prabumulih, Indonesia, Iabadiou Piko studied Art Photography at the Academy of Design Vision in Yogyakarta. After graduating, he embarked on a career as a full time painter. His works are allegories and metaphors that reflect his daily life. He creates his works using the medium of painting and photography. Mostly abstract and intuitive, his works are inspired by the people he meets each day, things that happen to him, and places he has been to. A visual diary is produced whenever he captures memories, feelings and his own imagination. Apart from participating in group exhibitions in Indonesia, he has also exhibited in group shows in New York, Italy, Bangkok, China, Portugal and Canada.