Artists are uniquely placed to capture the zeitgeist. Indeed, more often than not, they create it. Harumi Yamaguchi is such an artist. Trained in fine art, she flourished in advertising in 1980s Tokyo. In his remarkable essay, Taro Nettleton charts how her immediately recognizable ‘Harumi Gals’ ushered in a new modern woman in Japan: empowered, confident, and deeply aspirational.
Yamaguchi’s work is a good reminder that feminism and gender politics are always shaped by the contexts and cultures in which they emerge. This ever-relevant topic was discussed by artists Frida Kahlo and Käthe Kollwitz (Guerrilla Girls), Yurie Nagashima, Yu Hong, and Nilima Sheikh in a 2018 Conversations panel that has lost none of its punch.
This week we also revisit Korakrit Arunanondchai’s video self-portrait – an invitation to follow them in the many recesses of their almost shamanistic practice and urgently reconsider our relationship to the natural world. Lastly, we take a deep dive into one of the fastest growing art markets in Southeast Asia: the Philippines.