detail: One and One #35 by Timo Nasseri

Temporal Turn: Art & Speculation in Contemporary Asia

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Third-floor galleries and Kemper Family Foundations Balcony

Temporal Turn explores contemporary art practice that spans the cultural diversity of Asia and speculates on varied manifestations of time, history, and memory. While many artists in the exhibition approach temporal imagination by adapting scientific methods, others deploy a range of strategies grounded in deep-rooted cultural perspectives. The result is a rich mosaic of concepts that destabilize our conventional understanding of the past, present, and future.  

With artwork created by more than 20 artists embedded in what has been dubbed the “Asian Century,” Temporal Turn also addresses a range of real-world issues, such as our ongoing relationship with technology, changing attitudes toward gender and national identity, climate change and globalization. The speculative focus of Temporal Turn is explored through five themes. "Pulse" presents artwork that investigates biological systems such as physiology and evolution. "The Edge of Infinity" examines the role of mathematics, astronomy, and space exploration. "Mythopoeia" explores historical and mythical fictions grounded in culturally specific perspectives. "Human/Posthuman/Inhuman" ranges from predictions about the next step in human evolution to extraterrestrial life. The final theme, "Anthropocene," contemplates how humans are transforming nature on a planetary scale.   

In addition to works drawn from the Spencer Museum’s collection and international loans, Temporal Turn features four site-specific works commissioned exclusively for the exhibition. Japanese artist Konoike Tomoko (b. 1960) created a painting on stitched cowhide. Rohini Devasher (b. 1978), from New Delhi, India, drew a wall mural with video elements in the Central Court. Seoul-based artist Park Jaeyoung (b. 1981) installed the interactive Kansas Bokaisen Project. Sahej Rahal (b. 1988), from Mumbai, India, created monumental works from recycled materials located at the entrance of the Museum.

View the exhibition brochure.

View the commissions publication.


Selected exhibition images