In collaboration with, Leeza Ahmady, independent curator and director of Asian Contemporary Art Week (ACAW), conducts interviews with artists, curators, critics, and experts working both inside and outside of Asia. The program will include Ahmady’s reports from around town and will feature select recordings of conversations, talks, and panel discussions across venues in New York City.


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Conversation with Guy Ben-Ner

Guy Ben-Ner

Guy Ben-Ner, is an internationally renowned Isreali artist living and working in Tel Aviv. In New York to launch his latest video: Don’t Drop the Monkey, commissioned by Performa 09. In this conversation with Leeza Ahmady we hear about the artist’s process making videos, the intentions in his work, and his thoughts on how art and personal life mutually affect each other. Guy Ben-Ner shares details about the making of his video Don’t Drop the Monkey for Performa 09 in which the artist holds a telephone conversation with himself over a period of twelve months as he flies between Tel Aviv and Berlin. The film is completely unedited and always remains live. “Ben-Ner’s storyboard is life itself, and each scene occurs in real time, although with significant ellipses in between. Shot in Hebrew, and dubbed in English, the film presents a conversation in rhyme, which discusses how art can be at the service of life and the repercussions of such a unified relationship. Mixing sophisticated cinematic devices and crafty, do-it-yourself elements, Ben-Ner’s videos brim with witty cross-references to specific episodes and genres within the histories of cinema, video, and performance.”

Listen to interview with Guy Ben-Ner

What’s up and ahead for Bose Pacia

Currently on view at Bose Pacia Gallery in New York

Bose Pacia has launched the careers of some of the best known artists from South Asia who have now been included in the most prestigious museums and curated events worldwide. In this conversation, Leeza Ahmady and Rebecca Davis, Director of Bose Pacia, talk about Bose Pacia’s growth as a gallery, the increased academic, institutional, and commercial interest in art from the region, and what lies ahead for the gallery. Rebecca gives us details on Bose Pacia’s recent move from Chelsea to DUMBO and how they have been handling the recession. We also learn how the gallery started to build its impressive roster of artists and positioned itself at the forefront of contemporary South Asian avant-garde.

Listen to interview with Rebecca Davis

Yeondoo Jung


South Korean artist Yeondoo Jung talks with Leeza Ahmady about his art and how his childhood exposure to Traditional Chinese Medicine, and early 19th century photographers continues to inspire his artistic thinking. He discusses his latest video, Hand Made Memory, where he has juxtaposed interviews of real life characters with entirely staged interpretations of their stories. He likes to offer transparency to his viewers about the process of his image construction. “The process is what is so exciting and I want to share how I play with multiple elements: fiction, truth, documentary and pure fantasy.” In his first ever-live performance event Cinemagician commissioned by Performa 2009, Jung integrates , sound, camera feed-back, cinematic tricks, and the energy of a live magician in performance to create a magical experience for the audience.

Listen to interview with Yeondoo Jung

Lee Mingwei, The Mending Project

the mending project

Working behind a stunningly large, custom-built wooden table covered with used clothing, New York-based Taiwanese artist Lee Mingwei speaks with Leeza Ahmady during the performance of his 2009 exhibition The Mending Project. The interview takes place at Lambard-Freid Projects, host to the installation, where visitors would come with an article of clothing or house garment and have the artist personally mend the piece over the course of a conversation. Mingwei discusses the intentions behind making the focus his work a mundane task and turning a private act into an intimate one, stating, “I am interested in opening up beautiful moments of connection.” He also speaks of his past works and how each seeks to highlight the banal elements of quotidian life, allowing for a transformative experience for both the artist and the participant.

Listen to Lee Mingwei, The Mending Project

Crossing Borders: Contemporary Art in Troubled Places

The Middle East, North Africa, and South Asia often dominate the headlines, but rarely because of the burgeoning art scene. But art is alive and well in the region. So how are artists negotiating all that new attention? And how are cultural expectations affecting their work? Moderator Savita Apte, Chair of the Abraaj Capital Art Prize, and curators Leeza Ahmady and Carol Solomon sort out the issues in a panel discussion at the Museum of Arts and Design in September 2009. In association with the Abraaj Capital Art Prize exhibition.

Listen to Crossing Borders: Contemporary Art in Troubled Places

Stay tuned for more interviews to be posted later!