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Mallika Rao
Mallika Rao reports on Asian and Asian-American art for the Huffington Post. She used to draw cartoons (of Lifetime movies) at Jezebel, and write all over the place.

Entries by Mallika Rao

The Ai Weiwei Museum Of All Of Our Dreams Is Coming

(0) Comments | Posted July 11, 2014 | 9:01 AM

It's a famous story in Christopher Tsai's family, of his grandfather, who had flown in for a visit in the mid-1960s, demanding an explanation for “that thing on the ceiling.”

The “thing,” dangling from the Tsai family home in Connecticut, was a mobile. Not just any but an original Alexander...

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(0) Comments | Posted July 10, 2014 | 11:29 PM


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On Kawara, Japanese Conceptual Artist, Dies At 81

(2) Comments | Posted July 10, 2014 | 5:10 PM

On Kawara, the 81-year-old Japanese painter and conceptual artist whose fascination with human mortality was legend, has died, The Huffington Post has learned.

The news -- first circulated on Twitter -- was confirmed by a representative of the David Zwirner Gallery. The gallery has represented the artist...

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You Might Not Know It, But Parakeets Have Invaded The Skies Of Tokyo

(1) Comments | Posted July 10, 2014 | 8:53 AM

No one would expect to see green parrots in Tokyo, but that's precisely the sight that seems to greet you when you look skyward in the Japanese city. In fact, the hordes of lime-colored birds are parakeets, the wild descendants of pets imported from India and Sri Lanka...

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Kama Sutra-Inspired Posters Raise Awareness Of An Unlikely Topic -- Police Brutality In Brazil

(0) Comments | Posted July 10, 2014 | 8:46 AM

It's a famous quote, attributed to Alfred Hitchcock: "Film your murders like love scenes, and your love scenes like murders." Apply that logic to poster art, and you've got the concept behind #Kamasurra, a Brazilian graphic design series that depicts police brutality in the style of erotica.

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These Gorgeous Vintage Kimonos Will Change The Way You Think Of The Japanese Garment

(0) Comments | Posted July 8, 2014 | 8:49 AM

If we think of the kimono at all, it's of the heavy, silken, flowery garments of the Edo period, starting in the early 1600s. They were status symbols, a way for merchants to show their wealth without threatening the primacy of shoguns, who ruled the fiefdom.

As Japan westernized, so...

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You May Not Know About The First Chinese Americans, But You Should

(13) Comments | Posted July 7, 2014 | 8:49 AM

It wasn't easy being Chinese American in the early days. From exclusionary laws to the racist caricatures that dotted newspaper comic pages, America wasn't exactly laying down the welcome mat.

And yet, there were success stories. The Chinese American, a newspaper founded by the activist and journalist Wong Chin Foo,...

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Chinese Artist Exhibits Gorgeous 'Sculptures' Built By Bees

(9) Comments | Posted July 5, 2014 | 1:44 AM

The Beijing-based artist and beekeeper Ren Ri is a focused man. His new three-part series -- titled "Yuansu" in reference to the Chinese word for "element" -- turns bees into his collaborators. Yuansu II features sculptures made by bees, of beeswax.

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How China's Most Famous Grounded Artist Collaborated With A Navajo Man Thousands Of Miles Away

(0) Comments | Posted July 5, 2014 | 1:38 AM

The idea was to raise the profile of a small Navajo art festival by roping in Ai Weiwei, the fiery Chinese dissident artist. And that's precisely what's happened. Suddenly, Navajo TIME, an annual festival that takes place deep in the desert in the American Southwest, is making headlines....

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The Accidental Sensuality Of Ancient Indian Wrestling

(7) Comments | Posted July 2, 2014 | 9:16 AM

There is something inherently photogenic about kushti, an ancient form of wrestling practiced in India. For more than 2,000 years, men known as pehlwans (wrestlers) have trained assiduously in the sport, rising at dawn to stretch and fight under the guidance of a Hindu guru, or Muslim ustad. It's a...

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Artist Uncovers The Musical Score Hiding In A Japanese Skyline

(0) Comments | Posted July 1, 2014 | 12:50 PM

The artist Koshi Kawachi is a master of turning the everyday into the sublime. His latest project converts mountain ranges and cityscapes into musical scores, so you can "hear" the shape of the environment.

The score above was created for a recent exhibit at the 500m Museum in the city of Sapporo, on Japan's Hokkaido island. Kawachi scored the skyline as viewed from the Sapporo JR Tower, a 38-story skyscraper that acts as a gateway to the city. Built off the skyline's critical points, the score is played on a tonkori, a plucked string instrument indigenous to the island.

Kawachi's other compositions include a take on the Shinjuku region in Tokyo, and one based on the Bavarian Alps. Because, of...

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Watching This Japanese Craftsman At Work Could Give You A 'Brain Orgasm'

(19) Comments | Posted June 30, 2014 | 9:28 AM

It's not hard to find someone online who claims to have experienced autonomous sensory meridian response.

The non-clinical term refers to a pleasurable tingling that spreads through the scalp and neck. Known in some circles of the internet as a "brain orgasm," the sensation has been...

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Introducing The Canvas Chair, Or A Drawing You Can Actually Sit On

(1) Comments | Posted June 27, 2014 | 9:32 AM

Remember that drunk Denver lass who rubbed her bare backside all over a $30 million Clyfford Still painting, damaging it for no apparent reason?

That's not exactly the logic guiding The Canvas Chair, a curious new offering from the MoMA Design Store. The seemingly two-dimensional, still-life painting of...

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Japan's 'Toilenniale' Is Shaping Up To Be The World's Best Toilet-Themed Art Festival

(2) Comments | Posted June 26, 2014 | 9:07 AM

In news that was bound to happen, a city in Japan is planning what seems to be an ambitious arts festival, with a twist. Oita, a midsize manufacturing city, hopes to "make its mark" by hosting the world's first ever "Toilenniale" next summer, reports Quartz:

The city is...
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Disturbing Animation Imagines A World Where Breathing Is Outlawed

(0) Comments | Posted June 26, 2014 | 9:01 AM

The London-based animation studio Beakus has created the ultimate dystopian future.

The world of "Last Breath" -- the film posted above, directed by Mak Ying-Ping -- has a lot wrong with it. Chief among the difficulties of living there is that citizens aren't allowed to breathe. And...

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The Darker Side Of Thailand's Grueling National Sport, Muay Thai

(3) Comments | Posted June 25, 2014 | 9:15 AM

There's a dark side to Muay Thai, Thailand's 700-year-old national sport. Children as young as seven or eight are often the stars of the ring, most of them poor, kicking and pummeling and injuring each other as they perform the "Art of Eight Limbs," as Muay Thai is known. The...

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167 Japanese Musicians Play 'Ode To Joy' In The Strangest Way Imaginable

(2) Comments | Posted June 24, 2014 | 9:20 AM

The headline may be hyperbolic, but readers, there is a time for hyperbole. That time is when Beethoven's 9th symphony gets covered by 167 Japanese musicians, playing theremins lodged inside Russian dolls.

Mental Floss writer Chris Higgins has the details on the contraptions the players above are...

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Behold, One Of The Last Unspoiled Islands In The World

(5) Comments | Posted June 24, 2014 | 9:18 AM

Some real places look so unreal. That's certainly the case with Koh Yao Noi, one of the few undeveloped islands still left in Thailand. Such spots pose a problem: do you visit, leaving the setting a little more spoilt than when you came, or never step foot there...

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Artist Transforms An iPhone Into A Poetic Tribute To The Modern Soldier

(0) Comments | Posted June 23, 2014 | 8:50 AM

Zippos and war go hand in hand.

It's been that way since the early 1940s, when the Zippo Manufacturing Company entered into an exclusive contract with the U.S. military. By the time of the Vietnam War, the utilitarian lighter had been converted into something much softer: barred...

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An Anime Version Of 'Mean Girls' Brings Fetch To A Whole New Level

(0) Comments | Posted June 23, 2014 | 8:44 AM

It's been 10 years since "Mean Girls" introduced us to words like "fetch" and "grool," and concepts like pink Wednesdays. Given the thought pieces that continue to be written about the movie's take on high school politics a decade on, it's safe to say it's a modern comedy...

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