I respect the richness and diversity of traditional Asian art a lot, but until recently, can't help thinking that many of the contemporary Asian artists are merely playing a game of “catch up” with their Western counterparts. I seriously need to correct that notion.
I'd like to point you to Ketna Patel's body of work. The Singapore-based artist is a highly prolific artist/ designer who utilizes a combination of different materials and techniques, ranging from traditional painting to multi-media interfaces, for her work. Her current collection Asia Pop is a series of art and furniture inspired by the plural narratives embedded in Asian street culture. Think powerful Asian images infused with loud electric colors.
Patel's work particularly impresses me with its pop art sensibility and joyful imagery of diverse religious icons and the extremes of daily life. While this may not be everybody's cup of tea (and definitely not for the weak of hearts), the artwork and furniture that result reflect the creator's refreshing personal style and is above the stereotypical Asian themed art/décor for export that we've come to know of.
Patel's work is currently on display at ARTSingapore 2008 until tomorrow (13th Oct).