Conceptual Strategies in Southeast Asian Art : A Local narrative

Category - essays and articles
by Iola Lenzi - Introduction In his review of the Southeast Asian art exhibition of 2010 Making History Tony Godfrey, the author of Conceptual Art, assesses works by Alwin Reamillo (b.1964), Mella Jaarsma (b.1960), Vasan Sitthiket (b.1957),Tang Da Wu (b.1943), Nge Lay (b.1979), Green Zeng (b.1972), and Bui Cong Khanh (b.1972) as difficult to read, “... its (the exhibition’s) weakness is the Read more....

New Silk Roads: Painting Beyond Borders

Category - essays and articles
by Rachel Choo The ancient Silk Road – actually a network of established roads, unkempt pathways and evanescent desert trails – conducted goods, ideas, adventurers, spies, diplomats and armies from China, across the Eurasian continent to India, the Mideast and Europe, and back. The road has become a fabled metaphor for cosmopolitan wayfaring and exchange, despite the fact that it was also a Read more....

History and Memory in Thai Contemporary Art

Category - essays and articles
by Iola Lenzi In his latest novel Map of the invisible World, Malaysian author Tash Aw discusses selective amnesia in the context of Indonesian history. One of his protagonists notes that Europeans remember bad things, while Asians forget them-as a way of erasing pain-, concluding that “…to be ignorant of one’s true history is to live in a void…where you do not really exist…”. Thai art Read more....

Exploring Urbanisation in China Through New Media Art

Category - essays and articles
by Sally Clarke Abstract The histories of Asian art are full of controversies and China is no exception. Under Mao Zedong, the communist party effectively imposed its view of culture on the populous and employed thousands of artists to communicate the political legitimacy of the party through their works, therein creating an extensive iconography. The stifling of the arts by Mao was particularly Read more....

Mekong Spring: Cambodian Photography in the Last Decade

Category - essays and articles
by Zhuang Wubin The years leading to the 1970 coup by Lon Nol that deposed Norodom Sihanouk, the American bombing from 1964 to 1975, the brutal reign of the Khmer Rouge (KR) from 1975 to 1979, and the subsequent Vietnamese rule until its military withdrawal in 1989 brought about massive upheavals in the lives of Cambodians. Ironically, the dislocation also offers a convenient starting point Read more....