Published April 2021
Efforts to save the ancient city of Hanoi from redevelopment - an Australian businessman raises money and support
Background to how the special issue on South East Asia came about, and speculation that Australia is at the crossroads of a new sensitivity to Asian culture and a desire to be part of its development. Despite growing industrialisation Asian cultures are still distinct and hold highly contrasting attitudes to artistic expression. Thanks to Neil Manton of the Dept of Foreign Affairs and Trade for his influence in funding this project.
Published December 1993
Ceramics have a long history in Vietnam and two 13th Century centres Bat Trang and Phu Lang are still active today. Old blue and white porcelain ware used to be in common use in peasant families, but different polychrome styles are now in vogue and fake antiques are common too. In some design colleges non-functional sculptural forms and decorative motifs have replaced functional ware, but there is a healthy expansion of production nationally.
Review of book 'Modern Art in Thailand, 19th and 20th Centuries'
By Apinan Poshyananda
Published by OUP, Singapore, 1992.
An exemplary study of this period tracing traditional practice, regional categories, ethnic divisions, foreign arrivals, and the advent of modernism and westernisation in art and life. The reader gains insight into Buddhism and social structures including kingship in the course of looking at this complex history.
The third edition of ARX, the biennial artists' exchange project between Australian and Asian artists, put much energy into promotion, andtravelling the visiting artists around Australia to give lectures and workshops in an effort to create more opportunities for Asian artists. ARX is constantly shifting its focus and is an evolving event but a continuing interest is cultural nuances and the visual manifestations of these.
Indonesian printmaking emerged around the time of Independence in 1945. It began to be taught in colleges in Bandung, Yogyakarta and Jakarta and became a way of showing Indonesian art abroad. Prints are now seen in offices, banks, hotels and homes. Indonesian printmakers have participated in international print exhibitions in Norway, Taiwan, and Japan.
Theatre director Krishen Jit talks to artist Wong Hoy Cheong about contemporary Malaysian art and his adoption of a figurative style of painting after he returned from study in the USA. This is being used by young artists in Malaysia as an expression of rebellion, as is performance art. Malaysian society avoids dissenting voices and has been slow to accept the angst in modernism, which perhaps has only just been fully internalised though it was introduced in the fifties.
Carpets have long been a link between East and West. In 1992 a Western Australian textile designer-maker Rinske Car-Driesens began working with the Vietnam Women's Union and a Singapore business women's body to have her carpet designs hand-knotted in Vietnam using Australian wools dyed in Albany. While Car-Driesens uses CAD-CAM technology to design them, the Vietnamese workers rely on their hand and eye skills to produce wonderful results.
1. Lacquer painting is a very old medium which was adapted by 20thC painters including Nguyen Gia Tri. 2. The most famous exponent of Silk painting was Nguyen Phan Chanh (1892-1984) who painted villagers and country life. 3. After 1925 artists adopted oil paint and after absorbing French influences, by the 90s formed a new Vietnamese identity typified by a group of 3 senior artsits. In 1989 a group show of young artists was a turning point.
Artist Noelene Lucas describes the rationale behind the work The Presence of the Centre which she made at Silpakorn University in Bangkok during a residency. It deals with her perception of the landscape of theAustralian Centre as seen from 11,000 metres flying to Thailand, and the fragmentary way we perceive. It is a metaphor for negotiating our position in the world.
The artist lived with local people in Singapore to find imagery from populist Hong Kong cinema resulting in the exhibition Mien.
There are perennial debates within art circles in Indonesia about applying terms like surrealism to local art. The history and geography of Indonesia mean that theirs is a 'different' kind of modern art which took the form of an art rejecting Dutch colonial rule. Later, in the 80s the influential theorist Dr Soedjoko advocated including traditional art and craft in the fine art canon. He predicted a shift in world focus from Europe and America to the South.
The efforts on the part of the author and others to set up a studio for Australian artists, writers, historians and others within the Hanoi College of Fine Arts. Support being sought from the Vietnamese Ministry of Culture and the art education institutions in Australia.