Published 01 December 2019
Published 01 March 2020
Published 01 January 2020
Efforts to save the ancient city of Hanoi from redevelopment - an Australian businessman raises money and support
Many ethnic groups have melded to form the present day Philippines. Colonial rule and the influence of the US, Spain and Japan have all left their mark while there is still much resistance to losing traditional values. Art expression is varied and unrestricted and since the 1990s regional areas have come to the fore. Support from the state has been erratic. Artists are struggling against the onslaught of capitalist developments and art for investment.
Published December 1993
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 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.
Hanoi was founded 1000 years ago, and has always been an important centre, culturally and economically. Its Ancient Quarter is a miraculous human-scale blueprint for living and working and much of its original character survives today. The French Quarter built in the 19th Century was a sensitive complement to the old Asian architecture, but today all this is threatened by ugly, insensitive development motivated by greed. Hanoi needs a handsome prince to rescue her!
From early 80s artists began to search for local identity - the use of local indigenous materials was part of this. One 70s pioneer was Junyee who used living plant material in performance art. Roberto Villanueva and Santiago Bose work in mixed media to explore ideas of being Philipino in a modern world. Imelda Cajipe-Endaya's paintings deal with 3rd world citizens, women, migrant workers, poverty. Roberto Feleo uses mythic narrative in a playful idiom.
Interview between author and the painter Ca Le Thang about new developments in Ho Chi Minh City brought about by the open-door policy doi moi and the increasing commercialisation of fine art. Modernism is more easily accepted here than in some other parts of the country. The magazine My Thuat was formed 2 years ago as an organ of the City Fine Arts Association, and provides a forum for artists and critics to air important issues.
Thai art has grafted partly grasped Western styles onto a Thai base, and the market is booming But a lack of direction and critical voices is evident in this rigid status-ridden society. Pioneering innovators like Thawan Duchanee who translated Buddhist philosophy into a modern mode lost his fire and became repetitive. Corporate patronage has encouraged this. Those who are breaking new ground include Prasong Lueuang, Vasan Sittiket, Montien Boonma, Chirasek Pattanapong.
Problems of survival of new art without subsidy have created two groups: The Artists' Village, a loose collective of artists who occupied two buildings scheduled for redevelopment, ending up in the Substation near the National Art Gallery. 5th Passage was allowed to occupy an area in a shopping centre where they made performances on environmental themes and ran very popular school holiday art programs for children.
What is the relationship between the art or craft object and its maker? This question is put from the Philippines in relation to crafts and compares the importance of the origin or culture of the maker in that country to that in Australia. Students of Philippine crafts have applied the 'mapping' method which helps to understand the depth of tradition and their subsequent evolution into urban variants. Writers on the crafts are developing ways of exploring these questions.
Thai-Australian Cultural Space was an exhibition at the Bangkok National Gallery in 1993 of works by Montien Boonma, Vichoke Mukdamanee and Kamol Phaosavasdi from Thailand and Joan Grounds and Noelene Lucas from Australia, all of whom had experience of working in countries other than their own. A common theme of the work was our relationship to nature and the spiritual in art and life.
An account of an artist in residency in 1993 at the Institut Teknologi Mara (ITM) at Shah Alam outside Kuala Lumpur. The spatial excitement of the building was not matched by its usability or enlightened curriculum. She produced an installation using local materials and learned about ITM's positive discrimination in favour of bumi putera students (local Malay) and how the school fits into the Islamic State.