Published 01 June 2019
State Library of NSW
Efforts to save the ancient city of Hanoi from redevelopment - an Australian businessman raises money and support
Artist Joan Grounds describes the experience of her first residency in Thailand in 1989. Her lack of knowledge of Thai culture and language and having to operate in a climate where open critical debate about art or other topics was not possible were some of the challenges she faced. Since then she has returned four times to make art works in Thailand and witnessed the rapid changes which occurred over the period including a greater willingness to discuss issues.
Published December 1993
'Streams of Indonesian Art from Pre-historic to Contemporary'
Published by the Committee of the Festival of Indonesia, Jakarta, 1991.
A series of essays by Indonesian writers.
'Perceptions of Paradise: Images of Bali in the Arts'
By a US scholar Garrett Kam,
Publishedby the Museum Neka, Bali, 1993.
Both publications help to fill the gaps in written art history. 'Streams' tries to sanitise the history of the oppression of artists by political forces and ongoing social inequities.
The US/Mexico based Border Workshop group worked on a collaborative shopfront installation in 1992 with the Cabramatta community of western Sydney where many Indo-Chinese refugee populations settled in the 70s. A large installation representing a refugee boat and a walk-in temple containing video monitors playing back student interviews with local people.
The massacre of pro-democracy students in May 1992 was a watershed for Thai artists who began to identify with change, formed associations and took part in rallies, and called for public monuments to the tragedy. The City Art League was formed to present performance art in public places and the Concrete House to draw attention to AIDS through art activities. This brought social and political issues into the realm of art.
A sketch of the main institutions and galleries, the prizes, sponsors and patrons, as well as a list of the main galleries was a guide to the art scene in Bangkok at the time of writing. Several of the large hotels also had commissioned murals as well as acquiring new works by contemporary Thai artists.
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!
A concise history of the beginnings of modernism in Thailand from the 1890s. In the 1970s the current Princess established an alternative space for young Thai artists in which the tensions between art for art's sake and art for religious purposes were evident. Politically correct art about Thai-ness was sponsored by banks in the 80s. Later political instability and environmental problems gave rise to a new kind of work challenging cultural consumerism.
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 Confess and Conceal a group show of 4 Asian and 7 Australian artists organised by the Art Gallery of WA and touring South East Asia. Catalogue has essay by Apinan Poshyananda discussing Thai women artists but fails to provide background to the other Asian works or whether Australia shares the sense of reorientation being experienced in Asia or whether it can be thought of as part of Asia.
An overview of the history of Malaysian modernism and the work of three artists who rebelled against their Islamic-style training at the Institute of Teknologi Mara. Riaz Jamil Ahmad, Ahmad Shukri Elias and Tengku Sabri. Riaz and Ahmad paint in a neo-expressionist figurative mode, Tengku makes carved wood sculptures which have echoes of old Malay motifs. After some years of dissent the three have adopted a stratgic self-imposed culture of silence.
There are very few specialised printmakers in Vietnam, partly because of the expense of materials and equipment. Woodcuts, a traditional form, with the use of multiple coloured plates, are in demand but are now rare, engraving in both metal and plaster is growing, lithography dates from the anti-French resistance, and silkscreen was used for socialist posters in the 70s. Graphic arts are moving into the world of advertising where the money is.
A survey of the role played by politics in art and vice versa before during and after Independence from the Dutch. Artists were employed by political parties to promote their ideologies; by 1950 artists rejected this. Some were arrested for depicting social realities. 20 years later a new group took up the baton, and again incurred the displeasure of the government. Humour was adopted as a means of expressing truths.