Published 01 June 2019
State Library of NSW
The artist lived with local people in Singapore to find imagery from populist Hong Kong cinema resulting in the exhibition Mien.
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.
Published December 1993
Mastura Abdul Rahman is a Malaysian Islamic woman artist and draws on the tradition of SE Asian woven textiles in the very precise ordering of her compositions which depict the arrangement of traditional Malay houses seen from above. Traditional head and breast cloths are ritual objects of great potency with the power to kill the weaver who makes a mistake in the design. To the initiated the paintings embody some of the same aura.
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.
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.
Review of the First Asia-Pacific Triennial of Contemporary Art, Queensland Art Gallery, Sept - Dec 1993. The rationale for selection, search for different voices from each country, enormous diversity, some common threads eg experience of colonisation; politicisation; role of religion in some countries. Dramatic performances by Dadang Christanto (Indonesia) and S. Chandrasekeran (Singapore). Theme of environmental pollution also appears in several works.
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.
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.
Asialink an organisation to encourage a better working understanding amongst Australians of Asia, was set up in Victoria in 1990. Since 1991 Asialink has organised a series of exhibitions of Australian art touring varoius Asian countries. Policy to always send an Australian curator and/or one of the artists to each venue to provide the human link. Artists' residencies are also an important part of the progam.
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.
Thai artists of the 'Buddhist Revival' claim to make Buddhist art just because they use the visual conventions of that tradition. The Tantric mandalas have been widely misappropriated. As soon as you take temple art out of the temple you run into difficulties of definition and authenticity. There is still traditional Buddhist art being made in the temples, but there is a great trade in pseudo-Buddhist art which is cheap and damaging.
A brief history of 20th Century art movements in Singapore and the state of art and art debate in the 1990s. In terms of how non-Singaporeans view and understand current art, the politically motivated performance art of Tang Da Wu and Amanda Heng in 1991-2 appears very similar to performance art in other countries but due to different cultural background it can be misread and those elements which are different are often ignored.
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!