Published 25 August 2021
The artist lived with local people in Singapore to find imagery from populist Hong Kong cinema resulting in the exhibition Mien.
David Castle's jewellery has been influenced by over 15 journeys to Indonesia since 1972, particularly the islands between Darwin and Bali. He finds the ceremonial activities of the Balinese attractive and this is evident in his body adornment pieces. He was an artist in residence in Kuala Lumpur in 1991 creating links with the University of Tasmania in his home base Launceston where his current exhibition Journeys was held.
Published December 1993
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.
Thawan Duchanee is a successful Thai artist whose studies abroad helped him to create a new Thai art which is a hybrid of western and eastern ideas. He set up a museum in Chiang Rai to promote all the contemporary Thai arts and has funded many scholarships. He was a resident artist at the University of Melbourne April-May 1993 where he created a huge painting as well as an 'Oz' version of his Thai homes using various elements as votives to nature.
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.
The author recounts her education in a Thai boarding school under the male patriarchal system. As an artist she has tried to come to terms with her upbringing and her work has reflected the situation for her mother and grandmother as well as the death from cancer of her father. She describes her installation work 'Dinner with Cancer' as a commentary on consumption - "humans are not only consumers, they are also being consumed".
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.
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.
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.
The artist as a gay Asian male who migrated to Tasmania to escape persecution in Hong Kong, has "copped it swee" a lot of the time. Undeterred he has produced work which addresses this theme and worked quietly towards reform of the laws against homosexuality in Tasmania.
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.
From 1989 - 1991 artist Neil Roberts found himself engaged on a series of working visits to the Philippines. He decided to use only local materials, striking a welcome chord with his hosts. His tendency towards sparse presentation was in sharp contrast to the overload of the installations and paintings of local artists, echoing the contrast between Australian and Filipino attitudes to space. At ARX in Perth he collaborated with Cesare Syjuco who has the ART-LAB space in Manila.