Published 01 September 2020
Published September 2020
The artist lived with local people in Singapore to find imagery from populist Hong Kong cinema resulting in the exhibition Mien.
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.
Published December 1993
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.
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.
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 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 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.
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.
Traditional Philipino woven textiles are still made today, keeping alive an ancient regional art form which is poorly documented in museums and not well recognised. All the varied types of weaving are described and illustrated. The patterns, iconography and styles are now seen in modern interior design and in fashion and help to maintain something essentially Philipino in a society which has taken on the trappings of world culture.
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 critique of a culture of self-congratulation where there is no place for critical feedback, institutions are not scrutinised and standards are low, where criticism is greeted with hostility. The major art school is lavishly funded but authoritarian and there are no checks and balances on lecturing staff. Art museum shows are poor, corruption is evident in some places. Artists suffer from neglect and have little support for their practice.
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.
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.