Dreams of Prosperity

Silvia Vignato (ed.), Dreams of Prosperity: Inequality and Integration in Southeast Asia, EFEO, Silkworm Books, 2017

Dreams of Prosperity offers a critical composite reflection on Southeast Asia as a progressively integrated and globalized space of production, exchange, and circulation within and beyond national boundaries. Through a broad array of contexts united by the theme of integration, the essays describe the successful or unsuccessful entry of specific individuals or groups into wider markets and networks in their quest for prosperity—in Thailand, by Lua peasant farmers, slum families, the last century’s teak laborers, and ethnic tour hosts; in Indonesia, by the urban poor and communities resisting environmental destruction; and in Vietnam, by human trafficking returnees. The authors examine how these groups are socially and symbolically defined and redefined in the process of integration, and consider the imaginaries of future that enable both active participation and unmitigated manipulation. Two key topics are the cognitive struggle that peasants and laborers face with their material environment and the process of sense-making that characterizes many destitute people in urban contexts.

Contributors are Matteo Carlo Alcano, Amnuayvit Thitibordin, Monika Arnez, Giuseppe Bolotta, Olivier Evrard, Karnrawee Sratongno, Runa Lazzarino, Manoj Potapohn, Amalia Rossi, Sakkarin Na Nan, and Silvia Vignato.

Contents 

  1. Green Aspirations and the Dynamics of Integration in Two East Kalimantan Cities— Monika Arnez 
  2. Neoliberalism and the Integration of Labor and Natural Resources: Contract Farming and Biodiversity Conservation in Northern Thailand—Amalia Rossi and Sakkarin Na Nan 
  3. Integration and Marginality in the Tourist Economy: The Geopolitics of Trekking in Chiang Mai Province—Olivier Evrard, Manoj Potapohn, and Karnrawee Stratongno 
  4. Migration and the Ethnic Division of Labor in Siam’s Teak Business, 1880s–1910s— Amnuayvit Thitibordin 
  5. After the Shelter: The Nuances of Reintegrating Human Trafficking Returnees in Northern Vietnam—Runa Lazzarino 
  6. Playing the NGO System: How Mothers and Children Design Political Change in the Slums of Bangkok—Giuseppe Bolotta 
  7. Making Sense of Poverty in Aceh and Surabaya—Silvia Vignato and Matteo Carlo Alcano 

Bagan and the World: Early Myanmar and Its Global Connections

Goh Geok Yian, John N. Miksic, Michael Aung-Thwin (eds), Bagan and the World: Early Myanmar and Its Global Connections, ISEAS – Yusof Ishak Institute, 2017

The archaeological site of Bagan and the kingdom which bore its name contains one of the greatest concentrations of ancient architecture and art in Asia. Much of what is visible today consists of ruins of Buddhist monasteries. While these monuments are a major tourist attraction, recent advances in archaeology and textual history have added considerable new understanding of this kingdom, which flourished between the 11th and 14th centuries. Bagan was not an isolated monastic site; its inhabitants participated actively in networks of Buddhist religious activity and commerce, abetted by the sites location near the junction where South Asia, China and Southeast Asia meet.

This volume presents the result of recent research by scholars from around the world, including indigenous Myanmar people, whose work deserves to be known among the international community. The perspective on Myanmar’s role as an integral part of the intellectual, artistic and economic framework found in this volume yields a glimpse of new themes which future studies of Asian history will no doubt explore.

Voir la table des matières sur : https://bookshop.iseas.edu.sg/publication/2278

Treasures from the the 17th and 18th VOC archive

Treasures from the the 17th and 18th VOC archive, Sejarah Nusantara, Arsip Nasional Republik Indonesia

The paper archives created by the Dutch East India Company (VOC, 1602-1799) and dealing with its commercial operations in Asian waters are preserved in the national archives of Indonesia, the Netherlands, Sri Lanka, South Africa and India. In particular, the archives in Jakarta contain thousands of documents originating from Asian persons, including many local rulers from around the Indonesian archipelago. The most voluminous collections spanning 2,000 metres are in the Arsip Nasional Republik Indonesia (ANRI). On 9 March 2004, the archives of the VOC were included in the UNESCO Memory of the World Register.

The 2.000 metres of archives in ANRI can be roughly divided into two sections:
1) The archives created in and formerly kept at Batavia Castle, the former headquarters of the VOC in Asia. This is the archive of the Supreme Government (the Governor-General and the ordinary Councillors of Dutch Asia).
2) The archives of local private and public institutions in Batavia.

For this digitalization and public access project, a selection had to be made. The Daily Journals of Batavia Castle which can be found in the archives of the Supreme Government were digitalized and published first. This series reflects the principle concerns of the Supreme Government.  Prominent here were internal Company affairs in matters as diverse as the general management of trade, personnel and financial affairs, shipping and logistics. The Supreme Government also dealt with all political and diplomatic affairs, the administration of justice and correspondence with other VOC factories in Asia as well as the VOC Chambers and their Governing Board, theso-called Gentlemen Seventeen (Heren XVII) or Directors of the VOC  in the Dutch Republic. The Daily Journals were created to maintain an ongoing overview of such activities.

During the course of the eighteenth century, the Resolution Books of the Supreme Government became more and more important and voluminous while the registration of correspondence in the Daily Journals gradually declined. In particular, the handling of all matters to do with the regional establishments of the Company were included in the General Resolution Books. In 1743, such matters were recorded in a separate yearbook, giving birth to a separate series: the General (Foreign) Affairs Books (Net-Generale Besogneboeken).

Another, hitherto unresearched and historically unique series are the Appendices to the General Resolution Books. These total together some 742 volumes numbering some 550,000 folio pages. This series contain a variety of documents which may gradually become accessible via a special database. The first document descriptions for this database were started in 2013 by ANRI’s Content Team (see organisation).

Liste des archives consultables moyennant une inscription sur le site:

  • General Resolutions of Batavia Castle 1613-1810
  • Realia 1610-1808
  • Appendices to General Resolutions 1686-1811
  • The Placards of Batavia Castle 1602-1808
  • Daily Journals of Batavia Castle 1624-1806
  • Marginalia to the Daily Journals 1659-1807
  • Diplomatic Letters 1625-1812
  • Corpus Diplomaticum 1595-1799

Plus d’informations sur : https://sejarah-nusantara.anri.go.id/archive/

 

Podcast : Islamist politics and political survival in Malaysia

Podcast Malaysian’dreamings: Islamist politics and political survival in Malaysia with Clive Kessler and Norani Othman, Sidney Southeast Asia Center

The rise of using Islam for political survival in Malaysia as its ruling party and leadership are mired in a multi-billion dollar global corruption scandal. And how the long-term agenda of the Islamist Pas party crashes into the secular founding of Malaysia, and the threats to the Federal Constitution and the future of the nation. Speakers, in order, are: Professor Clive Kessler, emeritus UNSW; and Professor Norani Othman, emeritus UKM and co-founder Sisters in Islam. Introduced by Dr Lis Kramer, moderated by Kean Wong. Hosted by Sydney University’s SouthEast Asia Research Centre, and globalbersih.org.

A écouter sur : https://soundcloud.com/matrokr/islamist-politics-political-survival-in-malaysia-w-profs-clive-kessler-norani-othman

Vous trouverez sur la même page d’autres podcasts de la collection Malaysian’dreamings à laquelle vous pouvez vous abonner sur SoundCloud.

 

 

Symposium: Tradition and Contemporaneity in the Arts of Asia

Symposium: Tradition and Contemporaneity in the Arts of Asia, 09/11/2017, Department of Art & Art History, University of Hawai’i at Mānoa

About the Talk

Modern and contemporary artists in Asia have had to cope with many challenges, from the influx of Western artistic priorities often intent on redefining or even erasing local artistic traditions, to the wholesale destruction of national infrastructure through unstable political systems and devastating wars. That artists have successfully risen to these challenges, as well as the resilience of local artistic systems and values, is eminently manifest in the vibrant contemporary arts of Asia today.

This symposium will explore the inspirational potential of traditional materials, methods, and styles of art making among modern and contemporary artists of India, China, Korea, the Philippines, Vietnam, and Thailand. It will feature illustrated presentations by three eminent scholars of modern and contemporary Asian art, followed by a moderated discussion, all focusing on the various ways regional “traditions” of art and culture function as inspiration, catalyst, or foil, some times honoring them, other times contrasting and even undermining them, often with humorous or ironic intent.

Speakers & Presentation Titles

headshot of Joan Kee

Joan Kee, “Tradition as ‘Contemporaneity’s Raw Materials’: Korea, China, and the Philippines”
Kee is an art historian specializing in art and law, with special research focus on modern and contemporary East and Southeast Asian art. She teaches at the University of Michigan, where she is Associate Professor in the History of Art. She is author of Contemporary Korean Art: Tansaekhwa and the Urgency of Method (2013), curated the exhibition From All Sides: Tansaekhwa and the Urgency of Method (2014), and serves as contributing editor to Artforum.

headshot of Sonal Khullar

Sonal Khullar, “The Pearl Divers and Shipwrecks of Marine Drive: History, Tradition, and Modernism in India.” Khullar is Associate Professor of Art History at the University of Washington. Her research focus is on Indian art of the eighteenth century to the present, with additional teaching and research interests in transnational histories of art, feminist theory, and postcolonial studies. Publications include the award-winning Worldly Affiliations: Artistic Practice, National Identity, and Modernism in India, 1930-1990 (2015).

Headshot of Iola Lenzi

Iola Lenzi, ““Not Nostalgia: How Tradition is Critically Co-opted in Thai and Vietnamese Contemporary Art” Lenzi is a Singapore-based curator, lecturer, and critic specializing in contemporary arts of Southeast Asia. She has curated exhibitions in in Singapore, Kuala Lumpur, Jakarta and Bangkok, serves as lecturer for the Asian Art Histories MA program at Lasalle College, Singapore, and as regional correspondent for Asian Art, London. She is author of Museums of Southeast Asia (2005).

Plus d’informations sur : http://www.cseashawaii.org/event/symposium-tradition-and-contemporaneity-in-the-arts-of-asia/

 

Becoming Better Muslims

David Kloos, Becoming Better Muslims : Religious Authority and Ethical Improvement in Aceh, Indonesia, Princeton University Press, 2017

How do ordinary Muslims deal with and influence the increasingly pervasive Islamic norms set by institutions of the state and religion? Becoming Better Muslims offers an innovative account of the dynamic interactions between individual Muslims, religious authorities, and the state in Aceh, Indonesia. Relying on extensive historical and ethnographic research, David Kloos offers a detailed analysis of religious life in Aceh and an investigation into today’s personal processes of ethical formation.

Aceh is known for its history of rebellion and its recent implementation of Islamic law. Debunking the stereotypical image of the Acehnese as inherently pious or fanatical, Kloos shows how Acehnese Muslims reflect consciously on their faith and often frame their religious lives in terms of gradual ethical improvement. Revealing that most Muslims view their lives through the prism of uncertainty, doubt, and imperfection, he argues that these senses of failure contribute strongly to how individuals try to become better Muslims. He also demonstrates that while religious authorities have encroached on believers and local communities, constraining them in their beliefs and practices, the same process has enabled ordinary Muslims to reflect on moral choices and dilemmas, and to shape the ways religious norms are enforced.

Arguing that Islamic norms are carried out through daily negotiations and contestations rather than blind conformity, Becoming Better Muslims examines how ordinary people develop and exercise their religious agency.

Plus d’informations sur : https://press.princeton.edu/titles/11204.html

 

Suvannabhumi, vol. 9, n° 1, 2017

Suvannabhumi : Multi-disciplinary Journal of Southeast Asian Studies, vol. 9, n° 1, June 2017

Revue en libre accès dirigée par Victor T. King (Emeritus Professor, University of Leeds) et Park Jang Sik (Busan University of Foreign Studies, Korea) avec Kim Dong-Yeob (Busan University of Foreign Studies, Korea), Kim Yekyoum (Busan University of Foreign Studies, Korea) et Louie Jon A. Sanchez (Ateneo de Manila University, Philippines) et publiée par l’ISEAS.

Articles

  • “Local” vs. “Cosmopolitan” in the Study of Premodern Southeast Asia by Andrea Acri
  • Affective-discursive Practices in Southeast Asia: Appropriating emotive roles in the case of a Filipina domestic helper in Hong Kong who fell to her death while cleaning windows by Alwin C. Aguirre
  • Things Fall Apart? Thailand’s Post-Colonial Politics by Duncan McCargo
  • Articulations of Southeast Asian Religious Modernisms: Islam in Early 20th Century Cambodia & Cochinchina by William B. Noseworthy
  • An Overview of Southeast Asian Area Studies in the Philippines by Meynardo P. Mendoza
  • Nation-Building in Independent Myanmar: A Comparative Study of a History Textbook and a Civic Textbook by Myo Oo
  • Social Capital Revitalization of the Sasaq Community in Lombok, Indonesia through Learning Organization by Mansur Afifi and Sitti Latifah

Télécharger les PDF des articles sur : http://suvannabhumi.iseas.kr/?ckattempt=3

 

Behind Indonesia’s illiberal turn

Behind Indonesia’s illiberal turn by Vedi Hadiz, 20/10/2017, New Mandala

The past year or so has seen conspicuous setbacks to Indonesian democracy’s capacity to protect many social rights, including of some of the more vulnerable members of society—most notably women, religious and sexual minorities, and victims of the 1965–66 mass killings. Ironically, this has occurred under a government whose declared agenda of extending access to social services has been a celebrated and defining characteristic, not to mention the presumption that its establishment had deflected a prior possible reassertion of authoritarian-like politics.

By 2015, a wide-ranging survey had offered the proposition that Indonesia’s hard-won democracy had stagnated. However, many of the more sombre assessments of this condition were to come in the wake of the second round of the Jakarta gubernatorial election in April 2017, and the farcical blasphemy case that saw the defeated Basuki Tjahaja Purnama (“Ahok”) sentenced to jail. The mood of these analyses could not be more different from the upbeat tone that characterised those that immediately followed the victory of Ahok’s close ally Jokowi over Prabowo Subianto in the 2014 election. That result had spared most Australia-based analysts—and many of the people of Indonesia—from the pain of having to contend with what might have been an overwhelmingly clear signal of democratic regression.

But the manner of Ahok’s downfall is merely symptomatic of much deeper problems within Indonesia democracy, which have never been resolved since the fall of Soeharto. These problems are intertwined with continuing oligarchic dominance and the manner in which intra-oligarchic conflict now occurs. The mobilisation of identity politics has become a more salient feature of conflicts over power and resources. In fact, we may be entering a new phase in which conservative takes on Islamic morality, and the hyper-nationalism which is being positioned against them, become the most important cultural resource pools from which the ideational aspects of intra-oligarchic struggles are forged—thus accentuating the illiberalism of Indonesian democracy. Indeed, the relative absence of organised social forces that would drive an agenda of liberal political reform is more palpable than ever before.

Lire la suite sur : http://www.newmandala.org/indonesia-illiberal/

Natures and Cultures in Southeast Asia

International Workshop : « Natures and Cultures in Southeast Asia », 7-8/11/2017, Chiang Mai University

With the participation of Philippe Descola
Professor at Collège de France, Chair in Anthropology of Nature

The Institute of Research on Contemporary Southeast Asia (IRASEC) and the Regional Center for Social Science and Sustainable Development (RCSD), Faculty of Social Science of Chiang Mai University

The objective of this international workshop is to explore the relations between societies and their environments in Southeast Asia. Following Philippe Descola’s proposition to overcome the western dualism that opposes nature and culture, we will revisit Southeast Asian ethnographic material concerning, in particular, the modes of being and engaging practically and conceptually to the world. In the presence of the French anthropologist, we will question the diversity of natures in the region through the study of the articulations between animisms, Hindu-Buddhist cosmologies and any other forms of connecting the social, ecological and cosmic orders.

Télécharger le programme sur : http://www.irasec.com/page234

 

Negotiating transitions: On the adaptation of community-based ritual theater in post-war Cambodia

SEAP Gatty Lecture Series : Negotiating transitions: On the adaptation of community-based ritual theater in post-war Cambodia by Stephanie Khoury, 09/11/2017, Kahin Center, Cornell University

Stéphanie Khoury’s work deals with the political, religious, social and artistic conditions of musical and theatrical expressions in postcolonial and postwar contexts. Her research is focused on ritual and secular performing arts in Cambodia as well as in diasporas, with particular attention to pinpeat music and the Khmer all-male drama, lkhon khol. In a rural setting, the annual ritual practice of the lkhon khol is associated with the local monastery of Svay Antet and represents a major social activity through which community ties are strengthened, social norms are reiterated, and the collective allegiance to protective political and religious forms of authority are reaffirmed. As a community-based ritual that was also linked to the royal court, it was interrupted during the years of civil war and the Khmer Rouge regime (1970-1979). From the 1980’s onward, the restoration of the theater was part of the restoration of the community itself. As the latter faces important changes, dealing both with its past and with current economic, political and religious contingencies, villagers have had to adapt their ritual practice to ensure its continued relevance for the community. Meanwhile, the practice and its practitioners are embedded in a broader cultural and political dynamic that culminates this year, with the request by the Cambodian government that UNESCO list the theater of this specific troupe as intangible cultural heritage. While this particular case provides detailed insights into the upholding of traditional practices among a changing society, it echoes some of the transitional processes that are experienced in Cambodia. What are the broader social, religious and cultural configurations that these adaptations suggest? Which networks of power and influence does the rural performance of this theater highlight? Through the example of the lkhon khol, this presentation aims to discuss how a community negotiates contemporary transitions, both locally and globally, in order to maintain its constitutive ritual activities.

Voir : http://events.cornell.edu/event/seap_gatty_lecture_series_5321

Muharram practices and colonial histories at the cutting edge of a forgotten scroll

Muharram practices and colonial histories at the cutting edge of a forgotten scroll by Julia Byl and David Lunn, 16/11/2017, IIAS, Leiden

The lecture

The Syair Tabut, or ‘Poem of the tomb effigies’, is a recently rediscovered Malay-language, Jawi-script narrative poem on Muharram in 1864. In this talk, we explore the literary, linguistic, and performative aspects of the syair, focusing on what it reveals to us about cultural and religious linkages between and around South and Southeast Asia in the 19th century.

This hybrid lithograph/manuscript scroll offers a wealth of details on the practice of Muharram in the region, and contains in its stanzas direct evidence of linguistic and cultural exchange between the various communities that populated the region in that period.

We introduce the poem and its author, Encik Ali, using excerpts from our recent translation that range through colourful costumes and petty vandalism, fervent devotion and violinists intoxicated by their own music. Through this reading, we demonstrate how an engagement with the poem’s nuances opens up a window onto histories of performance, language, and inter-communal interactions in the context of colonial-era contestations over public religiosity.

The speakers

Julia Byl is Assistant Professor of Ethnomusicology at the University of Alberta. Her research interests have centered around musical performance in north Sumatra, and have recently spread to the broader Malay world and to East Timor, where she is beginning a study of music, the individual and the institution.

David Lunn is the Simon Digby Postdoctoral Fellow at the School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS), University of London. His research interests span the literary, cultural, and intellectual history of modern South and, increasingly, Southeast Asia, with a particular focus on the politics of language.

Voir : https://iias.asia/event/scroll

The First Reel : Philippine Film Festival in Berlin

The First Reel : Philippine Film Festival in Berlin, Breaking Boundaries, 3-5, 8-12 November 2017

We are proud to announce this year’s festival theme of « Breaking Boundaries », which is a nod to the myriad ways in which this year’s films portray going beyond, challenging, confronting, and struggling against individual, economic, political, and societal boundaries. From stories that feature people finding the courage to create a new life for themselves to a film that tackles indigenous Manobos’ struggles against environmental plunder and the militarization of their communities, the films in our lineup are about discovering one’s self, asserting one’s identity and rights, fighting for equality, struggling against oppression, and of reclaiming dignity.

Festival Schedule:

November 3, Friday – “Bwakaw” (2012), directed by Jun Lana
November 4, Saturday – “Batch ‘81” (1982), directed by Mike De Leon
November 5, Sunday – “Lorna” (2014), directed by Sigrid Andrea Bernardo
[break]
November 8, Wednesday – collection of Short Films by up-and-coming Filipino directors
November 9, Thursday – “Patintero: Ang Alamat ni Meng Patalo” (2015), directed by Mihk Vergara
November 10, Friday – “Birdshot” (2016), directed by Mikhail Red
November 11, Saturday – “Tu Pug Imatuy” (2017), directed by Arbi Barbarona
November 12, Sunday – “Sunday Beauty Queen” (2016), directed by Baby Ruth Villarama

Plus d’information sur la page FB du Festival : https://www.facebook.com/thefirstreel/

Between earth and water: Mainamati and Vikrampur in South and East Bengal

Masterclass : Between earth and water: Mainamati and Vikrampur in South and East Bengal by Claudine Bautze-Picron, 10/11/2017, Leiden University

Mainamati was the most important Buddhist settlement in Southeast Bengal from the eighth century onwards, being the gateway to the land of the Buddha for monks and merchants having navigated from insular Southeast Asia and for those who came on foot from various regions of nearby Burma.

Its position was inherited by Vikrampur, a vast area located South of Dhaka, which was a major political centre in South and Southeast Bengal from the eleventh up to the early thirteenth century. Although it was also located on the road followed by Buddhist monks and pilgrims when travelling from the region of Chittagong, with its port open on the Bay of Bengal, up to Bihar and thus partly inherited the position earlier held by Mainamati, Vikrampur  was a stronghold of Brahmanism, offering thus a radical departure with the religious situation encountered up to the 10th century.

The artistic production of this region between Vikrampur, Mainamati and Chittagong had a huge impact on the transfer of iconographic models towards Southeast Asia: Eleventh and twelfth-century murals in the temples of Bagan prove the existence of trade relations with Southeast Bengal, and cast images from the region of Mainamati were exported to Java in the eighth and ninth centuries, opening a way which was going to be followed up to the early thirteenth century with images found in Sumatra and Java that are clearly inspired from models created in Vikrampur.

A careful scrutiny of the artistic material found in continental and insular Southeast Asia proves the importance of the Mainamati-Vikrampur region as source of inspiration but also shows how these ‘imported’ models were assimilated before becoming part of the local culture. Moreover, these testimonies might help in trying to get a better understanding of how images were regarded in Bengal: besides the fact that they were worshipped, could they have had other functions? Could they inform about the way the Buddhist community perceived itself in the cultural landscape of the time?

Dr Claudine Bautze-Picron studied at the Universities of Brussels (MA), Lille, Jawaharlal Nehru in New Delhi (M.Phil. in Indian History) and Aix-en-Provence (“Thèse d’État” = Ph.D.). She was a research fellow at the National Centre of Scientific Research (Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique) in Paris, UMR 7528 (“Mondes Iranien et Indien”) and Lecturer at the Free University of Brussels (Université Libre de Bruxelles)

Research and publications:

Her research has focused for a long period on the art of Eastern India (Bihar/West Bengal/Bangladesh) from the 8th to the 12th c. and on various issues related to Buddhist iconography in India.  This work culminated also in the publication of the catalogue of the collection of eastern Indian sculpture in the Museum of Asian Art, Berlin (Eastern Indian Sculpture in the Museum of Indian Art, Berlin, Berlin, 1998) and of two books concerned with the image of the bejewelled or crowned Buddha in India and Burma (The Bejewelled Buddha from India to Burma, New Considerations, New Delhi, 2010) and with the Buddhist site of Kurkihar in Bihar (The forgotten Place, Stone Sculpture at Kurkihar, New Delhi: Archaeological Survey of India, 2014).

Since nearly 15 years, she has also been working on the murals of Pagan (Burma) from the 10th to the 13th c. (The Buddhist Murals of Pagan, Timeless vistas of the cosmos, Bangkok, 2003).

Voir : https://iias.asia/event/between-earth-water-mainamati-vikrampur-south-east-bengal

CFP : 5th SYMPOSIUM OF THE ICTM STUDY GROUP ON PERFORMING ARTS OF SOUTHEAST ASIA

CFP : 5th Symposium of the ICTM Study Group on Performing Arts of Southeast Asia (PASEA), 16-22/07/2018, Sabah Museum, Kota Kinabalu, Sabah, Malaysia

Deadline for the submission of abstracts : 01 December 2017

Thème I: Crossing Borders through Popular Performance Genres in Southeast Asia

Thème II:  Tourism and the Performing Arts in Southeast Asia

Thème III: New Research

Plus d’informations sur : https://sites.google.com/site/paseastudygroup/announcements/call-for-papers-2018-symposium

 

Voices of Transition : Contemporary Art from Myanmar

Exhibition : Voices of Transition : Contemporary Art from Myanmar, 16/11/2017 – 03/12/2017, Lunn + Sgarbossa Gallery, Londres

Lunn+Sgarbossa presents ‘Voices of Transition: Contemporary Art from Myanmar’, an exhibition of unprecedented size, scale and scholarly ambition in Europe to display contemporary artists from Myanmar.

In our curation, we aim to communicate the dynamic experiences of artists in Myanmar from the inception of contemporary art in Myanmar in the 1980’s to the present day. Our title – ‘Voices of Transition’ – demonstrates our enquiry into the transitional context for contemporary artists, understanding the oppression of state censorship, and how artists have boldly fought to have their voices heard. We also place the work in a broader, non-artistic context and challenge the reality of the often quoted ‘transition to democracy’ of Myanmar post-2015. In essence, ‘Voices of Transition’ asks how we reconcile individual voices and national context, in order to understand societal ‘transition’.

Visitors to the exhibition will be exposed to a carefully curated set of media and practises. Moe Satt (b. 1983) presents his captivating video-art ‘Hands around in Yangon’ (2017), which deals poignantly with the daily tasks of many pairs of hands, revealing through its hypnotic pace the inner-workings of a day in the life of Yangon. Aye Ko (b.1963), winner of the Joseph Balestier Freedom of the Art’s Prize 2017, prints striking and tortured self-depictions, through which we are able to reflect on his time as a political prisoner. Nge Lay’s (b.1979) visceral and disarming photography explores the effects of time on the bodies of the female role models from her personal life, illustrating a central curatorial tenet of the exhibition, the departure of the old and the emergence of a new generation.

The exhibition will display major new works from the ‘father of Burmese modern art’, artist Aung Myint (b.1946), whose artworks have been collected by the Guggenheim. Until the 2000s, the colours red and gold were largely censored in art and film for political and religious reasons. Aung Myint’s use of colour and reinterpretation of traditional calligraphic and mural techniques are radical acts of rebellion. Acclaimed performance artists from Myanmar will be performing in person at the exhibition. Performance art, requiring minimal tools beyond the artist’s own body, has been a crucial medium of social-political participation, protest and solidarity in the struggle for a democratic Myanmar. While paintings can be symbolic, performance art is a direct action of defiance.

Lire la suite sur : https://www.lunnsgarbossa.com/current/