No Country: Contemporary Art for South and Southeast Asia | 越域：南亞及東南亞當代藝術展
The Asia Society Hong Kong Center will present No Country: Contemporary Art for South and Southeast Asia, the inaugural touring exhibition of the Guggenheim UBS MAP Global Art Initiative, from October 30, 2013, to February 16, 2014. Featuring recent work by 13 artists from Bangladesh, Cambodia, India, Indonesia, Malaysia, Myanmar, Pakistan, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, and Vietnam, No Country presents some of the most compelling and innovative voices in South and Southeast Asia today. The exhibition was first seen in New York at the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum (February 22–May 22, 2013) as part of the Guggenheim UBS MAP Global Art Initiative, a multi-year collaboration that charts contemporary art practice in three geographic regions—South and Southeast Asia, Latin America, and the Middle East and North Africa—and encompasses curatorial residencies, international touring exhibitions, audience-driven educational programming, and acquisitions for the Guggenheim’s permanent collection. All works have been newly acquired for the Guggenheim’s collection under the auspices of the Guggenheim UBS MAP Purchase Fund. Following its presentation in Hong Kong, the exhibition will travel to Singapore.
No Country: Contemporary Art for South and Southeast Asia was curated by June Yap, Guggenheim UBS MAP Curator, South and Southeast Asia, with assistance from Helen Hsu, Assistant Curator, Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, and guidance from Alexandra Munroe, Samsung Senior Curator of Asian Art, Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum. Nancy Spector, Deputy Director and Jennifer and David Stockman Chief Curator at the Solomon R. Guggenheim Foundation, New York, and Joan Young, Director of Curatorial Affairs, Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, are providing curatorial oversight for the entire multi-year Initiative. Dominique Chan, Exhibition Curator, and Sharon Chan, Curatorial Officer, Asia Society Hong Kong Center will work closely with June Yap and the Guggenheim curatorial team in staging the exhibition in Hong Kong.
亞洲協會香港中心將呈獻《越域：南亞及東南亞當代藝術展》，為古根漢美術館瑞銀MAP全球藝術行動（Guggenheim UBS MAP Global Art Initiative）的巡迴展覽打響頭炮，展期為 2013年10月30日至2014年2月16日。展覽囊括了十三位來自南亞及東南亞地區藝術家的作品，包括孟加拉國、柬埔寨、印度、印度尼西亞、馬來西亞、緬甸、巴基斯坦、菲律賓、新加坡、泰國及越南，呈現區內重量級創意藝術作品。《越域》展覽早前於紐約所羅門‧R‧古根漢美術館（Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum）展出（展期2013年2月22至5月22日），為古根漢美術館瑞銀MAP全球藝術行動的其中一部份。此項全球藝術行動是一個橫跨多年的文化合作項目，致力推廣南亞及東南亞、拉丁美洲、中東及北非三大地區的當代藝術。項目涵蓋策展駐留、國際巡迴展覽、觀眾為本的教育節目及購置古根漢永久藏品的工作。《越域》的展品均由古根漢美術館瑞銀MAP購買基金MAP Purchase Fund）特別為古根漢藏品最新購入的。完成香港首站巡迴展覽後，《越域》展覽將移師至新加坡舉行。
《越域：南亞及東南亞當代藝術展》由古根漢美術館瑞銀MAP南亞及東南亞藝術館策展人葉德晶（June Yap）策劃，並得到所羅門‧R‧古根漢美術館助理策展人Helen Hsu的協助，而所羅門‧R‧古根漢美術館的亞洲藝術三星資深館長Alexandra Munroe亦有份提供指引。紐約所羅門‧R‧古根漢美術館基金會副總監Nancy Spector、首席策展人Jennifer Stockman 及 David Stockman；與及所羅門‧R‧古根漢美術館的策展事務總監楊瓊恩（Joan Young）則負責監督整個橫跨多年度項目的策展方向。亞洲協會香港中心藝術館館長陳少東（Dominique Chan）和藝術館主任陳敏（Sharon Chan）與葉德晶（June Yap）及古根漢的策展團隊緊密合作，呈獻此次香港站的展覽。
The exhibition—the title of which was drawn from the opening line of W.B. Yeats’s Sailing to Byzantium (1928), which was also adopted by Cormac McCarthy for his novel No Country for Old Men (2005)—proposes an understanding of South and Southeast Asia that transcends physical and political borders. The historical narrative of South and Southeast Asia stretches from the era of its ancient kingdoms and empires to that of today’s nation-states. The region is marked by traces of colonization, division, and intervention, events and processes that are inscribed in cultural memory. South and Southeast Asia is also home to numerous influential faiths, religions, and ethical codes, including Buddhism, Hinduism, and Islam.
Adapted in collaboration with the Asia Society Hong Kong Center, and drawing on the central themes of cultural, historical, and political representation within the New York exhibition, the presentation in Hong Kong places added emphasis on the impact of South and Southeast Asian spiritual and moral teachings on the shaping of the region’s communities. No Country investigates the variety of contemporary artistic practice in this diverse region and demonstrates how the artists represented in the exhibition move beyond reductive representation to reflect on the manifestations and effects of belief.
Featuring 18 works by 13 artists, the exhibition includes painting, sculpture, photography, video, and mixed media. The artists in the Hong Kong presentation are: Aung Myint (b. 1946, Yangon, Myanmar), Bani Abidi (b. 1971, Karachi, Pakistan), Reza Afisina (b. 1977, Bandung, Indonesia), Khadim Ali (b. 1978, Quetta, Pakistan), Shilpa Gupta (b. 1976, Mumbai, India), Vincent Leong (b. 1979, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia), Tayeba Begum Lipi (b. 1969, Gaibandha, Bangladesh), Tuan Andrew Nguyen (b. 1976, Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam), Araya Rasdjarmrearnsook (b. 1957, Trad, Thailand), Vandy Rattana (b. 1980, Phnom Penh, Cambodia), Norberto Roldan (b. 1953, Roxas City, Philippines), Tang Da Wu (b. 1943, Singapore), and Truong Tan (b. 1963, Hanoi, Vietnam).
Expanding the Dialogue, On the Ground and Online
As part of its mission to encourage cross-cultural dialogue about contemporary art and cultural practice, the Guggenheim is presenting an extensive and innovative series of discussions and commentaries, in collaboration with educators at the Asia Society Hong Kong Center. Programs seek to provide inclusive learning opportunities that enable a diverse constituency of young people, families, and adults to enjoy meaningful encounters with Guggenheim UBS MAP Global Art Initiative programs. Through a dynamic process of cultural and professional exchange, the direct involvement of artists, the creative integration of technology, and an extensive range of programs in the visual arts, the education program will provide a vital international forum for inquiry and discourse. Visit guggenheim.org/MAP.
《越域：南亞及東南亞當代藝術展》的名字取自葉芝（W.B.Yeats）的詩作《駛向拜占庭》（Sailing to Byzantium ，1928） 的開首句；科馬克‧麥卡錫（Cormac McCarthy）在小說《老無所依》（No Country for Old Men，2005） 亦有引用，名字象徵一份超越地理與政治框框、對南亞及東南亞地區的認識。南亞及東南亞地區的歷史最早可追溯至遠古時代的王國，再到後來的帝國和現在的民族國家。殖民、分裂、外國介入等事件及過程，在區內仍然殘留著痕跡，塑造了文化記憶的一部分。此外，南亞及東南亞也是許多具影響力的思想、宗教、倫理學說的發源地，包括佛教、印度教及伊斯蘭教等。 與亞洲協會香港中心合作舉辦的香港展覽吸取了紐約展在文化、歷史及政治方面的主題思想，再加入了南亞及東南亞獨有的靈性和道德教導對區內社群的影響。《越域》探討當代藝術在這個百花齊放的地區內之多樣化風格，同時反映了參展藝術家們如何超越簡約的藝術表達，進一步就信念的呈現和影響進行反思。 展覽囊括來自十三位區內藝術家共十八件包括繪畫、雕塑、攝影、錄像及混合媒介的作品。參與香港展覽的藝術家包括：Aung Myint （b. 1946，緬甸仰光）、巴尼．阿比迪（Bani Abidi，b. 1971，巴基斯坦卡拉奇）、禮薩．阿菲西納（Reza Afisina，b. 1977，印度尼西亞萬隆）、卡迪姆．阿里（Khadim Ali，b. 1978，巴基斯坦奎達）、席帕．古普塔（Shilpa Gupta，b. 1976，印度孟買）、梁致協（Vincent Leong，b. 1979，馬來西亞吉隆坡）、塔耶巴．貝根．里皮（Tayeba Begum Lipi，b. 1969，孟加拉國戈伊班達）、阮．安德魯．俊（Tuan Andrew Nguyen，b. 1976，越南胡志明市）、阿拉雅．拉斯迪阿美恩斯柯（Araya Rasdjarmrearnsook，b. 1957，泰國 桐艾府）、萬迪．羅塔那（Vandy Rattana，b. 1980，柬埔寨金邊）、諾爾貝托．羅爾丹（Norberto Roldan，b. 1953，菲律賓羅哈斯市）、唐大霧（Tang Da Wu，b. 1943，新加坡）及Truong Tan （b. 1963，越南河內）。
The Ghost of Mohammed Bin Qasim, 2006. Nine inkjet prints, edition 5/5, six prints: 14 1/2 × 18 1/4 inches (36.8 × 46.4 cm) each, and three prints: 18 1/4 × 14 1/2 inches (46.4 × 36.8 cm) each. Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York, Guggenheim UBS MAP Purchase Fund, 2012, 2012.139.1. © Bani Abidi
The visual narrative that characterizes Bani Abidi’s practice takes a historical turn in the series The Boy Who Got Tired of Posing (2006), which is made up of two photographic sequences and a video. Through these related elements, the figure of Mohammad bin Qasim, considered Pakistan’s early colonial founder in state history, is brought to life in a lighthearted and candid portrayal that provides an opportunity to reflect on the history of the South Asian nation. A young general from Umayyad (an early Islamic caliphate), bin Qasim rose to prominence as leader of the successful capture of Sindh in 711 CE. Attributed to this conquest is the introduction of early Islamic practice and philosophy to the region, which in Pakistan’s history is credited as predicating the destiny of the nation. The significance of this narrative resides, firstly, in its status as an alternative to Western-centric postcolonial narratives of independence that privilege European expansionist forays in South Asia since the 17th century and, secondly, in its circumvention of the complex conditions under which Pakistan’s independence as a modern nation-state was achieved—via a separation of the Muslim League from the Indian National Congress in 1943 through to the triumphant and traumatic aftermath of the partition of South Asia on August 14, 1947, which established East and West Pakistan. Beyond its geographical specificity, the work suggests the challenges of such singular narratives, and the inevitability of the contestation of multiple historical narratives.
This Video Is a Reenactment, 2006. Color video, silent, 58 sec. loop, and inkjet print, edition 3/5, 18 1/4 × 14 1/2 inches (46.4 × 36.8 cm). Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York, Guggenheim UBS MAP Purchase Fund, 2012, 2012.139.2. © Bani Abidi
Abidi explores historical and contemporary representations of the figure of bin Qasim, and the proliferation of this narrative in state history and shared culture, through her fictional depictions of the hero in his emblematic form—wearing the Arabic keffiyeh, brandishing a sword, and riding a charging horse. In The Boy Who Got Tired of Posing, the artist plays on the trend of popular studio photography in 1980s Pakistan, which saw parents encourage their sons to dress up as bin Qasim for portrait shots. In the work’s final image, the subject, tired of performing, mischievously elects to exit the frame. In This Video is a Reenactment, the artist recalls Labbaik, a televisual dramatization of the colonial founder’s conquest, by excerpting a sequence showing the hero’s momentous horseback ride. In Abidi’s video, however, the act is slowed down, accentuating its histrionic impact on the nation. Finally, in a suite of eight monochrome photographs, The Ghost of Mohammed Bin Qasim, the artist monumentalizes the figure, who appears to haunt various sites of national significance around Karachi including the Lahore Fort, the tomb of Emperor Jahangir, and the National Mausoleum of the founder of Pakistan, Mohammad Ali Jinnah, or Mazar-e-Quaid. Yet on closer examination, these glimpses of the return of the historical figure contain various incongruities and awkwardnesses. A short fictional text reveals the story of how the haunting began with the conversion of a young man, Yusof Masih, to Islam, and his imagining himself as bin Qasim. The figure, juxtaposed with iconic contexts, raises questions of the roles of nationhood, nationalism, and narratives of origin in the trajectory of history.
The Boy Who Got Tired of Posing, 2006. Three chromogenic prints and one inkjet print, edition 3/5, three prints: 40 3/4 × 30 3/4 inches (103.5 × 78.1 cm) each and one print: 18 1/2 × 14 1/2 inches (47 × 36.8 cm). Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York, Guggenheim UBS MAP Purchase Fund, 2012, 2012.139.3. © Bani Abidi
What..., 2001. Color video, with sound, 11 min., edition 3/3. Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York, Guggenheim UBS MAP Purchase Fund, 2012, 2012.142. © Reza Afisina
Reza Afisina is Artistic Director of the Arts Laboratory of Jakarta-based artist collective ruangrupa, founded in 2000 with a focus on video, photography, and installation. Afisina’s early experimental work What . . . (2001) marks a significant moment of convergence between Indonesian performance art and video, and a turning point in the practice of the artist, whose background is in cinematography. The video, which was shot during the Islamic holiday Eid, held in in the fasting months of Ramadhan, records a performance by the artist carried out while alone in ruangrupa’s space. Contemplating the occasion’s purpose as a time for spiritual reflection, he turned to certain biblical verses, specifically Luke 12:3–11. In this passage, Luke relates Jesus’s warnings against hypocrisy and stresses the importance of truth and confession; “whatever you have said in the dark shall be heard in the light,” he declares, “and what you have whispered in private rooms shall be proclaimed upon the housetops.”
What . . . stages a reflexive moment—the artist watching himself being “watched” by the camera—and underscores the religious text’s edict of the necessity for mindfulness and faith, a lesson also conveyed by the Koran. While Indonesia’s administration is secular, it is a predominantly Muslim country; Afisina’s work presents a moderate and inclusive view of its context, one in which the values of different religions converge. As a source of religious guidance, this biblical text shares with the Koran the aim of teaching readers how to comport themselves, understand, and believe. Emphasizing the verses’ counsel and admonishment, the artist slaps himself repeatedly, an act of violence that becomes increasingly uncomfortable for the viewer. In so doing, he raises the subjects of justice, retribution, suffering, empathy, and compassion.
The physical severity of the performance in Afisina’s film questions the rationalization of other forms of violence, and violence as a choice. Through its forceful portrayal of the relationship of violence—even when well-intentioned—to pain, the work suggests that its immediacy and familiarity may also be fundamental to producing a shared sense of compassion for one’s fellow man, regardless of religion.
Untitled 1, Rustam Series, 2011–12. Watercolor, gouache, and ink on paper, 27 1/2 × 19 5/8 inches (69.9 × 49.8 cm). Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York, Guggenheim UBS MAP Purchase Fund, 2012, 2012.143. © Khadim Ali
The title of Khadim Ali’s Rustam Series (2011–12) references the hero of the Persian Shahnameh (Book of kings). The protagonist of Ferdowsi’s 11th-century epic poem is recognized for his valor and strength, but Ali’s work recalls only his name; the paintings allude to the persecution of the Hazara minority in Afghanistan and Pakistan, a community that finds itself displaced on both sides of the border. The work depicts demons, and suggests that the legendary character of the Rustam has been usurped in contemporary times as justification for hostility and bloodshed, his heroism now ascribed to those who perpetrate violence and domination. In a broader sense, the work reflects on the upheavals and crises that emerge from lingering difference.
Untitled 2, Rustam Series, 2010. Watercolor, gouache, and ink on paper, 19 5/8 × 16 3/4 inches (49.8 × 42.5 cm). Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York, Guggenheim UBS MAP Purchase Fund, 2012, 2012.144. © Khadim Ali
Successive cycles of violence and aggression are not limited to this particular minority community, but recur in oppressive circumstances elsewhere. In its reference to the narrative and lyrical traditions of the Persian people and the region, Ali’s work recollects both the triumph of civilizations past and the turmoil and aftermath of conquest. Yet in spite of loss, there linger traces of individual and cultural memory, of which the return of the Rustam is one. Layered in these works are excerpts from epic poems and literary references to Persian and Afghan history and culture, keys to meaning that the violence of contemporary conflict cannot efface. Also depicted in the series of paintings are the silent and empty alcoves in cliffs that were once occupied by the Bamiyan Buddhas in Afghanistan. Though these 6th-century statues were destroyed in 2001, their physical absence, like that of the Rustam, has a haunting aura of its own.
Untitled 3, Rustam Series, 2011–12. Watercolor, gouache, and ink on paper, 19 7/8 × 16 15/16 inches (50.5 × 43 cm). Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York, Guggenheim UBS MAP Purchase Fund, 2012, 2012.145. © Khadim Ali
Following the style of miniature painting, and in particular the technique of neem rang (half-color), the artist uses traditional methods of production including pigmentation with gold and silver leaf. This traditional South Asian aesthetic, now also marked by Persian influences, is a form of Mughal painting that was once used in illustrated texts, primarily to represent royalty, battles, and legends. The rich and sensitive detailing of these historical portraits is, like the literary epic, revived in Ali’s work, which accords the traditional practice a contemporary relevance by aligning its cultural significance with the circumstances of today.
White Stupa Doesn't Need Gold, 2010. Acrylic and gold leaf on canvas, 59 1/4 × 39 3/4 inches (150.5 × 101 cm). Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York, Guggenheim UBS MAP Purchase Fund, 2012, 2012.155. © Aung Myint
Multidisciplinary artist Aung Myint is one of the pioneers of modern art in Myanmar (previously known as Burma). The self-taught artist has embraced diverse aesthetic practices, from both nonrepresentational and figurative painting to performance art and installation. In his series Mother and Child (2002– ), Aung Myint images the concepts of nature and nurture in a few simple but effective brushstrokes. However, it is the works’ distinct conceptual underpinning that distinguishes the artist’s practice from more romanticized visions of Burmese culture and history. From these multiple images of the maternal figure clasping a child—rendered in an unmistakable yet still ambiguous line—a variety of meanings emerge. The series may be read as combining the positive and negative attributes of patriotism, for example, reflecting on the protection it can offer while criticizing its tendency to constrain and limit. Marking a lively trail that twists and turns across the artist’s preferred shan (mulberry) paper, these shapes resemble the traditional Burmese alphabet but are not quite the language itself, thus suggesting both articulation and reticence.
Aung Myint’s painting White Stupa Doesn’t Need Gold (2010) is similarly agile. In much of Southeast Asia, few traces of the region’s ancient kingdoms remain. But in Myanmar, pagodas built by the early civilizations of the kingdom of Pagan (849–1297), and in periods of prosperity that came after it, stand as prominent and powerful monuments to a cultural and aesthetic history that continues to shape national identity. In the painting, the artist begins with the form of a typical Buddhist pagoda (easily recognized by its gilded bell-shaped dome, examples of which dot the Myanmarian landscape). But the artist disrupts the expected representation by depicting the structure unembellished against an enigmatic inky-black background. Scattered casually across the dark expanse are squares of gold leaf that recall the opulence of the historic parabeik, concertina-style books illustrated with royal or religious scenes. Unlike the gilded pagodas—tourist attractions and objects of cultural pride—the gold in Aung Myint’s painting seems to have become detached and inessential, leaving the dome to radiate even while unadorned. Seeming to critique the privileging of appearance over substance, and acting as a prompt to introspection, the artist’s measured observation—rooted as it is in the cultures and histories of a country undergoing political and social reform—also speaks to the inevitability of change, as evidenced in the passage of empires.
1:14.9, 2011–12. Polyester thread, wood, glass, and brass, A.P. 1/2, edition of 3, 64 3/16 × 22 × 20 inches (163 × 55.9 × 50.8 cm). Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York, Guggenheim UBS MAP Purchase Fund, 2012, 2012.148. © Shilpa Gupta. Installation view: No Country: Contemporary Art for South and Southeast Asia, Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York, February 22–May 22, 2013. Photo: Kristopher McKay
Mumbai-based artist Shilpa Gupta addresses the weighty issues of religion, nationality, and history with wry humor. Using video, sculpture, photography, and sound, she distills critical observations into pithy reflections on conditions in South Asia. In 1:14.9 (2011–12), a hand-wound ball of thread is accompanied by a small plaque reading “1188.5 MILES OF FENCED BORDER – WEST, NORTH-WEST / DATA UPDATE: DEC 31, 2007.” Using sterile data about the fencing of the border between India and Pakistan extracted from a publicly available report by the Ministry of Home Affairs in India, she poetically represents the geopolitical division as a gleaming orb—a form that seems, at first, as abstract as the raw statistics from which it is derived. Yet the thread’s fragility reflects the tenuous nature of national boundaries, which demand constant restatement and surveillance. The object’s ovoid shape also suggests origins or genesis, and calls to mind the South Asian partition, which occurred either side of midnight on August 14, 1947, birthing two distinct nations in immediate succession.
This fraught moment in history, which has repercussions to this day, is referenced more obliquely in Gupta’s Threat (2008–09), a wall of bricks, each one stamped with the single word of the title. The tension of this division is, however, illusory, as the bricks are made from water-soluble soap. This testing of the border’s instability recurs in 100 Hand Drawn Maps of India (2007–08) and 100 Hand Drawn Maps (2010), components of a larger ongoing project. For these works, the artist travelled from India to Jerusalem and Tel Aviv, inviting participants to draw maps from memory. Layering these drawings atop one another, she illustrates the mercurial nature of nation as idea and, as the work’s lines intersect and diverge, its ambivalent and logocentric status (a characteristic previously remarked on by theorist Homi K. Bhabha). By using commonplace objects and materials to navigate the ideological and the physical, 1:14.9 reflects an interesting aspect of Indian aesthetics. The familiar textile material is used with measured allegorical purpose, drawing attention to ordinary realities distinct from the triumphalism found in the art championed by independent India, epitomized in Abanindranath Tagore’s famous painting Bharat Mata (Mother India) (1904–05).
Keeping Up with the Abdullahs 1, 2012. Chromogenic print and plaque in artist's frame, edition 2/8, 32 3/4 × 47 1/4 inches (83.2 × 120 cm). Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York, Guggenheim UBS MAP Purchase Fund, 2012, 2012.151. © Vincent Leong
Vincent Leong’s pair of portrait photographs Keeping Up with the Abdullahs (2012) assembles family members from two minority ethnicities in Malaysia, Chinese and Indian. Featuring men dressed in baju melayu and songkok brimless caps, and women in baju kurong and tudung head scarves, garments that commonly signal Islamic adherence in Malaysia, the images address the subject of assimilation in a multiethnic country. British colonial developments in peninsular Malaysia (then known as Malaya) from the 18th to the 20th centuries accelerated emigration from South and East Asia into the region. Yet immigrant communities were treated differently by the colonial administration, a distinction maintained even after Malaysian independence in 1957. This preservation of difference has resulted in both cultural diversity and intercultural conflict. On May 13, 1969, after the Chinese-led opposition won additional seats in the previously Malay-dominated parliament, Malaysia erupted in a race riot that claimed hundreds of lives. The soul-searching that followed culminated in the watershed 1971 National Cultural Congress, which stated that national cultural policy must henceforth be oriented toward indigenous Malay culture.
Keeping Up with the Abdullahs 2, 2012. Chromogenic print and plaque in artist's frame, edition 2/8, 32 3/4 × 42 5/8 inches (83.2 × 108.3 cm). Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York, Guggenheim UBS MAP Purchase Fund, 2012, 2012.152. © Vincent Leong
Since the 1930s, both identifiably Malayan elements and the fusion of Western forms with Southeast Asian themes have been increasingly prevalent in local art. Leong’s practice recalls that of renowned Malaysian artist Redza Piyadasa, playfully underscoring the continuing question of what Malaysian identity constitutes today. Parodying early 19th-century photographs of the Malay sultanate that depicted their subjects in formal ensemble, Leong’s tongue-in-cheek work replaces the typical regalia of the earlier royal depictions with mops, rakes, and kitchen utensils, objects referencing domestic experience and politics. Despite its humorous approach, Keeping Up with the Abdullahs nevertheless contains political and cultural critique, as small plaques on the photographs’ frames announce, in Chinese and Tamil rendered in the phonetic Arabic Jawi script, the figures of the otherwise separate ethnic groups shown as conclusively Malaysian. Leong’s practice often concentrates on the production of nation and culture; his contemporary voice is rooted in local historical and material conditions.
Tayeba Begum Lipi
Love Bed, 2012. Stainless steel, 31 1/4 × 72 3/4 × 87 inches (79.4 × 184.8 × 221 cm). Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York, Guggenheim UBS MAP Purchase Fund, 2012, 2012.153. © Tayeba Begum Lipi. Installation view: No Country: Contemporary Art for South and Southeast Asia, Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York, February 22–May 22, 2013. Photo: Kristopher McKay
Bangladesh was partitioned in 1947 from India and again in 1971 from Pakistan, making it one of the youngest nations in South and Southeast Asia. The wars that resulted in its independence, and the unsettled aftermath thereof, ruptured not only the land and the lives of its people, but also the history and representation of the nation. In a context of conflicting and contested historical accounts, and in the face of ongoing scarcity of resources and development, artists including Tayeba Begum Lipi attempt to formulate aesthetic responses. In 2002, having studied drawing and painting at the University of Dhaka, the artist cofounded the Britto International Artists’ Workshop with her partner, artist Mahbubur Rahman. Later established as Britto Arts Trust, and augmented by the communal Britto Space in Dhaka, the organization extended its reach beyond Bangladesh through exhibitions, residencies, talks, collaborations, and exchanges.
For the artist, the nation’s political state forms the backdrop to another critical political concern: the gendered violence that was rife during both partitions. Her works reflect on both the double bind of the personal and the political, expressing and accentuating a sense of unease through a public form of gendered expression that also speaks to challenges faced by the artist and her contemporaries. In Bizarre and Beautiful (2011), exhibited at the inaugural Bangladesh Pavilion at the 54th Venice Biennale, she transformed mock stainless-steel razor blades into the fabric of a feminine undergarment. Attractive yet threatening, the article is converted into a hard, gritty form, possessing the qualities of armor or a shield.
Razor blades return in Love Bed (2012), in which the shared space of domesticity, affection, and bliss glints with both threat and invitation. The blade here represents not merely the violence implied by its sharp edge, but also the object’s function as a basic tool to aid in childbirth in the absence of other medical support, a circumstance that the artist recalls from childhood. Printed on the blades is the Bengali name Balaka, a well-known Bangladeshi brand. Coming from a large family, the artist associates the strength of steel with the tenacity of the women who surrounded her as she grew up, individuals who defied the odds to keep their families and communities together. Yet these works resist interpretation according to simple binary opposition along historical, religious, social, or gendered lines. As much as the skeins of razors draped across the bed frame warn against our approach, they also, paradoxically, join together into a productive space for connection and dialogue.
Tuan Andrew Nguyen
Enemy's Enemy: Monument to a Monument, 2012. Wood, prototype 3/3, edition of 5, 33 3/4 × 2 1/2 × 2 1/2 inches (85.7 × 6.4 × 6.4 cm). Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York, Guggenheim UBS MAP Purchase Fund, 2012, 2012.156. © Tuan Andrew Nguyen
In Tuan Andrew Nguyen’s Enemy’s Enemy: Monument to a Monument (2012), a classic American Louisville Slugger baseball bat is transformed into a meditation on the unifying and divisive powers of religion and sport. The figure carved into the bat is a memorial to Thích Quảng Đức, a highly venerated Buddhist monk who in 1963 performed self-immolation in protest against the repression of the Buddhist community by Ngô Đình Diệm’s South Vietnamese government. An official bias toward Roman Catholicism, a remnant of the region’s French colonization, led, in the post-Cochinchina period after 1954, to religious inequality, prompting Thích Quảng Đức’s demonstration. The selfless act was widely televised, and formed part of the mounting pressure on the Diệm government that led to its deposition later in the year. Popular sports such as baseball can also stir community loyalties, uniting and dividing groups as do organized religions. Enemy’s Enemy illustrates the contradiction embodied by the two phenomena, their shared power to both engender solidarity and instigate conflict. In addition, the commemorative monument, installed in a reunited Vietnam, appears highly incongruous given the communist state ideology’s antipathy toward religion.
Layered over the work’s reference to a specific moment in Vietnamese history is an allusion to the Vietnam War as a whole, and to the U.S. support that the South Vietnamese received during that conflict. The patented bat is manufactured by Hillerich & Bradsby, a company that in the 1940s produced rifle stocks for the U.S. army as part of the war effort. Given this history, and through the image of the flames eating through the bat’s critical section, a sense of violence pervades the work. Yet the figure of the bodhisattva—a name bestowed in acknowledgement of Thích Quảng Đức’s enlightened status—emanates serenity and acquiescence (the monk’s self-sacrifice was performed in silence). In a similar fashion, Nguyen’s earlier work Take Cover Take Care (2008) juxtaposes lyrics by American rapper Tupac Shakur and Vietnamese rapper Wowy carved into the undersides of two manhole covers. In spite of their common genre and subcultural contexts, the two sets of lyrics express markedly contrasting sentiments, the former responding to cultural and social control with the threat of violence, and the latter with a patient acceptance of difference.
In Enemy’s Enemy, the historical Vietnamese craft of woodcarving is brought to contemporary life. This skill, used in architectural detailing and figurative representation, was promoted by the last Vietnamese dynasty, the lineage of Nguyễn (1802–1945). In Enemy’s Enemy the cultural exchange is reciprocated in a commemorative transformation of the American Northern White Ash baseball bat. Thus the work demonstrates the artist’s aptitude for marrying seemingly disparate subjects and materials, reflecting diverse cultural influences from East and West, and incorporating popular-cultural elements.
The Treachery of the Moon, 2012. Color video, with sound, 12 min., 37 sec., edition 1/7. Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York, Guggenheim UBS MAP Purchase Fund, 2012, 2012.158. © Araya Rasdjarmrearnsook
Araya Rasdjarmrearnsook achieved international prominence with an earlier project, Conversations with Death on Life’s First Street (2005), a series of videos in which the artist addresses rooms filled with corpses on the experience and meaning of death. The existential paradox of death in life is represented seamlessly in these stark encounters, which for the artist are not simply about the end of life but explore the state of being between the beginning (birth) and the end (death). In The Treachery of the Moon (2012), this twinning of opposite but related moments is emblematized as the visual intersection of two different worlds, the fictional realm of television drama and the reality of political clashes in 21st-century Thailand. The process of comparing excerpts from popular programs to scenes from the politically motivated violence that has split the nation into factions reveals similar desires and conflicts, and a blurring of the imaginary into the real.
Accompanying the swirl of images that overwhelm the central figures of the artist and her dogs are songs from a more tranquil past, which evoke a nostalgia for simpler and more ethical times. With its evocative title, The Treachery of the Moon articulates Rasdjarmrearnsook’s interest in the possibility of exposing consciousness and memory as dreamlike illusions. The introduction of the figure of the common dog into the artist’s works begins with Afterwards, regret rises in our memory even for bygone hardships (2009), and In reinterpreting old landscape we may have to endure repetitions of the same old karma (2009). In an empathetic commentary on karma, both works feature a domesticated creature whose well-being depends on human kindness.
F-16, 2012. Oil and acrylic on canvas, diptych, 6 feet × 12 feet (182.9 × 365.8 cm) overall. Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York, Guggenheim UBS MAP Purchase Fund, 2012, 2012.160. © Norberto Roldan
Norberto Roldan’s work offers a commentary on the social, political, and cultural conditions of the Philippines via simple but apposite assemblages of object, text, and image. In F-16 (2012), Roldan explores the subject of power negotiation in geopolitical encounters by drawing a relationship between the colonization of the Philippines and events on today’s global stage. Excerpting from an interview published in the early 20th century with William McKinley, the 25th President of the United States, who victoriously led the “benevolent assimilation” of the Philippines in the Spanish-American War of 1898, the textual half of the diptych quotes the then-President on the reasons for occupation. According to McKinley, the Filipino people “are unfit for self-government and they will soon have anarchy and misrule there worse than Spain’s wars; […] there was nothing left for us to do but take them all; and to educate them and uplift and civilize and Christianize them.”
Subsequent tensions between the Filipino people and American forces would lead to their ouster of U.S. military presence, and to the independence of the Philippines in 1898. Juxtaposed with McKinley’s utterance is an image of an American fighter jet cruising over Afghanistan post-9/11, a reference to Operation Enduring Freedom. In this diptych, the artist presents an open-ended dilemma that reflects not only the two historical events, but also, in relating them, points to the effects of domination and force, specifically their tendency to beget other such interventions and conflicts and thereby perpetuate a cycle of retaliation and vengeance. The juxtaposition of the two events, separated by a century, reveals a critique of human folly as destined to repeat its mistakes.
Cofounder, in 1986, of Black Artists in Asia, a group formed to observe political, social, economic, and cultural issues through aesthetic practice, Roldan is also one of the founders of Manila gallery Green Papaya Art Projects. While the artist’s painterly approach in F-16 appears to diverge from his earlier assemblages, it entails a similarly intimate transformation of historical reference in its reproduction of found elements. The earlier works bind contrary elements together—one series juxtaposes the sacred and profane by pairing found objects with Roman liturgical vestments—while the monochromatic palette of F-16 renders image and text parallel in a way that questions the status of both. Yet Roldan’s introspective works, which display the formal influence of Joseph Cornell and Filipino artist Santiago Bose, transcend the specificities of Filipino history and politics to suggest an intimate connection with the wider world.
Tang Da Wu
Our Children, 2012. Galvanized steel, glass, and milk, three parts: 62 × 89 1/2 × 23 1/2, 26 1/4 × 44 1/2 × 12, and 8 1/2 × 3 1/8 inches (157.5 × 227.3 × 59.7 cm, 66.7 × 113 × 30.5 cm, and 21.6 × 7.9 × 7.9 cm), overall dimensions vary with installation. Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York, Guggenheim UBS MAP Purchase Fund, 2012, 2012.147. © Tang Da Wu. Installation view: No Country: Contemporary Art for South and Southeast Asia, Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York, February 22–May 22, 2013. Photo: Kristopher McKay
Tang Da Wu is credited as the founder of the Artists Village, a collective that has since its inception in 1988 become synonymous with experimental art in Singapore. Tang’s practice, which spans painting, drawing, sculpture, installation, and performance art, is notable for its subtly poetic deconstruction of historical and cultural conditions. His three-part sculpture Our Children (2012) references a story from Teochew opera (a variant of the form distinct to the southern Chinese region from which the artist’s family hails), in which a young boy experiences illumination at the humbling sight of a baby goat genuflecting while suckling at its mother. This image is intended as a parable of the timeless virtues of respect and filial piety, and of the importance of cultural values.
In Tang’s stylized tableau, the goats are wrought in galvanized steel and glass, the act of receiving nourishment represented by a bottle of milk that sits atop the structure. The ensemble calls to mind the Chinese domestic ancestral altar, at which offerings, prayers, and entreaties to one’s forebears are performed in recognition of history, ancestry, and veneration of age-old wisdom. Inscribed on the bottle, which also represents the necessity of nourishment to future generations, are the characters 林道. This refers to a forest pathway or trail, and in the sculpture is a metaphoric allusion to the theme of insight.
Our Children also demonstrates Tang’s skillful distillation of concept and commentary into a visual message and a prompt to reflection. In this work, the two figures appear in dynamic tension and resemble Chinese characters, bringing to life the narrative theme in spare lines and forms. (The parable itself is less smoothly concluded, the boy tragically failing to reconcile with his mother after his revelation.) Recalling Tang’s seminal early work Tiger’s Whip (1991), a commentary on the exploitation of tigers for their organs’ supposed aphrodisiac powers, the work sees Tang explore the interaction of nature and culture. Investigative, rather than simply didactic, his works are intended to inspire rather than merely instruct.
What Do We Want, 1993–94. Oil on canvas with rope, 37 1/4 × 78 3/4 × 10 inches (94.6 × 200 × 25.4 cm). Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York, Guggenheim UBS MAP Purchase Fund, 2012, 2012.162. © Truong Tan
It is necessary to understand Truong Tan’s reputation for avant-gardism in relation to a development of mainstream social and aesthetic practices in Vietnam that was influenced by 19th-century French colonization, the early 20th-century establishment of the Ecole des Beaux-Arts de L’Indochine, and the negotiations that the Vietnamese people undertook in order to regain their independence. Modern Vietnamese painting, influenced by French aesthetics, favored the portrayal of lush local landscapes, and a lyrical idyll represented in the form of the feminine figure, in a visual style termed réalité poétique (poetic reality). Post-independence aesthetics would increasingly challenge these passive and idealized visions, and intensify as the country underwent the Đổi Mới economic reforms of the mid-1980s. A 1989 graduate of Hanoi Fine Arts University, Truong Tan became part of a wave of aesthetic exploration that challenged assumptions about art’s form and meaning, his practice causing controversy with its confrontation of taboo sexual themes.
An openly homosexual artist living in an increasingly liberalized but still conservative environment, Truong Tan developed a practice that was designated as unorthodox, a framing that served to both publicize and censure his work. The categorization has also tended to obscure his work’s idealistic and poetic nuances. In What Do We Want (1993–94), a male figure, his face shown in the profile view that recurs throughout the artist’s oeuvre, lies vulnerable and naked across the canvas, apparently crucified. The male figure’s idealization may be seen in relation to the idealized feminine figure celebrated in the earlier French-influenced Vietnamese aesthetic. Truong Tan’s idealization however is double-edged, as the figure, his face averted in a seemingly nonconfrontational stance, calls attention to a hidden side. This ironic pairing of diplomatic concession with a critique of rigid conservatism was apparent in “Cultural Collision,” an exhibition that Truong Tan participated in along with American artist Bradford Edwards at Red River Gallery in Hanoi in 1995. On this occasion, twelve of Truong Tan’s paintings were censored. In response the artist replaced these censured works with rice-paper paintings inscribed with the deferential response “Excuse Me” in Vietnamese, English, and French.
Characterized by simplicity of material, line, and color, and by a synthetic composition in which form is flattened and contour simplified, Truong Tan’s work has a powerful rawness that underscores his struggle to uncover the basic truths of power, society, and life. A rope, symbolizing social and aesthetic stricture, is wrapped around the middle of What Do We Want. It acts as a constraining device, but also is a nod to modesty. As in his 1994 performance in which the artist, his body wrapped in a sheet and bound by rope, signals a refusal of social, cultural, and sexual limits by stepping out of physical ones, the bound painting is poised between restraint and liberation. What Do We Want is thus less a confrontation than it is an appeal for a more measured reflection on the imposition of constraints. In another performance, Buffalo, staged in the village of Mộc Châu in 1996, the artist shoulders a 40-kilogram plough and attempts to plough a field. The weight of the plough finally defeats him and he collapses, yet the artist’s courageous effort and unrelenting desire to transform an indifferent cultural landscape has not gone unnoticed, its simple yet effective gesture leaving an indelible mark.
Bomb Ponds, 2009. Nine digital chromogenic prints and color video, with sound, 23 min., edition 4/5, approximately 35 7/16 × 41 5/16 inches (90 × 105 cm) each. Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York, Guggenheim UBS MAP Purchase Fund, 2013.4. © Vandy Rattana. Pictured: detail.
The history of American presence in Cambodia is the subject of Vandy Rattana’s Bomb Ponds (2009), a video and series of photographs that looks at the lasting effects of U.S. bombing operations on the nation’s landscape, its people, and their collective memory. Bomb Ponds has its origins in the production of another series of photographs by the artist, Walking Through (2009), which pictures Cambodian rubber plantations introduced during French colonization. While developing this sequence, the artist chanced upon what locals called a “bomb pond,” a body of water within a man-made crater. Curious, he searched for and photographed similarly ravaged sites, drawn to their paradoxically idyllic, overgrown settings.
The craters in Bomb Ponds are the results of 2,756,941 tons of bombs dropped by U.S. forces during the Vietnam War between 1964 and 1973, a figure that was publicly acknowledged only in 2000. It is debatable whether the military operation in Cambodia contributed to the rise of the Khmer Rouge, its aggression fueling the resistance or, despite the loss of life and livelihood, aided the Cambodian people. Either way, the assault also points to the various interventions that Cambodians have faced throughout history, of Thai (Siam), French, Japanese, Vietnamese, and American origin. These interventions were variously administrative, ideological, and territorial, and were, as the artist emphasizes, often more complex than official histories suggest.
Vandy’s practice recalls that of Cambodian artists such as Svay Ken, whose paintings note both the ordinary and the unexpected. In a country where photography plays a critical documentary role—in images of the Khmer Rouge’s S-21 interrogation center Tuol Sleng, for example, or the memorialization of Khmer Rouge violence housed in the Tuol Sleng Genocide Museum, Bomb Ponds stands as witness to a continuing struggle against Cambodian historical revisionism. In the work’s video component, one villager relates the experience of hiding her family underground at the sound of incoming planes, while another is too aggrieved to discuss the memories that the sight of the ponds evokes. By thus underscoring the enduring damage wrought by military operations, Bomb Ponds suggests that this history deserves as much acknowledgement as the effects of the Khmer Rouge or the celebration of the Hindu-then-Buddhist temple complex of Angkor Wat. The ponds’ tragic aspect contrasts with national rebuilding projects such as the filling of Beoung Kok Lake for urban redevelopment featured in another work by the artist, an undertaking that poses a different kind of threat to the local community.
Originally published on guggenheim.org © 2013 Solomon R. Guggenheim Foundation (SRGF). All rights reserved.
《甚麼 . . .》，2001。彩色有聲錄像，11分鐘，版數3/3。紐約所羅門•R•古根漢美術館，古根漢瑞銀MAP購買基金2012.142 © Reza Afisina
禮薩•阿菲西納的《甚麼. . .》是藝術家背誦《聖經》裡《路加福音》十二章三至十一節的錄影演出。在這段經文中，路加講述耶穌對偽善的警告，並強調真理和懺悔的重要性。阿菲西納反復地拍打自己，以肉體之力量為媒介，反思人類暴力問題，以及一種各宗教都強調的特質，那就是感同身受的可貴。
《無題1，魯斯坦系列》，2011－12。水彩、水粉、水墨，紙本。紐約所羅門•R•古根漢美術館，古根漢瑞銀MAP購買基金2012.143 © Khadim Ali
《無題2，魯斯坦系列》，2010。水彩、水粉、水墨，紙本。紐約所羅門•R•古根漢美術館，古根漢瑞銀MAP購買基金2012.144 © Khadim Ali
《無題3，魯斯坦系列》，2011－12。水彩、水粉、水墨，紙本。紐約所羅門•R•古根漢美術館，古根漢瑞銀MAP購買基金2012.145 © Khadim Ali
《白塔無需金子》，2010。塑膠彩、金箔、畫布。紐約所羅門•R•古根漢美術館，古根漢瑞銀MAP購買基金2012.155 © Aung Myint
由緬甸當代藝術先驅之一所作的《白塔無需金子》參考了至今仍影響著緬甸身份形象的一個古代蒲甘王國歷史遺跡。在Aung Myint的畫作中，佛塔沒有普遍的鍍金外觀，卻樸實地矗立在綴有點點金箔的神秘墨黑背景中。圖像沒有被刻意美化，Aung Myint的圓頂窣堵波正無聲地批判那側重外表而輕視內在的思想。
《1:14.9》，2011－12。聚酯線、木材、玻璃、黃銅，A.P. 1/2，版數3。紐約所羅門•R•古根漢美術館，古根漢瑞銀MAP購買基金2012.148。相片: Kristopher McKay
《與亞都拉攀比1》，2012。彩色照片，藝術家自製相框，版數2/8。紐約所羅門•R•古根漢美術館，古根漢瑞銀MAP購買基金2012.151 © Vincent Leong
《與亞都拉攀比2》，2012。彩色照片，藝術家自製相框，版數2/8。紐約所羅門•R•古根漢美術館，古根漢瑞銀MAP購買基金2012.152 © Vincent Leong
這兩張照片描繪了馬來西亞的兩個少數民族族裔 － 華裔及印度裔家庭的成員。在兩張照片中，被拍者穿著的是伊斯蘭教服飾（國家以伊斯蘭教為國教的同時，仍保護人民享有宗教自由），構圖卻不禁讓人想起十九世紀初馬來西亞蘇丹王朝時期的攝影肖像。作品帶出馬來西亞史上的民族分歧和衝突，暗暗指向獨立前的馬來文化，以及經文化融合來達到和平共存的主題。
《愛床》，2012。不鏽鋼。紐約所羅門•R•古根漢美術館，古根漢瑞銀MAP購買基金2012.153。相片: Kristopher McKay
《敵人的敵人：獻給紀念碑的紀念碑》，2012。木材，原型3/3，版數5。紐約所羅門•R•古根漢美術館，古根漢瑞銀MAP購買基金2012.156 © Tuan Andrew Nguyen
《月亮的背叛》，2012。彩色有聲錄像，12 分37 秒，版數1/7。紐約所羅門•R•古根漢美術館，古根漢瑞銀MAP購買基金2012.158 © Araya Rasdjarmrearnsook
《F-16》，2012。油彩、塑膠彩、畫布，雙連畫。紐約所羅門•R• 古根漢美術館，古根漢瑞銀MAP購買基金2012.160 © Norberto Roldan
《我們的孩子》，2012。鍍鋅鋼、玻璃杯、牛奶。紐約所羅門•R• 古根漢美術館，古根漢瑞銀MAP購買基金2012.147。相片: Kristopher McKay
《我們要甚麼》，1993－94。繩子、油彩、畫布。紐約所羅門•R•古根漢美術館，古根漢瑞銀MAP購買基金2012.162 © Truong Tan
《炸彈池塘》，2009。9 張彩色照片及彩色有聲錄像，23 分鐘，版數4/5。紐約所羅門•R•古根漢美術館，古根漢瑞銀MAP購買基金2013.4 © Vandy Rattana. Pictured: detail.
Bani Abidi was born in Karachi, Pakistan, in 1971. She studied painting and printmaking, earning a BFA from the National College of Arts, Lahore, Pakistan, in 1994. She later attended the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, earning an MFA in 1999. She completed residencies with the Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture, Maine (2000), Fukuoka Art Exchange Program, Japan (2005), and DAAD Artists-in-Berlin Program (2011–12). Her early engagement with video, beginning at the Art Institute, led to the incorporation of performance and photography into her work. These mediums have provided Abidi with potent, sometimes subversive means to address problems of nationalism—specifically those surrounding the Indian-Pakistani conflict and the violent legacy of the 1947 partition dividing the two countries—and their uneven representation in the mass media. She is particularly interested in how these issues affect everyday life and individual experience.
One of Abidi’s earliest videos, Mangoes (1999), reveals her barbed sense of humor. Two women—one Indian, one Pakistani, both played by the artist—eat mangoes and reminisce about their childhoods. Soon, however, their amiable chatter escalates into competitive boasting about the fruit grown in their respective homelands, which they reference from memory as expatriates. The artist uses a similar tactic in the two-channel video The News (2001). Here, a Pakistani and an Indian newscaster, again both performed by Abidi, issue divergent reports of the same event, based on a familiar joke. In addition to video, Abidi also works with photography, digital imaging, and installation. For Karachi—Series 1 (2009), she photographed non-Muslim Pakistanis in the street at dusk during the holy month of Ramadan, when the metropolis is quiet as Muslims sit down to break their fast. Abidi renders visible the Hindu and Christian minorities, which together constitute less than five per cent of the population, acknowledging that the city is their home too by inviting them to carry out mundane domestic activities—reading a newspaper, ironing, arranging flowers—in public space. These are ambivalent portraits, each labeled with the subject’s name, time, and date, as if they were documents of surveillance. The figures are shot from behind at a wide angle, the light of the setting sun heightening the oddity of their interpolation into the streetscape—as does the images’ lightbox presentation. But while politics and cultural critique pervade Abidi’s oeuvre, aesthetics remain her primary concern; these works may act as catalysts, but the responsibility for real change ultimately resides with the viewer.
Solo exhibitions of Abidi’s work have been presented at V. M. Art Gallery, Karachi (2006 and 2010); Oberwelt, Stuttgart (2006); Gallery TPW, Toronto (2007); Gallery SKE, Bangalore (2008); Green Cardamom, London (2008 and 2010); Project 88, Mumbai (2010); Baltic Center for Contemporary Art, Gateshead, United Kingdom (2011); and Experimenter, Kolkata (2012–13). Important group exhibitions include: Fukuoka Asian Art Triennial (2005); Thermocline of Art: New Asian Waves, ZKM Center for Art and Media, Karlsruhe (2007); Annual Report: A Year in Exhibitions, Gwangju Biennial, South Korea (2008); Hanging Fire: Contemporary Art from Pakistan, Asia Society, New York (2009); The Spectacle of the Everyday, Lyon Biennial, France (2009); Where Three Dreams Cross: 150 Years of Photography from India, Pakistan and Bangladesh, Whitechapel Art Gallery, London, and Fotomuseum Winterthur, Switzerland (2010); The Global Contemporary: Art Worlds After 1989, ZKM Center for Art and Media, Karlsruhe (2011); Making Normative Orders: Demonstrations of Power, Doubt and Protest, Frankfurter Kunstverein, Frankfurt (2012); and Documenta 13 (2012). Abidi lives and works between Karachi and New Delhi.
Reza Afisina was born in 1977 in Bandung, Indonesia. He studied cinematography—specifically sound recording for film and documentary features—at Jakarta Institute of the Arts, Indonesia (1995–99). He was an artist in residence at KHOJ International Artists’ Association, New Delhi, in 2004. Afisina is a member of the Jakarta-based artists’ collective ruangrupa (est. 2000), a nonprofit organization focused on supporting art initiatives in an urban context through research, collaboration, workshops, exhibitions, and publications. He served as the program coordinator for ruangrupa from 2003–07 and has been the artistic director of their ArtLab since its inception in 2008.
Employing video, perfomance, and installation, and often using his own body in his work, Afisina explores the manifestations and meanings of physical and emotional pain. In his performance and video An Easy Time With Parenthood (2008), a text from Julio Cortazar’s short story “Las babas del diablo” is tattooed on the artist’s arm alongside a biblical text in Latin. Experimenting with word as image, Afisina theorizes that pain is not only indicative of violence, but can also function as a reflection of honesty, freedom, and even happiness. His earlier video My Chemical Sisters (2004), which depicts cosmetics ingredients against images of advertising models, explores pain in a different way. Made mostly from chemicals, the cosmetics here embody a disjunction between our desire for physical perfection and the toxins we employ in the hope of achieving it. Afisina’s later installation, Letters to International Curators (2008), departs from his established thematic to focus instead on the concept of written and personal interaction and the communicative limits of language. The exhibited work consists of documentation of a series of exhibition proposals by the artist that was sent to curators of his acquaintance worldwide.
Afisina has performed and screened his work in such group exhibitions as OK Video Festival in Jakarta (2003, 2010, and 2011); Taboo and Transgression in Contemporary Indonesian Art, Herbert F. Johnson Museum of Art, Cornell University, Ithaca, New York (2005); Simple Actions and Aberrant Behaviors, PICA, Portland (2007), Jakarta Biennial (2009); Move on Asia: The End of Video Art, Para/Site Art Space, Hong Kong (2010 and 2012); Moving Image from Indonesia, ZKM Center for Art and Media, Karlsruhe (2011); and City Net Asia, Seoul Museum of Art (2011). Afisina lives and works in Jakarta.
Khadim Ali was born in 1978 in Quetta, Pakistan, as an Afghan refugee. His family, belonging to the Hazara minority, fled Afghanistan to escape Taliban persecution. From 1998–99, he studied mural painting and calligraphy in Tehran, Iran. He earned a BFA at the National College of Arts, Lahore, Pakistan (2003), where he studied traditional miniature painting. He completed artist residencies in Japan through the Fukuoka Asian Art Museum (2006) and Arts Initiative Tokyo (2007). Ali moved to Sydney in 2010 and earned an MFA at the College of Fine Arts, University of New South Wales (2012).
Haunted by the March 2001 Taliban destruction of two monumental 6th-century Buddhas in Bamiyan, Afghanistan (the Ali family’s ancestral home, located 150 miles northwest of Kabul), the artist returned to the town in 2006 and conducted The Bamiyan drawing project as part of his participation in the 5th Asia Pacific Triennial, Brisbane, Australia (2006), for which he invited area children to depict local stories. Then, during his residency in Fukuoka later that year, he asked Japanese children to respond to the Afghan children’s images. The drawings became the basis of the series Absent Kitchen (2006– ). Ali returned to Bamiyan again in April 2008 and embarked on a collaboration with Lebanese-Canadian artist Jayce Salloum titled the heart that has no love/pain/generosity is not a heart (2008–11). This poetic documentary account of the ruins of the Bamiyan Buddhas and the valley’s current conditions takes the form of a layered installation of photographs, videos, documents, objects, and paintings.
In 2012, Ali presented five paintings at Documenta 13, including one at the quinquennial’s first presentation in Kabul. In addition, he conducted the seminar “Rereading Shahnameh” for children in Bamiyan. Shahnameh, or the Persian Book of kings, is an epic poem composed between 977 and 1010 by the court poet Firdausi. It records the mythical history of Persia preceding the 7th-century Islamic conquest. Ali continues to be inspired by childhood memories of his grandfather reciting from the Shahnameh, and acknowledges its miniature illustrations as his first exposure to art. He often chooses his subject matter from its secular pantheon of heroes and legends.
Ali has had solo exhibitions at Chawkandi Art Gallery, Karachi (2004 and 2005); Green Cardamom, London (2007); Rohtas 2, Lahore (2009); and Cross Art Projects, Sydney (2012). His works were featured along with Imran Qureshi’s in the Iran, Afghanistan, and Pakistan Pavilion at the 2009 Venice Biennale. Ali organized and participated in The Haunted Lotus: Contemporary Art from Kabul, Cross Art Projects (2010), and The Force of Forgetting, Lismore Regional Gallery, Australia (2011). His work was included in Future: Afghanistan, Gemak, The Hague, Netherlands (2008); Living Traditions, Queen’s Palace, Kabul (2008), and National Art Gallery, Islamabad, Pakistan (2009); Safavids Revisited, British Museum, London (2009); Only from the Heart Can You Touch the Sky, RMIT Gallery, Melbourne (2012); and Home Again—10 Artists Who Have Experienced Japan, Hara Museum of Contemporary Art, Tokyo (2012). Ali lives and works in Sydney, Quetta, and Kabul.
Aung Myint was born in 1946 in Yangon, Myanmar (formerly Rangoon, Burma). He earned a degree in psychology from the Rangoon Arts and Science University in 1968. In 1989, he founded the Inya Gallery of Art in Yangon. Despite the governmental censorship and limitation of cultural life in Myanmar, Aung Myint has continued to make art that exists outside the boundaries of official edict. A self-taught artist, he began working primarily in painting and installation, extending his practice to include performance in 1995. Aung Myint experiments with medium and form to explore themes of cultural identity and personal memory. His practice often questions the place of small collectives within larger communities, both within and beyond the borders of his homeland.
Aung Myint’s series of monochromatic drawings, Mother and Child (2002–2008), turns single, unbroken lines of black acrylic into gestural forms loosely reminiscent of the pietà. The lines’ fluid continuity evokes the intimate physical connection of the two figures. Aung Myint’s work is informed by the artist’s feelings of loss and abandonment at the death of his mother when he was an infant, and can be interpreted as a self-portrait based on the universal theme of the maternal relationship. Representative of his openness to a variety of media is Self-Portrait, a photographic series and installation conceptualized in the 1990s in which the artist is depicted removing his usual outfit of button-down shirt, longyi (Burmese sarong), and sandals. His prosaic act of draping each article across the back of a chair conveys an atmosphere of intimate familiarity and a sense of global connectedness. This exploration is continued in World Series: Five Continents Tattered (2010). Having painted the five continents on a canvas, the artist repeatedly punctured its surface before stitching up the holes, creating a random pattern of scars. Represented almost as a single landmass, the continents are covered in red x’s, at times so densely that the breadth and intensity of the bloodshed for which they stand becomes impossible to ignore. The stitches symbolize the potential for healing between countries of opposing politics, religions, and beliefs, and act as a reminder of the potential for change.
Aung Myint received the Juror’s Choice Award at the Philip Morris Group of Companies ASEAN Art Awards in Bali (2002). He has had solo exhibitions at Inya Gallery of Art, Yangon (1994), Judson Church Centre, Yangon (1996), Lokanat Galleries, Yangon (1999, 2001, and 2005), Shinseido Hatanaka Art Gallery, Tokyo (1999), Kentler International Drawing Space, Brooklyn (2002), Karin Weber Gallery, Hong Kong (2003 and 2007), and Yavuz Fine Art, Singapore (2010). Notable group exhibitions include: Omnibus: Five Artists from Myanmar, Voice Gallery, Kyoto (1995); 6th Nippon International Performance Art Festival, Japan (1999); Identity, Blue Space Contemporary Art Centre, Ho Chi Minh City (2006); and the Festival of Contemporary Theatre and Performance Art, Alliance Française, Yangon, organized by the Myanmar collective Theatre of the Disturbed (2008). Aung Myint lives and works in Yangon.
Shilpa Gupta was born in Bombay in 1976. She received a BFA in sculpture from the Sir J. J. School of Fine Arts, Mumbai, in 1997. Gupta is interested in perception, and in the ways in which we transmit and understand information. Her mediums range from manipulated found objects to video, interactive computer-based installation, and performance. Her work often engages with television and its constant flow of meaning. Shifting the primary status of art from object-based commodity to participatory experience, Gupta creates situations that actively involve the viewer.
Gupta is drawn to how objects, places, people, and experiences are defined, and asks how these definitions are played out through the processes of classification, restriction, censorship, and security. Her work communicates—across cultures—the impact of dominant forces acting on local and national communities, prompting a reevaluation of social identity and status. There is no explosive here (2007), a communal experiment in fear, encourages the viewer to exit the gallery carrying a bag imprinted with the statement “there is no explosive here.” The dynamic between object, carrier, and public challenges stereotypical anxieties about safety in a public context. Also driven by audience participation is Threat (2009), a wall made of bars of soap that mimic the appearance of bricks and are imprinted with the single word of the title. Each viewer is invited to take a bar home so that the wall slowly disappears and, as each bar is used, the embossed “threat” is neutralized and eventually erased. In Speaking Wall (2010), the gallery visitor wears headphones while standing on a narrow row of bricks that abuts one wall. A recorded voice directs the actions of the viewer/listener, whose role shifts to that of participant, while discussing the redrawing of borders and the arbitrary nature of identity. Again, Gupta questions the concretization of imagined demarcations and divisions.
In 2011, Gupta was the recipient of the Bienal Award, Bienal De Cuenca, Ecuador; in 2004 she was the recipient of the Transmediale Award, Berlin, and the Sanskriti Prathisthan Award, New Delhi. She was also named International Artist of the Year by the South Asian Visual Artists Collective, Canada. She has been the subject of solo presentations at international institutions including Contemporary Arts Center, Cincinnati (2010); Arnolfini, Bristol (2012); and Museum voor Moderne Kunst Arnhem, Netherlands (2012). A 10-year survey of her work, Half A Sky, was presented at the OK Center for Contemporary Art, Linz, Austria (2010). Her work has also been included in numerous group exhibitions: Ideas and Images, National Gallery of Modern Art, Mumbai (2000); Century City: Art and Culture in the Modern Metropolis, Tate Modern, London (2001); Edge of Desire, Asia Society and Queens Museum, New York (2005); The World Is Yours, Louisiana Museum of Modern Art, Humlebæk (2009); Younger Than Jesus, New Museum Triennial, New York (2009); Paris-Delhi-Bombay, Centre Pompidou, Paris (2011); and Descriptive Acts, San Francisco Museum of Modern Art (2012). Gupta lives and works in Mumbai.
Vincent Leong was born in 1979 in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. He studied art at the Centre for Advanced Design in Kuala Lumpur (1998–2000) and earned a BFA from Goldsmiths College, University of London (2000–04), receiving the BT Goldsmiths Prize in digital media in 2004. In 2006, he was invited to participate in a workshop at the Asian Culture Creation Center in Gwangju, South Korea, and the resulting exhibition, Threshold 13, which traveled from Gwangju to Seoul. Leong also completed artist residencies at Sculpture Square, Singapore (2007) and Kognecho Bazaar, Yokohama, Japan (2009).
Leong’s first solo exhibition, The Fake Show at Reka Art Space in Selangor, Malaysia (2006), was a Gordian knot of disguises and disavowals. Announced as a group exhibition curated by Leong, the nine artists featured were in fact fictional surrogates for Leong himself. As such, all of the works were ersatz. Mischievously referencing fellow contemporary Malaysian artists alongside everyday characters, Leong spun a web of allusion that addressed appropriation, originality, and authenticity in a world inundated by counterfeit brands, identities, and entertainments. Leong’s deft manipulation of signs and symbols is evident too in the video How to Be Bruce (2004), which was included in the video art exhibition 18 Reasons We Still Need Superman that traveled to numerous international locations (2010–12, organized by Beijing-based curator Tim Crowley). Retaining the audio from the fight sequence between Bruce Lee and Chuck Norris in the kung fu classic The Way of the Dragon (1972, dir. Bruce Lee), Leong replaced the film’s visual component with an abstract animation, diagramming Lee’s martial artistry via a series of dots and arrows, like the notations of a sports strategy. The icon is subsumed in a frenetic choreography of ciphers.
Turning to Malaysia’s multiethnic culture, whose history is marred by sectarian conflict, Leong’s video Run, Malaysia, Run (2007) captures a cavalcade of the country’s diverse citizens in colorful costumes denoting different ethnicities and religions. In a display typical of the artist’s acerbic humor, a rotating projector sets these personages running around in circles on the walls. Alternatively presented on a screen, they appear to be running in place. In the photography series Executive Properties (2012), Leong shoots from within abandoned buildings. Settings marked by crumbling infrastructure, severed wiring, and graffiti vandalism open onto spectacular views of Kuala Lumpur’s monuments, historic buildings, and contemporary skyscrapers, capturing the paradox of progress and the poetry of the modern ruin.
Leong’s work has been presented in solo exhibitions at Valentine Willie Fine Art, Kuala Lumpur (2007 and 2012), and Sculpture Square, Singapore (2007). The artist has also been featured in the following notable group exhibitions: 3 Young Contemporaries, Valentine Willie Fine Art, Kuala Lumpur (2005); The Power of Dreaming, Rimbun Dahan, Selangor (2005); 4 Young Contemporaries, Numthong Gallery, Bangkok (2007); Selamat Datang ke Malaysia, Gallery 4A, Sydney, and Valentine Willie Fine Art, Kuala Lumpur (2007); The Independence Project, Galeri Petronas, Kuala Lumpur (2007), and Gertrude Contemporary, Melbourne (2008); Some Rooms, Osage Gallery, Hong Kong (2009); Our Own Orbit, Tembi Contemporary, Jogya, Indonesia (2009); and Tanah Ayer: Malaysian Stories from the Land, Selasar Sunaryo Art Space, Bandung, Indonesia (2011). Leong lives and works in Kuala Lumpur.
Tayeba Begum Lipi
Tayeba Begum Lipi was born in 1969 in Gaibandha, Bangladesh. She completed an MFA in drawing and painting at the Institute of Fine Arts, University of Dhaka, Bangladesh, in 1993. In 2002, she cofounded Britto Arts Trust, Bangladesh’s first artist-run alternative arts platform, dedicated to organizing exhibitions, enabling international dialogue and exchange, and providing support to the country’s artists through residencies, workshops, and funding. Lipi’s practice engages painting, printmaking, installation, and video to comment on themes including the politics of gender and female identity.
For the video I Wed Myself (2010), Lipi portrays a bride with traditional makeup and formal attire preparing for her wedding, then crops her hair and adds a moustache to also adopt the role of groom. Juxtaposing these two roles within a single frame, she stands as both husband- and wife-to-be on the wedding stage, a video of the transformation process projected alongside. By adopting this dual personality, Lipi inquires into the definition of gender and the possibility of possessing both feminine and masculine traits. Addressing societal contradictions between real identities and those rooted in misogyny, she exposes the importance of questioning the sexualized structures that dominate women’s lives in Bangladesh and beyond. Also using iconography based on femininity is Bizarre and Beautiful (2011), an installation of female undergarments crafted from stainless steel razor blades. A stark contrast to the expected sensual materials, the blades create a rigid armor, offering protection for the imagined wearer while issuing a warning to the onlooker. Inspired by the strong women of her childhood, Lipi’s work questions the representation of women’s bodies and the history of their social roles, particularly in Bangladesh, where historical and religious expectations continue to determine what is permissible.
Lipi was awarded Grand Prize at the Asian Art Biennial, Dhaka, in 2004. She has been an artist-in-residence at the Irish Museum of Modern Art, Dublin (2000); NICA, Yangon, Myanmar (2004); Gasworks International Residency Programme, London (2005); and Studio RM, Lahore, Pakistan (2008). She was the commissioner for the Bangladesh Pavilion at the 54th Venice Biennale (2011) and one of the curators for the Kathmandu International Art Festival, Nepal (2012). She has had solo exhibitions at Alliance Française (1998 and 2004), Gallery 21 (2001), and Bengal Gallery (2007), in Dhaka, and participated in the two-person exhibition Parables of Our Times at Gallery Akar Prakar in Kolkata (2010). Notable group exhibitions include Separating Myth from Reality: Status of Women at the International Art Festival organized by Siddhartha Art Gallery, Kathmandu (2009), Jakarta Biennial (2011), Venice Biennale (2011), and Colombo Art Biennial (2012). Lipi lives and works in Dhaka.
Tuan Andrew Nguyen
Tuan Andrew Nguyen was born in 1976 in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam. In 1979, he and his family emigrated as refugees to the United States, and he grew up in California. Nguyen earned a BFA from the University of California, Irvine (1999) and an MFA from the California Institute of the Arts (2004). He is a member of the artist collective The Propeller Group (est. 2006) and a cofounder of the artist-run alternative space Sàn Art (est. 2007) in Ho Chi Minh City (formerly Saigon). His work often deals with the cultural estrangement of expatriation and the experience of returning home to an unfamiliar place.
While still a student, Nguyen made the short black-and-white video The Two Tuans: A Civil Dispute (1998), in which he plays both of the figures immortalized in Eddie Adams’s 1968 photograph of the Ho Chi Minh City Police Chief shooting a Vietcong in the head. In Nguyen’s restaging, the artist’s head, recorded in live action, replaces those in the still image and the two trade “yo mama” barbs. Among the number of short documentaries he made during a 2003 visit to Vietnam, Better than Friends (2003) follows the daily life of a family running a small dog-butchery business in Ho Chi Minh City. Nguyen’s videos have appeared in the 18th Annual Singapore International Film Festival (2005), 4th Bangkok Experimental Film Festival, Thailand (2005), and 55th International Short Film Festival Oberhausen, Germany (2009). He directed the feature film Jackfruit Thorn Kiss (2005), a romantic comedy that unfolds on a journey from Hanoi to Ho Chi Minh City, which was an official selection at the 8th NHK Asian Film Festival, Tokyo (2007).
Nguyen has been the subject of solo exhibitions at Voz Alta Project, San Diego (2004), and Galerie Quynh, Ho Chi Minh City (2008). The latter, Quiet Shiny Words, centered on a collaboration with Vietnamese rapper Wowy SouthGanz and sound engineer Alan Hayslip. Nguyen also participated in the group exhibitions Mine, Lombard-Freid, New York (2003), and Eternal Flame: Imagining a Future at the End of the World, REDCAT, Los Angeles (2007), and was featured in the 5th Asia Pacific Triennial, Queensland Art Gallery, Brisbane, Australia (2006–07). He collaborated on Dinh Q. Lê’s The Farmers and The Helicopters (2006), which was presented at the Museum of Modern Art, New York, for Projects 93 (2010) and acquired by the museum. Nguyen lives and works in Ho Chi Minh City.
Araya Rasdjarmrearnsook was born in Trad, Thailand, in 1957. After earning both a BFA and an MFA in graphic arts from Silpakorn University, Bangkok, she continued her studies in Germany at the Hochschule für Bildende Künste Braunschweig, receiving a diploma in 1990 and an MA in 1994. Around 1998, after early experiments with intaglio printmaking and sculptural installation, Rasdjarmrearnsook began to concentrate on film and video. Her work is an articulation of personal loss and the movement between life and death, approached in a way that challenges viewers’ moral sense and tolerance through complex and provocative imagery.
In Rasdjarmrearnsook’s film The Class (2005), the artist is shown directing a tutorial to a classroom of six corpses, which are shrouded in white sheets and arranged side-by-side on silver morgue trays. Confronting the diversity of cultural and religious attitudes toward mortality, the work also satirizes academic convention, the living professor teaching death to an audience already well versed in the subject. Two Planets (2007–08), a quartet of video vignettes, takes on the conventions and assumptions of western art appreciation. Deep in the Thai countryside, a group of people is presented with reproductions of 19th-century European masterpieces. The subjects sit with their backs to the camera and their untutored dialogue is subtitled in English. Their responses reveal myriad social and cultural nuances, while their perspectives on the works are entirely lacking in pretention. Exploring the interactions between opposing but connected realms—life and death, human and animal, conditioned and unconditioned—Rasdjarmrearnsook presents a meditative rethinking of the meaning of periphery.
Rasdjarmrearnsook’s work has been installed in solo presentations at international institutions including the National Gallery, Bangkok (1987, 1992, 1994, 1995, and 2002); Tensta Konsthall, Stockholm (2003); Bass Museum of Art, Miami Beach (2012); and Walters Art Museum, Baltimore (2012). In addition to regular appearances at biennials and other periodic exhibitions including the Sydney Biennial (1996 and 2010), Istanbul Biennial (2003), and Documenta 13 (2012), the artist’s work has also been shown in group exhibitions internationally, at venues including the Kiasma Museum of Contemporary Art, Helsinki (2001 and 2007); Fine Arts Museum, Berne, Switzerland (2006); National Art Gallery, Singapore (2010); National Museum of Art, Osaka (2011); and Asian Art Museum of San Francisco (2012). Rasdjarmrearnsook, a lecturer at the Faculty of Fine Arts, Chiang Mai University, lives and works in Chiang Mai.
Vandy Rattana was born in 1980 in Phnom Penh, Cambodia. He studied law at the Pannasastra University of Cambodia and is a self-taught photographer. He cofounded the artist collective Stiev Selapak (art rebels) in 2007, and with them opened the alternative space Sa Sa Art Gallery in 2009, followed by Sa Sa Art Projects in 2010, both in Phnom Penh. The latter hosts artist residencies, workshops, and community-based collaborations. In 2011, Sa Sa Art Gallery merged with BASSAC Art Projects to become SA SA BASSAC. Inspired by photojournalism’s roots in bearing witness and its activist vein, Rattana has trained his lens on challenging conditions in his home country, documenting natural and manmade disasters. He also experiments with photographic abstraction and makes use of video. The project of recording and preserving is especially poignant in Cambodia, which lost significant historical archives during the violent cultural cleansing campaign implemented by the communist Khmer Rouge regime (1975–79). Rattana operates in a context in which the act of remembrance is a form of subversion.
Rattana’s photographs do not merely communicate a state of victimhood; rather, they acknowledge the processes of survival, resilience, and healing. They present a specific perspective on modernity, one in which advanced technology equates to destruction, the recovery of nature is a form of progress, traditional and vernacular forms sometimes trump innovation, and the everyday becomes heroic. Rattana does not appear in any of the photographs in his Self-portrait series (2005–06). Instead, the images portray family members in individual and group compositions, together with studies of domestic interiors that conjure the atmosphere of home. Thus the artist avoids stereotypical depictions of Cambodia as a land of temples and traumas. While he does address the legacy of war elsewhere, Rattana’s Fire of the year series (2008) deals with today’s problems by focusing on an ecological wasteland on the outskirts of Phnom Penh. The meditative series Walking Through (2008–09), meanwhile, features images of a traditional rubber plantation in Kampong Cham province that capture the dignity of the laborers and the beauty of their surroundings.
Rattana has had solo exhibitions at Popil PhotoGallery (2006–07), Sa Sa Art Gallery (2009), and SA SA BASSAC (2011 and 2012–13) in Phnom Penh, and Hessel Museum of Art in Annandale-on-Hudson, New York (2010). He has participated in notable group exhibitions including Underlying: Contemporary Art Exhibition from the Mekong Sub-Region, a traveling exhibition organized by the Mekong Art and Culture Project in Bangkok (2008); Strategies from Within: Vietnamese and Cambodian Contemporary Art at Ke Center in Shanghai (2008); the 6th Asia Pacific Triennial at Queensland Art Gallery in Brisbane, Australia (2009); Forever Until Now: Contemporary Art from Cambodia at 10 Chancery Lane Gallery in Hong Kong (2009); Institution for the Future, part of the Asia Triennial Manchester at Chinese Arts Centre in Manchester (2011); Documenta 13 (2012); and Poetic Politic at Kadist Art Foundation, San Francisco (2012). Rattana lives and works in Phnom Penh and Paris.
Norberto Roldan was born in 1953 in Roxas City, Philippines. He earned a BA in Philosophy from St. Pius X Seminary, Roxas City; a BFA in Visual Communications from University of Santo Tomas, Manila; and an MA in Art Studies at University of the Philippines, Diliman. In 1986, he founded Black Artists in Asia, a Philippines-based group focused on socially and politically progressive practice. In 1990, he initiated the biennial VIVA EXCON (Visayas Islands Visual Arts Exhibition and Conference). Roldan was a finalist for the Philip Morris Philippines Art Award, Manila, in 1996, 1997, and 1999. In 1998, he was awarded Juror’s Choice for the same award as well for the Art Association of the Philippines Annual Art Competition. Roldan is the current artistic director of Green Papaya Art Projects (est. 2000), an independent, artist-run initiative and alternative art space that supports collaboration and exchange between Asia-Pacific and Filipino artists. Citing the influence of Joseph Cornell and Santiago Bose, Roldan juxtaposes objects, images, and textual fragments as a means to reject the idea of historical certainty and propose new social, political, and cultural narratives in its place.
Often employing the material embodiments of various genres and themes in a single collage, Roldan harnesses poignant aspects of shared and personal biography. His assemblage In Search For Lost Time 1 / 2 / 3 / 4 (2010) has its origins in an article on Hitler’s Berlin apartment. Based on a conviction that the interior and furnishings of the dictator’s home offer no insight into the true nature of the man, the work questions the importance of material culture in the study of anthropology. Roldan’s series of nine works titled The Beginning of History and Fatal Strategies (2011) was inspired by Jean Baudrillard’s essay “The End of History and Meaning,” which details the idea of historicity, arguing that globalization precipitated the dissolution of history and the collapse of progress. Each work is a collection of curios, old perfumes bottles, compact cases, amulets, and old photographs displayed in wood and glass cabinets, recalling a past that is fabricated by an attempt to create a sense of order from forgotten memories. Focusing on Baudrillard’s criticism of Marxist ideology as misguided fantasy, Roldan’s series itself presents no political judgment or conclusion, but seeks instead to simply pit history against reality.
Roldan has had solo exhibitions at Hiraya Gallery, Manila (1987, 1994, and 1999); Artspace, Sydney (1989); Green Papaya, Manila (2001 and 2005); Charles Darwin University Gallery, Darwin, Australia (2003); Alliance Française, Manila (2004); Magnet Gallery, Manila (2007); MO Space, Manila (2008); Pablo Fort, Manila (2009); Taksu, Kuala Lumpur (2009); Taksu, Singapore (2009, 2011, and 2012); Silverlens, Manila (2010); Now Gallery, Manila (2011 and 2012); and Vulcan Artbox, Waterford, Ireland (2012). He has participated in numerous group exhibitions including New Art from Southeast Asia, Fukuoka Asian Art Museum and Hiroshima City Museum of Contemporary Art (1992); Identities versus Globalisation, Chiang Mai University Art Museum, National Gallery, Bangkok, and Dahlem Museum, Berlin (2003–04); Flippin’ Out: Maynila to Williamsburg, Goliath Visual Space, Brooklyn (2005); No Soul for Sale, Tate Modern, London (2010); and Negotiating Home, History and Nation: Two Decades of Contemporary Art from Southeast Asia, 1991–2010, Singapore Art Museum (2011). Roldan lives and works in Manila.
Tang Da Wu
Tang Da Wu was born in 1943 in Thang Kian Hiong, Singapore. He received a BA in sculpture from the School of Fine Art, Birmingham Polytechnic (now Birmingham Institute of Art and Design) in 1974 and pursued advanced studies in sculpture at Saint Martins School of Art (now Central Saint Martins) from 1974–75. In 1985, he received an MFA from Goldsmith’s College, University of London. After returning to Singapore in 1979, Tang began to work in performance art, and in 1988, cofounded the Artists Village, a collective committed to promoting experimental art through the provision of studio and exhibition space. Working through a de facto ban on performance that began in 1994 as a response to artist Josef Ng trimming his pubic hair at a public festival, the organization supports community interaction through social relevance and the hosting of public site-specific interventions. Through performance, installation, painting, and drawing, Tang explores social and environmental themes including deforestation, animal endangerment, and urban transformation.
Tang’s seminal early work Tiger’s Whip (1991) comments on the exploitation of tigers for the supposed aphrodisiac powers of their sexual organs. For this work, in part a performance, Tang dragged behind him one of ten life-size papier-mâché tigers. In the work’s installation component, a tiger stands with front paws resting on a rocking chair that has been painted with a red phallus and draped in red cloth. This represents the tiger’s vengeful spirit returning to haunt the poacher. Other works such as They Poach the Rhino, Chop Off His Horn and Make This Drink (1989) further investigate the cultural beliefs that can lead to species extinction. Commenting on the effects of urban transformation is the series of ink paintings Bumiputra (2005–06), named for a Malay word meaning “son of the soil.” The work is a collection of portraits of residents of Hougang, a Northern suburb of Singapore that was developed from forests and pig farms into a residential town during the 1980s. Since the 1960s, the Singaporean city-state has been expanding through the dismantling of communities and the establishment of re-housing programs. By recording the original inhabitants of the area and assembling the images around an image of a well, a traditional meeting place, Tang highlights the way in which too-rapid development can erode community.
Tang was the recipient of the Visual Arts Award from the Arts Council of Great Britain in 1978, as well as the Artist Award from the Greater London Arts Council in 1983. In 1999, he was awarded the 10th Fukuoka Asian Culture Prize in Arts and Culture. He has had solo exhibitions at ACME Gallery, London (1978), National Museum Art Gallery, Singapore (1980), Your Mother Gallery, Singapore (2005), Valentine Willie Fine Art, Kuala Lumpur (2006), and Goodman Arts Centre, Singapore (2011). Important performances include Five Days at NAFA and Five Days in Museum, Nanyang Academy of Fine Arts and National Museum, Singapore (1982), They Poach the Rhino, Chop Off His Horn and Make This Drink, National Museum Art Gallery, National University of Singapore, and Singapore Zoo (1989), and Don’t Give Money to the Arts, Singapore Art exhibition and fair (1995). He was a leading organizer of and participant in the Artists Village’s Dancing by the Ponds and Sunrise at the Vegetable Farm, The Time Show—24 Hours Continuous Performance (1989–90). The group and its activities were celebrated in the retrospective The Artists Village: 20 Years On at the Singapore Art Museum (2008). He has participated in group exhibitions including the Asian Art Show, Fukuoka Art Museum, Japan (1989), Art in Asia: Traditions/Tensions, Art Gallery of Western Australia, Perth (1998), Fukuoka Asian Art Triennial (1999), and Singapore Biennial (2006). He was featured in the Singapore Pavilion at the Venice Biennale in 2007. Tang lives and works in Singapore.
Truong Tan was born in 1963 in Hanoi, Vietnam. He graduated from the Fine Art School Hanoi in 1982, and the University of Fine Art Hanoi in 1989. He served as a lecturer at the latter from 1989 to 1997 before becoming a full-time artist. Following the advent of the Doi Moi (renovation) policy in 1986, which liberalized Vietnam’s market policies, there was a resurgent artistic romanticization of Vietnam’s past. Truong, for his part, abandoned the country’s then-current academicism in favor of a practice focused on the complexities of human psychology and social circumstance. Through painting, drawing, performance, installation, sculpture, and ceramics, Truong challenges social convention and investigates themes of identity and freedom of expression.
Truong addresses the long-established prejudices that influence Vietnam’s highly traditional society, examining national identity and its intersection with gender stereotypes. Centered on his own identity, the artist’s work explores perceptions of homosexuality in a conservative milieu. This autobiographical emphasis is clear in Being Human (1996), a series of erotic ink drawings of the male figure. The series’ visually reductive interpretation of the male form accentuates the phallus and presents relationships considered unconventional in Vietnam’s contradictory environment of economic liberalization and social rigidity. Furthering this exploration are works such as Red Dreaming (2008) and How to be an Angel (2008). Painted in the traditional Vietnamese medium of lacquer, these works consider an individual’s understanding of his or her own social status. The latter example in particular acts as a reminder of humanity’s aspiration to an ideal of beauty and virtue, represented through the actions of figures rendered in Truong’s signature style of flattened form and simple contour. The Wedding Dress (2001) turns away from themes of masculinity toward the image of Vietnamese women. In this sculpture, a skirt made from iron chains is combined with a bodice made of feathers. The heft of the chains represents societal oppression of women, while the fragile feathers symbolize the vulnerability and purity of the soul. Through the modification of domestic objects and social symbols, Truong creates new metaphors for the politics of contemporary Vietnam and the struggle between private and public identities.
Truong has had solo exhibitions at Gallery Ecole, Hanoi (1994), Kunsthalle Bielefeld, Germany (1996), Gallery Les Singuliers, Paris (1997, 1999, and 2000), Cité Internationale des Arts, Paris (1998 and 1999), Gallery 4A, Sydney (1998), Asian Fine Art Gallery, Berlin (1999), Nhasan Studio, Hanoi (2002), Ryllega Gallery, Hanoi (2004 and 2005), and Thavibu Gallery, Bangkok (2010). Notable group exhibitions include Singapore Biennial (2008); Fukuoka Asian Art Triennial, Japan (2009); Connect: Kunstszene Vietnam, ifa Gallery Berlin (2010) and ifa Gallery Stuttgart (2011); Negotiating Home, History and Nation: Two Decades of Contemporary Art from Southeast Asia, 1991–2010, Singapore Art Museum (2011); and 8 Vietnamese Contemporary Artists, Bui Gallery, Hanoi (2012). Truong lives and works in Paris and Hanoi.
Artist biographies originally published on guggenheim.org © 2013 Solomon R. Guggenheim Foundation (SRGF). All rights reserved.
1946年於緬甸仰光出生。1968年，他在仰光藝術科技大學取得心理學學位，並在1989年於仰光創建了Inya Gallery of Art。儘管當時政府對緬甸文化生活諸多審查和限制，Aung Myint仍然堅持不斷地創作超出官方劃定界線的藝術作品。作為一名自學成才的藝術家，他最早嘗試的是繪畫和裝置藝術，到1995年再開始涉獵行為藝術。Aung Myint通過不同媒介和形式上的實驗，探索了文化身份以及個人記憶等主題。他的作品經常對小群體在大社群中的位置提出質疑，其關注範圍不僅局限於緬甸境內，還包括世界其他地區。
在單色系列繪畫《母與子》（Mother and Child）（2002－2008）中，Aung Myint用黑色亞克力顏料一氣呵成地一筆過勾畫出一個姿勢形態，讓人多少聯想到「聖母憐子」（pietà）的構圖。線條的連貫性充分表現了畫中人親密無間的身體聯繫。Aung Myint還在嬰兒時母親就去世了，因此他的作品跟母親早逝帶來的喪失感和孤獨感有直接聯繫，甚或刻意如此理解：作者借用放諸四海的母子關係主題，來為自己畫了一張自畫像。而Aung Myint九十年代構思的攝影和裝置作品系列《自畫像》則充分顯示了他對不同媒介的開放度。在這件作品中，藝術家慢慢脫下日常穿的籠基（緬甸紗籠）和涼鞋，再把脫下來的衣物一件件搭到一張椅子的椅背上。這一舉動看似尋常，但卻在讓人感覺親密而熟悉的同時，也意味著世界各地的相互關聯性。2010年的作品《世界系列：崩壞的五大洲》（World Series: Five Continents Tattered）延續了上述探索。藝術家先在畫布上畫好五大洲的圖案，接著反覆刺穿畫布表面，最後再將其縫合，留下隨機分佈的疤痕。畫面上，五大洲幾乎連成一片，而且被紅色的X符號嚴密覆蓋，其密度之大令人無法忽略這些紅色符號所象徵的流血衝突。而縫合的印跡則象徵治癒的可能性，暗示國與國之間的政治、宗教和信仰矛盾終有解決的辦法，提醒人們改變是可能的。
2002年，Aung Myint獲得菲力浦‧莫里斯集團東盟藝術獎（Philip Morris Group of Companies ASEAN Art Awards）（巴里島）評審大獎。他在仰光的Inya Gallery of Art（1994）、耶德遜教堂中心（1996）、 Lokanat Galleries（1999、2001、2005）以及東京的新生堂畫廊（1999）、紐約布魯克林的肯特勒國際繪畫空間（2002）、香港的Karin Weber Gallery （2003、2007）和新加坡的Yavuz Fine Art（2010）都舉辦過個展。此外，他參加過的重要群展包括：Voice Gallery的《匯總：五位來自緬甸的藝術家》（Omnibus: Five Artists from Myanmar）（京都，1995）、第六屆日本國際行為藝術節（日本，1999）、藍空間當代藝術中心的《身份》（Identity）（胡志明市，2006）、當代戲劇和行為藝術節（法語聯盟，仰光，由緬甸戲劇藝術團體「搗亂劇團」〔Disturbed〕組織籌辦）。Aung Myint目前在仰光生活並工作。
巴尼．阿比迪（Bani Abidi）1971年於巴基斯坦卡拉奇出生。1994年，她從巴基斯坦拉合爾國立藝術學院油畫和版畫專業畢業，取得藝術學士學位，並於1999年於芝加哥藝術學院取得藝術碩士學位。阿比迪曾經參與的藝術家駐留計劃包括緬因Skowhegan 繪畫及雕塑學校（2000）、日本福岡藝術交流計劃（2005）以及DAAD藝術家駐柏林計劃（Artists-in-Berlin Program）（2011－12）。她早在芝加哥藝術學院求學期間開始使用錄像媒介，這一經驗成為她後來將行為和攝影納入自身創作實踐的鋪墊。這些媒介為阿比迪提供了一系列強而有力，有時甚至具有顛覆性的創作媒介，以便她對民族主義 —— 尤其是圍繞印巴衝突和1947年印巴分治以來的遺留問題 —— 及傳媒對事件的不衡報導進行考察與探討。阿比迪尤其感興趣的是這些問題如何影響日常生活和個人體驗。
阿比迪早期的錄影作品之一《芒果》（Mangoes）（1999）帶出了她辛辣的幽默感。在這件作品，我們看到兩個女人，一個印度人，一個巴基斯坦人（兩者均由阿比迪扮演），一邊吃著芒果，一邊回憶她們的童年。但沒過多久，她們愉快的閒聊就變成互相攀比，開始競相吹噓起各自家鄉的水果種類多豐富，味道有多好，當然，兩人都是僑民，說的也都是回憶。阿比迪在雙屏錄影《新聞》（The News）（2001）裡使用了同樣的手法。片中，一名巴基斯坦播音員和一名印度播音員（亦是由阿比迪扮演）對同一事件（取材於一個眾所周知的笑話）從各自國家角度做了完全不同的報導。除錄影以外，阿比迪的作品還包括攝影、數碼影像和裝置。在《卡拉奇—系列1》（Karachi—Series 1）（2009）中，阿比迪將鏡頭對準了卡拉奇的非穆斯林居民。伊斯蘭教齋戒月期間的某一天黃昏，當大部分伊斯蘭教徒都坐下來享用開齋小吃時，整座城市顯得格外安靜。藝術家選擇在這時邀請卡拉奇信奉印度教和基督教的小眾到公共場所看報紙、熨衣服、插花等，通過拍攝他們進行日常活動的影像，以顯示對於這些佔城市總人口百分之五都不到的少數群體來說，卡拉奇也一樣是他們的家。這些含義曖昧的肖像照片每張都標明人物姓名、拍攝時間和日期，仿佛是某種監控記錄的文獻。鏡頭從人物背後以廣角拍攝，在夕陽餘暉的照耀下，他們在街頭的背影顯得更加奇特——最終展示時使用燈箱也進一步凸顯了該效果。然而，儘管阿比迪的作品充滿政治和文化批判意味，美學仍然是她最關心的問題；上述作品也許可以成為某種催化劑，但真正變革的責任最終還是在每位觀眾身上。
巴尼．阿比迪在卡拉奇V.M.畫廊（2006／2010）、斯圖加特Oberwelt（2006）、多倫多Gallery TPW（2007）、印度班加羅爾Gallery SKE（2008）、倫敦Green Cardamom（2008、2010）、孟買Project 88（2010）、英國蓋茨黑德波羅的海當代藝術中心（2011）、印度加爾各答Experimenter（2012–13）都舉辦過個展。她曾參加的重要群展包括：第三屆福岡亞洲藝術三年展（2005）、ZKM的《藝術的溫躍層：亞洲新浪潮》（Thermocline of Art: New Asian Waves）（德國卡爾斯魯厄，2007）、第七屆光州雙年展的《年度報告：一年來的展覽》（Annual Report: A Year in Exhibitions）（韓國，2008）、亞洲協會紐約中心的《延遲：巴基斯坦當代藝術展》（Hanging Fire: Contemporary Art from Pakistan）（2009）、第十屆里昂雙年展的《日常奇觀》（The Spectacle of the Everyday）（法國，2009）、倫敦白教堂畫廊（Whitechapel Art Gallery）以及瑞士溫特圖爾攝影博物館（Fotomuseum Winterthur）的《三場夢交匯之處：印度、巴基斯坦和孟加拉150年攝影展》（Where Three Dreams Cross: 150 Years of Photography from India, Pakistan and Bangladesh）（2010）、ZKM藝術及傳媒中心的《全球當代：1989年以後的藝術界》（The Global Contemporary: Art Worlds After 1989）（德國卡爾斯魯厄，2011）、法蘭克福藝術協會的《製造規範秩序：權力、懷疑和抗議的表達》（Making Normative Orders: Demonstrations of Power, Doubt and Protest）（2012）以及第十三屆卡塞爾文獻展（Documenta 13）（2012）。阿比迪目前在卡拉奇及新德里兩地生活和工作。
阿菲西納的作品以錄像、行為和裝置藝術為主，而且經常於作品中運用到自己的身體，借此探討身體以及情感痛苦的表徵和意義。在行為和錄影作品《輕鬆育兒》（An Easy Time With Parenthood）（2008）中，藝術家將胡利奧．科塔薩爾（Julio Cortazar）的小說《魔鬼涎（Las babas del diablo）之部分內容，和拉丁文的聖經選段並排地紋在自己的手臂上。在探索以文字為圖像的可能性的過程中，阿菲西納指出痛苦不僅暗示著暴力，也可以被視為誠實、自由，甚至快樂的反映。早期錄像作品《我的化學姐妹》（My Chemical Sisters）（2004）以一種不同的方式探討了痛苦的主題，他將化妝品成分與廣告模特的圖像對置，化妝品主要由化學物質構成，它象徵了在我們對完美身體的嚮往，同時也表達了為此目標而採用了有害物質的深切矛盾與分裂。較後期的裝置作品《寫給國際策展人的信》（Letters to International Curators）（2008）中，阿菲西納將目光從慣常的主題轉向人與人之間書面或當面的互動以及語言在交流上的局限性等概念。該作品由藝術家發給世界各地策展人的展覽方案文件組成。
禮薩．阿菲西納的行為和影像作品曾與多個群展展出，包括《OK錄像節》（OK Video Festival）（雅加達，2003、2010及2011）、赫爾伯特．強森美術館（Herbert F. Johnson Museum of Art）的《當代印度尼西亞藝術中的禁忌與僭越》（Taboo and Transgression in Contemporary Indonesian Art）（紐約伊薩卡康奈爾大學，2005）、PICA的《簡單行動與越軌行為》（Simple Actions and Aberrant Behaviors）（波特蘭，2007）、第十三屆雅加達雙年展（2009）、Para/Site藝術空間的《前進亞洲：錄像藝術的終結》（Move on Asia: The End of Video Art）（香港，2010、2012）、ZKM藝術及傳媒中心的《來自印度尼西亞的移動影像》（Moving Image from Indonesia）（德國卡爾斯魯厄，2011）以及首爾美術館的《亞洲城市網路》（City Net Asia）（首爾，2011）。阿菲西納目前在雅加達工作和生活。
卡迪姆．阿里（Khadim Ali）1978年出生於巴基斯坦奎達的一個阿富汗少數族裔哈紮拉族的難民家庭。家人為了逃避塔利班的迫害而離開阿富汗。1998至1999年，他在伊朗德黑蘭學習壁畫和書法。2003年，他從巴基斯坦拉合爾國立藝術學院取得學士學位，主修傳統細密畫。他曾參與福岡亞洲美術館（日本，2006）和Arts Initiative Tokyo（2007）的藝術家駐留項目。2010年，阿里移居悉尼，並於2012年在新南威爾斯大學藝術學院取得碩士學位。
2001年3月，塔利班政權摧毀了巴米揚（阿里的家鄉，距離喀布爾西北150英里／240公里）的兩座六世紀的巨大佛像。這一事件讓藝術家久久難以釋懷。2006年，他回到巴米揚的小鎮，發起了「巴米揚繪畫計畫」（The Bamiyan drawing project），並將其作為他在第五屆亞太三年展（昆士蘭美術館，澳洲布里斯本，2006年）的參展作品。他邀請小鎮上的兒童用繪畫的方式講述當地的故事，翌年他到福岡駐留時，又邀請日本小孩對這些圖畫作出回應。同時，這些素描也成為他另一系列作品《缺席的廚房》（Absent Kitchen）（2006－）的基礎。2008年4月，阿里再度回到巴米揚，開始與黎巴嫩裔加拿大籍藝術家傑斯‧薩勒姆（Jayce Salloum）聯合創作《沒有愛／痛苦／慷慨的心不是心》（the heart that has no love/pain/generosity is not a heart）（2008-11）。該作品由一系列照片、錄影、文獻、物品和繪畫組成，用詩意的筆觸記錄了巴米揚大佛的廢墟以及周圍村莊的現況。
2012年，阿里的五幅繪畫作品於第十三屆卡塞爾文獻展中展出，其中一幅更曾參展首屆於喀布爾舉辦的分展。除此以外，他還在巴米揚組織了為當地兒童而設的「重讀《列王紀》」（Rereading Shahnameh）研討會。《列王紀》（Shahnameh）是西元977至1010年宮廷詩人菲爾多西（Firdausi）撰寫的長篇史詩，記錄了七世紀波斯民族被伊斯蘭人征服之前的神話歷史。小時候由祖父敍述的《列王紀》故事一直是阿里的靈感來源，書中的細密畫插圖也是他跟藝術的第一次接觸。阿里經常選取該書世俗的萬神殿（瑣羅亞玆德教）的英雄和傳說作為主題。 卡迪姆．阿里在Chawkandi 畫廊（巴基斯坦卡拉奇，2004和2005）、Green Cardamom（倫敦，2007）、Rohtas2（拉合爾，2009）和Cross Art Projects（悉尼，2012）都曾舉辦個展。他的作品和伊姆蘭．庫雷希（Imran Qureshi）的作品雙雙出現在2009年威尼斯雙年展的伊朗、阿富汗和巴基斯坦國家館展覽上。此外，阿里亦策劃並參加了Cross Art Projects的展覽《鬼蓮：來自喀布爾的當代藝術》（The Haunted Lotus: Contemporary Art from Kabul）（2010）和Lismore市立美術館的《遺忘的力量》（The Force of Forgetting）（澳洲，2011）。他曾參與的群展包括Gemak的《未來：阿富汗》（Future: Afghanistan）（荷蘭海牙，2008）、分別於喀布爾皇后宮（Queen’s Palace, Kabul）（2008）及巴基斯坦伊斯蘭堡國立美術館（2009）舉行的《活著的傳統》（Living Traditions）、倫敦大英博物館的《重訪薩非王朝》（Safavids Revisited）（2009）、RMIT 畫廊的《只有從心出發才能觸及天空》（Only from the Heart Can You Touch the Sky）（墨爾本，2012）、東京原美術館的《再度回鄉—體驗過日本的10名藝術家》（Home Again—10 Artists Who Have Experienced Japan）（2012）。卡迪姆‧阿里目前在悉尼、奎達和喀布爾生活和工作。
席帕．古普塔（Shilpa Gupta）1976年出生於印度孟買，1997年從孟買Sir J.J. 藝術學院雕塑系取得美術學士學位。古普塔對人類接收、傳遞和理解資訊的方式深感興趣，她使用的媒介包括加工過的現成品、錄像、行為藝術及互動電腦裝置等。電視及其持續不斷的資訊流向是其作品的主要題材。古普塔強調觀眾對其作品的參與體驗，拒絕視之為一件商品，在這原則下，她創造了一系列與觀眾積極互動的場境。
古普塔對如何定義物件、場所、人群和經驗深感興趣，並希望探討這些定義如何通過分類、限制、審查和保安的過程得以體現。她的作品表達了在不同文化背景之下，主導力量對本地及全國群體的影響，驅使人們對社會身份及地位進行重新評估與檢視。《這裏沒有爆炸物》（There is no explosive here）（2007）是一次關於恐懼的群體實驗。在這件作品中，藝術家鼓勵觀眾走出展覽廳，把一個上面寫有「這裏沒有爆炸物」的手提包帶到任何他們想去的地方。物件、攜帶者和大眾之間的互動挑戰了我們對公眾安全的慣性想法。同樣，2009年的作品《威脅》（Threat）也是以觀眾參與為基礎。在這件作品中，我們看到的是一面由肥皂磚砌成的「牆」，每塊肥皂上都刻著「威脅」這個英文單詞。觀眾可以隨意把肥皂帶回家用，在這個過程中，「牆壁」逐漸消失，「威脅」也會慢慢消失不見。在《說話的牆壁》（Speaking Wall）（2010）中，觀眾需要戴著耳機站到一排堆到牆邊的磚塊上。透過耳機，觀眾／聽眾會接收到行動指示，身分頓變成一名參與者，從而討論界線的重新規劃和身分本質的模糊性。古普塔藉此對現實生活中被硬性規定的界線和分隔提出質疑。
2011年，古普塔獲厄瓜多爾昆卡雙年展（Bienal De Cuenca）的雙年展大獎；她也是2004年柏林跨媒體藝術節大獎（Transmediale Award）以及新德里Sankriti Prathisthan獎得主。同年，她還被加拿大的南亞視覺藝術家聯盟評為年度國際藝術家。古普塔曾在多家國際藝術機構舉辦個展，包括辛辛那提當代藝術中心（2010）、阿諾菲尼當代藝術中心（Arnolfini）（布里斯托爾，2012）、阿納姆現代藝術博物館（Museum voor Moderne Kunst Arnhem）（荷蘭，2012）。2010年，奧地利林茨OK當代藝術中心（OK Center for Contemporary Art）為她舉辦了十年作品展《半邊天》（Half A Sky）。古普塔曾參加的重要群展包括：孟買國立現代藝術博物館的《理念與圖像》（Ideas and Images）（2000）、泰特現代美術館的《百年城市：現代都市的藝術和文化》（Century City: Art and Culture in the Modern Metropolis）（倫敦，2001）、亞洲協會紐約中心及皇后美術館（Queens Museum）的《欲望的邊緣》（Edge of Desire）（2005）、路易斯安那現代藝術博物館的《世界是你們的》（The World Is Yours）（丹麥Humlebæk，2009）、新美術館三年展（New Museum Triennial）的《比耶穌年輕》（Younger Than Jesus）（紐約，2009）、龐比度中心的《巴黎，新德里，孟買》（Paris-Delhi-Bombay）（巴黎，2011）、三藩市現代藝術博物館《描述行為》（Descriptive Acts）（2012）。古普塔目前在孟買生活並工作。
梁致協（Vincent Leong）1979年出生於馬來西亞吉隆坡。1998至2000年間，他就讀於吉隆坡高級設計中心藝術專業，並在倫敦大學金匠學院取得美術學士學位（2000至2004年）。2004年，他獲得了數碼媒介的BT金匠學院獎。2006年，他應邀參加南韓光州亞洲文化創意中心的工作坊及其後續展覽《起點13》（Threshold 13）（該展覽在光州及首爾兩地巡迴）。除此以外，梁致協還參加了新加坡雕塑廣場（2007）以及日本橫濱黃金街市場（Kognecho Bazaar）（2009）的駐留項目。
梁致協的首場個展《假秀》（The Fake Show）（Reka藝術空間，馬來西亞雪蘭莪，2006）用偽裝和否定組織成一種複雜難解的結構。展覽公告表明這是一場由梁致協策劃的群展，但事實上，參展的九名藝術家實際都是梁的替身，因此，所有參展作品也都是仿製品。梁氏惡作劇式的將其他馬來西亞當代藝術家與市民大並列，透過作品提出質疑：在這個充滿著仿冒的品牌、身分和娛樂的世界，挪用、原創與真實究竟意味著什麼？在錄影《如何成為李小龍》（How to Be Bruce）（2004）中，我們同樣可以看到梁對符號和象徵的靈活運用。本作品更參加了由駐北京的策展人Tim Crowley舉辦的錄影藝術展《我們仍然需要超人的18個理由》（18 Reasons We Still Need Superman），在2010至12年間巡迴多個國際展場。在該作品中，梁致協使用了李小龍和查克諾裏斯（Chuck Norris）在經典功夫片《猛龍過江》（1972年，李小龍執導）裏打鬥場景的音效，配上一段抽象動畫，以一系列的點和線仿照李小龍的武術動作，就如體育運動的戰術圖一樣，把傳奇偶像約簡為瘋狂的密碼符號排列。
在錄影作品《馬來西亞快跑》（Run, Malaysia, Run）（2007）裏，梁致協將目光投向馬來西亞的多民族文化及其充滿宗派紛爭的歷史。在螢幕上，我們看到原住民穿著色彩繽紛的民族服裝列隊前進，分別代表著不同的民族和宗教。旋轉式的投影器把人像投射在牆壁上，奔跑著的人不住的在繞圈，整個畫面充滿梁氏一貫的尖酸辛辣。在攝影系列《地產》（Executive Properties）（2012）裏，梁致協從廢棄建築內取景，畫面從坍塌的設施、斷開的線路、牆上的塗鴉逐漸過渡到宏偉壯觀的吉隆坡紀念碑、歷史建築和現代化的高樓大廈，準確地捕捉了進步的矛盾以及現代廢墟中隱藏的詩意。 梁致協分別在吉隆坡Valentine Willie Fine Art（2007及2012）和新加坡雕塑廣場（2007）都曾舉辦個展。他曾參加的重要群展包括吉隆坡Valentine Willie Fine Art年展的《三位年輕當代人》（3 Young Contemporaries）（2005）、Rimbun Dahan的《夢想的力量》（The Power of Dreaming）（雪蘭莪，2005）、Numthong 畫廊的《四位年輕當代人》（4 Young Contemporaries）（曼谷，2007）、分別於悉尼4A畫廊及吉隆坡Valentine Willie Fine Art的《歡迎來到馬來西亞》（Selamat Datang ke Malaysia）（2008）、分別於吉隆坡Galeri Petronas（2007）及墨爾本Gertrude Contemporary舉行的《獨立項目》（The Independence Project）（2007）、香港奧沙畫廊的《某些房間》（Some Rooms）（2009）、Tembi Contemporary的《我們自己的軌道》（Our Own Orbit）（印尼日惹，2009）、Selasar Sunaryo Art Space的《國土：來自陸地的馬來西亞故事》（Tanah Ayer: Malaysian Stories from the Land）（印尼萬隆， 2011）。梁致協現今在吉隆坡生活及工作。
塔耶巴．貝根．里皮（Tayeba Begum Lipi）
塔耶巴．貝根．里皮（Tayeba Begum Lipi）1969年出生於孟加拉國的戈伊班達。1993年，她從孟加拉達卡大學藝術學院的獲得美術碩士學位（繪畫）。2002年，她參與創建了孟加拉第一個由藝術家營運的另類藝術平台──Britto藝術基金。該基金會除了策劃展覽之外，還致力於推動國際交流和對話，同時通過駐留項目、工作坊和資金援助支持本國藝術家的活動。里皮的創作涵蓋繪畫、版畫、裝置及錄像等多種媒介，集中關注性別政治和女性身份等議題。
在錄像作品《我嫁給了自己》（I Wed Myself）（2010）中，里皮先扮演一名正在為婚禮做準備的新娘，其服飾和妝容嚴格遵循孟加拉傳統；然後再剪掉頭髮，貼上假鬍鬚，化身為新郎。最後，她把兩個角色剪輯到同一個鏡頭裏，呈現出既是丈夫，又是妻子的里皮在婚禮上的情景，旁邊的錄像則播放著整個變裝過程。借助這種一人分飾兩角的做法，里皮探討了性別的定義以及兼備兩性特徵的可能性，點出社會上對女性真實身分及對其產生厭惡之間的矛盾。性別結構主宰著孟加拉以及其他地區婦女的生活，里皮透過其作品對此提出質疑，並強調質疑的重要性。裝置作品《奇異與美麗》（Bizarre and Beautiful）（2011）使用的圖像同樣以女性特質為基礎，一系列用不銹鋼剃刀做成的女性內衣，為原本撩人情慾的物件套上了一副剛硬的盔甲，既為「穿戴者」提供保護，同時也向旁觀者發出警告。在童年時代女強人偶像的啟發下，里皮的作品對女性身體的呈現方式、婦女社會角色的歷史提出了疑問──特別在孟加拉── 一個持續不斷由歷史與宗教主導著界線的社會。
塔耶巴．貝根．里皮2004年獲得達卡第十一屆亞洲藝術雙年展大獎，並曾經是都柏林愛爾蘭現代藝術博物館（2000）、緬甸仰光NICA（2004）、倫敦Gasworks國際駐留項目（2005）、巴基斯坦拉合爾RM工作室（2008）的駐留藝術家。她亦擔任2011年第五十四屆威尼斯雙年展孟加拉國家館策展人，以及2012年尼泊爾加德滿都國際藝術節的策展人之一。她曾在達卡的法語聯盟（Alliance Française）（1998及2004）、Gallery 21（2001）及孟加拉基金會畫廊（Bengal Gallery）（2007）舉辦多場個展；2010年她參加了加爾各答Gallery Akar Prakar的雙人聯展《我們時代的寓言》（Parables of Our Times）。除此以外，里皮曾參加的重要群展包括：加德滿都悉達多藝術畫廊（Siddhartha Art Gallery）主辦的國際藝術節《將神話與現實分開：女性地位》（Separating Myth from Reality: Status of Women）（2009）、第十四屆雅加達雙年展（印尼，2011）、第五十四屆威尼斯雙年展（2011）和可倫坡藝術雙年展（2012）。里皮目前在達卡生活並工作。
阮．安德魯．俊（Tuan Andrew Nguyen）
阮．安德魯．俊（Tuan Andrew Nguyen）1976年出生於越南胡志明市。1979年，他舉家以難民身份移民美國，並在加州長大。1999年，阮．安德魯．俊在加州大學爾灣分校獲得藝術學士學位；2004年，他從加州藝術學院取得藝術碩士學位。他是藝術家團體螺旋槳小組（成立於2006年）的成員，也是胡志明市（前稱西貢）由藝術家營運的另類空間Sàn Art（創建於2007年）的創始人之一。僑民的文化隔閡以及讓人感覺陌生的「回鄉」體驗是其作品的主旋律。
阮．安德魯．俊在學生時代製作了一部黑白短片《兩個阮．安德魯．俊：一場民事糾紛》（The Two Tuans: A Civil Dispute）（1998）。他在影片中一人分飾兩角，靈感來自艾迪．亞當斯（Eddie Adam）在1968年拍攝的一張著名照片。在照片中，胡志明市的總警長在街頭對一名越共的頭開槍，阮．安德魯．俊在原本定格的照片中將兩人的臉換成自己頭像的錄像，讓觀眾看到兩個「阮．安德魯．俊」互相挖苦吵嘴的場景。2003年，他回越南小住，《親勝密友》（Better than Friends）就是在這個時期完成的其中一部紀錄短片。該片追蹤拍攝了在胡志明市經營狗肉鋪的一家人的日常生活。阮．安德魯．俊的錄影作品曾在第十八屆新加坡國際電影節（2005）、第四屆曼谷實驗電影節（泰國，2005）、第五十五屆奧伯豪森國際短片電影節（55th International Short Film Festival Oberhausen）（德國，2009）上展映。他負責執導的劇情片《愛情菠蘿蜜》（Jackfruit Thorn Kiss）記錄了一段從河內到胡志明市的旅途，是一部愛情小品，後來更成為第八屆NHK亞洲電影節（東京，2007）的正式入選作品。
阮．安德魯．俊在Voz Alta Project（聖地牙哥，2004）和Galerie Quynh（胡志明市，2008）都曾舉辦個展，又與越南饒舌歌手Wowy SouthGanz和聲音工程師Alan Hayslip聯合打造展覽《安靜而閃亮的詞語》（Quiet Shiny Words）。阮．安德魯．俊曾參加的群展包括Lombard-Freid畫廊的《Mine》（紐約，2003）、REDCAT的《永恆的火焰：想像世界末日的未來》（Eternal Flame: Imagining a Future at the End of the World）（洛杉磯，2007），第五屆亞太三年展（昆士蘭美術館，澳洲布里斯本，2006－07）。在2006年，他與黎光定（Dinh Q. Lê）攜手創作項目《農民與直升飛機》（The Farmers and The Helicopters），在2010年紐約現代藝術博物館的《Project 93》上展出，並被現代美術館（MoMA）納為館藏。阮．安德魯．俊目前在胡志明市生活並工作。
阿拉雅．拉斯迪阿美恩斯柯（Araya Rasdjarmrearnsook）1957年出生於泰國桐艾府。她在曼谷藝術大學（Silpakorn University）取得平面藝術的學士和碩士學位之後，又到德國不倫瑞克造形藝術大學（Hochschule für Bildende Künste Braunschweig）繼續深造，並分別於1990年及1994年獲得文憑和碩士學位。拉斯迪阿美恩斯柯早期嘗試過凹版版畫和雕塑裝置創作，到了1998年，她開始將注意力轉向電影和錄像。個人迷失及如何遊走於生死之間等是拉斯迪阿美恩斯柯作品中常見的主題。她擅長通過複雜而富有挑釁性的圖像挑戰觀眾的道德感和容忍度。
在影片《授課》（The Class）（2005）中，觀眾看到藝術家對著六具屍體講課，屍體被包在白色裹屍布裏，並排置於銀製的陳屍板上。作品不僅衝擊了不同文化和宗教對待死亡的不同態度，還諷刺了學院的僵化傳統──活著的教授向已死的對象「講授」死亡。2007至08年的作品《兩顆星球》（Two Planets）則像一段精妙的錄影四重奏，探討了西方藝術鑑賞的常規和假設。藝術家將19世紀歐洲藝術傑作的複製品帶到泰國農村展示給當地居民。我們在螢幕上看到這些觀眾面對著作品，但背對著鏡頭，拉斯迪阿美恩斯柯記錄了他們之間未經修飾的對話，並配上英文字幕。居民們對作品的看法不帶任何修飾，但他們的反應卻揭示出無數社會和文化上的微妙含義。通過探討相反相成的不同領域——生與死、人類與動物、有條件與無條件——之間的聯繫和交互，拉斯迪阿美恩斯柯對界限的含義呈現了深刻的反思。
阿拉雅．拉斯迪阿美恩斯柯在曼谷國家美術館（1987、1992、1994、1995及2002）、斯德哥爾摩Tensta Konsthall（2003）、邁阿密巴斯美術館（2012）及巴爾的摩瓦爾特斯美術館（Walters Art Museum）（2012）等多家國際機構都曾舉辦個人展覽。她亦是國際雙年展和其他定期展覽的常客，除了悉尼雙年展（1996及2010）、伊斯坦布爾雙年展（2003）、卡塞爾文獻展（2012）外，拉斯迪阿美恩斯柯還參加了不少其他國際群展，展場包括赫爾辛基的奇亞斯瑪當代藝術博物館（Kiasma Museum of Contemporary Art）（2001及2007）、瑞士的伯爾尼美術館（2006）、新加坡的國家美術館（2010）、大阪的國立美術館（2011）及三藩市的亞洲藝術博物館（2012）。拉斯迪阿美恩斯柯現在任教於清邁大學的美術系，在清邁生活和工作。
萬迪．羅塔那（Vandy Rattana）1980年出生於柬埔寨金邊。他在柬埔寨智慧大學（Pannasastra University of Cambodia）就讀期間主修法律，自修攝影技術。2007年，他與志同道合的伙伴聯合組織了藝術家團體Stiev Selapak（藝術叛亂者），並於2009年在金邊創立另類空間Sa Sa Art Gallery；在2010年，Sa Sa Art Projects也正式啟動，主要致力於籌辦藝術家駐留項目、工作坊和社區合作項目等。2011年，Sa Sa Art Gallery與BASSAC Art Projects合併成為SA SA BASSAC。新聞攝影的本質就是要見證事實真相及充滿社會激進主義的基因，在此背景下，羅塔那將鏡頭對準柬埔寨國內棘手的現狀，記錄了一場又一場的天災人禍。此外，他同時積極嘗試抽象攝影和錄像創作。在柬埔寨，要進行紀錄與歷史保存，是一件令人痛心疾首的事情。赤柬在1975至1979年統治柬埔寨期間，進行了文化大清洗，毀掉了大量珍貴的歷史文獻。在這樣的環境下，記憶本身就是一種顛覆。
從羅塔那的照片裏，我們看到的不僅是受害者，也包括了存活、抵抗與醫治的過程。她的照片讓我們從一個獨特的角度窺探「現代」──科技的進步等同毀滅，大自然需要逐步去恢復，傳統與方言有時會扼殺了創新，而日常生活則被賦予英雄色彩。羅塔那本人沒有現身於《自畫像》（Self-portrait）系列（2005至2006）中，我們看到的只是家庭成員的單人或集體照，再加上充滿家庭氣氛的室內陳設。藉此，羅塔那避開了人們對柬埔寨的刻板印象（只有寺廟和災難）。他在不少作品中都探討了戰禍遺留的問題，但在《年度火災》（Fire of the year）系列（2008）中，他卻從金邊郊外的一塊荒地出發，關注現今所面對的生態問題。除此以外，《穿過》（Walking Through）（2008至2009）冥想作品系列則將鏡頭對準磅湛省的一家橡膠園，捕捉並呈現了勞動者的尊嚴及其周邊環境的美麗。
羅塔那在Popil PhotoGallery（2006至2007）、Sa Sa Art Gallery（2009）和SA SA BASSAC（2011、2012至2013）以及赫塞爾美術館（Hessel Museum of Art）（安南代爾－哈得遜，紐約，2010）等機構曾舉辦個展。他曾參加的重要群展包括曼谷湄公藝術與文化項目2008年（Mekong Art and Culture Project in Bangkok）組織的巡迴展《基礎：湄公河次區域當代藝術展》（Underlying: Contemporary Art Exhibition from the Mekong Sub-Region）、可當代藝術中心的《在野策略：越南和柬埔寨當代文化藝術現狀》（Strategies from Within: Vietnamese and Cambodian Contemporary Art）（上海，2008）、昆士蘭美術館的第六屆亞太三年展（澳洲布里斯本，2009）、10號贊善里畫廊的《到現在為止的永遠：柬埔寨當代藝術展》（Forever Until Now: Contemporary Art from Cambodia）（香港，2009）、曼徹斯特中國藝術中心的亞洲三年展之一《未來機構》（Institution for the Future）（2011）、第十三屆卡塞爾文獻展（2012）以及卡蒂斯特藝術基金會（Kadist Art Foundation）的《詩意的政治》（Poetic Politic）（三藩市，2012）。羅塔那目前在金邊及巴黎兩地生活和工作。
諾爾貝托．羅爾丹（Norberto Roldan）1953年出生於菲律賓羅哈斯市。他先從羅哈斯市聖庇護十世神學院取得文學學士學位（哲學），後來在馬尼拉聖托馬斯大學取得學士學位（視覺傳播）；並在菲律賓大學（蒂利曼）獲得碩士學位（藝術研究）。1986年，他創建了「亞洲黑色藝術家」（Black Artists in Asia） —— 一個主要活躍於菲律賓、關注社會和政治發展實踐的小組。1990年，他發起了VIVAEXCON雙年展項目（維薩亞群島視覺藝術展覽與研討會）（Visayas Islands Visual Arts Exhibition and Conference）。羅爾丹是1996、1997及1999年度菲力浦‧莫里斯菲律賓藝術獎（Philip Morris Philippines Art Award）最終入圍藝術家之一，並於1998年獲得該獎項的評審團大獎以及菲律賓年度藝術評選協會大獎。他目前是青木瓜藝術項目（Green Papaya Art Projects）的總監。青木瓜成立於2000年，是一個由藝術家運作的獨立項目，致力打造另類空間及推動亞太地區和菲律賓籍藝術家之間的合作與交流。羅爾丹稱自己的創作受到約瑟夫‧康奈爾（Joseph Cornell）和聖地牙哥‧波斯（Santiago Bose）的影響，將不同物品、圖像和文本碎片拼湊在一起，作為對歷史定案的確定性的否定，同時提出嶄新的社會、政治和文化敍事角度。
羅爾丹經常將不同的主題和作品類型融為一體，喚醒集體及個人經歷中的心動回憶。《追憶似水年華1／2／3／4》（In Search For Lost Time 1 / 2 / 3 / 4）（2010）的構思源自一篇有關希特拉柏林公寓的文章。該作品指出，這個獨裁者家中的陳設絲毫無法透露主人的真實本性，借此對人類學研究中物質文化的重要性提出質疑。共包含九件作品的《歷史的開端與致命的策略》（The Beginning of History and Fatal Strategies）（2011）系列則受讓‧鮑德里亞（Jean Baudrillard）的文章《歷史的終結與意義》（The Beginning of History and Fatal Strategies）啟發。鮑德里亞詳細闡述了「歷史性」的概念，指出隨著全球化進程加快，歷史開始瓦解，發展也開始崩塌。《歷史的開端與致命的策略》（The Beginning of History and Fatal Strategies）中每件作品都由一系列古董物品組成，包括香水瓶、粉餅盒、護身符及舊照片，這些物品被收納在木箱或玻璃櫃裏，令人回想起過去，嘗試從已遺忘的記憶中重整秩序。儘管鮑德里亞對馬克思主義的意識形態的批判是作品的主要關注點，但該系列作品並未提出任何政治判斷或結論，而只是讓歷史與現實相遇，彼此碰撞。
諾爾貝托‧羅爾丹曾在Hiraya 畫廊（馬尼拉，1987、1994及1999）、Artspace（悉尼，1989）、青木瓜項目（Green Papaya）（馬尼拉，2001及2005）、Charles Darwin大學美術館（澳洲達爾文，2003）、法語聯盟（Alliance Française）（馬尼拉，2004）、Magnet畫廊（馬尼拉，2007）、MO Space（馬尼拉，2008）、Pablo Fort（馬尼拉，2009）、Taksu（吉隆坡，2009）、Taksu（新加坡，2009、2011及2012）、Silverlens（馬尼拉，2010）、Now 畫廊（馬尼拉，2011及2012），與及Vulcan Artbox（愛爾蘭Waterford，2012）都曾舉辦個展。他曾參加的群展包括日本福岡亞洲美術館和廣島市當代美術館的《來自東南亞的新藝術》（4 New Art from Southeast Asia）（1992）、清邁大學美術館、曼谷國立美術館及柏林Dahlem美術館的《身份v.s.全球化》（Identities versus Globalisation）（2003－04）、Goliath Visual Space的《拍案而起：從馬尼拉到威廉斯堡》（Flippin’ Out: Maynila to Williamsburg）（布魯克林，2005）、倫敦泰特現代美術館的《靈魂不出售》（No Soul for Sale）（2010）以及新加坡美術館的《家園、歷史與民族：1991－2011東南亞當代藝術二十年》（Negotiating Home, History and Nation: Two Decades of Contemporary Art from Southeast Asia）（2011）。羅爾丹目前在馬尼拉生活及工作。
唐大霧（Tang Da Wu）
唐大霧1943年生於新加坡Thang Kian Hiong，1974年在伯明翰理工大學（現伯明翰藝術與設計學院）藝術學院取得學士學位（雕塑），1974至1975年間進入聖馬丁藝術學院（現中央聖馬丁藝術與設計學院）雕塑系繼續深造。1985年，他從倫敦大學金匠學院取得藝術碩士學位。1979年，唐大霧回到新加坡以後開始其行為藝術創作，1988年參與創建「藝術村」—— 一個通過提供工作室和展覽空間支持實驗藝術活動的藝術家群組。1993年，藝術家黃新楚（Josef Ng）在公共場所剃恥毛的行為表演促使政府從1994年開始禁止行為藝術。在這樣的背景下，藝術村通過組織一系列跟社會有關活動和公眾的特定場景互動活動，鼓勵不同群體之間的交流。而唐大霧也藉助行為藝術、裝置、繪畫和素描等媒介，探討了包括砍伐森林、動物瀕危以及城市改造等社會和環境問題。
唐大霧早期的重要作品《虎鞭》（Tiger’s Whip）（1991）將焦點對準人類為獲取有壯陽作用的虎鞭而獵殺老虎的行為。該作品由行為和裝置兩部分組成，藝術家做了十隻原物大小的紙糊老虎，在作品展示的現場，我們看到他將其中一隻拖在身後，而裝置部分則有一隻紙老虎將前爪搭在一張搖椅的椅背上，椅子上用紅色顏料畫著陽具的形狀，一塊長長的紅布從椅背一直拖到地面，代表著老虎的靈魂回來向獵殺者復仇。在其他作品如《他們偷捕犀牛，砍掉犀牛角，製作了這種飲料》（They Poach the Rhino, Chop Off His Horn and Make This Drink）（1989）中，唐大霧進一步研究了那些可能導致物種滅絕的文化信仰。水墨畫系列《土地之子》（Bumiputra）（2005至2006）則探討了城市改造帶來的影響。這件以馬來語意謂「土地之子」命名的作品由一系列新加坡北郊後港區居民的肖像畫組成，後港是上世紀八十年代由林地和養豬場改建而成的一個住宅區。自六十年代起，新加坡就通過拆除老社區，建造新住宅的地產項目，不斷擴張城市的範圍。通過刻畫該地區原始居民的樣貌，再將他們的形象放在傳統的聚會場所——一口井的圖像周圍，唐大霧凸顯了過度迅速的城市開發對社群造成的傷害。
唐大霧1978年獲得英國藝術委員會（Arts Council of Great Britain）視覺藝術獎、1983年獲大倫敦藝術委員會藝術家大獎（Greater London Arts Council）、1999年被授予第十屆福岡亞洲藝術文化獎。他在ACME畫廊（倫敦，1978）、國家美術館（新加坡，1980）、Your Mother 畫廊（新加坡，2005）、Valentine Willie Fine Art（吉隆坡，2006）及Goodman Arts Centre（新加坡， 2011）都曾舉辦個展。唐大霧的重要藝術行為作品包括南洋藝術學院和國家美術館的《在南洋藝術學院的五天及在美術館的五天》（Five Days at NAFA and Five Days in Museum）（新加坡，1982）、新加坡國立大學、新加坡國家美術館及新加坡動物園的《他們偷捕犀牛，砍掉犀牛角，製作了這種飲料》（They Poach the Rhino, Chop Off His Horn and Make This Drink）（1989）、新加坡藝術展的《別把錢給藝術》（Don’t Give Money to the Arts）（1995）。他組織了藝術村，並在藝術村表演《在池塘邊跳舞；菜園的日出》（Dancing by the Ponds and Sunrise at the Vegetable Farm）及《時間秀—24小時連續表演》（The Time Show—24 Hours Continuous Performance）（1989至1990）。2008年，新加坡美術館舉辦了藝術村及其活動的回顧展《藝術村：20年來》（The Artists Village: 20 Years On）。唐大霧曾參加的群展包括福岡美術館的第三屆亞洲藝術展（日本，1989）、西澳藝術館的《亞洲藝術：傳統／張力》（Art in Asia: Traditions/Tensions）（柏斯，1998）、第一屆福岡亞洲藝術三年展（1999）及第一屆新加坡雙年展（2006）。他還代表新加坡參加2007年威尼斯雙年展並於新加坡國家館中展出。唐大霧目前在新加坡生活並工作。
Truong Tan在1963年於越南河內出生，1982年和1989年先後畢業於河內美術學校和河內美術大學。畢業後，他留在河內美術大學任講師，直至1997年成為全職藝術家。隨著越南政府1986年頒佈革新政策，帶動國內市場的開放，藝壇上也掀起一股浪漫化越南歷史的風潮。Truong Tan放棄當時主流的學院派做法，轉而關注人類心理和社會狀況的複雜性。他的繪畫、素描、行為藝術、裝置、雕塑和陶瓷作品對社會傳統提出了挑戰，研究並探討有關身份以及自由表達等主題。
Truong Tan的作品針對傳統越南社會中長期存在的各種偏見，而民族身份及性別成見之間的交匯點更是他審視的主要對象。藝術家從自我身份出發，探討了在一個保守的社會環境下人們對同性戀的認知。這種自傳式的創作在作品《生而為人》（Being Human）（1996）中非常明顯。在一系列表現男性形體、充滿性暗示的墨筆素描中，男性身體被高度簡化，使陽具變得格外顯眼，呈現了越南經濟開放但社會保守的矛盾處境，以及其中被視為異常的關係。《紅夢》（Red Dreaming）（2008）和《如何成為天使》（2008）則進一步延續了對上述主題的探索。在這兩件作品中，Truong Tan選用了越南傳統的漆畫，探討了男與女個別對自身社會地位的理解。在《如何成為天使》（How to be an Angel）裏，Truong Tan用他最具代表性的扁平人形和簡潔的線條，充分表現了人類對道德與美感這兩大理想的不懈追求。在2001年雕塑作品《結婚禮服》（The Wedding Dress）中，他以鐵鏈組成裙子，配上羽毛做的的緊身衣，將焦點從男性身份轉向越南的女性形象。鐵鏈的沉重象徵著婦女遭受的社會壓迫，而羽毛的軟弱則象徵著靈魂的脆弱與純潔。Truong Tan通過對日常用品和社會象徵符號的調節，為當代越南政治以及公共與私人身份之間的鬥爭創造了全新隱喻。
Truong Tan曾在Gallery Ecole（河內，1994）、比勒菲爾德美術館（Kunsthalle Bielefeld）（德國，1996）、Gallery Les Singuliers（巴黎，1997、1999及2000）、國際藝術城（Cité Internationale des Art）（巴黎，1998及1999）、Gallery 4A（悉尼，1998），亞洲藝術畫廊（Asian Fine Art）（柏林，1999）、Nhasan Studio（河內，2002）、Ryllega Gallery（河內，2004及2005）及Thavibu Gallery（曼谷，2010）舉辦個展。他曾參加的重要群展包括新加坡雙年展（2008）、第四屆福岡亞洲藝術三年展（日本，2009）、ifa畫廊《連接：越南藝術界》（Connect: Kunstszene Vietnam）（柏林，2010及Stuttgart，2011）、新加坡美術館的《家園、歷史與民族：1991－2011東南亞當代藝術二十年》（Negotiating Home, History and Nation: Two Decades of Contemporary Art from Southeast Asia, 1991–2010）（2011）以及Bui畫廊的《8位越南當代藝術家》（8 Vietnamese Contemporary Artists）（河內，2012）。Truong Tan目前在巴黎及河內兩地生活和工作。
Gallery Guided Tours will be available at the following times and days during the week and tours start at the Gallery Reception.
|English Tour||Cantonese Tour|
|Fridays||2:30 pm||3:30 pm|
|Saturdays||2:30 pm||3:30 pm|
|Sundays||2:30 pm||3:30 pm|
*Last Thursday of each month
|星期五||2:30 pm||3:30 pm|
|星期六||2:30 pm||3:30 pm|
|星期日||2:30 pm||3:30 pm|
No Country: The Global Voice of Non-Western Art, The Culture Trip, October, 2013
Southeast Asian Art Exhibit in HK, Destin Asia Magazine online, September 25, 2013
Norberto Roldan’s painting in Guggenheim touring exhibit, Philippine Daily Inquirer, September 16, 2013
Conversation with June Yap, Curator, Guggenheim UBS MAP Global Initiative - OCULA
Beyond Nation States, The Indian Express, September 5, 2013
Guggenheim Asian artists surveys travels to Hong Kong, The Art Newspaper, August 14, 2013
The Guggenheim UBS Map Global Art Initiative is supported by a variety of far-reaching educational and contextual programs. From school tours to family workshops, artist residencies to public symposium to name just a few, our dynamic range of programs are designed to inform, inspire, and educate our diverse communities and provide a meaningful encounter with the exhibition.
Khadim Ali: An Artist’s Experience
Educator's Open House: A Preview and Workshop
Themed Family Workshops
In a Grain of Rice: Food & Culture for South & Southeast Asia
Themed Family Workshop: Storytelling and Art (with Khadim Ali)
Themed Family Workshop: Love Bed & Sand Casting 1
Themed Family Workshop: Love Bed & Sand Casting 2
In a Grain of Rice: Food & Culture for South & Southeast Asia
Themed Family Workshop: Love Bed & Sand Casting 1
Themed Family Workshop: Love Bed & Sand Casting 2