“Asia Society Museum presents a timely exhibition exploring artistic practice as a response to social and political change through the works of seven contemporary artists and one artist group from three Southeast Asian countries: Indonesia, Myanmar, and Vietnam. Works of sculpture, photography, video, and mixed-media installation reflect how political transition in each country forged vibrant, socially conscious contemporary art movements.” — Asia Society
“The work of each of these artists represents their unfiltered responses to political trauma and societal transition in their home countries,” says Boon Hui Tan, Vice President for Global Arts & Cultural Programs and Director of Asia Society Museum. “There is a documentary and sometimes activist quality to the works, which are connected across geography and cultural specificities by a common thread: artists creating a lasting impact by illuminating difficult and at times controversial topics during their countries’ periods of transition. While there is currently great interest in the role of the artist as activist, this exhibition asks the question of whether it is art that has changed the world, or the world that has changed art. In the present, when art and artists are called upon to address the fractures and challenges of our time, the exhibition looks at how artists from other, non-western polities have responded to similar issues.”
Angki Purbandono. Beyond Versace, 2005–10. Two artist books: C-prints on metallic paper. Closed book: H. 19⅝ x W. 19⅝ x D. 315⁄16 in. (50 x 50 x 10 cm); Open book: H. 19⅝ x W. 39⅜ x D. 315⁄16 in. (50 x 100 x 10 cm). Dr. Wiyu Wahono Collection. Image courtesy of the artist
FX Harsono. The Voices are Controlled by the Powers, 1994. Wooden masks and cloth, H. 11⅞ x L. 137¾ x W. 137¾ in. (30 x 350 x 350 cm). Courtesy of the artist and Tyler Rollins Fine Art. Image courtesy of the artist and Tyler Rollins Fine Art
FX Harsono. Victim—Destruction I, 1997. Performance at the Alun-alun Selatan (Southern Square) during the opening for the exhibition “Slot in the Box” at Cemeti Art House, 1997. Courtesy of Cemeti Art House
FX Harsono. (Still) Writing in the Rain, 2011. Single-channel video with sound Duration: 6 minutes, 2 seconds. Courtesy of the artist and Tyler Rollins Fine Art. Image courtesy of the artist and Tyler Rollins Fine Art
Htein Lin. A Show of Hands, 2013–present. Surgical plaster and multimedia installation. Dimensions variable. Courtesy of the artist. Image courtesy of the artist
Nge Lay. Observing of Self Being Dead, 2011. Color photograph, H. 36 x W. 54 in. (91.4 x 137.2 cm). Courtesy of the artist
Nge Lay. Relevancy of Restricted Things, 2010. Print on archival paper, H. 47¼ x W. 35⅜ in. (120 x 90 cm). Courtesy of the artist. Image courtesy of the artist
Nguyen Thi Thanh Mai. (Detail) ID Card, 2014. 340 heat transfer prints on recycled fabric on a table. Each: H. 2¼ x W. 3⅛ in. (5.7 x 8.1 cm). Courtesy of the artist. Image courtesy of the artist
Nguyen Thi Thanh Mai. Detail of digital C-print from Travels, 2014. Eucalyptus, coconut leaves, 12 digital C-prints of digital collages. House: W. 118⅛ x L. 157½ in. (300 x 400 cm); Each print: H. 9⅞ x W. 13¾ in. (25 x 35 cm). Courtesy of the artist. Image courtesy of the artist
The Propeller Group. The Dream, 2012. Single-channel HD video and motorbike frame with steel pallet. Motorbike: H. 57 x L. 47⅛ x D. 31½ in. (145 x 120 x 80 cm); Video duration: 4 minutes, 20 seconds. The Burger Collection ©The Propeller Group, courtesy of James Cohan, New York
Tintin Wulia. (Still) Violence Against Fruits, 2000. Single-channel video with sound Duration: 2 minutes, 56 seconds. Courtesy of the artist and Milani Gallery. Image courtesy of the artist and Milani Gallery
The exhibition is cocurated by Tan and Michelle Yun, Senior Curator of Modern and Contemporary Art at Asia Society.
Images courtesy Asia Society.