EMERGING SOUTHEAST ASIAN ARTISTS PHOTOGRAPHY EXHIBITION
The Langgeng Art Foundation has brought together works by Southeast Asia’s top photographers in a rare exhibition that is running until 21 January 2012. The survey shows off the extraordinary photographic techniques used by the region’s artists to explore the notion of “territory”.
The show, titled “[SEA] Territories of the Real and Unreal“, is the first in a series of annual exhibitions that will highlight contemporary Southeast Asian “art contexts and practices”. According to the Langgeng Art Foundation, each of the sixteen artists participating in “Territories” clearly demonstrate an ability to create and explore “powerful, accessible and yet often ambiguous means of expressing of [Southeast Asia’s] peculiar realities”.
Included in the survey is work by Amanda Heng and Zhao Renhui from Singapore; Ismail Hashim and Yee I-Lann from Malaysia; Indonesian artists Angki Purbandono, Davy Linggar, Julia Sarisetiati, Paul Kadarisman and Wimo Ambala Bayang; Filipino artists Gina Osterloh, Isa Lorenzo, Lena Cobangbang, Poklong Anading and Steve Tirona; and Konrkrit Jianpinidnan and Manit Sriwanichpoom from Thailand.
Territories seen, remembered, photographed
As exhibition curators Adeline Ooi and Beverly Yong explain in their catalogue essay, people often “associate ‘territory’ with notions of demarcated land, of ‘claimed space’. Photographs represent territories of the seen, remembered and photographed, sites in which the ‘real’ might be claimed or re-invented.” The artists selected for the exhibition have used a range of strategies to claim photography “as a site of cultural, geographic, social and personal discourse”.
Narratives of place
Kornkrit Jianpinidnan (b. 1975, Thailand) explores rural life in rural his home country, Paul Kadarisman (b. 1974, Indonesia) creates an eerie effect with images of a Jakarta empty of life and traffic and Zhao Rehnui (b. 1983, Singapore) uses archival photos in a rediscovery of a “lost” Singapore coastline.
Different ways of seeing
Isa Lorenzo’s (b. 1754, Philippines) powerful black and white “collages” explore the concepts of memory and place, Ismail Hashim (b. 1940, Malaysia) has been working with grids and montages since the 1970s to create witty visual essays and Gina Osterloh (b. 1973, USA) uses the camouflage technique to create visual trickery.
Anonymity and intimacy
Amanda Heng’s (b. 1951, Singapore) work explores her relationship with her mother through visual depictions of body language in action, Poklong Anading (b. 1978, Philippines) explores the nature of subjectivity and looks at how viewers read the actions of “ordinary” people as they undertake everyday activities and in Davy Linggar’s (b. 1974, Indonesia) series, silhouettes of models are used to to comment on they ways in which the global media has influenced body and language.
The images that make up Steve Tirona’s (b. 1975, Philippines) “The Imelda Collection Series” (2009) were originally commissioned in 2006 as publicity shots for a jewellery line designed by the former first lady of the Philippines, and Julia Sarisetiati (b. 1981, Indonesia) replaces the “hot chicks” that are often seen draped across motorbikes and cars in magazine spreads with bare-bodied men to make a statement about the depiction of women in advertisement imagery.
Yee I-Lann uses archival photographs to show how generations of Malaysian families of different races celebrated different occasions throughout the 1970s and Manit Sriwanichpoom photographs a range of expressions on the faces of people in the crowds that gathered in Bangkok to celebrate the King of Thailand’s birthday and the 60th anniversary of his coronation.
Real and unreal
Lena Cobangbang’s (b. 1976, Philippines) uses digital technology to create a world of imaginary “utopia” by artificial means, a vision of “fake foliage and toy figures suspended in gelatin”. Wimo Ambala Bayang (b. 1976, Indonesia) uses the same medium to show a fallen elephant in the four locations that make up sacred north-south axis of Mt Merapi’s volcano peak. The works are a personal tribute to the victims of the 2010 Mt Merapi eruption. Angki Purbandono (b. 1971, Indonesia) specialises in scenography, producing artistic digital images of real objects with an ordinary flat-bed image scanner.
Langgeng Art Foundation: explore, share, learn
Grace Samboh, Executive Director of the Langgeng Art Foundation, told Hong Kong’s Pipeline Magazine, in an article published in the December 2011 edition, that “the idea behind the foundation is that of a gateway where people can circulate, explore, share and learn”. The Foundation was started in 2010 by Deddy Irianto, founder and manager of Langgeng Gallery in Magelang, Indonesia, as a body that organises various physical and intellectual resources – thoughts, finances, local, regional and international networks – to support and inspire Indonesian art communities. “[SEA] Territories of the Real and Unreal” is the first in the series of annual exhibitions and talks that are aimed at building a greater understanding of Southeast Asian contemporary art and contexts.
- Modernity through eyes of 8 South Korean photographers – October 2011 – take a closer look at each of the artists
- Photobook prices are soaring: Will monographs follow? – August 2011 – New to collecting? Have a limited budget? Click through to read more about this rising collectible.
- Artist Manit Sriwanichpoom’s pink prophecies for Thailand – Art Radar interview – November 2010 – how Sriwanichpoom uses photography to expose the brutal truth behind Thai society and to denounce consumerism
- Malaysian artist Yee I-Lann mixes batik and photography in “Boogeyman” exhibition – October 2010 – Yee explores the Orang Besar
- Lisa Reihana’s electronic Maori art at Anna Landa new media biennial 2009 Australia – video – July 2009 – an intriguing and inspiring body of work collectively called Digital marae
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