Exhibition: Subverted Boundaries
17 Jun 2003 to 24 Aug 2003
Over the centuries, Vietnam, Thailand and
Singapore have forged deeply divergent cultural histories. These nations
however share a common rural heritage; their imagery, manual techniques,
and beliefs being important sources in the formal expression of their
cultural identities. The peoples of these countries also share an
increasing awareness of the need for political empowerment and social
Although the contemporary practices of Vietnam, Thailand and Singapore
have diverted since the advent of Modernism and also as a result of the
changes in these countries' socio-political landscapes, a conversgence
of purpose and intensity of voice can be discerned on the fringes of
their respective visual art movements. A shared access to technology and
the resulting knowledge of foreign consumer culture has lead to a common
exploitation of mass-media sources. A second common strand involves
shared interest in their respective craft cultures as practitioners seek
to explore their relevance to contemporary expression and form.
Subverted Boundaries aims to investigate how the practices of some of
these countries’ artists, of widely differing backgrounds, can be
compared in terms of process, use of materials and conceptual visions.
The exhibition also shows these artists, pushing the boundaries of
social, political, religious and formal convention to their absolute
limits in their respective cultures, can influence the very cultures
from which their art has evolved.
As the world's forum for contemporary visual practices extends outward
from the old Euro-American centre, artists from Asia, particularly those
from Southeast Asia, are increasingly recognised for their original and
potent contributions to global artistic communication. The study of
shared concerns within some of the non-mainstream practices of Southeast
Asia addressed by Subverted Boundaries aims to shed light on the
powerful and shifting forces that propel contemporary life in our
Click on each artists' name for more information.