Public Conversation: Making Asian Art Public/s
How are contemporary Asian artists and curators of Asian art working in new ways to make art matter to, and resonate with, society today?
Join us for a public conversation inviting diverse perspectives on art and its public significance in rapidly changing cultural contexts in contemporary Asia.
- Mira Asriningtyas Indonesia
- Merv Espina Philippines
- Mark Teh Malaysia
- Suzann Victor Australia/Singapore
- Tintin Wulia Indonesia/Australia
In conversation with:
- Associate Professor Tara McDowell Founding Director, Curatorial Practice, MADA
- Frances Barrett Independent Curator and Artist, and MADA Postgraduate
- Dr Michelle Antoinette ARC DECRA Fellow & Lecturer, Art History & Theory, MADA
With a focus on Southeast Asian contexts, this public conversation will reflect on important new directions and implications of the larger project of ‘making Asian art public’ today – including through art practice, exhibitions and collections, documentation and scholarship – and understanding the making of varied publics for Asian art in Asia, Australia and globally.
Leading artists and curators from the region have been invited to share their individual experiences and perspectives: Mira Asriningtyas (Indonesia), Merv Espina (Philippines), Mark Teh (Malaysia), Suzann Victor (Australia/Singapore) and Tintin Wulia (Indonesia/Australia). MADA affiliates Associate Professor Tara McDowell, artist Frances Barrett and Dr Michelle Antoinette will engage the guest speakers in a public conversation, followed by Q and A from the audience.
Convenor: Dr Michelle Antoinette in conjunction with the ARC DECRA research project Asian Art Publics: Understanding New Art and Museum Participation in Asia -- a Discovery Early Career Researcher Award funded by the Australia Research Council (DE170100455).
Mira Asriningtyas (b.1986) works as an independent curator and art writer in Yogyakarta-Indonesia. In 2011 she co-founded an independent space that aims to build a supportive and positive environment for young artists – LIR Space; focusing on a laboratory platform as alternative education for young artists, creating research-based art projects, and using independently-published books as an alternative space for exhibition. She was part of Cemeti Art House Young Curator Forum (Yogyakarta, 2013); 4A Curators' Intensive (Sydney, 2014); Fondazione Sandretto Re Rebaudengo Young Curator Residency Program (Turin, 2018); among others. She graduated from De Appel Curatorial Program 2016/2017 at De Appel Art Center – Amsterdam.
Mira is especially interested in conceptually-driven multidisciplinary projects, site-specificity, and working within the practice of everyday life. Some of her latest projects are “Poetry of Space” (Jakarta & Yogyakarta, 2014); “Exhibition Laboratory” (LIR Space – Yogyakarta, 2014-2018); “Fine (Art) Dining” (Lir Space – Yogyakarta, 2016); “Goodluck, See You After The Revolution” (UVA – Amsterdam, 2017) ; “Why is Everybody Being So Nice?” (De Appel Art Center and Stedelijk Museum – Amsterdam, 2017); among others. She is now working on her long-term site-specific project called “900mdpl” in Kaliurang, a resort village under an active volcano (Mt. Merapi) in Yogyakarta, Indonesia. Mira is also working as a duo curator with Dito Yuwono under the collective name ‘LIR’, focusing on research-based art projects presented with experimental artistic approaches. www.miraasriningtyas.com | www.lirspace.net | www.900mdpl.com
Merv Espina is an artist and researcher based in Metro Manila. He is program director for the artist-run, interdisciplinary platform Green Papaya Art Projects; and cook & janitor for WSK, a media art kitchen and annual “festival of the recently possible.” He co-founded The Kalampag Tracking Agency, a Philippine moving image screening and archiving initiative, and the sonic arts platform Kamuning Public Radio. Recent co-curatorial work include SUNSHOWER: Contemporary Art from Southeast Asia 1980s to Now (2017), “MISFITS”: Pages from a Loose-leaf Modernity (2017), and VIVA EXCON Capiz (2018). Espina was recently researcher-in-residence at AAA in January-February 2018.
Mark Teh is a researcher and performance maker based in Kuala Lumpur. His diverse, collaborative projects are particularly engaged with the issues of history, memory and the urban context, often taking on documentary and speculative forms. His practice is situated primarily in performance, but also operates via exhibitions, interventions, writing, curating, and education.
His projects have been presented at festivals and venues in South East Asia, Australia, Brazil, Germany, India, Japan, South Korea, Taiwan, UAE, and UK. Recent performance projects include Version 2020, an examination of the multiple futures envisioned for Malaysia, and Baling, an investigation into the 1955 Baling Talks and the afterlives of exiled Communist leader Chin Peng. Both performances are touring throughout 2018.
Mark has co-curated and organised platforms such as the ILHAM Contemporary Forum (Malaysia 2009-2017) exhibition; 2063 / Future Ministries (2017), which featured proposals by 24 citizens to revamp Malaysian government departments; the Para-Sites (2014) and GENG (2010) series of events looking into performing arts histories, cultural practices, and social movements; Save Our Placards! – a mobile, participatory exhibition in the March 26, 2011 protests in London; and the EMERGENCY FESTIVAL (2008), a re-examination of the legacies of the 1948-1960 Malayan Emergency. He was also producer for PopTeeVee’s online channels That Effing Showand The Fairly Current Show.
Mark graduated with an MA in Art and Politics from Goldsmiths, University of London, and is a member of Five Arts Centre, a collective of interdisciplinary artists, producers and activists in Malaysia.
Suzann Victor’s practice is best known for delivering compelling public artworks and installations that respond to context, space and architecture with distinctive forms and ideas relating to situated subjectivity, disembodiment and the environmental. Shown widely on the international circuit, her works attracted critical attention at events such as the 6th Havana Biennale (Cuba), 49th Venice Biennale (Italy), 2nd Asia-Pacific Triennial (Australia), 6th Gwangju Biennale (Korea), 5th Seoul Intl Media Art Biennale (Korea), ZKM’s Thermocline of Art 2007 (Germany) and OÖ Kulturquartier’s Hohenrausch 2014 (Austria). At the Singapore Biennale 2013, Victor induced the meteorological phenomenon of double rainbows to appear within the colonial architecture of the National Museum of Singapore using a heliostat. More recently, she was the single artist selected by the Fukuoka Asian Art Museum from the Sunshower Exhibition 2017, a major survey of Southeast Asian contemporary art, and for whom a special residency was created to present her cultural response to the city. She was nominated for the prestigious New York-based Civitella Ranieri Foundation Fellowship (2009) and invited for the coveted artist residency at the Singapore Tyler Print Institute (2014). Her signature series Contours of a Rich Manoeuvre was listed No. 1 in Forbes Magazine’s Top Ten Must-See Artworks for Art Stage Singapore 2015 while other public artworks at high profile locations include World Square in Sydney and the National Museum of Singapore. She received her doctorate in 2008, supported by the Australian Postgraduate Award as well as the UWS Top Up Award.
Tintin Wulia (b. 1972, Denpasar) is an artist working with video, installation, performance and public interventions. Her works, addressing sociopolitical issues particularly of the border, are often interactive and participatory. She has shown in major exhibitions including Istanbul Biennale (2005), Yokohama Triennale (2005), Jakarta Biennale (2009), Moscow Biennale (2011), Gwangju Biennale (2012), Asia Pacific Triennale (2012), and Sharjah Biennale (2013).
Collected amongst others by Van Abbemuseum, Singapore Art Museum, Queensland Art Gallery/Gallery of Modern Art and He Xiangning Art Museum, she is represented by Milani Gallery, Brisbane. Tintin represented Indonesia at the 57th Venice Biennale (2017).
Growing up a Chinese-Indonesian silenced by the 1965-66 mass killings, the 1998 riots alongside the fall of Suharto spurred Tintin's practice in 2000. Between 2001-2005 her short films were broadcast by SBS TV Australia. In 2002 she co-founded Minikino (minikino.org), an organisation employing short films to stimulate criticality. While working as a Video Production Specialist in an AusAID education project in Flores, 2003, her Australian Skilled Migration visa was granted.
Tintin received the Australia Council for the Arts’ Creative Australia Fellowship 2014-2016, and the 2018 Smithsonian Artist Research Fellowship. She serves in editorial boards of GeoHumanities (American Association of Geographers) and PARSE (Platform for Artistic Research Sweden). Trained as a film composer (Berklee, 1997) and architect (Parahyangan, 1998) before her practice-based PhD in art (RMIT, 2014), Tintin’s research currently focuses on things/nonhuman agents that traverse borders and link humans, in her Postdoctoral Fellowship in Design, Crafts and Society with a Focus on Migration (Gothenburg, 2018-2020).
Tara McDowell is Associate Professor and Founding Director of Curatorial Practice at Monash University in Melbourne, Australia. She lectures and publishes widely, and her criticism appears in publications including Artforum, art-agenda, Filip, Mousse, un Magazine, and The Exhibitionist, for which she was Founding Senior Editor. McDowell has held curatorial appointments at the CCA Wattis Institute for Contemporary Arts in San Francisco, the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, and the Massachusetts Museum of Contemporary Art. She received a Ph.D. in the History of Art from the University of California, Berkeley. Her most recent book, The Artist As, was published by Sternberg Press in 2018, and The Householders: Robert Duncan and Jess is forthcoming from MIT Press in 2019.
Frances Barrett is a curator and artist who lives and works on Gadigal land, Sydney. Her interests in performance, live art forms, and collaborative processes inform both her curatorial and artistic practice. In 2018 she will present three new projects: curating the live performance event, All Ears: A listening party, at Campbelltown Art Centre; curating the exhibition and live performance program, Into My Arms, at Ace Open; and exhibiting a newly commissioned work, Handle, at CCS Hessel Museum of Art, Bard College. She is currently a PhD Candidate in the Curatorial Practice Program at Monash University.
Dr Michelle Antoinette is a researcher of modern and contemporary Asian art. She is an Australian Research Council DECRA Fellow (2017-2020) and Lecturer in Art History & Theory at Monash University Art, Design and Architecture (MADA), Melbourne. Her current ARC DECRA research project Asian Art Publics (DE170100455) explores new public engagement and participation in Asian art and museum contexts. Her ongoing research focuses on the contemporary art histories of Southeast Asia, on which she has published widely. Her major publications on contemporary Asian art are Reworlding Art History: Encounters with Contemporary Southeast Asian Art after 1990 (Brill | Rodopi, 2015) and as co-editor with Caroline Turner, Contemporary Asian Art and Exhibitions: Connectivities and World-making (ANU Press, 2014).
Supported by the Australian Research Council (DE170100455) and Monash Art, Design, and Architecture (MADA) at Monash University.