Modern and Contemporary Southeast Asian Art

Francis Maravillas 


Over the past three decades or so, there has been a steadily growing critical and curatorial interest in modern and contemporary Southeast Asian art. This has coincided with the diversification of the international art world, as well as shifts in the structure and dynamics of local ecologies of art and exhibition making in the region. In particular, the establishment of major contemporary art museums and galleries, art fairs, private collections, archives, artist-run spaces and initiatives in Southeast Asia has engendered varied and manifold art worlds and art publics that challenges Euro-American frameworks for understanding art. Given the diversity and dynamism of art in the region, this course will introduce students to the field of modern and contemporary Southeast art with particular attention to their histories, practices and contexts. In particular, this course will situate critical writing and case-studies of modern and contemporary art across the archipelagic and terrestrial zones of Southeast Asia – including Indonesia, Thailand, Malaysia, the Philippines and Singapore – in dialogue with fundamental concepts in art history and theory as well as debates surrounding the production, interpretation and representation of art and exhibition making practices in the region

Indicative references
Michelle Antoinette and Francis Maravillas, ‘Positioning Contemporary Art Worlds and Art Publics in Southeast Asia, World Art, vol. 10, no.2-3, 2020, pp.161-189
Kevin Chua, ‘On Teaching Modern and Contemporary Southeast Asian Art’, Third Text, vol. 25, no. 4, 2011, pp. 467-473
John Clark, ‘Doing world art history with modern and contemporary Asian art’, World Art, vol. 1, 2011 pp 93-99
Wulan Dirgantoro, Feminism and Contemporary Art in Indonesia, Amsterdam University Press, 2017.
Patrick Flores, Past Peripheral: Curation in Southeast Asia, NUS Museum, 2008.
TK Sabapathy, “Developing Regionalist Perspectives in South-East Asian Art Historiography.” in Caroline Turner and Rhana Davenport (eds) The Second Asia-Pacific Triennial of Contemporary Art conference proceedings,  South Brisbane: Queensland Art Gallery, 1996.
David Teh, ‘Travelling Without Moving Historicising Thai Contemporary Art’, Third Text, vol. 26, issue 5, 2012 pp. 567-583
Lee Weng Choy. ‘Anecdote and theme: reflections on curating contemporary art from Southeast Asia’, Art Monthly Australia, no. 279, May 2015, pp. 32-41.