Negotiating Home, History and Nation: Two Decades of Contemporary Art from Southeast Asia (1991-2011)

If you follow me on Twitter, you may have noticed that I often refer to The List, as in “It’s on The List” or “I’m adding it to The List.” The List refers to a physical checklist of stuff to do, places to go, and things to see while we are here.

The more I explore and read about Singapore, the longer The List grows. Looking at The List makes me realize how much I don’t know and how much I have left to learn.

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One of the items on The List is “Learn More about Southeast Asian Art.” I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: I am well-versed in European and American art history, but my knowledge of Asian art history, and more specifically of contemporary Asian art, is spotty.

Last night, I attended an after-hours tour with one of the curators of Negotiating Home, History and Nation: Two Decades of Contemporary Art from Southeast Asia (1991-2011), an exhibit at The Singapore Art Museum (SAM) held in conjunction with Singapore Biennale 2011. Negotiating Home, History and Nation is an extensive survey from the Museum’s collection and features the work of seminal artists from six Southeast Asian countries. The tour was short (a little over an hour) and we barely skimmed the surface of this incredible exhibit that explores such topics such as nation building, urbanization, and religious and gender discourse from an Asian perspective.

Here a just three of the artists who I discovered that night and have subsequently been added to The List:

(Additional credits: Top to bottom: From Sulu Stories, Yee I-Lann, 2005. Via Art ConneXionsKoleksi Ibu, Zulkifli Yusoff, 2010. Via The National Critics Choice; From Anonymity, Poklong Anading, 2006. Via Art, Artists, and Artworks News.)

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