Gender in Southeast Asian Art Histories and Visual Cultures Symposium: Art, Design and Canon-making? Bangkok Thailand

19 Apr 2019 @ 8:00am +07
20 Apr 2019 @ 7:00pm +07

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This two-day symposium comprising of a series of workshops, film screening, public lecture and panel discussions, jointly supported by Chulalongkorn University and University of Sydney, will respond to the notion of ‘canonisation’ in the disciplines of art and design histories of the region, and the ways in which this has been informed by understandings of gender and sexual difference.

Speakers will include:

  • May Adadol Ingawanij
  • Patrick D. Flores
  • Phaptawan Suwannakudt
  • Varsha Nair
  • Nitaya Ue-areeworakul
  • Clare Veal
  • Roger Nelson
  • Juthamas Tangsantikul
  • Rachaporn Choochuey
  • Thida Plitpholkarnpim
  • Saran Yen Panya

The workshop’s focus on questions of ‘canonisation’ brings us to a foundational principle of the academic practices of writing about and researching visual materials. To this end, the event will probe the ways in which certain assumptions have shaped the disciplines of art and design history in ways that obscure the contributions of practitioners as a consequence of their gender. Further, the workshop will develop methodologies for addressing gender imbalances in future research.

Gender in Southeast Asian Art Histories and Visual Cultures opens with a public lecture by May Adadol Ingawanij and includes a film screening and discussion. It will also include two interrelated workshops "Re-evaluating Agency: Authorship and the expanded field of production in Southeast Asian Art" and "Keeping and sharing women’s work: Womanifesto and traces of labour", which together will examine some of the methodological challenges and opportunities in expanding and/or deconstructing canons of Southeast Asian modern and contemporary art. These will be followed by a panel discussion by three Bangkok-based creative practitioners who will respond to the critical issues raised in terms of their professional lives. The aim of this discussion is to tease out insights specific to the Thai and regional contexts.

One highlight of the event is the inaugural exhibition and examination of archival materials belonging to ‘Womanifesto,’ as a means to trace women’s labour in art history in the context of Southeast Asia. ‘Womanifesto’ is a significant but understudied art event, a series of exhibitions featuring culturally and otherwise diverse artists and participants, which has been held biannually in various locations in Thailand since 1995. Now is a timely moment for re-evaluating ‘Womanifesto,’ in light of the emergence of a number of biennales in Thailand in 2018, the intensified study of the early 1990s series of art events referred to as ‘Chiang Mai Social Installation’ in recent years, and the broader trans-disciplinary turn toward exhibition histories. One significance of ‘Womanifesto’ lies in its continued commitment to using ‘feminism’ and ‘women artists’ as frames for the its exhibitions and related events, as well as its having emerged alongside ‘Chiang Mai Social Installation’ and predated subsequent biennales and transnational exhibitions.

This symposium follows an international conference that was held at the University of Sydney in October 2017, titled ‘Gender and Southeast Asian Art History.’ A publication drawing from that event will be a special issue of the journal, ‘Southeast of Now: Directions in Contemporary and Modern Art in Asia,’ published in March 2019. It is followed by a subsequent event in Sydney later in 2019, in partnership with Catriona Moore (University of Sydney), which is conceived as a planning discussion for a future online research resource for materials relating to gender and sexual difference in Southeast Asian art. Please see for further details.

Convened by Yvonne Low, Roger Nelson, and Clare Veal in partnership with Juthamas Tangsantikul

Generously supported by grants from Chulalongkorn University and the University of Sydney

19 Apr 2019 @ 8:00am +07
20 Apr 2019 @ 7:00pm +07

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