Asia through Exhibition Histories

Day: Friday 6 April


Lucy Steeds (Afterall, Central Saint Martins, University of the Arts London)
Michelle Wong (Asia Art Archive)
Sarah Turner (Paul Mellon Centre, London)
Nada Raza (Tate Research Centre: Asia)

Session Abstract

What does it mean to practise exhibition histories rather than art history? How are distinct disciplines drawn on, alongside or in contrast to art history when the focus lies on art gaining its public moment through the lens of ‘Asia’ (or ‘East Asia’, ‘Southeast Asia’, ‘South Asia’, ‘Central Asia’, etc.)?

This session reflects upon the methodological issues and theoretical implications of both exhibiting ‘Asia’ and of analysing such past shows now. The session will seek to question the stationary perspective and centre/periphery binary implied by ‘looking out’, encouraging debate of past art exhibitions as a way to think about more mobile and contingent histories that also prompt us to look both inwards and sideways. In other words: discussion of exhibition histories that encourage looking in multiple directions.

Speakers and Papers

Biljana Ciric (Independent curator and writer) Let’s Talk about Money: Shanghai first International Fax Art Exhibition

Lu Pan (Hong Kong Polytechnic University) Cathay Pacific’s ‘Contemporary Art in Asia’ Exhibitions (1965)

Kathleen Ditzig (Nanyang Technological University, Singapore) Constructing Southeast Asia: Soft power, alliances and the first exhibitions of Southeast Asia

Samina Iqbal (Lahore School of Economics) Modern Art of Pakistan: Lahore Art Circle and the soft cultural diplomacy of
the US

Diva Gujral (University College London) ‘Painters with a Camera’ (1968–69): In search of the photography exhibition in India

Kerstin Winking (Independent curator and writer) The Exhibition as Indonesian Revolutionary Weapon

Tina Le (University of Michigan-Ann Arbor) Exhibiting the Ephemeral: Thinking through reconstruction and restaging in contemporary Southeast Asian art

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