Tokyo | Sunshower – contemporary art from Southeast Asia

Date: July 5, 2017 - October 23, 2017

Website: http://sunshower2017.jp/en/index.html

Sunshower: Contemporary Art from Southeast Asia 1980s to Now – exhibition opens on 5 July and runs to 23 October in two prestigious venues in Tokyo. At The National Art Center and Mori Art Museum, visitors can view the fruits of  the intensive SEA Project which started in 2015 with research trips by art curators selected from across the region.

The exhibition is presented by The National Art Center, Tokyo, Mori Art Museum and Japan Foundation Asia Center. This is an aspiring exhibition to commemorate the year 2017, the 50th anniversary of ASEAN (Association of South East Asian Nations) and will be one of the largest Southeast Asian contemporary art exhibitions in history.

The organisers came together and set up a 14-member curatorial team for this first ever joint exhibition. After two and a half years of field research in the SE Asia region, the team selected around 180 artworks by 86 artists / artist groups from the ten ASEAN member countries: Cambodia, Brunei Darussalem, Viet Nam, Lao PDR, Singapore, Malaysia, Myanmar, Thailand, Indonesia, the Philippines.Sunshower is organised in nine thematic sections over the two exhibition sites:

  • Fluid World: exploring maps – real, imaginary, multi-layered and complex
  • Passion and Revolution: transitions from colonial rule to independence
  • Archiving: archive documents as art materials
  • Diverse Identities: questioning individual, national and ethnic identities
  • Day by Day: everyday life contexts translated into art
  • Growth and Loss: driving forces of growth and development
  • What is Art? Why Do It?: socially engaged art practices across SE Asia
  • Medium as Meditation: traditional artistic techniques and concepts entry to spiritual worlds
  • Dialogue with History: revisiting repeated historical patterns – integrating memories

Download exhibition press release on Sunshower

SYMPOSIUM ‘How has Contemporary Art represented Southeast Asia?’ will be held on 8 July at The National Art Center (Japanese-English simultaneous interpretation) with curators, researchers and art directors from across the region. See website for registration information.

Read more about SEA Project (Research Trip reports, Curatorial Meetings, Recommended Readings on Southeast Asian contemporary art)

Read more about SEA Project on culture360

Images: [top] Lee Wen (Singapore), Strange Fruit, 2003,

[middle] Yee I-Lann ( Malaysia), Fluid World, from the series Orang Besar, 2010

[lower] Jompet Kuswidananto (Indonesia), Words and Possible Movement, 2013

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