News & events > Singapore | Art and Action conference
03 Dec 2018 - 05 Dec 2018

Singapore | Art and Action conference


Registration is open for Art and Action - Contemporary Art and Discourse in Southeast Asia, an international art history conference taking place at Lasalle College of the Arts in Singapore, 3-5 December 2018.

Art and Action is an international art history conference that critically examines the development of art practices in Southeast Asia from the 1970s to the present. It focuses on the role of artists and artworks as social conduits, with the aim of generating discourses specific to the contexts and conditions of the region.

New modes of artistic production have come to the fore in Southeast Asia since the 1970s. Often responding to fractious social contexts, art has expanded from its officially-circumscribed institutional settings and discourses, intervening into public spaces, tackling social issues, and engaging new audiences. However, while artistic practices have evolved in more critical directions formally and conceptually, art historical debates, mostly borrowed from Euramerican academia and tinged with market deference, have yet to fully consider these developments.

Nearly five decades after the emergence of these artistic discourses, this conference develops methodologies from the region in order to provide new insights into seminal artworks, as well as more recent artistic expressions, which build upon the innovative trajectories established in the 1970s. These frameworks can be expanded from an earlier 1990s genealogy articulated by art historical writings and exhibitions in Japan, Australia, Singapore, and elsewhere.

To this end, the conference programme is structured around thematic panels that address specific issues and discourses arising from the particularities of Southeast Asian artistic practice. By connecting visual practices through empirical observation and contextual understanding (involving a grasp of regional peoples, politics, histories, and cultures), each of these panels represents a vantage-point from which to advance knowledge and the writing of recent art histories.

Image credit: FX Harsono
Writing in the Rain
Single channel video, 6:02 mins
Director: FX Harsono
Cinematographer and video grapher team: Alex Ginting and IndoXPLORE
Technical Assistant: Hendriawan