The Southeast Asian Art File

ALERT: This ArtFile is ancient history in web terms (hasn't been updated since 1997). But check out my latest site on Singapore's Public Art.

a file of articles,
links and notes related
to Southeast Asian contemporary art

Chandrasekaran, Deva, 1994


About this site
This site is updated monthly (more or less). It is maintained in Singapore by Peter Schoppert. We are currently getting about four or five visitors each day. Click here to find out more. Please e-mail me if you have any questions, suggestions for additional links, or if you want to be put on a mailing list for updates.

New! (as of June 10th, 1997)
documenta logoGLOBAL: Documenta X is on. Here is the official site, and here is the discussion group put together by Universes in Universe. As they say
" Following the intentions of the artistic director of the dX, to reach a maximum of "liveliness and involvement, analysis and criticism, openness and scepticism..." during the 100 days, a topic of discussion in this Forum will be the ways in which the art from Africa, Asia and Latin America has been presented in her manifestation culturelle. It will be interesting to see if the dX can meet the challenge of becoming an interdisciplinary look into a future where traditional categories will no longer apply.
GLOBAL: Universes in Universe: an artist-led trilingual internet site, that sent the following message to the Artfile:

You will find Nusantara and included in the information system of Universes in Universe. We developed this project out of similar motivations and frustrations as the ones you mention in your site. It is encouraging to find people like you out there who are dedicated to the medium and its communicating possibilities...Our main goal with Universes is to draw the attention of the international artistic community to the fascinating art processes which are taking place in Africa Asia and Latin America, and to build up a sort of cross-network among local efforts like the one you have initiated in your region.
REGIONAL: Southeast Asian artists at the 6th Havana Biennal - a Happening! report by artist Lee Wen
REGIONAL: 6th Havana Biennial a superb report put together by Universe in Universes, Berlin on the Biennial. Includes images of the installation by Suzan Victor.
REGIONAL: more on the Asean Art Awards 1996 (from Singapore's Business Times)
INDONESIA: ArtFile's coverage of the Sudjana art theft makes the Asia Times (sort of).
SINGAPORE: The fastest way to come to understand the state of art in a nation? Look at their art schools. Here, the graduation show of Singapore's Nanyang Academy of Fine Arts, published by the Voice.
SINGAPORE: ArtPower at Singapore's Substation (a happening story)
SINGAPORE: a new theme for the ArtFile: art & technology in Singapore why is the link so weak?
MALAYSIA: some info on the National Art Gallery

Regional Resources and Events
Southeast Asian pictures are hot: Sotheby's features the March 1997 Singapore sale on their internet site: They also put one of the pictures sidewise. Can you spot it?
Apinan Poshyananda curated "Contemporary Art in Asia: Traditions/Tensions", October 4, 1996 through January 5, 1997 at the Asia Society Gallery, New York Here is an extensive review, with images, from a New York internet art magazine.
Philip Morris: Asiaweek's article on the results of the 1996 Asean Art Awards

Excellent web site of the 23rd Bienal Internacional de Sao Paulo includes the following artists from Southeast Asia:

Matthew Ngui of Singapore, essay by Kwok Kian Chow
Heri Dono of Indonesia, essay by Tsutomu Mizusawa
Marintan Sirait of Indonesia, essay by Jim Supangkat
Charlie Co of the Philippines, by Tsutomu Mizusawa
Tran Tho of Vietnam, essay by Carlos Alberto Pereira
Each page includes a curatorial essay and images of various works. Many thanks to Kwok Kian Chow, Director of Singapore's Art Museum for forwarding the URL.
The website for the Asia-Pacific Triennial of Contemporary Art at the Queensland Art Gallery, Brisbane. The Triennial runs from 27 September 1996 to 19 January 1997, and its associated Conference is from 27 - 30 September, 1996. Triennial publications can be ordered online.
Preview of the Third Asia-Pacific Triennial, Queensland Gallery of Art, Brisbane, Australia, 27 September 1996 - 19 January 1997, by Caroline Turner, director of the event.From the International Institute of Asian Studies Newsletter.
Review of the Asian Art Now show in Hiroshima, mentioning the works of Tang Da Wu and Navin Rawanchaikul.

Two paintings withdrawn from Christie's Oct 6th Singapore sale

The Sept 23rd story in the Singapore Straits Times
Unedited version of an Indonesian account of the theft and subsequent consignment to Christie's.
Straits Times report of September 28th that the paintings have been returned to Jakarta's National Museum.
Asian Art Event Calendar courtesy of the Gate Foundation, Netherlands


what's on today in the Singapore art scene
Singapore artists on the internet :
Zai Kuning, Singaporean multidisciplinary artist sets up Metabolic Laboratory, a Multi-Cross-Physical Culture Project
Mathew Ngui's You Can Order and Eat Char Kwey Teow is an official entry at the S‹o Paolo Biennale.
See also his reflections on The Yang Family, his collaboration with Theatreworks.

new publication that looks at fine art in Singapore: the Voice. Highlights include

Chng Seok Tin
Chua Mia Tee
Singapore sculptor Sun Yu-li puts up a homepage.
Pan Shou,one of Singapore's treasures, a poet and master calligrapher. See the poem he has written on the internet.
The Lin Hsin-Hsin Museum: an idiosyncratic web site from an artist and computer consultant
Tang Dawu's Tiger's Whip at the Johannesburg Biennale, 1995.
Lan Gen Bah, an artist of the post-diaspora
Vincent Leow's Art Sweetener
Jason Lim, an ARCUS artist-in-residence, Ibaraki, Japan
Suzann Victor exhibits in World's Women Online
Susie Lingham in WWOL
Yvonne Lee exhibits in World's Women Online


the Singapore Art Museum ('affectionately known as SAM')
particularly the Themes in Southeast Asian Art exhibition
and the Century of Singapore Art
The Substation - Singapore's Alternative Space for the Arts
Looking At Culture, the online version of the issue of Commentary which the National University of Singapore Society killed in 1994 for fear of offending the powers-that-be.
The Conditions to Receive a License from the Public Entertainment Licensing Unit, or why performance art is a little constrained in Singapore....



Risalah Dari Malaysia: Seven well-known Malaysian artists exhibited in Germany late last year: artists include Khalil Ibrahim, Ilse Noor, Sharifah Fatimah Syed Zubir Barakbah, Juhari Said, Ismail Latiff, Raja Shariman Raja Azziddin
And Three Came Home: a retrospective of three seminal Malaysian artists, at the Malaysian National Art Gallery of Malaysia. Essays by Valentine Willie, Yeoh Jin Leng and Susie Wong.

Short essay on Malaysian art, written to accompany the works of Anna Chui Han Chin at Africus, the 1995 Johannesburg Biennale, by Zainol Abidin Ahmad Shariff

Accomplished watercolourist Chang Fee Ming has his own homepage.

The Pelita Hati Gallery has a site, including a list of all its shows so far this year.

work by Raja Shahriman Raja Aziddin, Pelita Hati Gallery



Amir Sidhartha reports an a large-scale, professional theft of works by the late Sudjana Kerton
Astri Wright contributes a stirring article on art crime in Indonesia
Check out the homepage of the Agung Rai Museum of Art in Peliatan, Ubud, Bali
Nyoman Gunarsa : Women in Nyoman's Art - a preview
Helena Spaanjard reviews Astri Wright's Soul, Spirit and Mountain, Preoccupations of Contemporary Indonesian Painters of Indonesia, published by Oxford University Press, Kuala Lumpur, 1994.From the International Institute of Asian Studies Newsletter.
Amir Sidharta reviews the Kay it retrospective
Amir Sidharta reviews the Bali : Change and Continuity exhibit, Jakarta 1995
Review by Esther de Charon de St. Germain, of the "Orientation" Exhibition at Indonesia's National Gallery, August 1995, organized by the Gate Foundation and Jogjakarta's Cemeti Gallery.From the International Institute of Asian Studies Newsletter.
Developments and current issues in Contemporary Indonesian Art, an essay by A.D. Pirous and Setiawan Sabana - Faculty of Art and Design Institute of Technology, Bandung.
A brief report by Curator Urs Ramseyer on an exhibition entitled Farewell to Paradise, with Balinese artists Wayan Sika, Made Djirna, Nyoman Erawan, and Made Budhiana, held at the Swiss Ethnological Museum in Basel. From the International Institute of Asian Studies Newsletter.
In what was one of the very first museum exhibitions with a web page, From Ritual to Romance, selected works from the Neka Museum in Bali were exhibited at the Singapore Art Museum.
Click here to order the film Lempad of Bali (directed by Lorne Blair) from the US
The Belgium-based Art Gallery for Indonesian Contemporary Visual Arts has posted a short biography and an image of works by the following Indonesian artists: Ardiyanto Pranata, Boeldansjah T., Dachlan Umi, Hoegeng Reni, Kartakusumah D.H., Ma'mun Heyi, Mikkelsen Sutjihati Yetty, Nunung W.S., Oeghoede Dirk M., Pirous A.D., Pirous Erna Garnasih, Sabana Setiawan, Sanjaya Tisna, Sulebar M. Soekarman, Sunaryo.


Two Thai artists on the net:
an Exhibition in Germany by Rirkrit Tiravanija, with good photos (but the notes in German only)
and the site of Tawatchai Puntusawasdi, a young sculptor participating in the ARCUS artist-in-residence program.
Review of Vasan Sithiket's November 1995 exhibition in Tokyo, Japan
Araya Rasdjarmrearnsook's Prostitute's Room, an installation at the 1995 Johannesburg Biennale.
"Black Face/Yellow Face: Distant Neighbours", an essay by Apinan Poshyananda, presented at the Johannesburg Bienalle, 1995.
Silpa Bhirasri was born Corrado Feroci, and was raised, educated and trained in Italy as a sculptor. He arrived in Bangkok in 1926, becoming well-known for his royal commissions and public works. In 1933 he helped found the School of Fine Arts. In this brief essay, he talks about some of the prominent Thai artists of the 1950s who studied there.



Comments, suggestions, new URLs and more, please send me a note.