Assembling over 70 works from Indonesia, Malaysia, Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, and Vietnam, this exhibition showcases the visual brilliance and conceptual purpose of recent Southeast Asian practice. Providing regional comparisons, it illuminates the common themes, aesthetic approaches, and conceptual tendencies that have surfaced since the early 1990s. Commonalities coming to the fore include story-telling, the meshing of idea and visual seduction, and a belief in art-as-social-voice. Arguing for a view of the region’s visual production on the region’s terms, the curatorial references used to contextualise the pieces are mined in Southeast Asian history, geography, and culture, The exhibition proposes the confluence of recent political history, profound social shifts, and artists’ confidence vis à vis their deep-rooted cultural baggage as significant to the creation of the visually potent and conceptually original art of the last two decades.’ (Back cover)
This catalogue accompanies the exhibition ‘Negotiating Home, History and Nation: Two Decades of Contemporary Art in Southeast Asia 1991-2011′ held from March to June 2011 at Singapore Art Museum, with eight essays and one short story written by Tash Aw.