Props, Performing, Performance: Tracing Early Performance Art in 1990s Malaysia 

Tuesday, January 19, 2021
7:00-8:00pm EST

Video documentation by Asia Art Archive in America

This talk by art historian Sarena Abdullah explores a period of time in the mid-1990s when Malaysia witnessed the merger of interdisciplinary explorations between two main artistic fields, i.e. fine arts and performing arts. What started with the involvement of fine artists in prop-making, later evolved into various forms of collaborations and experimentation that can be considered the earliest examples of “performance art” in Malaysia.

Abdullah focuses on selected ‘visual-performances’ in collaboration with Five Arts Centre  – among them Two Installations (1991), Alter Art (1991), Warbox, Lalang, Killing Tools (1994) and Skin Trilogy (1995). By highlighting connections between modern artistic practice, performance, and installation, this presentation examines these collaborative experiments and explorations within the context of recent Malaysian art history. Following her lecture, Abdullah is joined in discussion by Dr. Nora Taylor, Alsdorf Professor of South and Southeast Asian Art at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago.

Sarena Abdullah, Ph.D is an art historian and current Deputy Dean (Research, Innovation and Community-Industry Engagement) at the School of the Arts, Universiti Sains Malaysia (USM). She was awarded the inaugural London, Asia Research Award by the Paul Mellon Centre for Studies in British Art (PMC) and Asia Art Archive, Hong Kong in 2017. She is also an alumni of the CAA-Getty International Program. Her book on Malaysian art, Malaysian Art since the 1990s: Postmodern Situation (2018), was recently published by Dewan Bahasa dan Pustaka. She is the co-editor of Ambitious Alignments: New Histories of Southeast Asian Art 1945-1990 (2018) published by the Power Institute and the National Gallery Singapore.

Dr. Nora Annesley Taylor is the Alsdorf Professor of South and Southeast Asian Art at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. She is the author of Painters in Hanoi: An Ethnography of Vietnamese Art (Hawaii 2004 and Singapore 2009), co-editor of Modern and Contemporary Southeast Asian Art, An Anthology (Cornell SEAP 2012) and numerous articles on Contemporary Vietnamese and Southeast Asian Art. In 2013 she was the recipient of a Guggenheim Fellowship to conduct research on the politics of Performance art in Singapore, Vietnam and Myanmar. She has curated two exhibitions: “12,756.3: Breathing is Free by Jun Nguyen-Hatsushiba,” SAIC and ASU Art Museum 2010, and “Changing Identity: Recent Work by Women Artists from Vietnam” that toured 10 venues in the US in 2007-2009. Her research and teaching interests include Artists and Archives, Performance Art, and Contemporary Asian Art.

Image: Selected catalogues and brochures of the early 1990s interdisciplinary experimentations in Malaysia.


This program is supported, in part, by public funds from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs, in partnership with the City Council.

ALL KEYWORDS

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ARTISTS, CRITICS, CURATORS, AND OTHER CONTRIBUTORS

Aisha Khalid, Aki Onda, Aki Sasamoto, Alexander Keefe, Alexandra Chang, Alexandra Munroe, Alf Chang, Ali Van, Amy Lien, Amy WOOD, Annysa Ng, Anthony Tino, Anthony Yung, Arin Rungjang, art history, art institutions, artist interviews, Ashley Billingsley, Ashok Sukumaran, Bahar Behbahani, Bahar Behbani, Bani Abadi, Bani Abidi, Barbara London, Beatrix Pang, Belinda Q. He, Benjamin Moskowitz, Beth Citron, Betsy Damon, Bing Lee, Birgit DONKER, Boon Hui Tan, Boris Groys, Brinda Kumar, Cai Guoqiang, CAMP, Cao Fei, Casey Tang, Chang Chao Tang, Chang Yuchen, Chen Chieh-jen, Chen Tong, Chen Wei-ching, Chen Xiaomei, Chihoi, China, Chitra Ganesh, Chris Wu, Christoph NOE, Christopher Ho, Christopher K. Ho, Christopher Phillips, Chương-Đài Võ, Cici Wu, contemporary art, Cooperativa Cráter Invertido, Cosmin Costinas, David Smith, Desire Machine Collective, Diana Campbell Betancourt, Dinh Q Le, dmp editions, Dooeun Choi, DREAMER FTY, Ei Arakawa, Eleanor Heartney, Elizabeth W. Giorgis, Enzo Camacho, EPOXY Art Group, Erin Gleeson, Eugene Wang, exhibition history, Fang Lu, Farah Wardani, Fei Dawei, FENG Yuan(馮原), Franklin Furnace, Frédéric Dialynas Sanchez, Fully Booked, Furen Dai, fwf, Gaku Tsutaja, Gao Shiming, Gianni Jetzer, Glenn Phillips, Go Hirasawa, Guan Xiao, Hajra Waheed, Hammad Nasar, Heman Chong, Herb Tam, Hiroko Tasaka, Hitomi Iwasaki, Ho Tzu Nyen, Hồng-Ân Trương, Hou Hanru, Howie Chen, Hsu Chia-Wei, Huang Chien-Hung, Huang Hua-Chen, Huang Po-chih, HUANG Xiaopeng, I-Hua Lee, Iftikhar Dadi, Il Lee, Ingrid Chu, Interference Archive, Jaeyong Park, Jaishri Abichandani, Jane DeBevoise, Jean Shin, Jean-Hubert Martin, Jen Hoyer, Jen Liu, Jennifer Davis, Jewyo Rhii, Joan Lebold Cohen, Joanne, John Pirozzi, John Tain, José Maceda, Julian Ross, Jun Yang, June Yap, Kaho Albert Yu, Karen Strassler, kate-hers RHEE, Katherine Grube, Ken Lum, Kim Yong-Ik, Kimia Maleki, Kit Yi Wong, Koki Tanaka, Korakrit Arunanondchai, Laurel Ptak, Lê Thuận Uyên, Lee Kit, Lee Mingwei, Lee Weng Choy, Lesley Ma, Levi Easterbrooks, Li Ming, Li Ran, Li Shi, Li Xiaofei, Liang Jianhua, Lin Yilin, Linda Huang, LinDa Saphan, Lisa Ross, Liu Ding, Liu Shiyuan, Louiza Ho, Lynn Gumpert, Lyno Vuth, Maika Pollack, malaysia, Maline Yim, Mao Chenyu, MAP Office, Margaret Lee, Margo Machida, Mariam Ghani, Martha Wilson, Marvin Taylor, media art, Meghan Forbes, Meiya Cheng, Mel Bochner, Miao Ying, Michelle Wong, Michelle Yun, Midori Yoshimoto, Ming Fay, Minoru Yoshida, Miwako Tezuka, Moe Satt, Morgan Wong, Mukaddas Mijit, Murtaza Vali, Museum of Unknown, Nadim Abbas, Naeem Mohaiemen, Nate Hun, new media, Nico Baumbach, Nikhil Raunak, Nonny de la Peña, Nora Taylor, nos:books, Ocean Leung, Onejoon Che, Ou Ning, Pad.ma, Pak Sheung Chuen, Pan An-yi, Park Chankyong, Passenger Pigeon Press, Patty Chang, Pauline J. Yao, photography, Pi Li, Polit-Sheer-Form Office, Prem Krishnamurthy, Qiu Anxiong, Qiu Deshu, Qiu Zhijie, Rabbya Naseer, Rania Ho, Raqs Media Collective, Rattanamol Singh Johal, Rebecca Karl, regionalism, Reiko Tomii, Richard Vine, Rina Banerjee, Risha Lee, Rob Smith, Roslisham Ismail a.k.a. Ise, Ruijun Shen, Ryan Lee Wong, Saadia Toor, Sabih Mohd Ahmed, Sadya Mizan, Sam Hart, Samita Sinha, Samsom Young, Samson Young, Sarena Abdullah, Sareth Svay, Sean Anderson, Sen Uesaki, Shaina Anand, Shanta Rao, Sharmini Pereira, Shauba Chang, Shen Xin, Shiraga Kazuo, Shuddhabrata Sengupta, Simon Leung (梁碩恩), Simon Wu, singapore, Sming Sming Books, Sohl Lee, Son Ni, Song Dong, Sopheap Pich, southeast asia, Stephanie Comilang, Stephanie H. Tung, Stephen Teiser, Steve Locke, Su Hui-Yu, Su Yu-Hsien, Sung Hwan Kim, Sunghee Lee, Svetlana Kharchenkova, Tabaimo, Takahiko Iimura, Takako Tanabe, Takeshi Ikeda, Tammy Nguyen, Tang Kwok Hin, Taro Hanaga, Teresa Kwong, The Dunhuang Foundation, The Otolith Group, Theresa Hak Kyung Cha, Tianyuan Deng, Tiffany Chung, Tintin Wulia, Tishan Hsu, Tobias Madison, Tom Eccles, Tom Looser, Trần Minh Đức, Tsherin Sherpa, Uli Sigg, Umber Majeed, video art, Việt Lê, Vivian Sming, Wang Gongyi, Wang Jianwei, Wang Jing, Wang Wei, Wang Xu, Waterfall, William LIM, Work on Work, Wu Shanzhuan, Xen Nhà, Xiaoyu Weng, Xie Xiaoze, Xin Wang, Xu Bing, Xu Tan, YANG Jiechang, Yang Wang, Yang Zhenzhong, Yayoi Shionara, Yin Xiuzhen, Ying Kwok, Yoon Hwan Bae, YOUNG-HAE CHANG HEAVY INDUSTRIES, Yu Cheng-Ta, Yung MA, Zhang Hongtu, Zhang Peili, Zheng Shengtian, Zhenzhen Qi, Zhou Tao, Ziying Duan, Zoe Butt