Beacons of Archipelago: Contemporary Art from Southeast Asia




Exhibition Poster

Exhibition Installation

December 2010

Arario Gallery Present  Beacons of Archipelago 

Presenting works from artists from Southeast Asia and India

The global art community had faced a major downfall with the economic crises that swept through the world, after having swelled up to its full propelled by the powers of huge capitals. As expectations had been so high, voices of despair also took its toll, but there has also been precious changes and advancements made in the wake of the fiasco. Asian art in specific, which had previously been relegated to the peripheries, is making notable growth through such experiences. The foundations for such positive changes may be found in that Asia’s economic status has been escalating, along with its strength of voice within the global society. Also, central discourses that characterize contemporary culture, such as postmodernism, post-colonialism and multiplicity, and various forms of international art events that reflect these trends, are contributing to the expansion of the range of opportunities. The most important thing to note, however, is that the Asian art scene has become more self-reflective and different efforts to propose region-specific development models are being put to practice. As the above factors come into view, the comprehensive illusion of Asia as the ‘other’ of the West is being torn down, more weight is placed on the hybrid traits of individual cultures, and the channel for communication and dialogue among local clusters are being ever expanded.

As part of an effort to join in this wondrous flow of positive change, Arario Gallery presents a group exhibition of thirteen South Asian artists’ works. South Asia’s contemporary art began to attract the world’s attention, following the steps of Asia’s two leading figures – China and India. South Asia is now seen as one of the three global growth axes, based on its economic scale that supersedes that of India’s, high growth rate, abundance natural resources, and its geopolitical advantages as the connecting point in Asia and the Pacific region; this may be one of the reasons for its recent rise to glory, but we mustn’t oversee the expectations placed on this region as the new instigator of fresh discourses in contemporary art, considering how various forms of self-generated artistic activities are flourishing in response to hundreds of years of colonization, its pain and poverty, social instability and injustice cased by the process of modernization, corruption and violence, as well as conflicts regarding race and religion.