REORIENT is M+’s first public event to focus exclusively on the region of South and Southeast Asia. From its early stages of formation, the M+ collection has encompassed works by South and Southeast Asian artists and makers, but the region(s) have yet to feature prominently as part of the museum’s public programme. With REORIENT, M+ “reorients” attention southward by bringing together key practitioners, curators, researchers and thinkers from the fields of visual art, design and architecture and moving image, and from various locales in South and Southeast Asia, to present and discuss critical issues and multiplicities related to their practice, institutions and contexts. Designed to inform Hong Kong audiences about the important work being done by individuals and institutions in the region, REORIENT also seeks to examine affinities and intersections between cultural practices in Hong Kong and the global south.
Comprised of one-on-one conversations, short presentations and panel discussions, REORIENT is a three-day event designed as a platform to explore views across geographies (from Bangalore to Bangladesh, Yogyakarta to Ho Chi Minh City), disciplines (from visual art, design and architecture, and moving image) and initiatives (from bottom-up to institutionally-driven practices). The conversations and discussions between invited speakers and M+ curators would seek to address the following issues: how local and regional particularities and histories (as well as transnational and global forces and flows) have informed and shaped the nature of cultural ecology and production in South and Southeast Asia; how Hong Kong is culturally, historically and geographically situated with regards to the region(s); and how various curatorial and research frameworks undertaken by museums and cultural institutions in Asia, and elsewhere, have investigated art and design practices of South and Southeast Asia.
REORIENT will begin on November 30 with “Designing on the Margins – Land, Materiality and Community”—an evening of one-to-one dialogues between Anupama Kundoo (Founder, Anupama Kundoo Architects, India/Spain) and Aric Chen (Lead Curator, Design and Architecture, M+), and between Eko Prawoto (Founder, Eko Prawoto Architecture Workshop, Indonesia) and Shirley Surya (Associate Curator, Design and Architecture, M+).
On December 1, REORIENT will continue with another evening of one-to-one dialogues titled “Art, Ritual and the Everyday” between Rirkrit Tiravanija (visual artist, USA/Germany/Thailand) and Pauline J. Yao (Lead Curator, Visual Art, M+), and between Sheela Gowda (visual artist, India) and Doryun Chong (Deputy Director and Chief Curator, M+).
On December 2, the full-day session titled “Researching, Collecting and Framing the Region” will consist of three panel discussions respectively titled “Adjacencies: Links Between Hong Kong, moderated by Stella Fong (Lead Curator, Learning & Interpretation, M+), “Seeds and Networks: Nurturing Local Ecologies”, moderated by Pauline J. Yao (Lead Curator, Visual Art, M+) and Shirley Surya (Associate Curator, Design and Architecture, M+), and “Positions: Institutional Perspectives on South and Southeast Asia”, moderated by Suhanya Raffel (Executive Director, M+); which will involve the following invited speakers: Cosmin Costinas (Director, Para Site, Hong Kong), Chuong-Dai Vo (Researcher, Asia Art Archive, Hong Kong), Ashish Rajadhyaksha (Professor of Practice, Department of Cultural Studies and Department of Visual Studies, Lingnan University, Hong Kong), Diana Campbell Betancourt (Artistic Director, Samdani Art Foundation and Chief Curator, Dhaka Art Summit, Bangladesh), Zoe Butt (Artistic Director, The Factory Contemporary Arts Centre, Vietnam), Roobina Karode (Director and Chief Curator, Kiran Nadar Museum of Art), India), Ignatius Hermawan Tanzil (Founder, LeBoYe Design and Dia.Lo.Gue, Indonesia), Sean Anderson (Associate Curator, Department of Architecture and Design, Museum of Modern Art, USA), José Da Silva (Curatorial Manager, Australian Cinémathèque, Queensland Art Gallery and Gallery of Modern Art, Australia), Judith Greer (Director International of Programmes, Sharjah Art Foundation, UAE) and Shabbir Hussain Mustafa (Senior Curator, National Gallery of Singapore, Singapore).
REORIENT: Conversations on South and Southeast Asia is organised by Pauline J. Yao (Lead Curator, Visual Art, M+) and Shirley Surya (Associate Curator, Design and Architecture, M+).
REORIENT: Conversations on South and Southeast Asia
Dates: November 30–December 2, 2017
Location: Asia Society Hong Kong Center (9 Justice Dr Admiralty Hong Kong)