Identity, Transculture and Globalisation in Southeast Asia

Round Table Discussion
17.00 | Sunday 10 November, 2013

Centre for Creative Collaboration (C4CC)
16 Acton Street 
London WC1X 9NG

Speakers include:
Prof Matthew Cohen, Royal Holloway University of London (Chair)
Prof Mark Hobart, School of Oriental and African Studies
Sinta Tantra, artist based in the UK / Bali
Annie Jael Kwan, Independent producer
Dr Barley Norton, Goldsmiths, University of London

'Globalisation' in Southeast Asia's arts has been an aspirational handle for one-way cultural borrowings and participation in elite platforms of an assumed  international 'West'. However, alternative views have emerged, that present Southeast Asia as a dense, internally-sustained network with its own separate transnational communities. But what does it mean to create art that can be called Southeast Asian without compromising on different identities that make artists distinct groups and individuals today? How have postcolonial politics influenced cultural networks that date to trade and court links of centuries ago? And yet the cultural flows remain asymmetrical, necessarily impacted by the unequal movement of capital and labour around the region and the world: an artist is paid a different fee in Burma than he or she is in Indonesia, Singapore or the U.K., even as he or she makes art to the tastes of international curators who delicately broker these very negotiations. This panel explores art-making across a range of scenarios marked by shifting cultural politics and power relations, and questions what it means to be a Southeast Asian artist.