Critically Acclaimed Guggenheim UBS MAP Inaugural Exhibition Showcasing Artistic Creativity In South And Southeast Asia Opens In Singapore At The Centre For Contemporary Art On May 10, 2014

— No Country: Contemporary Art For South And Southeast Asia Curated By Singaporean June Yap

NEW YORK and SINGAPORE, March 10, 2014 /PRNewswire/ — From May 10 to July 20, 2014, Singapore’s Centre for Contemporary Art (CCA), a national research center of the Nanyang Technological University (NTU), will host the exhibition No Country: Contemporary Art for South and Southeast Asia, as part of the Guggenheim UBS MAP Global Art Initiative. The exhibition was first presented in New York at the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum (February 22–May 22, 2013) before its recent showing at the Asia Society Hong Kong Center (October 30, 2013–February 16, 2014).

Curated by June Yap, Guggenheim UBS MAP Curator, South and Southeast Asia, the exhibition will feature 19 paintings, sculptures, photographs, videos, and mixed-media works by 16 artists and collectives from 11 countries, including Bangladesh, Cambodia, India, Indonesia, Malaysia, Pakistan, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, Vietnam, and the United Kingdom. Through these works, No Country invites audiences to engage with some of South and Southeast Asia’s most challenging and inventive artists, including Tang Da Wu, who lives and works in Singapore.

No Country‘s presentation in Singapore, which brings the artworks to the region from which many of the artists hail, calls for an even closer examination of regional cultural representations and relations, and suggests the possibility of a renewed understanding through a process of mutual rediscovery that transcends physical and political borders.

The CCA presentation will mark the debut of two works from the Guggenheim UBS MAP Purchase Fund not previously shown as part of No Country: Loss by Sheela Gowda and Morning Glory by Sopheap Pich. The exhibition also features individual video installation rooms for works by Tran Luong and the Otolith Group.

Exhibition Overview
The exhibition—the title of which was drawn from the opening line of W.B. Yeats’s “Sailing to Byzantium” (1928)—presents South and Southeast Asia in terms of transformation and trace, charting patterns of historical and contemporary influence within and beyond the region itself.

With a narrative stretching back to the ancient kingdoms and empires from which they emerged, No Country seeks to reflect upon exchanges and relationships within and between South and Southeast Asian nation-states, as well as on the overall status of the nation-state today and the pressures and effects of globalization and colonialism.

The artworks are grouped according to four themes: reflection and encounter, intersections and dualities, diversities and divisions, and the desire for unity and community. No Country presents artworks that challenge and explore the region’s historical ambiguities, territories both psychic and literal, individual subjectivities, and political, economic, and aesthetic negotiations.

The artists in the exhibition are:

  • Bani Abidi (b.1971, Karachi, Pakistan)
  • Reza Afisina (b. 1977, Bandung, Indonesia)
  • Poklong Anading (b. 1975, Manila, The Philippines)
  • Sheela Gowda (b. 1957, Bhadravati, Karnataka, India)
  • Shilpa Gupta (b. 1976, Mumbai, India)
  • Amar Kanwar (b. 1964, New Delhi, India)
  • Vincent Leong (b. 1979, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia)
  • Tran Luong (b. 1960, Hanoi, Vietnam)
  • Tayeba Begum Lipi (b. 1969, Gaibandha, Bangladesh)
  • Tuan Andrew Nguyen (b. 1976, Saigon, Vietnam)
  • The Otolith Group (est. 2002, London, United Kingdom)
  • Sopheap Pich (b. 1971, Battambang, Cambodia)
  • Navin Rawanchaikul (b. 1971, Chiang Mai, Thailand)
  • Norberto Roldan (b. 1953, Roxas City, Philippines)
  • Arin Dwihartanto Sunaryo (b. 1978, Bandung, Indonesia)
  • Tang Da Wu (b. 1943, Singapore)

Launched in April 2012, the Guggenheim UBS MAP Global Art Initiative is a multi-year collaboration that charts contemporary art practice in three geographic regions—South and Southeast Asia, Latin America, and the Middle East and North Africa—and encompasses curatorial residencies, international touring exhibitions, audience-driven education programming, and acquisitions for the Guggenheim’s permanent collection. All works have been newly acquired for the Guggenheim’s collection under the auspices of the Guggenheim UBS MAP Purchase Fund. The initiative builds upon and reflects the Solomon R. Guggenheim Foundation’s distinguished history of internationalism and significantly increases the Guggenheim’s holdings of art from these dynamic communities.

The exhibition is accompanied by a variety of educational programming at the Centre for Contemporary Art and online. The initiative’s online environment features individual artist pages and writing, audio, and video by curators, art historians, artists, and regional experts. As part of its mission to encourage cross-cultural dialogue about contemporary art and cultural practice, the Guggenheim has worked in close collaboration with the CCA and Singapore’s National Art Gallery to develop interactive exhibition touring strategies for adults and youth. Teacher Resource Guides will be provided in print and online formats, and teacher workshops, hosted by Singapore Teacher’s Academy for the Arts (STAR), will focus on ways that teachers can introduce contemporary art to their classrooms.