Guggenheim UBS MAP Global Art Initiative Travels To Asia For International Cultural Exchange


No Country: Contemporary Art for South and Southeast Asia Investigates the Diversity of Contemporary Artistic Practice in the Region

Exhibition: No Country: Contemporary Art for South and Southeast Asia

Venue:  Asia Society Hong Kong Center, 9 Justice Drive, Admiralty, Hong Kong

Dates: October 30, 2013–February 16, 2014

MEDIA PREVIEW: Monday, October 28, 2013, 2:30 pm

NEW YORK and HONG KONG, Sept. 3, 2013 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ — The Asia Society Hong Kong Center will present No Country: Contemporary Art for South and Southeast Asia, the inaugural touring exhibition of the Guggenheim UBS MAP Global Art Initiative, from October 30, 2013, to February 16, 2014. Featuring recent work by 13 artists from Bangladesh, Cambodia, India, Indonesia, Malaysia, Myanmar, Pakistan, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, and Vietnam, No Country presents some of the most compelling and innovative voices in South and Southeast Asia today. The exhibition was first seen in New York at the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum (February 22–May 22, 2013) as part of the Guggenheim UBS MAP Global Art Initiative, 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 educational 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. Following its presentation in Hong Kong, the exhibition will tra! vel to Singapore.

No Country: Contemporary Art for South and Southeast Asia was curated by June Yap, Guggenheim UBS MAP Curator, South and Southeast Asia, with assistance from Helen Hsu, Assistant Curator, Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, and guidance from Alexandra Munroe, Samsung Senior Curator of Asian Art, Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum. Nancy Spector, Deputy Director and Jennifer and David Stockman, Chief Curator at the Solomon R. Guggenheim Foundation, New York, and Joan Young, Director of Curatorial Affairs, Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, are providing curatorial oversight for the entire multi-year Initiative. Dominique Chan, Exhibition Curator, and Sharon Chan, Curatorial Officer, Asia Society Hong Kong Center will work closely with June Yap and the Guggenheim curatorial team in staging the exhibition in Hong Kong.

Exhibition Overview

The exhibition—the title of which was drawn from the opening line of W.B. Yeats’s “Sailing to Byzantium” (1928), which was also adopted by Cormac McCarthy for his novel No Country for Old Men (2005)—proposes an understanding of South and Southeast Asia that transcends physical and political borders. The historical narrative of South and Southeast Asia stretches from the era of its ancient kingdoms and empires to that of today’s nation-states. The region is marked by traces of colonization, division, and intervention, events and processes that are inscribed in cultural memory. South and Southeast Asia is also home to numerous influential faiths, religions, and ethical codes, including Buddhism, Hinduism, and Islam.

Adapted in collaboration with the Asia Society Hong Kong Center, and drawing on the central themes of cultural, historical, and political representation within the New York exhibition, the presentation in Hong Kong places added emphasis on the impact of South and Southeast Asian spiritual and moral teachings on the shaping of the region’s communities. No Country investigates the variety of contemporary artistic practice in this diverse region and demonstrates how the artists represented in the exhibition move beyond reductive representation to reflect on the manifestations and effects of belief.

Featuring 18 works by 13 artists, the exhibition includes painting, sculpture, photography, video, and mixed media. The artists in the Hong Kong presentation are: Aung Myint (b. 1946, Yangon, Myanmar), Bani Abidi (b. 1971, Karachi, Pakistan), Reza Afisina (b. 1977, Bandung, Indonesia), Khadim Ali (b. 1978, Quetta, Pakistan), Shilpa Gupta (b. 1976, Mumbai, India), Vincent Leong (b. 1979, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia), Tayeba Begum Lipi (b. 1969, Gaibandha, Bangladesh), Tuan Andrew Nguyen (b. 1976, Saigon, Vietnam), Araya Rasdjarmrearnsook (b. 1957, Trad, Thailand), Vandy Rattana (b. 1980, Phnom Penh, Cambodia), Norberto Roldan (b. 1953, Roxas City, Philippines), Tang Da Wu (b. 1943, Singapore), and Truong Tan (b. 1963, Hanoi, Vietnam).

Expanding the Dialogue, On the Ground and Online

As part of its mission to encourage cross-cultural dialogue about contemporary art and cultural practice, the Guggenheim is presenting an extensive and innovative series of discussions and commentaries, in collaboration with educators at the Asia Society Hong Kong Center. Programs seek to provide inclusive learning opportunities that enable a diverse constituency of young people, families, and adults to enjoy meaningful encounters with Guggenheim UBS MAP Global Art Initiative programs. Through a dynamic process of cultural and professional exchange, the direct involvement of artists, the creative integration of technology, and an extensive range of programs in the visual arts, the education program will provide a vital international forum for inquiry and discourse. Visit