Agung Kurniawan, Artistic Director of Kedai Kebun Forum, were invited by Arthub Asia, to be the participant in four-days symposium titled “The Making of the New Silk Roads”, on last 27 – 30 August 2009, in Bangkok, Thailand. Together with Agung, there were two other Indonesian artists, who also participated in that symposium. They are Arahmaiani (performer artist) and Agung Hujatnikajenong (curator), who came with his partner, Jompet Kuswidananto (performer artist).
This article taken from Arthub Asia press-release in Artipedia:http://artipedia.org/artsnews/exhibitions/2009/09/09/arthub-presents-the-making-of-the-silk-roads/
The Making of the New Silk Roads
Bangkok, August 27-30, 2009
Ark Fongsmut, independent curator, Bangkok University Gallery , Thailand, Agung Kurniawan, artist/curator, Indonesia, Alexander Ugay, artist, Kazakhstan, David Cotterrell, artist, UK, Els Silvrants, Curator, Belgium/Beijing Theatre in Motion, Gary Pastrana, artist, Philippines, Ho Tzu Nyen, artist, Singapore, Howard Chan, Artist/Curator, Hong Kong, Arahmaiani, Artist, Indonesia, Jiang Jun, Urban China , Beijing China, Kyong Park, Architect, University of California USA/Korea, Lina Saneh artist, Lebanon, Mu Qian, Ethnomusicologist , China, Nikusha Chkhaidze (Nika), artist, Georgia, Onno Dirker, artist/Artchitect/Researcher ,The Netherlands, Pratchaya Phinthong, artist, VER Gallery , Thailand, Rahraw Omarzad artist, Afghanistan, Samah Hijawi , artist, Space Makan, Jordan, Shaarbek Amankul, artist, Kyrgyzstan, Stefan Rusu, Artist/freelance Curator, Center for Contemporary Art, Chisinau , Moldavia, Hakan Topal, artist Xurban.net, Turkey, Seph Rodney, Ph.D. candidate at the University of London- Birkbeck College, UK, Veronica Sekules, Head of Education at the Sainsbury Centre, UK, Adeline Ooi, curator and arts writer, RogueArt, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, Agung Hujatnikajennong, artist, Indonesia, Zoe Butt, curator, Long March Project, Beijing/South East Asia (sharing work by artists Erin Gleeson, Rattana Vandy, Nguyen Trinh Thi; with a performance by Le Huy Hoang), Supersudaca, architect/artist collective, South America/The Netherlands, Edwin Zwakman and Liu Gang (the Netherlands/China), Speedism, collective, Belgium/Germany, Supernormal, architect/artist collective, Thailand and more…
Over thirty renowned scholars, artists, and practitioners in visual arts, performance, and other cultural fields from around the world will gather in Bangkok to examine the dynamic, ongoing echoes of the ancient trading route Silk Road in a four-day symposium titled “The Making Of the New Silk Roads” from August 27-30. Organized by ArtHub, the symposium reassesses the complex interconnections within Asia’s cultural and artistic spectrum since the beginning of this century. Taking place at the Bangkok University Gallery (BUG), in collaboration with the Prince Claus Fund, the National Research Center of the Kingdom of Thailand, with additional support from the Mondriaan Foundation and ANA (Singapore), the summit features Arthub’s “collaborative intelligence” participants from across Asia, including China, Thailand, Indonesia, Malaysia, Philippines, Hong Kong, Singapore, Turkey, Georgia, Afghanistan, Kyrgyzstan and Kazakhstan, and beyond, along with presenters from the Prince Claus Fund Network Partnership Program.
This four-day program will feature discussion of shared experiences, examining the recent rapid developments in Asia, and among its cast of characters, issues, and mediums, and provide an exciting forum about the dynamic, ongoing echoes of the ancient trading route of the Silk Road in its multiple dimensions. Proposing the Silk Road as a variable metaphor for unstable connections, and taking it as a departure point for reflections upon Asia’s cultural landscape, Arthub aims to carry this out by inviting artists, curators, and thinkers from diverse viewpoints to bring presenters, participants, and audiences together as they explore, challenge, articulate, or nourish the possibilities of performative responses to Silk Road’s highly constructed symbolisms. Each participant will present a specific artwork/presentation/installation that both implies a possible story-telling about a specific condition from his/her respective, particular context such as issues of cultural circulation, social/political activism, and the marketplace and tests the idea of Silk Road’s potency for cultural hybridity across Asia in general.
Coalescing in a series of newly commissioned works including installations, lecture-performances, TV shows, radio interviews and publications, this collaborative symposium will put a special emphasis on process-oriented, research-, dialogue-based artistic positions across Asia. Through commissioning new responses, establishing dialogue months prior to the symposium, and enabling an alternative live context for investigation of dynamic cultural issues by its very own very actors, Arthub is committed to inspiring new forms of artistic and aesthetic experiments in China and rest of Asia. Arthub also aims to re-examine the contested idea of cultural encounter with the “other,” and turn these peer-to-peer encounters into a generator of new impulses for the analysis of complex historical processes within the cultural systems in Asia. The symposium will be video recorded, and a film + catalog will be produced. The outcome will tour as an exhibition in 2010, with the resulting exhibition will be open for negotiation and reformulation.
The symposium is organized by Arthub’s Davide Quadrio, Defne Ayas, and Ark Fongsmut, with coordination support from Monvilai Rojanatanti.
Supporting contemporary art creation in China and rest of Asia, Arthub is a creative think tank, a collaborative production lab and a research platform for new art and ideas, cutting-edge projects and dialogue within the visual arts and new media. Inspired by the opportunities generated by the collective intelligence of the thinkers across media, Arthub is committed to furthering experimentation, knowledge-production and diversity among dedicated artists, art professionals and arts organizations in Asia.
(All of these photos are taken from photo collections of ArtHub Asia Photo documentation and Jompet Kuswidananto/Agung Hujatnikajenong)
Bangkok feels just like Jakarta. It hot and humid weather, when I came, then suddenly it rained hard, “welcome rain”, my friend said. I came to Bangkok invited by performative seminar committee, based in Bangkok. Two of the curators were Davida Quadrio and Defney Anas, they invited some artists, curators, writers and Artists/Curator like me. The seminar itself was held in a gallery belongs to Bangkok University Gallery (BUG). The committee set up the gallery into a classroom, fulfill with the children chairs and a pinch of chalk. The main theme was “Making A New Silk Road”, more or less it talked about the connection across the Asia countries, as one of the center was China and its influence to the countries surround it.
This four-day seminar ran well with an up-and-down rhythm, sometimes it was boring, and some other times it was very interesting. As a seminar which was set up to be performative seminar, so the participants prepared some ways to make an attractive presentation. The participants from some Asian countries, such as: China, Kazakhstan, Urbekhiztan, Jordanian, Afghanistan, Hong Kong, Indonesia, Singapore, and some other representative countries from Europe; they made the topics into diverse discussion. It was a little bit hard to get the track between one presenter with the others. Anyway, the spirit of this Seminar was to find out the unseen relation or similarities which were archetypical from those various backgrounds. This presentation was expected that there will be new relationship in the future.
Bangkok has the characters which are commonly had by other big cities in South-East Asia: crowded, noisy, and jamming. And the existence of monorail is very helpful. As compared to my last visit in the end of 90s, Bangkok now feels more “roomy”. It is still jamming, but as compared to my first visit, this traffic jam is more humanely. I got peculiar experience when I was in Bangkok last time ago. When I was busy looked for some souvenirs, on the last minute we were “attacked” by flood. The first flood that I have experienced in my life! And there were cockroaches crawled on the wall of the café where we took a shelter and had dinner, they were flying all over the place. Surrealistic, because the café’s employees and other visitors seemed enjoyed it. I cannot imagine if it is happened in Yogyakarta, it will become a scandal, or at least the tourists will scream for fear. That knee high of flood trapped us quite long, while early in the next morning we must take the earliest flight back to Indonesia. So, there was no other way besides passed the flood with my favorite leather boots.