Guggenheim UBS MAP Inaugural Exhibition Opens in Singapore on May 10
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) – 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 critically acclaimed 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 last year (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 currently lives and works in Singapore.
No Country’s presentation in Singapore, which brings the artworks back 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 Centre for Contemporary Art 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, Amar Kanwar, and the Otolith Group.
June Yap, Guggenheim UBS MAP Curator, South and Southeast Asia
In spring 2012, a committee of five esteemed experts in South and Southeast Asian art nominated candidates from which Singaporean curator June Yap was selected as the first curator appointed in the Guggenheim UBS MAP Global Art Initiative. Ms. Yap has been an independent curator since 2008, working with artists throughout the region. In 2011, she organized an exhibition of the work of Ho Tzu Nyen for the Singapore Pavilion at the 2011 Venice Biennale. In 2010, Ms. Yap curated You and I, We’ve Never Been so Far Apart: Works From Asia for the Center for Contemporary Art in Tel Aviv for the International Video Art Biennial.
June Yap has curated No Country: Contemporary Art for South and Southeast Asia with assistance from Helen Hsu, former 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. The Centre for Contemporary Art is collaborating closely with June Yap and the Guggenheim curatorial team in staging the exhibition in Singapore.
The exhibition—the title of which was drawn from the opening line of W.B. Yeats’s “Sailing to Byzantium” (1928), which was later adopted by Cormac McCarthy for his novel No Country for Old Men (2005)—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 from the ancient kingdoms and empires to today (the region now comprises more than 15 nations), No Country seeks to reflect upon exchanges and relationships within and between South and Southeast Asian nation-states, on the overall status of the nation-state today, and on the pressures and effects of globalization and colonialism.
According to Ms. Yap, “There is a tremendous diversity of artistic practice in South and Southeast Asia, and certainly more artists and artworks than any single project can accommodate. In this exhibition, the intention is to present the range of aesthetic developments and subjects of interest to contemporary artists, and to challenge the privileging of nation and national narrative as a basis for understanding them. Accompanied by programs for engagement with different local audiences, No Country is more than an exhibition; it is a platform for discussion and exchange.”
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.
Within South and Southeast Asia, experiences of cultural transmission and adaptation, and of colonization and division, have become inscribed as cultural memory and identity. In this way, cultural representation has become closely tied to nationalism, and has been articulated through national difference.
Professor Bertil Andersson, President of Nanyang Technological University, said: “As one of the world’s fastest-rising universities in Asia, NTU is proud to be associated with this exciting exhibition that showcases some of the best contemporary artworks from Singapore and the dynamic region. This historic first-time partnership between the CCA and the Guggenheim will be the start of great things to come, as it strengthens cultural and artistic exchanges across borders and inspires our creative young talents in Singapore and elsewhere to aim for artistic excellence. By engaging the public through on-the-ground and online activities, it will also deepen the relationship between artists and the larger community, and expand the global dialogue about the region’s rich contemporary art scene.”
Ute Meta Bauer, Founding Director of the Centre for Contemporary Art, stated: “We are very pleased that the CCA is working together with the Guggenheim on an exhibition that critically examines contemporary art in South and South East Asia. June Yap, the exhibition curator, is one of the curators whom I met during my first visit to Singapore a decade ago and whose rigorous curatorial approach I appreciate highly. No Country's consideration of ideas and themes related to postcolonial spaces is in line with what the CCA explores in Paradise Lost, our first exhibition in our new gallery space. The CCA is committed to research and discourse, and No Country will bring a complex perspective on contemporary artistic production that addresses the diversity of South and Southeast Asia.”
The artists in the Singapore presentation 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)
About Guggenheim UBS MAP Global Art Initiative
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. Launched in April 2012, the program 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.
Richard Armstrong, Director of the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum and Foundation, stated: “The Guggenheim UBS MAP Global Art Initiative and this third and final presentation of No Country: Contemporary Art for South and Southeast Asia builds on our forty-year history of engagement with Asia and dovetails with the Guggenheim’s existing programs in the region which seek to stimulate and contribute to the field of modern and contemporary Asian art in a global context. We are very pleased to be working with the Centre for Contemporary Art to bring this exhibition to Singapore, the home of the curator of the exhibition, June Yap, and an anchor in Southeast Asia both geographically and symbolically, with a growing and increasingly vibrant art community.”
Edmund Koh, Singapore Country Head and CEO UBS Wealth Management, South East Asia and APAC Hub, stated: “UBS is proud to support the third and final presentation of No Country in Singapore, which sees many of the artworks returning to Southeast Asia, a region of incredibly diverse and vibrant cultural practice. UBS has a strong tradition of supporting the arts in Singapore and bringing it to the wider Singapore community so it can be enjoyed by all. UBS's commitment to contemporary art in the dynamic, fast-growing Asian region demonstrates our dedication to bringing contemporary art to our clients and to a wider global audience, especially as Singapore increases its prominence as an arts hub for the region.”
Expanding the Dialogue, on the Ground and Online
The exhibition is accompanied by a variety of educational programming at the Centre for Contemporary Art and online. Online programs will transcend geographic boundaries to reach hundreds of thousands of people worldwide throughout the duration of the project and beyond. The initiative’s online environment features writing, audio, and video by curators, art historians, artists, and regional experts. Individual pages for each exhibition artist provide further information on their practices, and on the acquisitions made through the Guggenheim UBS MAP Purchase Fund.
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.
About the Centre for Contemporary Art at Gillman Barracks
The Centre for Contemporary Art is a national research centre of Nanyang Technological University, developed with support from the Economic Development Board, Singapore. Located in Gillman Barracks alongside a cluster of international galleries, the CCA operates as a local hub with an international perspective under the leadership of its Founding Director, Professor Ute Meta Bauer. The CCA embraces academic and scholarly research with contemporary art as knowledge production in its own right, taking a holistic approach towards art and culture by intertwining its various platforms: exhibitions, public programmes, residencies, and research.
About the Nanyang Technological University (NTU)
A research-intensive public university, Nanyang Technological University (NTU) has 33,500 undergraduate and postgraduate students in the colleges of Engineering, Business, Science, and Humanities, Arts, and Social Sciences. It has a new medical school, the Lee Kong Chian School of Medicine, set up jointly with Imperial College, London. NTU is also home to world-class autonomous institutes—the National Institute of Education, S Rajaratnam School of International Studies, Earth Observatory of Singapore, and Singapore Centre on Environmental Life Sciences Engineering—and various leading research centres such as the Nanyang Environment and Water Research Institute (NEWRI), Energy Research Institute @ NTU (ERI@N), and the Institute on Asian Consumer Insight (ACI).
A fast-growing university with an international outlook, NTU is putting its global stamp on Five Peaks of Excellence: Sustainable Earth, Future Healthcare, New Media, New Silk Road, and Innovation Asia. Besides the main Yunnan Garden campus, NTU also has a satellite campus in Singapore’s science and tech hub, one-north, and a third campus in Novena, Singapore’s medical district. For more information, please visit ntu.edu.sg.
About the Solomon R. Guggenheim Foundation
Founded in 1937, the Solomon R. Guggenheim Foundation is dedicated to promoting the understanding and appreciation of art, primarily of the modern and contemporary periods, through exhibitions, education programs, research initiatives, and publications. The Guggenheim network that began in the 1970s when the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York, was joined by the Peggy Guggenheim Collection, Venice, has since expanded to include the Guggenheim Museum Bilbao (opened 1997), and the Guggenheim Abu Dhabi (currently in development). Looking to the future, the Guggenheim Foundation continues to forge international collaborations that take contemporary art, architecture, and design beyond the walls of the museum. More information about the Foundation can be found at guggenheim.org.
UBS draws on its 150-year heritage to serve private, institutional, and corporate clients worldwide, as well as retail clients in Switzerland. Its business strategy is centered on its global wealth management businesses and its universal bank in Switzerland. Together with a client-focused Investment Bank and a Global Asset Management business, UBS will expand its wealth management franchise and drive further growth across the Group. UBS is present in all major financial centers worldwide. It has offices in more than 50 countries, with about 35% of its employees working in the Americas, 36% in Switzerland, 17% in the rest of Europe, the Middle East and Africa and 12% in Asia Pacific. UBS employs about 60,000 people around the world. Its shares are listed on the SIX Swiss Exchange and the New York Stock Exchange.
The Centre for Contemporary Art at Gillman Barracks
Block 43 Malan Road, Gillman Barracks, Singapore 109443
Admission: Free Gallery Hours: Tue-Sun, 12–7 pm; Fri, 12–9 pm; Closed Mon
Centre for Contemporary Art Website
The Centre for Contemporary Art
For updates on the Guggenheim UBS MAP Global Art Initiative, follow #GuggUBSMAP on Twitter.
For a complete press kit, go to guggenheim.org/presskits.
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For inquiries about No Country at CCA, Singapore:
For inquiries about the overall MAP initiative, and the Guggenheim Museum, New York:
Betsy Ennis / Keri Murawski
(001) 212 423 3840
Polskin Arts & Communications Counselors
(001) 212 715 1551
For inquiries about NTU, Singapore:
Feisal Abdul Rahman
NTU Corporate Communications Office
(65) 6790 6687
For inquiries about UBS, Singapore:
(65) 6495 8633
March 10, 2014
Sopheap Pich, Morning Glory, 2011. Rattan, bamboo, wire, plywood, and steel, 17 feet 6 inches × 103 inches × 74 inches (533.4 × 261.6 × 188 cm). Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York, Guggenheim UBS MAP Purchase Fund 2013.3 © Sopheap Pich. Installation view: Morning Glory, Tyler Rollins Fine Art, New York, November 3–December 23, 2011.