ArtconneXions:Bangkok Version

By , August 3, 2009 12:03 pm

29th Apr – 31st May 2005
ArtconneXions : Bangkok Version

About artconneXions

An Artist in Residence Program and a Travelling Exhbition
Jakarta, Bangkok and Auckland

artconneXions is a combination of an artist in residency program and travelling exhibition initiated by the Goethe Institute in South East Asia in collaboration with its Bangkok office. The aim of this project is to initiate a connection between Southeast Asia Pacific regional artists with German artists. It consists of 9 artists from the region and 9 artists from Germany. The project was divided into three clusters, focusing on the exchange between Asia pacific countries from the Northern, Southern hemisphere and tropical countries. The artists` selection process was divided into two different sections: the German artists were recommended by Thomas Weski (Munich), and the local artists were recommended by a local curator with an agreement of a host curator. The selected artists are invited to jointly explore contemporary manifestations of and tensions between connecting/ blending/ mixing/ hybridity / isolation/ reassertion/ recontextualising/ and identity in urban contexts.

Bangkok Version:
Bangkok joins with Jakarta and Auckland in one cluster, taking the historical lack of artistic and cultural communication and connection into consideration. The aim was to establish the dialogue and start a relationship within the triangle of cities. Participating artists within this cluster and German artists conducted their residency in Bangkok. The hosts were the Goethe Institut Bangkok and Project 304. They did their research with the aid of students and volunteers. Artists, curators and organizers met several times a week to share experiences, discuss ideas and realize the project. Artists conducted their research and produced their works according to their personal interests, with the guidance and assistance for both conception and technical aspects from the curator.

In total during the last three months, six artists from Bangkok, Jarkata, Auckland, Berlin, Leipzig and Dussendorf travelled around Asian Pacific Region to fulfil their Artists In Residency Programs. They experienced new city, urban contexts and started to work with such challenging environment. At the end of their residency, six artists will exhibit their media based works mostly photography and video.

In Jakarta, guest artists Lisa Crowley (Auckland) and Matthias Koch (Dussendorf) arrived in November 2004 and worked with Erik Prasetya, a host artist.
The guest artists in Bangkok were Heidi Specker (Berlin) and Erik Prasetya (Jakarta). They arrived at the end of December 2004. Specker and Prasetya spent most of their time together, and sometimes with host artist, Michael Shoawanasai. Specker and Prasetya went out almost everyday to ‘play tourists’ and ‘work’ simultaneously. Prasetya is a photo journalist, who is interested in everyday life on the streets in urban contexts. His project in Bangkok was constructing broken narratives of urban lifestyle, by taking a picture of young Thai woman, accompanying her at work from morning till night. Specker, on the other hand, pursued her interest in architecture in urban environment and its relationship with nature. She captured images of buildings and architecture in Bangkok, alongside with nature. She minimalized the chaotic atmosphere of Bangkok, and turned them into serenity.

In February 2005, at Auckland, Michael Shoawanasai (Bangkok), and Juergen Bergbauer (Leipzig) became guests artists of Lisa Crowley. This residency was hosted by Peter Shand, of Elam School of Fine Arts, University of Auckland. Both guest artists taught at Elam, as part of their residency. Shaowanasai pursued his interests in sub-culture, gender and racism issue. He explored Maori culture, and did extensive research on their history. Previously working with landscape, Bergbauer was interested in the historical aspects their economy and politics at the harbour of Auckland.

artconneXions bangkok version will be the first exhibition stop of this exchange art project. It will travel to Auckland in September 2005, and join the overall show, of three clusters, at Jakarta in March 2006.

About Artists:
- Erik Prasetya (Jakarta, Indonesia)
- Heidi Specker (Berlin, Germany)
- Michael Shaowanasai (Bangkok, Thailand)
- Jurgen Bergbauer (Leipzig, Germany)
- Lisa Crowley (Auckland, New Zealand)
- Matthias Koch (D?sseldorf ,Germany)

Erik Prasetya was born in 1958 in Padang, West Sumatra, Indonesia. He studied and graduated in Mining at the Institute of Technology in Bandung, but later turned his deep passion for photography into his profession. Since 1985, he works as a freelance photographer for local and foreign magazines. Erik Prasetya has exhibited series of photographs throughout Asia and Europe. In his work, he concentrates on urban living and lifestyle in big cities

Born 1962 in Damme, Germany, Heidi Specker studied Design, Photography and Film in Bielefeld and at the Academy of Visual Arts in Leipzig, Germany. The artist is currently based in Berlin, exhibiting throughout Germany. Heidi Specker’s photographs are dedicated to modern architecture its constituents. In an archive-like manner, she takes pictures of modernist buildings, mainly throughout Berlin, assembling them to overviews of stereotype facades and structures. In her works, she reverses the processes of architecture: as opposed to starting with a design in order to develop a model for a building, she takes an existing building as a starting point and simplifies it to arrive at a model-like object.

Michael Shoawanasai, since 2001 living in Bangkok, is one of the pioneers of Thailand’s alternative contemporary art practice. Besides being very active in the art and cultural scenes in Thailand and beyond, Michael Shoawanasai was the organizer of the country’s first Gay and Lesbian Film and Video Festival in 2002. His works range from performance, photography, installation, film and video and have been displayed worldwide at leading galleries and museums as well as international video and film festivals.

Born in 1968 in Straubing, Jurgen Bergbauer studied at the Rhode Island School of Design in Providence, USA and at the Academy of Visual Arts Leipzig, Germany, obtaining a degree in Fine Arts in 2002. In his works, he seeks to create images that establish a guided perception of the portrayed subjects. In sum, he tries to analyze the potential emotional effects of images of landscape, in others he digitally isolates architectural forms and places them in on monochrome backgrounds. These hybrids of photographic depiction and virtual construction attempts to highlight notion of historic, aesthetic and emotional values.

Lisa Crowley is an artist living and working in Auckland, New Zealand. Recent solo shows include “Garden City” and “Rushes (2004). She was also included in the 2001 Auckland Triennial with “Bright Paradise”. Crowley works in a number of formats : film, photography and video. Much of her works investigates travel, exoticism and documentary practices. She has recently returned from Kazakhstan, where she was photographing sites of environmental and economical devastation. The resulting photographic series “Failure and Production” records moment of human activity within these entropic zones. She is currently lecturing at the Elam School of Fine Arts, Auckland University.

Matthias Koch was born in 1967 in Bremen, Germany. In the late 1980’s he studied Fine Arts, majoring in Photography. He then studied at the Academy of Fine Arts D?sseldorf, and in 1995 was awarded the title of Master Student by Prof. Bernhard Becher. From 1998-2000, he lectured in Fine Art Photography at the Fachhochschule Hannover.
In general, his photographic work is about “Places of History”, his current project is a book about the allied landing in Normandy (France). In his photographic practice, he questions the assumptions of documentary photography. While in Jakarta, Matthias Koch’s project will explore the idea of being a foreigner in Jakarta. He is interested in how sites around the city may be represented differently depending on the time of day. This idea of difference is a way for Koch to question the idea of truth, which can be assumed from a single image.

About Curators

Thomas Weski was born in 1953, Germany. He studied of Visual Communication at Gesamthochschule/University of Kassel. From 1987 to1992, he was free-lance curator of Siemens Fotoprojekt and a free-lance curator at Spectrum Photogallery/Sprengel Museum Hannover. From 1992-2000, he became a curator of Photography and Media, Sprengel Museum Hannover. In 2000 to 2003, he was a Chief Curator, Museum Ludwig, Cologne. Since 2003, he took a position as a Chief Curator of Haus der Kunst, Munich. Weski also worked as a guest lecturer at Acedemy of Art and Design (Hochschule fuer Gestaltung und Kunst) in Zurich, since 1999.

Peter Shand currently heads the Graduate Studies Programme at Elam School of Fine Arts, The University of Auckland. He teaches in Critical Studies. He holds a PhD in Art History from the University of Auckland and LLM specialising in Intellectual and Cultural Property from King’s College, London. His principal areas of research reflect these two strands of inquiry and consider contemporary and historical artistic practices, theorisation of art, copyright and related issues, cultural heritage and the inter-relation of art and law, including issues of pertinence to indigenous peoples’ cultural heritage and practices.He regularly contributes writing to artists’ projects, catalogues for public gallery exhibitions and journals in New Zealand and overseas.

Jakarta – born curator Firman Ichsan studied Cultural Anthropology in Amsterdam. It was in Europe where he began to explore photography after attending a photography workshop. He returned to Indonesia in 1976 and became a professional photographer, famous mostly for his fashion photographs. After almost 20 years as a photographer, he also turned to painting and teaching.

Today, Firman Ichsan heads the Department of Photography at the Jakarta Art Institute where he still lectures Photography. He is curator of Galeri Oktagon, a photography gallery in Jakarta and regularly contributes articles to local magazines and newspapers on photography.

Gridthiya Gaweewong is an independent curator and a co-founder of Project 304, a non-profit art organization based in Bangkok, focusing on multidisciplinary and cross cultural contemporary art projects by local and international artists. Her selected shows includes Under Construction, Tokyo Opera City Gallery, Tokyo (2003); Nothing, a retrospective by Rirkrit Tiravanija and Kamin Lertchaiprasert, Chiangmai University Art Museum (2004); Bangkok, Bangkok at La Capella, Barcelona and Die Markten, Brussels; Interweaving Cultures, Art Center, Jim Thompson House, Bangkok (2005). Currently, she’s preparing the exhibition, “Politics of Fun”, at Haus der Kulturen der Welt, Berlin in September 2005.

This show is made possible by Goethe Institut Bangkok, Goethe Institute, Southeast Asian Regional Office, IFA, Germany & Cultural In Motion Program by Daimler Chrysler.

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