Key WordsAmbivalence, Ancient Cultural Treasures, Ancient Technologies, Animation, Appropriation Without Guilt, Art Collectives, Art History, Art House Singapore, Bangkok, Borders, Boundaries of Internet Connectiveness, Buddha, Cambodian Classical Court Dance, Club Nights, Commodification of Self, Confluence of Traditional and Contemporary, Contemporary Art Practices, Corpses, Creative Cities, Crises of Identity Formation, Cultural Transmissions, Deliberate Naiveté, Diversities, Documentary Film, Documentary Theatre, Drag Queens, Entertaining the Malay-speaking Countries of Southeast Asia, Exhibition, Fantasy, Female Desire, Film Retrospective, Gay Activism, Gender, House of World Cultures Berlin, Human Rights, Indie Bands, Individualised Expressions, Insomniac Communities, Installations, Institute of Contemporary Arts London, Internet and Geography, Ironic Refusal to Comment, Irreverence to Genre, Jakarta, Jet Lag, Journalism and Film, Khmer Rouge, Killing Fields, LGBTQIA+, Literature, Live Art, Mapping Physical Location and Cyberspace, Mekong Region, Migrant Workers, Mobility, Multiplicities, Music, Music Videos, Mutations, Neoliberal Economies, Networks, New Generation of Artists, Objectification and Empowerment, Orientalised Women, Performance, Phnom Penh, Pink Dollar, Pol Pot, Political Acts of Personal Freedoms, Politics of Fun, Politics of Land Reclamation, Politics of Pop, Pop Icons, Pop Media, Problematic Translations, Public Playground, Queer Culture, Racism, Repetitions and Difference, Resisting Globalisation, Savvy Eccentricities, Self Alienation, Self Invention, Self Obsession, Sexualities, Shifting Sea Borders, Singapore, Singapore Season, Southeast Asian Contemporary Art, Southeast Asian Studies, Talks, Technology and Art, Tenth Dancer, Territorial Expansion, The Global Soul, Transcending Culture of Shame, Transcultural Performance, Transdisciplinary Festival, Translocating Contexts, Traumatised Bodies, Travel, Urbanisation, Video Art as Community Practice and Social Discourse, Violence, Visual Culture, War Crimes, Wired Existence, Year Zero,
The Institute of Contemporary Arts (ICA) London invited Asia’s prominent director Ong Keng Sen to bring his performances to London, as well as to curate a season of contemporary work from Phnom Penh, Bangkok, Jakarta and Singapore.
Southeast Asia’s new generation of musicians, directors and visual artists are riding the crest of a wave. Expanding artistic dialogues among diverse ethnic groups, within Southeast Asia and between East and West, have stimulated a unique creative response. At the ICA, acclaimed artist Ong Keng Sen draws together these strands to present an up-to-the-minute survey of contemporary arts in the region, at the same time community practice and social discourse, simultaneously resisting globalisation yet ambivalently popular.
The Insomnia season hints at brave new worlds where artists are retreating from the bastions of overt politics to a highly personalised and individual expression. Perhaps the political act is in the movement back into a personal freedom of expression. This is particularly so with artists who are in their twenties, no longer bound by historicisations which limit their territories and align their politics. These artists are liberated to enter into eccentric spaces which are free in their irreverence towards genre. The artists are glib and savvy, embracing the language of globalisation, consumerism, appropriation without guilt and with a deliberate naivete, which is refreshing in the face of the gloom and doom of world politics. Their ironic refusal to comment is the comment. This is the politics of fun where guilt becomes gilded.
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The First Emperor’s Last Days
Singapore Young Dramatist Awards 2000
The Continuum: Beyond The Killing Fields
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Insomnia@ICA, The Singapore Season, London