This Project is the outcome of a two years long exchange program “Curators Lab” which consist of 14 young curators from South East Asia organized by Goethe Institute Jakarta. These curators united as a group because of their shared geography, a cultural category which actually feel ambivalently defined by. It is a term which emerged during the cold war, whose affects can still be physically seen within the region even though many of the people living in the region were not taught about this formally.
Curators Lab was a journey of curators and their advisors visiting art spaces and institutions in Bandung, Berlin, Frankfurt, Koln and Kassel. Within this period curators studied various form of institutions and art spaces while in the same time sharing ideas and thought of what a next south east asian exhibition should be
Through this dialogue we realize that we are bound not necessarily by shared mutual reference points -quite the contrary- a diverse region carries mutual unknowns due to an absence of shared languages and often historically tense relationships across various borders burdened by a colonial legacy. We are tied by a region which still feels in nascent development of a unique regional identity.
Among these curators, the relationship grows as a people to people connections rather than as diplomatic or authoritative representation that participant tends to use intuitive ways of understanding each other, without knowing specifics of each other’s histories, is a friendship which goes beyond the facts of language and how the curators ‘defined’ the ‘region’ remained ‘open for discussion’. Based on this experience, Instead of adding to the pool of region based exhibitions, curators lab project attempts to facilitate a continuous projects entitled Mutual Unknown and Mutual Learning.
Sally Taxania, Jakarta, Indonesia
Chum Chan Veasna, Phnom Pehn, Cambodia
Henry Tan, Bangkok, Thailand
Rifandy Priatna, Bandung, Indonesia
Lara Acuin, Manila, Phillipines
Nguyen Long, Saigon, Vietnam
Pojawan Pajinda, Chiangrai, Thailand
Hayman OO, Yangoon, Myanmar
Syafiq Ali’am, Kualalumpur, Malaysia
Faizwan Mat. Sarawak, Malaysia
Vera Mey, London, UK
Renan Laru-an, Manila, Phillipines
Chuu Wai Nyein, Mandalay, Myanmar
Nguyen Kim Tolan, Saigon, Vietnam