SOUTHEAST OF NOW: Directions in Contemporary and Modern Art is initiated and edited by a collective of researchers based primarily within the region, with varying local (and national and transnational) expertises, and divergent theoretical and methodological allegiances. The collective comprises of:
Isabel Ching (Singapore/Germany)
Isabel Ching holds a Masters of Arts (Art History &Theory) from the University of Sydney, Australia. She is currently a Ph.D. candidate on scholarship from the Cluster of Excellence, Asia and Europe in a Global Context’s Graduate Program for Transcultural Studies at the University of Heidelberg (Germany). Her doctoral research project (Chair of Global Art History) investigates conceptualism in Myanmar, The Philippines, and Singapore from the 1960s to 1990s. She is the project coordinator for the Cluster’s interdisciplinary research network ‘Arts and the Transcultural’ and an organiser of the Cluster’s International Summer School 2015, ‘Walking the Line – Art of Border Zones in Times of Crisis‘. She has curated exhibitions of artists from China, Hong Kong, Myanmar, the Philippines, Singapore, and Thailand, and was curator for the 9th BrandNew Art Project in 2014 hosted by the Bangkok University. Her writings have also appeared in journals like Third Text and DiAAAlogue.
Thanavi Chotpradit (Thailand)
Thanavi Chotpradit is lecturer in Modern and Contemporary Thai art history at the Department of Art History, Faculty of Archaeology at Silapkorn University in Thailand. She completed her Ph.D. at the Department of History of Art and Screen Media, Birkbeck, University of London under a Royal Thai Government Scholarship on the Project of Human Resource Development in the Humanities and Social Sciences. Her research entitled ‘Revolution versus Counter-Revolution: The People’s Party and the Royalist in Visual Dialogue’ interrogates the role of visual culture in the royalist and anti-royalist debates in Thailand from 1932 to the present. She is awarded a place in a cross-regional research program, ‘Ambitious Alignments: New Histories of Southeast Asian Art’ from the Getty Foundation’s Connecting Art Histories initiative for 2015-2016. She has also contributed essays for the Thai journals, Aan Journal and Fah Diew Kan. Her areas of interest include Modern and Thai contemporary art in relation to memory studies, war commemoration, and the Thai politics.
Brigitta Isabella (Indonesia)
Brigitta Isabella graduated from the department of Philosophy at Gadjah Mada University, Yogyakarta in 2012 and continued her studies in Critical Methodologies at King’s College, London. Since 2011, she takes part in a research collective based in Yogyakarta, KUNCI Cultural Studies Center. The collective which established in 1999, has been deeply preoccupied with critical knowledge production and sharing through means of media publication, cross-disciplinary encounter, research-action, artistic intervention and vernacular education within and across community spaces. In 2014, Brigitta participated in 89plus x Google Cultural Institute residency program in Paris where she initiates a long-term collaborative research, artistic, and immaterial platform – From Bandung to Berlin – that thinks through and speculates with the 1955 Bandung Conference as a nodal point for inciting new passages of histories. For 2015–2016, she is one of the participating scholars in ‘Ambitious Alignments: New Histories of South East Asian Art‘, a research program funded through the Getty Foundation’s Connecting Art Histories initiative.
Eileen Legaspi-Ramirez (Philippines)
Eileen Legaspi-Ramirez is a faculty member of the Department of Art Studies of the University of the Philippines. Her current research focus encompasses attempts at variable forms of grassroots historiography, the reimagining and activation of contested space, and alternate modalities of exchange among artists navigating the institutional and extra-institutional. She works across platforms straddling various aspects of curation, publication, and art education. She is presently a steering committee member of Another Roadmap School, editor of Pananaw, Philippine Journal of Visual Arts, and is documentation head of the independent collective, Back to Square 1.
Yvonne Low (Australia)
Yvonne Low specialises in the modern and contemporary arts of three Southeast Asian countries – Singapore, Malaysia and Indonesia. She was recently awarded her doctorate for her thesis on women artists in Singapore, Malaya and Indonesia. In 2016, she was a Sessional Lecturer at the Power Institute, University of Sydney where she convened and taught the unit, Contemporary and Modern Asian Art (ARHT2640). She has also taught at the University of New South Wales, Sydney (2015) and at the Nanyang Technological University, School of Art Design and Media, Singapore (2010-11). She presently works as a Project Administrator for the Getty-Funded research project, Ambitious Alignments: New Histories of Southeast Asian Art, and as an academic tutor with the Power Institute, University of Sydney. Her research interests include Asian modernities, cultural politics of art development, feminist art history, women’s history and the colonial histories of British Malaya and the Dutch East Indies and related art historiographical issues of the region. She has contributed essays to the Routledge online encyclopaedia, books, peer-reviewed journals, and major exhibition catalogues including the 6th Asia Pacific Triennial of Contemporary Art (2009) and Intersecting Histories: Contemporary Turns in Southeast Asian Art (2013).
Vera Mey (New Zealand/UK)
Vera Mey is currently an independent curator. She was part of the founding team of the NTU Centre for Contemporary Art Singapore led by Prof. Ute Meta Bauer, a contemporary art research centre of Nanyang Technological University (NTU) as Curator, Residencies. She was Assistant Director of AUT University’s ST PAUL St Gallery in Auckland, New Zealand from 2011 to 2014. For 2013 she was the convener of the AUT University Master of Arts Management Curatorial Strategy program. Curatorial projects include: The Disappearance (2014), NTU CCA Singapore; FIELDS: an itinerant inquiry across the Kingdom of Cambodia (2013) co-curated with Erin Gleeson, SA SA BASSAC, Invisible Energy and In Spite of Ourselves: Approaching Documentary (2012) at ST PAUL St Gallery and The Dowse Art Museum, Wellington. In 2015-16 she joins ‘Ambitious Alignments: New Histories of Southeast Asian Art’, a research initiative of the Getty Foundation. She is currently on the curatorial team of SEA Project an exhibition due to open in July 2017 at the Mori Art Museum and National Art Centre Tokyo. She will begin her Ph.D. at SOAS, University of London in September 2016.
Roger Nelson (Singapore)
Roger Nelson is an art historian and independent curator, and a Postdoctoral Fellow at Nanyang Technological University, Singapore. He completed his Ph.D. at the University of Melbourne, researching modernity and contemporaneity in ‘Cambodian arts’ after independence. He has contributed essays to scholarly journals including ABE Journal: Architecture Beyond Europe, Contemporaneity: Historical Presence in Visual Culture, Stedelijk Studies, and Udaya: Journal of Khmer Studies; specialist art magazines including ArtAsiaPacific; as well as books and numerous exhibition catalogues. He has curated exhibitions and other projects in Australia, Cambodia, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam, and is a nominator for numerous awards and residencies. In 2015-16 Roger was a participating scholar in the Power Institute’s ‘Ambitious Alignments: New Histories of Southeast Asian Art’ research program, funded through the Getty Foundation’s Connecting Art Histories initiative. He has taught in Art History and Asian Studies at the University of Melbourne, and spoken at conferences internationally, including in 2013 at New York’s Museum of Modern Art.
Simon Soon (Malaysia)
Simon Soon is a researcher and senior lecturer in Southeast Asian art history at the Visual Art Department of the Cultural Centre, University of Malaya. He completed his Ph.D. in Art History at the University of Sydney under an Australian Postgraduate Award scholarship. His thesis ‘What is Left of Art?’ investigates the intersection between left-leaning political art movements and modern urban formations in Indonesia, Singapore, Thailand and the Philippines from 1950s–1970s. His broader areas of interest include comparative modernities in art, spatial-visual practices, history of photography and art historiography. He has written on various topics related to 20th-century art across Asia and occasionally curates exhibitions, most recently Love Me in My Batik: Modern Batik Art from Malaysia and Beyond. Together with Malaysia Design Archive, he is working on a crowd-sourced Jawi to Romanised script transliteration project of writings on art in the Malay language from the 1950s – 1960s. He is also co-editor of Narratives of Malaysian Art Vol. 4. From 2015–16, he is a participant in the Power Institute’s ‘Ambitious Alignments: New Histories of Southeast Asian Art’, funded by Getty Foundation’s ‘Connecting Art Histories’ initiative.
Vuth Lyno (Cambodia)
Vuth Lyno is an artist, curator and researcher. A co-founder of the Stiev Selapak art collective, he is also co-founder of SA SA BASSAC gallery and reading room. Vuth is Artistic Director of Sa Sa Art Projects, Phnom Penh’s only artist-run space, located in the historic and presently endangered neighborhood known as the White Building. His artistic and curatorial practice is primarily participatory in nature, engaging specific Cambodian communities and the cultures unique to them. Vuth holds a Master of Art History from the State University of New York, Binghamton, supported by Fulbright fellowship. His writing has been published in journals including Udaya: Journal of Khmer Studies and Trans Asia Photography Review, at which he is also an editorial board member. His curatorial projects include Oscillation (2016), Traversing Expanses (2014) and Cambodian Youth Arts Festival (2012). Vuth’s recent exhibitions include South by Southeast, curated by Patrick Flores and Anca Verona Mihulet (2016 & 2015) and Family Snaps: Photography in Southeast Asia (2014).