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Title: Discoursing Asia: the regional contemporary and historical fracture in Asian contemporary art symposia, 1997–2002
Authors: Wee, C. J. Wan-Ling
Keywords: Humanities::History::Asia
Issue Date: 2021
Source: Wee, C. J. W. (2021). Discoursing Asia: the regional contemporary and historical fracture in Asian contemporary art symposia, 1997–2002. Interventions.
Journal: Interventions 
Abstract: The 1990s saw art exhibitions and biennials staged in East and Southeast Asia and Australia representing a contemporary rather than traditional Asia. These events were supported by region-wide fora on Asian contemporary art that promoted the discursive and imaginative capacity to curate such an Asia. The Japan Foundation Asia Center contributed to this capacity building via what could be called cultural infrastructural networks–their symposia on Asian contemporary art from 1994 to 2008. The concern was to increase a regional representational capacity based on sound art-critical and historical approaches and to ascertain the contemporaneity of present artistic practice. An emphasis on present-day art established a relational approach to temporality in which the recognition that contemporary artistic formations occupied a coeval time zone with contemporary western art in turn implied increased equality with the western metropole. However, the capacity to exhibit the regional contemporary of an Asia that has economically arrived did not overcome the apprehension of older modernizing ideologies linked with fraught ideas of Asia that had led to the Pacific War. Nevertheless, a multicultural Asia–the aspirational conjuncture of diverse regional locales with still disparate development levels and temporalities to produce a fictional totalized present–was projected in exhibitions that strove to rise above inter-Asian national clashes. These may have been performative projections of the contemporary, but such possibilities were not available during Asia’s colonial period.
ISSN: 1369-801X
DOI: 10.1080/1369801X.2021.2003229
Schools: School of Humanities 
Rights: This is an Accepted Manuscript of an article published by Taylor & Francis in Interventions on 6 Dec 2021, available online:
Fulltext Permission: open
Fulltext Availability: With Fulltext
Appears in Collections:SoH Journal Articles

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