Beijing Inside-Out Art Museum (IOAM) presents “The River We Share, From Lancang to the Mekong” through July 30. Organized as part of the inaugural Trans-Southeast Asia Triennial, the research-based exhibition returns after three-year since the Triennial’s establishment in 2021.
The exhibition interprets the trunk of the Langcang River in China and the Mekong River in Southeast Asia as geographical and symbolic alternative routes connecting the Greater Bay Area in southern China with Southeast Asia. The videos, photographs, and texts created by the artists while traveling or living along the rivers transcend geographic boundaries to reveal issues of economy, culture, ethnicity, and religion shared by the two regions.
The exhibition includes artists from upstream and downstream of the river, mainly from China and Thailand. Participaing twenty-one artists are Chumpon Apisuk, Chakkrit Chimnok, Pattree Chimnok, Chang Xiong, Cheng Xinhao, Anucha Hemmala, He Libin, Hong Yan (Qin Hongyan), Narodom Kamenkhetvit, Luo Fei, Li Youjie, Li Yuming, Prasart Niranprasert, Jittima Pholsawek, Krai Sridee, Maliwan Saithong, Vasan Sitthiket, Kitti Treeraj, Xue Tao, Zi Bai, and Zheng Hongchang.
Kuala Lumpur’s Ilham Gallery presents “Nirmala Dutt: Statements,” an exhibition highlighting Nirmala Dutt Shanmughalingam (1941-2016) through December 24. The exhibition presents key works by Shanmughalingam from 1973 to 1979, whose art had a pioneering influence on feminist views and art’s social engagement in Malaysian contemporary art. The exhibition’s title, “Statements,” quotes the artist’s words referring to her works during her lifetime, which contain multiple meanings: as political assertions, testimonies to events, and records of her existence.
Shanmughalingam was trained in Western modernist art, but older Asian painters also inspired her. She began working as a painter in the 1960s, and from the 1970s onward, she created installations and photomontages and engaged in public art, sending works by mail. In 1973, she won a competition at the National Art Gallery in Kuala Lumpur, where she created an installation using trash, photographs, and newspapers to denounce environmental pollution. As evidenced by her frequent use of newspaper images and her referencing to newspaper formats, her work often addressed concrete social realities. They addressed social issues of urban sprawl and poverty, environmental degradation, international civil unrest, war, and disasters. In particular, she was a pioneering voice in warning of environmental degradation and the suffering inflicted on women and children during the war.
The National Museum of Art, Osaka, presents “Home Sweet Home” through September 10. The exhibition invites eight Japanese and international artists to explore the theme of home.
The show curates the works with keywords such as history, memory, identity, place, and the family’s conditions and roles, illuminating the meanings of home, nation, family, locality, and universality. It invites viewers to reflect on their “sweet home” amidst bittersweet social realities.
The participating artists are Maria Farrar (b. 1988), Ishu Han (b. 1987), Umi Ishihara (b. 1993), Yusuke Kamata (b. 1984), Sung Hwan Kim (b. 1975), Lydia Ourahmane (b. 1992), Kei Takemura (b. 1975), and Andro Wekua (b. 1977).