Review of POLITICAL ACTS: PIONEERS OF PERFORMANCE ART IN SOUTHEAST ASIA, Arts Centre Melbourne
Steven Tonkin has curated a useful survey of Southeast Asian performance art as part of the inaugural Asia Triennial of Performing Arts. The photographs and videos of seven artists contain glimpses of their social environments, reminding us that performance art comes out of attempts to bridge the gap between art and life.
Viewers familiar with Western body and action art of the 20th century would do well to remember the importance of the living theatrical and choreographic traditions of our Asian neighbours. Works drawing directly on those traditions include Cambodian Khvay Samnang’s Where Is My Land? (2014), featuring the powerful body of Nget Rady; and F’n’F (Face and Fingers) (2008-09), by Myanmar artist Moe Satt.
Read more at the Sydney Morning Herald.
About the author(s)
Kathy Rowland is the Managing Editor of ArtsEquator.com, a registered charity that she co-founded with Jenny Daneels in 2016. The site is dedicated to supporting and promoting arts criticism with a regional perspective in Southeast Asia. Kathy has worked in the arts for over 25 years, working in the areas of critical writing and arts advocacy, with a special interest in media platforms for the arts. She is the Project Lead for ArtsEquator’s Southeast Asian Arts and Culture Censorship Documentation Project, launched in 2021. She has written extensively on censorship of arts and culture in Malaysia. She was a member of the International Programme Advisory Committee of the 8th World Summit on Arts and Culture, 2019.