Identity vs. globalisation?
Positions of contemporary art from South-East Asia

22.10.2004 to 30.01.2005

Ethnologisches Museum

This exhibition, its title in the form of a question, explores the question of identity in South-East Asia. In one room Marine Ky, from Cambodia, connects a thousand knots of red strings (knotted into nets by schoolchildren) with patterns printed on strips of material from many different ethnic groups. Dealing with body 'shells' Mella Jaarsma, an artist from Indonesia, comes up with the idea of a one-person tent for the 'mobile' refugee. Kamin Lertchairprasert creates a Buddha, which breaks down into three pieces and is made out of dissected Thai bank notes.

All these interpretations give palpable expression to the question of identity, a central issue in the creations of many artists in South-East Asia.

The exhibition was initiated by the regional office of the Heinrich Böll Foundation in Chiang Mai, Thailand. It presents 60 works of art from 10 South-East Asian countries. In these works, the artists address political change, cultural tensions and the preservation of the own cultural traditions through the process of modernisation. They also explore the socio-economic dimensions of these developments, and their utopian visions of the possibilities of globalisation.