Chanon Kenji Praepipatmongkol

  • Ofelia Gelvezon-Téqui, Predella, 1984, etching on paper, 12 5⁄8 × 9 5⁄8".

    WE HAVE SLUMS HERE

    NESTLED IN A SPOTLIT ALCOVE at the Cultural Center of the Philippines for the 1979 exhibition “Five Contemporary Sculptors,” Joe Bautista’s Bubong, created the same year, made for a strange scene. Large sheets of corrugated iron leaned against the wall to create a modest slope, recalling the shantytown rooftops that litter Manila’s skyline. Atop the rickety platform, genteel visitors playfully teetered, the soles of their shoes clacking against the metal. But the first lady of the Philippines, the institution’s most powerful overseer, was not so amused. According to Bautista, when Imelda Marcos

  • Samson Young, the highway is like a lion’s mouth, 2018, video, color, sound, 10 minutes 53 seconds.

    Samson Young

    The history of dreams of modernization might be conceived, in sonic terms, as a series of catchy refrains. With each turn of the media cycle, a new crop of saccharine propagandistic jingles and overly sincere advertising slogans harbors visions of a better world to come. Specific messages and imaginations may be updated for the times, but, as Samson Young suggests in his “Utopia Trilogy,” 2018–19, we remember them through a haze.

    “Silver Moon or Golden Star, Which Will You Buy of Me?” at the University of Chicago’s Smart Museum of Art marked Young’s notable departure from the sonic performances

  • FX Harsono, Voice Without a Voice Sign, 1993–94, silk screen on canvas, wooden stools, stamps. Installation view, National Art Center, Tokyo, 2017.

    “Sunshower: Contemporary Art from Southeast Asia, 1980s to Now”

    AT “SUNSHOWER,” pomp and circumstance matter. Organized to commemorate the fiftieth anniversary of the founding of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), the exhibition brings together some 190 works by eighty-six artists, spread across the Mori Art Museum and the National Art Center in Tokyo. Advertised as the “largest-ever” show of contemporary Southeast Asian art, “Sunshower” announces Japan’s commitment to Southeast Asia, if not its centrality to the region’s artistic fortunes—and fraught histories.

    A state-backed project of this scale—and its celebratory rhetoric—is

  • The Propeller Group, The Living Need Light, the Dead Need Music, 2014, 5K video, color, sound, 21 minutes 15 seconds.

    The Propeller Group

    FOR THE PROPELLER GROUP, contemporary Vietnam pulses with an exhilarating energy; their videos show graffiti artists and street dancers taking over cities by day, and motorbike gangs ruling the streets under the cover of night. Tuan Andrew Nguyen and Phunam, who hail from the younger generation of Vietnamese artists that has played a crucial role in revitalizing Ho Chi Minh City’s art scene, cofounded the group in 2006 amid the metropolis’s rapid economic transformation. The pair were joined by artist Matt Lucero in 2009, and the trio expanded into a full-service commercial video-production