Forthcoming … .. .

> Review: ‘Melati Suryodarmo – I’m a Ghost in My Own House at Bonnefanten’

In: Metropolis M, nummer 4, 2022

> Forum: ‘(un)Common Grounds: Reflecting on documenta 15

Date: 23-24 September

A two-day hybrid forum organised by Framer Framed, the Society of Arts and Van Abbemuseum. Read more here.

> Conference: ‘The Makings of Art from Southeast Asia and the Problem of Colonial Legacies’

Date: 8-10 November 2022

Location: Institute of Technology, Bandung, Indonesia

More information follows soon.

> Film: ‘Painting Exile’

29 minutes, DCP, 2022

A portrait in ten chapters of a painter in exile.

A film by Dev Benegal and Kerstin Winking

Because of the world’s least known rebellion, the Shan artist Sawangwongse Yawnghwe moved from Burma (Myanmar) to Thailand and then Canada, where his family got refugee status as political exiles.

In Painting Exile, we see Sawang visually reconstructing his Shan genealogy in relation to Burma, a country that has been suffering under military dictatorship since the seizure of power by General Ne Win in 1962. The artist is the grandson of Sao Shwe Thaik, the last Saopha (Shan for king or chieftain) of Yawnghwe, a former Shan state in Burma. Sao Shwe Thaik was also the first president of the Union of Burma, established after independence in 1948. He was assassinated by Ne Win’s soldiers in 1962. In reaction to the killing, the artist’s father Chao Tzang Yawnghwe co-established the Shan State Army.

As a young painter with a background in philosophy, Sawangwongse Yawnghwe lived and worked in Italy, Thailand and India, before moving his studio into a small town in the Netherlands. The studio where the filmmakers visit him is haunted by figures from the past, and it serves as the production site for paintings exported into the gallery spaces of global contemporary art. In Painting Exile, the artist reflects on the past and present of Burma as a territory contested by diverse ethnic and political powers, disclosing his sources, artistic techniques, and the motivation behind his translations of photographic images into paintings.

Watch the teaser here.