On 4 and 5 June 2017, I participated in the two-day workshop/forum, Mutual Companionship Forum–Asian Connection: Reassembling of Image, Place and Body, at Soulangh Cultural Park, Tainan. This event is co-hosted by the Cultural Bureau of Tainan City Government and Tainan National University of the Arts.
On a personal level, I find the forum fascinating for various reasons. In Southeast Asia, it is rare to find initiatives in which straight photography is given an integral place within the context of contemporary art. In this forum, folk practices, photography and contemporary art are cajoled to dialogue, mediated through the spatial network of religious sites in Tainan and South Taiwan.
During the day of 6 June, I visited the religious and cultural sites in Chiayi.
At night, I made a presentation titled Photography in Southeast Asia: Methodology and Findings at the Doctoral Program in Art Creation and Theory, Tainan National University of the Arts. The intensive session lasted well over three hours, with me delivering a talk based on my recently published book, Photography in Southeast Asia: A Survey (NUS Press, 2016). I spent the second half of the session taking questions from the audience. Gong Jow Jiun, who heads the programme, made sure that everyone in his class raised difficult questions!
“Mutual Companionship Forum Asian Connection: Reassembling of Image, Place and Body”
Aims of Forum
Tainan National University of the Arts and Cultural Bureau of Tainan City Government are the co-hosts of the Mutual Companionship Forum program from 3th to 6th June 2017. Based on the exhibition of Kau-Puê, Mutual Companionship in Near Future: Soulangh International Contemporary Art Festival, this conference-workshop, titled Asian Connection: Reassembling of Image, Place and Body, focuses on the creative practices and theoretical thinking of reassembling between folk art, intangible culture and contemporary art.
We believe that a platform of Asian dialogues is needed to bridge the different notions of art through the mediation of photography, experimental architecture and the heterogeneous installation of exhibition.