March 10, 2021 - Asia Forum - Launch of Asia Forum
March 10, 2021

Asia Forum / Bagri Foundation

[1] View of Shilpa Gupta, For, in your tongue, I cannot fit, 2017-18 at YARAT Contemporary Art Space and Edinburgh Art Festival. Sound Installation with 100 speakers, microphones, printed text and metal stands, site specific. Photo: Pat Verbruggen. [2] Ho Tzu Nyen, CDOSEA (The Critical Dictionary of Southeast Asia), 2017. Algorithmic editing system, infinite loop, installation variable. [3] View of Lantian Xie, Nissan Patrol circles the Pompidou, 2019 at Car, museum, Paris. Dimensions variable. Photo: Lucas Charrier.

Launch of Asia Forum
Digital gatherings in spring/fall 2021 and inaugural programme during the 59th Venice Biennale
April 23, 2022

Asia Forum Spring Gathering 2021: May 14, 12pm, BST online

Fondazione Querini Stampalia
Santa Maria Formosa, Castello 5252
30122 Venice
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The Asia Forum for the Contemporary Art of Global Asias is a new platform envisioned for discourse surrounding experimental art practices and research that produce hopeful new worlds beyond the North Atlantic. The Asia Forum in 2021/22 is proudly presented by the Bagri Foundation as digital gatherings this spring and fall, and an inaugural one-day programme at the historic Fondazione Querini Stampalia on April 23, 2022 that will highlight urgent themes in global circulation. 

The still-unfolding events of 2020/21 have resulted in a fundamental reconfiguring of timelines and work practices. These changes provide an opportunity to imagine with artists, curators, researchers, and activists, a new worlding of contemporary practices. It is a chance to rethink the discursive conditions of art production and communities—a task given urgency by the rise of racism and xenophobic foreign policy strategies around the world.

The Asia Forum will bring awareness to and contextualise the fast-developing artistic practices and contemporary geo-politics of Asia/s. Its interdisciplinary approach and reflexive work will reveal and explore deep histories of exchange and flows, and overlapping concerns and heritages. It will engage a "public" eager for discourse on urgent issues of climate, democracy, anti-racism, and creative agency for addressing global anxieties through the lens and engine of “Asia/s". 

Its presence in Venice will instigate exploration of pertinent themes in relation to the national pavilions and collateral events presenting the arts of Asia/s. It will provide the public with richer and deeper engagement with and understanding of the art of Asian artists represented in the Biennale, as well as the discursive conditions of its production. 

Through its peripatetic platform of sustained dialogue and the exchange of knowledge, which will in 2021/22, be live-streamed digitally via ArtReview, the Asia Forum seeks to nurture a community among diverse researchers, artists, curators and producers interested and invested in the arts of global Asias. The fostering of these professional relationships offer an opportunity to collectively re-think global conditions, and the building of inter-community, cross-border solidarities.

The digital gathering on May 14, 2021 presents a roundtable with protagonists who are leaders in their field: art historian and curator, Patrick Flores, anthropologist, Anna Lowenhaupt Tsing, and artists, Shilpa GuptaHo Tzu Nyen and Lantian Xie, followed by a working group for deeper dialogical engagement with raised propositions.

Conceived by Annie Jael Kwan, the Asia Forum works with a council of international curators and researchers, Hammad NasarJohn Tain, and Ming Tiampo, in a sustained dialogue with contributors to navigate the key themes that have arisen in relation to contemporary artistic practices of Global Asias.

The Asia Forum Spring Gathering 2021 is on Friday, May 14, 2021 at 12pm BST, free but registration is required.

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