Field Notes: Mark Bradley, Bernadotte E. Schmitt Distinguished Service Professor of International History and the College; Deputy Dean, Division of the Social Sciences; and Faculty Director, Pozen Family Center for Human Rights
I am working on a book on the emergence of the imaginary of the global south in contemporary global politics, political economies and cultural production beginning in the 1990s, with Southeast Asia as one of my case studies. This summer I am doing research in Hong Kong, Singapore, Vietnam, Cambodia, and Thailand aimed at exploring the multiple circuits —curatorial, biennales, museums and art spaces— through which Southeast Asian artists and their work have come to circulate globally.
The poster at the right was designed for Cities on the Move, a major exhibit of contemporary art and architecture that travelled across Europe, the United States, and Asia in the late 1990s and was critical in bringing art from East and Southeast Asia for the first time to the center of the global art market.
I found Rirkrit Tiravanija's installation piece at the newly opened National Gallery of Singapore, which houses the largest collection of modern and contemporary Southeast Asian art in the world. Rirkrit was one of the first Thai artists whose works appeared in European biennales, while the Singapore museum represents an institutionalization of the forces that first gave rise to the global presence of contemporary art from the region in the 1990s.