Live Event — 24 September 2021, 16:00

Focus Discussion 2 : Precarity, asymmetries and independence in/of artistic practices from grassroots to diaspora

Following on from our Part 1 discussion with filmmakers from South Asia, we discuss the notions and realities of independence/dependency and asymmetry in the context of moving image practices from South East Asia. A conversation with curator, writer and teacher May Adadol Ingawanij, curator and writer Zoe Butt, Hanoi-based independent filmmaker and video/media artist and Filmmaker in Focus Nguyen Trinh Thi  and cross-disciplinary artist Kanitha Tith who is also the director of Boding which plays in our Anti Archive focus.

Live Event Participants:

May Adadol Ingawanij

May Adadol Ingawanij // เม อาดาดล อิงคะวณิช is a writer, curator, and teacher. She works on de-westernised and decentred histories and genealogies of cinematic arts; avant-garde legacies in Southeast Asia; forms of potentiality in contemporary artistic and curatorial practices; aesthetics and circulation of artists’ moving image, art and independent films in, around, and related to Southeast Asia. She is Professor of Cinematic Arts at the University of Westminster where she co-directs the Centre for Research and Education in Arts and Media.

Kanitha Tith

Kanitha Tith (1987, Cambodia) is a cross-disciplinary artist working between the visual arts in sculpture, performance, installation and in Cambodia’s independent film industry as an artistic director. She is also working as a forthcoming director with Phnom Penh based Anti-Archive film production project “Echoes of Tomorrow”. In 2010, she was awarded an honorable mention at the inaugural You Khin Memorial Women’s Art Prize. Tith’s works have been exhibited widely, most recently including the group exhibitions Le paysages apres coup, Centre d’art contemporain Faux Mouvement, Metz, France (2018) and SUNSHOWER: Southeast Asian Art From 1980s to Today, Mori Art Museum, Tokyo, Japan (2017). Her 2014 video work Boding was created as part of the 2014 group exhibition, “Rates of Exchange, Un-Compared: Contemporary Art in Bangkok and Phnom Penh” at H Gallery in Bangkok and Sa Sa Bassac in Phnom Penh. It has since screened at Tentacles Gallery in Bangkok, M+ Museum in Hong Kong, and National Gallery of Singapore. Tith is currently an artist in residence at Rijksakademie, Amsterdam, Netherlands.

Nguyễn Trinh Thi 

Nguyễn Trinh Thi (1973, Vietnam) is a Hanoi-based independent filmmaker and video/media artist. Nguyễn studied journalism, photography, international relations and ethnographic film in the United States. Her diverse practice has consistently investigated the role of memory in the necessary unveiling of hidden, displaced or misinterpreted histories; and examined the position of artists in the Vietnamese society. Nguyễn is the founder and director of Hanoi DOCLAB, an independent centre for documentary film and the moving image art in Hanoi since 2009. Her films and video art works have been shown at festivals and art exhibitions including Jeu de Paume (Paris); CAPC musée d’art contemporain de Bordeaux; the Lyon Biennale 2015; Asian Art Biennial 2015 (Taiwan); Fukuoka Asian Art Triennial 2014; Singapore Biennale 2013; Jakarta Biennale 2013; Oberhausen International Film Festival; Bangkok Experimental Film Festival; Artist Films International; DEN FRIE Centre of Contemporary Art (Copenhagen); and Kuandu Biennale (Taipei).

Nguyễn’s film Eleven Men (Mười một người đàn ông) screened at BFMAF 2016.

Zoe Butt

Zoe Butt is a curator and writer who lives in Vietnam. Her curatorial practice centres on building critically thinking and historically conscious artistic communities, fostering dialogue among countries of the global south. Currently Artistic Director of the Factory Contemporary Arts Centre, Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam’s first purpose-built space for contemporary art, Zoe formerly served as Executive Director and Curator, Sàn Art, Ho Chi Minh City (2009–2016); Director, International Programs, Long March Project, Beijing (2007–2009); and Assistant Curator, Contemporary Asian Art, Queensland Art Gallery, Brisbane (2001–2007) – this latter post particularly focused on the development of its Asia-Pacific Triennial of Contemporary Art. Her work has been published by Hatje Cantz; ArtReview; Independent Curators International; ArtAsiaPacific; Printed Project; Lalit Kala Akademi; JRP-Ringier; Routledge; and Sternberg Press, among others. Her curatorial projects include interdisciplinary dialogue platforms such as Conscious Realities (2013-2016); the online exhibition Embedded South(s) (2016); and group exhibitions of Vietnamese and international artists at various international venues. Recent exhibitions include Sharjah Biennial 14: Leaving the Echo Chamber – Journey Beyond The Arrow, (2019); Empty Forest: Tuan Andrew Nguyen (2018); Spirit of Friendship and Poetic Amnesia: Phan Thao Nguyen (both 2017); Dislocate: Bui Cong Khanh (2016), Conjuring Capital (2015). Zoe is a member of the Asian Art Council for the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum in New York and in 2015 was named a Young Global Leader of the World Economic Forum.