The latest exhibition at National Gallery Singapore looks back to a time when art and social activism collided at a turning point in Asia’s post-war history. With nationalism, modernization, ideological clashes, and democratic campaigns arising across the region, artists delved into the idea of art as a tool to form and uphold identities. The result of all this is explored in Awakenings: Art in Society in Asia 1960s-1990s, which makes its Southeast Asian debut here, after showings in Japan and Korea.
Displaying 142 works by more than 100 artists from 12 Asian countries, the exhibition looks at how artists challenged conventions and re-evaluated politics, society, economics, and culture. A collaboration between the National Gallery, Museum of Modern Art Tokyo, Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art Korea, and the Japan Foundation Asia Center, it’s been four years in the making.
Categorized into three sections — Questioning Structures, Artists and the City, and New Solidarities — the showcase here will focus significantly on works from Southeast Asia, looking at experimental practices in the region, and their social and political contexts.
Even if you’re not an expert on the topic, you’ll find audio guides, brochures, artists talks, curator-led tours, and panel discussions made available at the gallery for you to dive a little deeper into what you’re presented with.
Before you explore, take a look at some of the highlights below.
FIND IT: Awakenings: Art in Society in Asia 1960s-1990s is on from now till Sept 15 at City Hall Wing, L3, Singtel Special Exhibition Gallery, National Gallery Singapore.
Singaporeans and PRs $10-$15; non-residents $20-$25.
MRT: City Hall