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Press release by the regional office of the Heinrich Böll Foundation in Chiang Mai

Identities versus Globalisation?
Southeast Asian Art Exhibition in Chiang Mai, Bangkok and Berlin

Following the success of the highly acclaimed and innovative "The End of Growth?" exhibition in Chiang Mai and Bangkok, the regional office of the Heinrich Böll Foundation launched the idea for its new exhibition project "Identities versus Globalisation?" in mid-2001. The project has now reached maturity and will be shown at the Chiang Mai Art Museum between February 7th and 29th 2004. The exhibition, comprising of more than 60 of the most promising and ambitious artists from all 10 Southeast Asia countries can then be seen at the National Gallery in Bangkok from May 8th - 28th and finally at the Dahlem Museum Berlin from October 22nd 2004 - January 16th 2005. In order to access the foremost artworks dealing with this theme and those artists actively involved in so-cial analysis, the curator of the exhibition, Dr. Jörg Löschmann, worked directly in all countries involved identifying and cooperating with co-curators and co-operation partners.

The theme of the exhibition stems from other Heinrich Böll Foundation initiatives in the region where identity building processes in modernisation and globalisation this subject became increasingly central in intellectual, conceptual and artistic manifestations as well as project approaches. This recent development substantiates the role for visual arts regionally as a unique and anticipatory power, reflecting society and its concerns, pulling on the threads of the past and weaving them into the future. With this eminent, the foundation provided the partners with the space to develop the theme in the context of the various nations, using discussion to create a platform to raise awareness of con-sequences and dangers, as well as to carry and support the social aspirations and expectations. The exhibition deals with one of the most taxing and contradictory questions that people have to face, regardless of their level of awareness in respect to it. The resulting art conveying the deepest insights of the artists, touching the hearts and minds of the curious in one sense or another. In certain cases, it will motivate the public into a critical analysis of their own actions and how they are perceived by and relate to wider society.

As with the first exhibition, the inauguration of the event is to be embedded thematically by related activities with a particular Asian flavour - not as a stepping-stone but as an integral part of the exhibition concept. In Chiang Mai for example, an international symposium "Cultural Dimensions of Globalisation" along with a conference "Debating Identity and Globalisation" will allow the artists, art theorists and managers as well as other invited guest and the public to debate these issues.

The exhibition in Berlin will serve to widen the minds of Germans and other Europeans of all ages and backgrounds to broaden their view of the region beyond the re-emerging 'Tigers', undreamt of economic growth rates and the tourist bandwagon.


Press contact in Berlin:
at the Heinrich Böll Foundation: Vera Lorenz, phone: 030-28534-217,

at the Museum of Ethnology: Dr. Wibke Lobo, phone: 030 8301 214



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