The Guggenheim UBS MAP Global Art Initiative is a multi-year, threephase collaboration between UBS and the venerable New York-based Guggenheim Museum. Focusing on three geographic regions – South and Southeast Asia, Latin America, and the Middle East and North Africa – the MAP Initiative seeks to provide new audiences with an international understanding of contemporary art and a platform for dialogue, connecting regional and global networks of artists, curators and communities.
Having attracted crowds in New York, the inaugural touring exhibition No Country: Contemporary Art for South and Southeast Asia is being presented at the Asia Society Hong Kong Center until 16 February 2014 and will travel to Singapore in Spring 2014.
The selection of artworks from South and Southeast Asia provide a rich cultural base for exploring the concepts of national identity, tradition versus modernity, the legacy of history and, in some cases, colonialism. Each of the 13 artists featured in the exhibition explores the relevance of nationhood in an age of shifting borders.
Some highlights from the exhibition include Mumbai-based artist Shilpa Gupta’s deceptively simple ball of thread measuring more than seventynine miles in length — representing the distance at a scale of 1 to 14.9 of the conflict-ridden border between India and neighbouring Pakistan. Artist Tuan Andrew Nguyen explores within his artwork the self-immolation of Thich Quang Duc in protest against the Diệm regime’s repression of the Buddhist community – images which shocked the world when they were circulated through the international press 50 years ago.
The MAP Initiative is one of our key collaborations with leading cultural institutions, supporting cultural and artistic endeavors that enable active participation in the art world. We hope that you will experience the MAP Initiative by visiting the exhibition, either during the run in Hong Kong until February 2014 or Singapore next year.