Each month, we’ll be sharing updates, insights, and highlights from the Guggenheim UBS MAP Global Art Initiative, as well as links to other intriguing events relevant to the MAP regions. MAP is a collaboration between the Guggenheim Foundation and UBS that charts creative activity, catalyzes cultural exchange, and expands perspectives on contemporary art from three regions: South and Southeast Asia, Latin America, and the Middle East and North Africa.
Guggenheim UBS MAP Launches Online Hub for Latin America
MAP recently launched its Latin-American online hub—a web destination for the project’s activities in its second region to date. The hub features two new ways to get to know Pablo Léon de la Barra, MAP’s curator for Latin America: a video introduction (above) and the first of a series of blog posts, titled “Dispatches,” documenting his travels in the region. On camera, Léon de la Barra discusses his curatorial practice, and how it is informing his work for MAP. “Many of the countries in Latin America, although they share a common history . . . haven’t been that much in contact,” he notes. “The importance of our project, the Global Art Initiative, is that it’s really going to dip into these different contexts,” he continues, to “create networks of knowledge.”
A Surprising Video by Vincent Leong
One of a series of video contributions from MAP artists, Vincent Leong’s work (above) exemplifies the wit that characterizes his practice. Throughout his career, the Malaysian artist, who lives and works in Kuala Lumpur, has explored authenticity and appropriation; here, as elsewhere in his work, he plays with the audience—be sure to watch this video through to its unexpected ending.
MAP Artist Kamin Lertchaiprasert’s Engaging Museum
When Thai artist Kamin Lertchaiprasert established his Chiang Mai-based 31st Century Museum of Contemporary Spirit in 2011, he was looking to do more than display artwork. As the MAP artist told us recently, “The museum is a micro-utopian idea [that balances] academic learning and social construction.” Housed in a complex of shipping containers configured in the shape of the numeral 31, the museum hosts free Creative Sharing workshops on everything from drawing to tarot card reading. Says Lertchaiprasert, “In my 31st Century Museum of Contemporary Spirit project, I try to transform negative energy to positive energy by encouraging people to have self-awareness. This means they will have self-respect, see creativity’s value in themselves, and appreciate the human values [that we all share].” Read more of our Q&A with Lertchaiprasert here.
On Our Radar
- México Inside Out: Themes in Art Since 1990, on view through January 5 at the Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth in Texas, looks at more than two decades of contemporary art from central Mexico and Mexico City.
- The theme of the Singapore Biennale, on view in the city’s Bras Basah.Bugis precinct through Feburary 16, 2014, is “If the World Changed.” Artists in the exhibition—which is curated by a team that includes MAP artist Tran Luong—engage with the constant state of flux that characterizes Southeast Asia.
- Latino/US Cotidiano, a traveling exhibition on view at the Museum of Latin American Art in Los Angeles through February 23, 2014, features photography that examines the Latino experience in America.
- Part two in a ten-year exhibition series, Biennale Jogja opened last week in Yogyakarta, Indonesia. The show’s curatorial emphasis is on the “encounter” between Indonesia and five Arab countries.
- The Museo Jumex recently opened in Mexico City. Housed in a building designed by British architect David Chipperfield, the museum will largely feature contemporary art.