SUNSHOWER: Contemporary Art from Southeast Asia 1980s to Now

Fluid World

Yee I-Lann
Fluid World (from the series “Orang Besar”)
Direct digital Mimaki inkjet print, acid dye, batik crackle Japanese indigo dye, 100% silk twill
140.5 × 298 cm
Courtesy: Silverlens Galleries, Makati, The Philippines


Contemporary art from the emerging economic powerhouse of Southeast Asia, with its total population of around 600 million, is currently earning widespread international attention. In 2017, 50 years after the formation of ASEAN (Association of Southeast Asian Nations*), the National Art Center, Tokyo; Mori Art Museum, and the Japan Foundation Asia Center will stage “SUNSHOWER: Contemporary Art from Southeast Asia 1980s to Now,” the largest-ever exhibition of Southeast Asian contemporary art to be held in Japan.
The “sunshower” - rain falling from clear skies - is an intriguing meteorological phenomenon, and a frequent occurrence in the tropical climes of Southeast Asia. Sunshowers also serve as a poetic metaphor for the vicissitudes of a region that in the latter half of the 20th century, in the wake of the colonial era, experienced enormous political, social and economic upheaval: Cold War conflicts and dictatorships followed by modernization and the spread of democracy, and in more recent years, remarkable economic advancement, investment, and urban development. Out-of-the-blue rainfall is also a metaphor for the ambiguous nature of these ups and downs.
Multi-ethnic, multi-lingual, multi-faith Southeast Asia has nurtured a truly dynamic and diverse culture.This exhibition will explore contemporary art in Southeast Asia from the 1980s onward from various perspectives, including aspirations for freedom, identity, growth and its dark sides, community, faith and tradition, and the revisiting of history; showcasing that dynamism and diversity while comparing and contrasting Southeast Asian contemporary art with international contemporary art trends.
* 10 member-states to total: Indonesia, Cambodia, Singapore, Thailand, the Philippines, Brunei, Vietnam, Malaysia, Myanmar and Laos (current as of November 2016)

Date July 5 (Wed.) –October 23 (Mon.), 2017
Closed on Tuesdays
Opening hours 10:00-18:00
*10:00-21:00 on Fridays, and Saturdays
(Last admission 30 minutes before closing)
Venue The National Art Center, Tokyo (Kokuritsu-Shin-Bijutsukan), Special Exhibition Gallery 2E
7-22-2 Roppongi, Minato-ku, Tokyo 106-8558

Mori Art Museum, 53F, Roppongi Hills Mori Tower, 6-10-1 Roppongi, Minato-ku, Tokyo 106-6150
*More detailed information can be found at Mori Art Museum website
Organized by The National Art Center, Tokyo; Mori Art Museum; The Japan Foundation Asia Center

The National Art Center, Tokyo, Mori Art Museum, and the Japan Foundation Asia Center
― A Research Project Now Underway, Building to a Joint Exhibition in Summer 2017!

“SEA PROJECT” Website: