ART H 400
Courses on special topics, frequently by visiting faculty, which cannot be offered on a continuing basis. Consult art history office for subjects offered.
Spring 2003: MODERN ART OF SOUTHEAST ASIA Modern art in Southeast Asia can be seen as drawing on two traditions: the values and idioms of western modern and contemporary art on the one hand, and local Southeast Asian art traditions on the other. The course will explore the histories of modern art in a number of Southeast Asian countries. We will study how modern art is shaped by local values, practices, and institutions, how it is perceived differently by different groups of people, to what extent it is and is not foreign, how it is or is not integrated into the larger artistic and cultural landscape, and how the histories of modern art are inextricably linked to the complex cultural, social and political histories of the region. Artistic practices and the discourse about and around art manifest larger cultural phenomena and conflicts, such as the love-hate affair with modernity and the west, the conflict between individualism and innovation on one hand, and social holism and traditionalism on the other, and the intersections of self-expression, nationalism, and a desire to be part of the modern international world. Southeast Asian modern art will be seen both as one instance of a modern art among many in the international art world, and as one kind of Southeast Asian art among many other Southeast Asian forms of art. The focus will be on visual art — from painting and sculpture to installations and performance art — but parallels and intersections with other arts —music, performing arts, film, etc.—will be also explored.
Lectures illustrated by slides and videos; discussion.
Interest in the subject, willingness to learn, open mind. Some background in either modern/contemporary art or Asian studies useful but not required.
Class Assignments and Grading
Grade based on participation, two exams (with emphasis on essay questions), a brief paper and a class presentation, and minor assignments.