Ilham Gallery’s Dream of the Day assembles Southeast Asian artists across media, genres

Ilham Gallery’s Dream of the Day assembles Southeast Asian artists across media, genres

The show will run until May 14 next year

ILHAM Gallery has recently launched an exhibition entitled Dream of the Day which will run until May 14 next year.

The exhibition title, Dream of the Day, draws from the 1965 manifesto of the Philippine-born artist David Medalla. He was well regarded for his long-lasting influence in the British and global contemporary art scene since the sixties.

The exhibition features his work, as well as those of 38 other artists from the Philippines, Indonesia, Thailand, Sri Lanka, Singapore, Vietnam, Myanmar, Egypt, and Malaysia.

They explore a range of media, genres, and sensibilities – from surrealism, slow cinema and trans-performance, to queer photography and feminist painting.

Dream of the Day questions how the presence of dreams, monsters, myths, hybrids, omens, spirits, and fantasies evoked in this assemblage of artworks sits in the context of contemporary Southeast Asia.

Here, modern life typically centres around notions of realism, humanism and nationality. The exhibition puts its faith in disbelief and speculation.

I GAK Murniasih, Kejarlah Daku, 2002, Acrylic on canvas, 90 x 135 cm. – Pic courtesy of Ilham Gallery

It explores how modern and contemporary art from Southeast Asia, by seeing through sensible forms, is able to examine and interpret the realities of everyday life through the use of uncommon visual imagery.

In doing so, the exhibition proposes the possibility of different forms of intelligence and instinct. These might be more responsive to a wider range of life forms that exist in a vaster inter-species, transgenic world.

The practice of image-making in Southeast Asia has been marked by a struggle with the idealisations of nature and identity. And it has given rise to an overinvestment in images that are both created and critiqued.

These responses have been primarily in light of colonialism and global mediatisation. What the exhibition hopes to achieve is an art that is not too beholden to this particular tradition of criticality.

Despite how much it persists in engaging with the political and social concerns of the day.

Apichatpong Weerasethaku, Worldly Desires, 2005, Single Channel Video, 42 mins 32 secs. – Pic courtesy of Ilham Gallery

This possible imagination is the “dream of the day.” It is an evocation of a current condition and at the same time a kind of plea, instruction, or call to action. It is an endeavour to overcome the dualism of critique.

This is where the practice of critique is inextricably bound to, and may even inadvertently reinforce the object of its critique. This condition of dualism has tended to preclude other ways of prefiguring new transformative horizons for art and the imagination over time.

The exhibition is curated by Patrick Flores, a well-known scholar of Southeast Asian art. Patrick Flores is Professor of Art Studies at the Department of Art Studies at the University of the Philippines and curator of the Vargas Museum in Manila.

He is the director of the Philippine Contemporary Art Network. He was a Visiting Fellow at the National Gallery of Art in Washington, DC in 1999.

Among his publications are Painting History: Revisions in Philippine Colonial Art (1999); Past Peripheral: Curation in Southeast Asia (2008); Art After War: 1948-1969 (2015); and Raymundo Albano: Texts (2017).

He was a guest scholar at the Getty Research Institute in Los Angeles in 2014. He was the artistic director of Singapore Biennale 2019 and convener of the forums for the Taiwan Pavilion at the Venice Biennale this year.

Catch Dream of the Day at Level 5, Ilham Gallery from now until May 14, 2023

source – The Vibes

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