This talk aims to shed light on the neglected and rarely acknowledged issue of marginalised women’s art practice in a male-dominated contemporary art environment in Southeast Asia and the strategies used by contemporary women artists, past and present, to nurture female empowerment, gain an audience for feminist art practice in SEA where there had been none and gain inclusion to national discourses by establishing a counter-discourse to the authorised national art histories.
The need by marginalised women artists to negotiate a masculinised contemporary art world has been debated in the art historical field. Scholars such as Linda Nochlin and Griselda Pollock argued that women were historically prevented from gaining art skills and that a systemic sexism within institutions continues to prevent women from being recognised and included in written art histories. Academics from the region such as Flaudette May Datuin, Eileen Legaspi Ramirez and May Adadol Ingawanij have also argued that this was the case for women artists in Southeast Asia during the years following the political and social upheavals in both the Philippines and Thailand from the 1970s to the 1990s.
Goldsmiths/Lasalle MA graduate, Krystina Lyon, talks with Citra Sasmita about how women’s art collectives were able to mediate this lingering patriarchy in the Philippines, Thailand and Indonesia with special attention to the Filipino women’s collective Kasibulan, the translational collective based in Thailand, Womanifesto and Futuwonder in Bali. Based on field research and interviews with the founders of these collectives Krystina and Citra share the different strategies women artists used to navigate their way through the masculinised contemporary art worlds in these countries.