Portfolio | Rise of Asia

Y-Jean Mun-Delsalle, Portfolio, November 1, 2022

Homegrown gallery Yeo Workshop has been championing Singaporean and Southeast Asian artists since its launch in 2013 at Gillman Barracks. Founder Audrey Yeo has been instrumental in the launch of several noteworthy local platforms including the S.E.A. Focus Southeast Asian art fair and the Julius Baer Next Generation Art Prize for Southeast Asian digital artists. At Asia Now, Yeo Workshop featured new and recent works by an all-female cast: Wei Leng Tay and Priyageetha Dia from Singapore, Citra Sasmita from Bai, and Quynh Dong from Vietnam. Interrogating notions of migration, identity, and memory, Wei Leng Tay reprocessed and abstracted a bag of family slides from the late 1960s and '70s that captured her parents' migratory path through Australia, Malaysia, and Singapore, while Priyageetha Dia's video in CGI took a booklet from 1923 detailing the process of Indian labour migration to meet worker demand in rubber plantations in Malaya as her point of departure to explore the perpetuation of violence and social amnesia against the exploited. My unravelling the myths and misconceptions of Balinese art and culture, Citra Sasmita examined how the marginalization of women has been canonized and overturned normative constructs of gender by revisiting mythical and classical narratives of war and romance to extol female resistance instead. Her new work Luminous Opera was influenced by the book Caliban and the Witch by Silvia Federici, which suggests reimagining the development of capitalism from a feminist perspective. Using her own body as a medium to contest cultural stereotypes, especially exotic notions of Asia, Quynh Dong gave a live performance using her hair as a brush to create a painting with black ink in reference to Malevich's Black Square.