CONTEMPORARY DIALOGUES YANGON #1 (festival)
25 September – 5 October 2014
various locations in YANGON – MYANMAR
PEN Myanmar, Pansodan Scene, TS1 Gallery, Lokanat Galleries
developed, organised and curated by Ilaria Benini and Thomas Nadal Poletto (Flux Kit)
Contemporary Dialogues Yangon is an international, interdisciplinary festival about contemporary art and contemporary cultures in Myanmar. The event offers conversations, roundtables, performances and exhibitions by bringing together Myanmar and international professionals involved in several cultural fields: contemporary art, film-making, publishing, contemporary philosophy.
The program aims to give international resonance to Myanmar contemporary art scene and to sustain the development of art spaces and networks of art professionals, within the country and abroad.
The theme of Contemporary Dialogues Yangon 2014 is Now and Memory. Who are we? Where do we go?
Under military rule, arts and artists resisted, but outside Myanmar there’s still very little knowledge about that artistic period and its evolution today. At the same time, the isolation of the country prevented its creative community from being involved in the international cultural environment.
Hence our overarching question: how can Myanmar work best internationally and within the country in creating an active cultural environment?
The concept of Contemporary Dialogues was born from the intention of offering to the city the chance to be involved in an international, open and free event with representatives of the newest and most innovative cultural initiatives in Yangon.
The first edition of the festival is focused on the city of Yangon, hopefully the first of many initiatives throughout the country intended to foster the crucial debate about the role of contemporary cultures in Myanmar. The country is currently developing its own art system: in this phase it is crucial to build awareness and recognise the opportunities and risks of such development.
This festival will involve some of the key players of the Myanmar cultural world and will be open to all those who believe in culture and freedom of expression as the roots of positive change, where audiences can gather information, share opinions and define which elements determine the various ways Myanmar can develop a fervent cultural environment.
By inviting international speakers to participate to the festival, the organizers hope to open a dialogue regarding wider perspectives in art, providing transparent insights about cultural matters which are crucial to better understand the international contemporary art world’s rules, hence the possibilities to reinforce Myanmar’s connection with it.
The programming offers public educational talks, intended to give prominence to a younger generation of artists and cultural professionals. A book show of contemporary art books, performances by Myanmar artists and a group show of contemporary art are meant to involve a wide audience. Contemporary practices play a significant role in bridging generation gaps, thereby connecting traditional and modern art with their common educational goals.
Mami Kataoka (chief curator, Mori Art Museum, Tokyo)
Iola Lenzi (independent curator, Singapore)
Vasan Sitthiket (artist, Thailand)
Phil Tinari (director, UCCA, Beijing)
Htein Lin (artist)
Khin Zaw Latt (artist, co-founder at Myanmar Art Resource Center and Archive)
Nathalie Johnston (co-founder at Myanmar Art Resource Center and Archive, director at TS1 Gallery)
Moe Satt (artist)
Thu Thu Shein (director, Wathann Film Festival)
Zeyar Lynn (poet)
Ma Thida Sanchaung (writer, human rights activist, PEN Myanmar)
Lucas Stewart (British Council Literature Advisor)
Aung Thura (editor, Myanmar Knowledge Society)
Lwin Maung (artist)
Aung Min (screenwriter, art critic)
May Thet Zaw (associate director, The New Yangon Theatre Institute)
Nyein Way (poet)
101 Books donated by Charta Art Publisher (Italy)
PRESS COVERAGE /
WOCHI KOCHI MAGAZINE: A Glimpse at Myanmar’s Art Scene and Its Pursuit of Knowledge and International Recognition by Mami Kataoka
ART RADAR JOURNAL: Contemporary Dialogues: Art in Myanmar – interview
EXIBART: Myanmar, questa sconosciuta – Intervista [ITA]
ARTPORTAL.HU: Nyomozás a kortárs művészet után Mianmarban. III. [HUN]
RFA Myanmar Video Channel: Art World
Media Corner /
Contemporary Dialogues Yangon – Press Release
Contemporary Dialogues Yangon 2014 – Program
Charta art Publisher (Italy) donates 101 books to MARCA – Press Release
Contemporary Dialogues Yangon is developed, organised and curated by Ilaria Benini and Thomas Nadal Poletto (Flux Kit) in partnership with Pun+Projects, with the support of Institut Français de Birmanie, Goethe Institut, Japan Foundation and Embassy of Italy in Yangon.