This month, “Soil and Stones, Souls and Songs” — a traveling and transforming exhibition — opened at the Museum of Contemporary Art and Design (MCAD) at the De La Salle-College of St. Benilde in Manila.
A major international exhibition, it works with the changing landscape of cultural production and contemporary thought in the Asian sphere and beyond, with works from the Kadist collection, case studies curated by Yongwoo Lee, Qu Chang, and Simon Soon, and experiments on forms and processes addressing various contemporary and relevant issues.
Presented by Kadist San Francisco/Paris, MCAD in Manila, and Para Site Hong Kong, and curated by Cosmin Costinas and Inti Guerrero, the exhibit dares engage in a discussion about “the unleashing of the forces of the global market in the region” and how this has “modified the forms of production, labour, landscape and environments, as well as wider societal structures across the continent.”
Further, the exhibit deals with: “The anxieties of the new world, and the often competing aspirations of these reshaped societies, in search of new forms of imagining the political, of new ideas meant to give sense and direction to the changing realities. Many of these ideas try to position themselves in opposition to liberal democracy—perceived as foreign—or even outside of the parameters of Western modernity, often creating complex and hybrid ideological projects. Sometimes continuing ideas from the anticolonial struggle and from the postcolonial nation building process, these ideological projects are nevertheless very current adaptations to the region’s rejuvenation and to what is seen as the crisis of the West.”
Ultimately, the exhibit is an attempt to engage these complex issues “through several interrelated threads, as well as through a number of separate case studies that compose a kaleidoscopic vision of our subject. It is also particularly attentive to aesthetic vocabularies and to how the search for an outside to Western modernity has been reflected in the references or the forms employed by artists of various generations and geographies. While many of the stories traced are occurring within Asia, the exhibition also tries to understand the transformations happening on our continent by tracing their echoes, resonances, and mirrored shadows outside its shores, near and far.”
“Soil and Stones, Souls and Songs” has as participating artists Pio Abad, Mariana Castillo Deball, Kawayan de Guia, Jimmie Durham, Sulaiman Esa, Josh Faught, Edgar Fernandez, Meschac Gaba, Simryn Gill, Sheela Gowda, Ion Grigorescu, Taloi Havini, He Xiangyu, Ho Siu-Kee, James T. Hong, Peter Kennedy & John Hughes, Jane Jin Kaisen, Kyungman Kim, Soyoung Kim/Kim Jeong, So Wai Lam, Ocean Leung, Li Binyuan, Li Ran, José Maceda, Prabhakar Pachpute, Pratchaya Phinthong, Jae Oon Rho, Redza Piyadasa, Motoyuki Shitamichi, Chulayarnnon Siriphol, Walter Smetak, Valerie Snobeck, Tr’o’ng, Công Tùng, Trevor Yeung, Tuguldur Yondonjamts, Dominique Zinkpe.
The Museum of Contemporary Art and Design is at the ground floor of the School of Design and Arts Campus, De La Salle-College of Saint Benilde, 950 P. Ocampo St., Manila. They are open from Tuesday to Saturday at 10AM to 6PM., and Sundays from 10AM to 2PM. Admission is free. “Soil and Stones, Souls and Songs” runs until December 2016. ***