Imagining the Unknown Future, Contemplating the Cold War Past
27 November 2021 – 28 February 2022
Future Tense is the inaugural exhibition of the new Jim Thompson Art Center (JTAC) and is being held to celebrate the completion of the new building, which has been under construction since 2018. The 14 participating artists present works that deal with the aftermath of the Cold War, the remnants of which still resonate today. It is also reflexive in the sense that the artists have considered their own beliefs, judgments and artistic practices during the research process. The artists work in a variety of media, such as photography, video, media art, installation and text-based works. Future Tense is about moving towards an uncertain future, a destination that we cannot reach without revisiting the past, contemplating the present and imagining the unknown future. The Cold War was an important period in global history; it was at this critical time that the American military officer, James H.W. Thompson started his new life in Thailand after being discharged from the army at the end of World War II. Thompson later settled in Bangkok where he established the world-famous Thai Silk Company Limited and built a compound of traditional Thai houses to display his remarkable Southeast Asian art collection. Future Tense contemplates this period of history in Thailand as a departure point, and situates it within the regional and global context.
Jakarta Biennale 2021 ESOK
21 November 2021 – 21 January 2022
Toward the end of 2019, “ESOK” was conceived as the main theme of the Jakarta Biennale XVI. The idea is to touch on the numerous life issues in the world today: human rights, the environment, diversity, gender equality, political polarization to digital disruption. These problems have been revolving; being read, contemplated, discussed, and expressed in the corridors of contemporary art. By way of a rereading of history and a gaze toward the future, strategies and experimentations in what art can offer bear the urgency while in search of and creating meanings of ESOK. Raising hope for ESOK, the Jakarta Biennale mutates to offer the novelty of the future. When the pandemic later passes, we will build a new history together, toward ESOK that we aspire to.