++ Peter Weibel
++ Gregor Jansen
++ Huang Du
++ Nicole Wong
++ Nancy Adajania
++ Eugene Tan
++ Yukie Kamiya
++ Pi Li
++ Josef Ng

++ Huang Du: What is Asia? Why is Asia?
++ Independent Curator and Art Critic, Contributing Curator of the Exhibition

In fact, when one is talking about Asian issues, he is aimed at the orientation of major European egocentrism because the region is clouded by the history view of Western egocentrism; another view is to found the imagined space for a political structure beyond national states inside Asia. The pre-assumption and imagination for a national state takes the national state as a core. If we imagine a supra-national space, it should take a nationalist orientation which criticizes to centre the nation state as the core. Such a thought of receiving or disputing the idea of globalization by regional political structure, undoubtedly is impacted and inspired by EC model. Europe has shaped a new economic and political structure beyond the original national-states, to face the challenges brought about by globalization. Of course, European cultural development is the established upon such a whole political structure of super-national state. Therefore, in this contrast, the Asian issue seems very urgent and important; since art is a form of cultural ideals, then it has particularly practical significance to explain and build a possibility of supra-Asia in artistic imagination.
++ Text excerpt from the Catalogue Thermocline of Art. New Asian Waves


++ Nicole Wong: Hong Kong: Re-claimed Time, Re-claimed Space
++ Independent Curator, Festival Director of Microwave, International New Media Arts Festival 2006, Hong Kong, Contributing Curator of the Exhibition

Hong Kong used to be called a 'cultural desert'. I am not sure if there was truly no culture or that there was a rich culture but people were not willing to discuss some of its more profound implications. As one of the best ports in Asia, it naturally serves as the platform for exchanges not only in merchandise, but also in art, ideas, lifestyles, languages and social practices. As a city, it has provided sanctuary to generations of migrants who have left their hometown for reasons of political or economic hardships. It might be true that initially migrants have chosen to temporarily forget a culture that they have left behind: focusing more on the immediate need to rebuild a new livelihood. Culture is gently obscured in the everyday endeavor towards a better material future.
++ Text excerpt from the Catalogue Thermocline of Art. New Asian Waves


++ Nancy Adajania: Shifting Routes, Floating Continents
++ Cultural Theorist and Independent Curator, Contributing Curator of the Exhibition

India has, in many ways, turned its back on Asia. With some notable exceptions like Tagore and Coomaraswamy, India's relationship with the idea of the international has for the most part been effectively a fixation on the West, meaning West Europe and North America. Similarly, for many Indian artists, international art is virtually synonymous with Euro-American art, or with taste legislated from Euro-American centres like New York and London. For many Indians, Asia is really a concatenation of brand names, closely associated with the rise of a consumer economy: LG and Samsung, Honda and Suzuki, Daewoo and Hyundai. Or then Asia is associated with dreams of metropolitan accomplishment and exemplary utopias such as Shanghai and Singapore. Or with holiday destinations such as Phuket and Pattaya, or historical sites such as Borobudur or Angkor Wat. Most Indians regard Asia through the discourses of heritage, exoticism, tourism or official urbanism; significantly, also, this Asia of wish-fulfillment is seen in predominantly Hindu-Buddhist terms, while its Arab and Islamic dimensions are occluded from view.
++ Text excerpt from the Catalogue Thermocline of Art. New Asian Waves


++ Eugene Tan: Contemporary Art in Singapore and Southeast Asia
++ Director, Institute of Contemporary Arts Singapore, LASALLE College of the Arts, Contributing Curator of the Exhibition

Contemporary art from Southeast Asia has never featured particularly strongly on the international art scene. The number of artists from Southeast Asia who have achieved recognition internationally can be counted on one hand. There are several reasons for this. The first is the lack of economic interest in Southeast Asia. Regrettably, international interest in Southeast Asia in recent years has largely revolved around America's 'war on terror', where Southeast Asia is seen as one of the breeding grounds for Muslim fundamentalists. The region has not been perceived in the same way that other parts of Asia have been, namely for their economic potential. The interest in recent years in contemporary art from China and India has been due, in no small way, to the growing economic interest in these countries, with their large, as yet untapped and increasingly affluent populations seen as potential markets for multinational corporations and investors. This correlation between the economic power that a country wields and the interest in the art its produces, in turn, reflects the importance of the art market in the development of contemporary art. While the market has always played an important role, in recent years, its role has come to assume a new and great significance. This is evident in the extraordinary way contemporary Chinese art and Indian art have developed in recent years due to the rapidly growing market for the work.
++ Text excerpt from the Catalogue Thermocline of Art. New Asian Waves


++ Yukie Kamiya: Everyday Life is Full of Melancholy, But Also a Source of Infinite Inspiration, Leading to Small Revolutions: Current Trend in Japanese Art
++ Independent Curator, Contributing Curator of the Exhibition

The perception of 'Asian art' has changed dramatically in the current international art scene. When you visit to the Asian Art Wing at the Metropolitan Museum in New York, located at the north end of the museum building on fifth avenue, also known as the Museum Avenue, you can appreciate historical artifacts from an Asian art collection of more than 60,000 objects, promoted by the museum as the most comprehensive in the West. At this museum, the Department of Far Eastern Art was established during the World War I in 1915 and the name was changed to the Department of Asian Art in 1986. No less than a decade ago, people might have associated those historical art collections with the represented image of 'Asian art'. The geographic category of Asia within the broader context of art was taken for granted as historical cultural heritage.
Recent attention towards the Asian contemporary art scene has been undoubtedly fostered by two interconnected phenomena: globalization and rapid economic growth caused by open-door policies between Asian countries and the world. Asian contemporary artists have attracted enormous international recognition.
++ Text excerpt from the Catalogue Thermocline of Art. New Asian Waves


++ Pi Li: Unlimited - Political Art and Fresh Air
++ Director, Universal Studios Beijing, Contributing Curator of the Exhibition

After 2000, following the wide-spread acceptance of Chinese contemporary art in social, political and main-stream art circles, as well as noticing the domestic and international market boom, new artistic production has become an issue of interest both at home and abroad. Despite the implicit bias within the dominant discourse to define new developments on grounds of their age, which seems to implicit that artists are to some extent lazy and opportunistic, these artists are manifesting truly distinctive new characteristics. This kind of phenomenon exists not only in fine arts, but also in music, film and literature.
Being aware of the post cultural revolution era, they developed their own artistic language and performance. In fact, the characteristics of these artists should not be regarded superficially through styles and appearances - a habit showed to be restricted by many predecessors; its importance is less formalistic, than connected to their genuine concern and perception of current reality.
++ Text excerpt from the Catalogue Thermocline of Art. New Asian Waves


++ Josef Ng: Thai Contemporary Art in Post-Millennia Charm and Chasm
++ Josef Ng, Curator & Consultant, Tang Contemporary Art, Contributing Curator of the Exhibition

Charm is the word that is often being propagated to signify Thailand and its people. To be consistently voted as one of the best countries or cities (for its capital Bangkok) to visit in the world is not mere illusion as the land of the Thai indeed has much to offer. From the generous attitudes of the locals, the best value for money in retail and service industry, the wondrous islands and natural landscapes and, not least of all, the blending in both traditional and modern excessiveness, the country sure prides itself for its sheer resources to inspire the world.
And right at the frontier is Bangkok, one of the most engaged spots in Asia, if not in the world. The city remains excessive. It is excessive in space, potential networking, mode of opportunities and its sheer freedom to sprawl. Best of all, Bangkok offers the citizens, settled here by accident or by intension, a free and easy atmosphere in which to live and work cheaply.
Now, is that all it takes to be the best? Or, does the country only want to be appraised for cheap bargains and destined to remain an exotic haven? Where, then, does the 'Here and Now' of contemporary art and culture leave?
++ Text excerpt from the Catalogue Thermocline of Art. New Asian Waves