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"Open Sea": artistic views on South-East Asia
Until July 12th, a fragrance of Asia invaded the Museum of contemporary art in Lyon (MAC). The exhibition "Open Sea" offers a journey through the modern artistic scene of South-East Asia and Singapore.


South-East Asia stars on the banks of the Rhône riveropen-sea_boo-junfeng_400

This region of the world is at the crossroad of three seas. The China sea, the Indian ocean and the Pacific ocean. This is a region where from one bank to another, from the Philippines to Indonesia, population have been mixing with each other for centuries. In those territories in constant escalation, a museum presentation has been developing for three decades, which is still widely unknown in the Western world. Since April 17th and for three months, this presentation is honoured in the Museum of contemporary Arts of Lyon (MAC).


With "Open Sea", the MAC Lyon kills two birds with one stone. The exhibition takes part in the festival Singapour en France (Singapore in France) started last March. This event celebrates the 50 years of independence of the island and of the diplomatic relations between France and the city-state.

For the museum, this is also the opportunity to continue its work dedicated to foreign scenes. After China, India and Brazil, over 30 artists (emerging or acknowledged) from all over the South-Eastern Asian archipelago came to broadcast their creations on the banks of the Rhône river.


Art as an act of political resistance

In a building designed by Italian architect Renzo Piano, the MAC features two floors of installations, videos, photos, paintings and drawings. "Open Sea": the name proves that the ocean is not an obstacle to overcome, but a pool of a common culture in which national particularities are formed.  

The title of the exhibition is also an invitation to travel, for the Westerner: by stimulating his curiosity, it invites him to change his perception of the region, often seen through the prism of a certain touristic kitsch.


Lina Adam, Boo Junfeng (Singapore), Anida Yoeu Ali (Cambodia), Apotik Komik (Indonesia)… The performances and installations of these artists are just as many acts of resistance in countries where freedom of speech doesn't exist or is under attack. The exhibition is also a means to work on collective memory: this is the case for artist Sutee Kunavichayanont who carves on children desks scenes of the Thai history. His series entitled "History Class" puts the light on a past often rewritten by official canons.


Photo credits: © Boo Junfeng, Happy and free (extract) 2013

Practical information 

Musée d’art contemporain de Lyon
81, quai Charles de Gaulle 
69006 LYON

Wednesday to Sunday, 11:00 am to 6:00 pm 
T +33 (0)4 72 69 17 17