Shapes of the land: Can Southeast Asia be tied together? Whenever countries are clumped together in one short-lived little village otherwise known as the international exhibition, questions often recur to me. Two of which: In what way do we treat nationalism as a kind of performance? When we ask our artists to present a work, in what way are we actually asking them to represent a place? Dr. Patrick Flores, art historian and curator of the recently opened “Ties of History,” shares his reflection on the role that nationality plays in the practice of art-making. While there are those who say that a nation is no longer relevant, Flores contends, “It is, but as one moment in the life of the artist. It’s not something you can dismiss easily but (neither does) nationality determine (the totality of) an artist’s life.” What would it mean, then, to have a show that puts focus on the region to which the nation belongs? “Ties … [Read more...] about Shapes of the land: Can Southeast Asia be tied together?
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The last image I got from my short trip is now stuck in my head. Ao Nang Beach was filled with cans, bottles, lighters and waste wood washed up by the tide. That trash is piling up on Thai beaches is not fresh news, but Thai people, the media and government should be aware that this is a growing problem. The problem is particularly bad in Sirinat National Park on the northwest of Phuket island. Phuket International Airport has joined forces with the local and national government to build an airport extension and display a great image of the country to the eyes of international tourists, so it doesn’t make any sense to see the growing heaps of trash on the shoreline of the beach next to it. A great way of trying to improve this situation would be to join the global Blue Flag programme. This provides independent, external verification of the quality of water and beaches around the world (www.blueflag.global). The programme has not yet caught on in Southeast Asia (or … [Read more...] about Fly the Blue Flag to halt glaring problem on Thai beaches
SINGAPORE - Singapore Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong said on Saturday a mounting trade spat between the United States and China was one of the most pressing concerns for Southeast Asian nations. Lee flagged his concerns in remarks made as he opened a summit of the 10-member Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), for many of which the United States and China are the top two trading partners. "In particular, the recent trade tensions between the US and China are worrying concerns," Lee said as ASEAN members gather for the organisation's 32nd summit. The US Trump administration has threatened to impose tariffs on up to $150 billion of Chinese imports, and Beijing has vowed retaliation against American exports. On Saturday Lee said the open and rules-based multilateral trading system, which has backed the growth of ASEAN member states, has come under pressure as the political mood in many countries has shifted against free trade. Also on the agenda at the summit were the … [Read more...] about News US, China trade tensions a pressing concern for Southeast Asia
caption A CH-47 Chinook carries the national flag while accompanied by Apache Longbow attack helicopters during a flyby at the National Day parade in Singapore, August 9, 2009. source Reuters Singapore is an island city-state with the best air force and navy in Southeast Asia, and one of the most powerful militaries in the world. The country’s vast wealth enables it to buy and produce the best equipment available Singapore has been able to integrate complex weapons systems and training tactics flawlessly, making its military a strong cohesive unit. When thinking of countries that have the strongest militaries in the world, giants like the US, Russia, China, and the UK come to mind. In Asia – and Southeast Asia in particular – China, Indonesia, Vietnam, and Thailand are usually mentioned. But the country that boasts the best air force and navy in the region, and a military that is … [Read more...] about How a tiny city-state became a military powerhouse with the best air force and navy in Southeast Asia
Magazine names De Lima among Southeast Asia's women to watch Audrey Morallo (philstar.com) - March 29, 2018 - 12:50pm MANILA, Philippines — Detained Sen. Leila De Lima is among Southeast Asia's women to watch, an Asia-Pacific magazine says. According to The Diplomat magazine, De Lima's refusal to stay quiet despite being incarcerated is an important message that there was a "robust resistance" determined to make the Philippines safe despite the massive popularity of President Rodrigo Duterte. "She has continued her fight against the Duterte administration from behind bars and inspired progressive Filipinos and international human rights activists alike, including Pope Francis," Erin Cook of the Tokyo-based The Diplomat wrote. "Her refusal to stay quiet is an important message often obscured that while Duterte continues to enjoy high polling and support in the country, there is a robust … [Read more...] about Magazine names De Lima among Southeast Asia’s women to watch