seam encounters –

connecting ideas through spaces

Encounters with Southeast Asian Modernism sheds light on the history, significance and future of socially relevant design ideas of postcolonial modernism in the region and addresses them in the context of the Bauhaus centenary 2019 in Germany. With partners in four selected cities – Jakarta, Phnom Penh, Singapore and Yangon – Encounters explores the impact of modernism at the crossroads between early globalisation, local conditions, political upheaval and the search for an independent identity, starting with the period of upheaval that accompanied the transition to independence after colonial times.

The Project

Encounters seeks to raise public awareness about the development of postcolonial modernism in Southeast Asia and to demonstrate its underlying potential for the future. The project aims to illuminate cultural achievements in Southeast Asia in the context of national independence and to provoke new questions on globalisation and local adaptation.

The project investigates the interconnections between architecture, urbanism, and social development in the context of independence and addresses architectural concepts and their spatial adaptations in terms of their relevance for contemporary urban society. Encounters brings together the contributions from the four cities to explore the history and the presence of these significant cultural achievements. Each of the locations will be examined in terms of the respective framework conditions and models of social development.

For the official project kick-off, the initiators and local curators as well as other contributors from all participating countries met in Berlin from 29 August to 4 September 2019. To share the project with a wider audience and open up the discourse, Encounters was presented in a public symposium on 30 August 2019.

SEAM Spaces: Phnom Penh, Jakarta, Yangon and Singapore

SEAM – Southeast Asian Modernism – Spaces in each city form the core of the project on site. These are open spaces for working, for presenting ideas and collected materials, and for dialogue and discussion. Each SEAM Space is being developed and implemented together with the local curators and other contributors in the respective countries. A travelling exhibition brings together contributions from the four cities and serves as the framework for the SEAM Spaces.

Depending on the respective thematic focus and program, local events include presentations, lectures, interviews, discussions, screenings and workshops. The SEAM Spaces also serve as the starting point for explorations of the urban space in terms of its modernist and contemporary architecture.

Find out more >>