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 thematises 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, and the search for an own identity, starting with the period of upheaval that accompanied the transition to independence after colonial times.

SEAM Spaces: Phnom Penh, Jakarta, Yangon and Singapore
October – December 2019

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 globalization and local adaptation.

To do so, 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 will be 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 will 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.

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Project kick-off and public symposium in Berlin
30 August 2019

For the official project kick-off, the initiators and local curators as well as other contributors from all participating countries will meet in Berlin from 29 August to 4 September 2019. They will reflect on the project in internal workshops and exchange ideas with German academics and professionals, artists and initiatives.

To share the project with a wider audience and open up the discourse, Encounters will be presented in a public symposium on 30 August 2019. The curators and other contributors will give insight into their fields of work and present the project activities in their respective countries, introducing the SEAM Spaces in Phnom Penh, Jakarta, Yangon and Singapore. Other international partners will contribute to the discussion with talks and lectures.

Furthermore, the German and Southeast Asian project partners will meet with local experts, architects, artists and urban activists on thematic city tours throughout Berlin and explore the Bauhaus legacy on an excursion to Dessau.