In 2021, Encounters with Southeast Asian Modernism will continue with Contested Modernities. The substantial knowledge gained from the collaborative work, the mutual curiosity, and the many ties between Berlin and Southeast Asia concerning content and curatorial approaches have strengthened the idea to develop a joint exhibition with an accompanying publication and symposium in Berlin. Contested Modernities will reflect on the concept of modernity in Southeast Asia in the European context and to critically decipher historical and contemporary narratives on the politics of space.
In the context of the Bauhaus centenary 2019 in Germany, Encounters with Southeast Asian Modernism explored the impact of modernism at the crossroads between early globalisation, local conditions, political upheavals, and the search for an independent identity, starting with the period of change that accompanied the transition to independence after colonial times. At the heart of the 2019 programme were the SEAM Spaces (Southeast Asian Modernism Spaces) in Jakarta, Phnom Penh, Singapore and Yangon, which served as open spaces for working, for presenting ideas and collected materials in exhibitions, and for dialogue and discussion.