seam encounters

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.


In 2019, Encounters with Southeast Asian Modernism investigated the interconnections between architecture and urban and social development in the context of postcolonial independence and addressed architectural concepts and their spatial adaptations in terms of their relevance for contemporary urban society. Encounters brought together contributions from Jakarta, Phnom Penh, Singapore, and Yangon to explore the history and the presence of modernist architectural achievements in terms of their respective political and societal conditions.

To share the project with a wider audience in Germany and to open up the discourse, Encounters was launched at a public symposium in Berlin on 30 August 2019.

The 2019 programme closed with a public conference at the CCA in Singapore on 30 November 2019.

Programme: SEAM Spaces in Phnom Penh, Jakarta, Yangon and Singapore

SEAM – Southeast Asian Modernism – Spaces in each city formed the core of the project on site. These were open spaces for working, for presenting ideas and collected materials, and for dialogue and discussion. A travelling exhibition brought together contributions from the four cities and served as the framework for the SEAM Spaces. Each SEAM Space was developed and implemented by local curators and other contributors in the respective countries.

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

Past programme >>

Documentation >>