Transcending national boundaries,
the Japan Foundation Asia Center carries out
cultural exchange programs to build up heart-to-heart
relationships between people and enrich the future of Asia.


International Symposium 2019 "Trading Places" / Asia in Resonance 2019


The Japan Foundation Asia Center will present the International Symposium 2019 "Trading Places: Artists, Curators, and Exhibition Making across Multiple Contexts" as part of "The Breathing of Maps" in Asia in Resonance 2019.

In recent decades large-scale international exhibitions and art festivals such as biennale and triennale exhibitions have become major resources and platforms for the production and dissemination of contemporary art around the world, and increase in Japan and the Asia-Pacific region, where their numbers continue to rise. While many of these projects aspire to a global reach through the participation of international curators and artists, they also seek to build platforms for intellectual and cultural practices that can examine and critically respond to local or regional history, politics, and culture. Yet even as the rise of the large-scale exhibition has spurred an expansion of infrastructure and opportunities for them to work across broader scopes, curators are also being asked to show more flexibility and consideration over what they present and how in response to the social situations they engage with through these projects. In some cases, the expectations of the stakeholders upon whose economic support these exhibitions rely—including local and national governments—can also become restrictions, and an impediment to curatorial experimentation.

How do curators and artists navigate this complex situation? This symposium brings together four participants to discuss their experiences working on large-scale international exhibitions and projects: Jeebesh Bagchi of the Delhi-based Raqs Media Collective, artistic directors of the Yokohama Triennale 2020; Ade Darmawan of the Jakarta-based collective ruangrupa, artistic directors of documenta 15 in 2022; Mark Teh, a member of Five Arts Centre in Kuala Lumpur; and Iida Shihoko, chief curator of  Aichi Triennale 2019, opening this August 1. They will provide insights into how they address, connect, and communicate multiple local and specific contexts in relation to the possibilities and limits afforded contemporary art practice by the sites where large-scale exhibitions are held, as well as the cultural production systems of the societies that host them.

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Event Details

Date July 13 (Sat.), 2019 2:00 p.m. - 6:00 p.m.

Tokyo Metropolitan Theatre Gallery 1
Tokyo 1-8-1 Nishi-Ikebukuro, Toshima-ku, Tokyo Googlemap

Language English-Japanese simultaneous interpretation available
Admission Free (Pre-registration required), Capacity: 100 seats
How to apply Please send the following information by e-mail with its subjects as "Trading Places Symposium"
1. Name, 2. Affiliation/Occupation, 3. Phone number, 4. E-mail address
We will send a confirmation as we received applications.
Inquiries Yasuko Furuichi (Ms.)
Arts, Culture, and Exchange Section 1
The Japan Foundation Asia Center
Tel: 81-3-5369-6140
The Japan Foundation Asia Center
organized by
Tokyo Metropolitan Theatre (Tokyo Metropolitan Foundation for History and Culture)


  • Ade Darmawan (Member of ruangrupa, Artistic Directors of documenta 2022)
    Jeebesh Bagchi (Member of Raqs Media Collective, Artistic Directors of the Yokohama Triennale 2020)
    Iida Shihoko (Chief Curator of Aichi Triennale 2019)
    Mark Teh (Member of Five Arts Centre, Guest Curator of "The Brething of Maps")


  • Andrew Maerkle (Writer, Editor)
    Che Kyongfa (Curator, Museum of Contemporary Art Tokyo)


  • 2:00 p.m. - 2:05 p.m.  Welcome by The Japan Foundation Asia Center
    2:05 p.m. - 2:10 p.m.  Opening Remarks by the Moderators
    2:10 p.m. - 2:40 p.m.  Presentation 1: Mark Teh
    2:40 p.m. - 3:10 p.m.  Presentation 2: Iida Shihoko
    3:10 p.m. - 3:30 p.m.  Discussion
    3:30 p.m. - 3:35 p.m.  Break
    3:35 p.m. - 4:05 p.m.  Presentation 3: Jeebesh Bagchi
    4:05 p.m. - 4:35 p.m.  Presentation 4: Ade Darmawan
    4:35 p.m. - 4:55 p.m.  Discussion
    4:55 p.m. - 5:00 p.m.  Break
    5:00 p.m. - 6:00 p.m.  Plenary Discussion

This is the certified project of beyond 2020 program.