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.


The Breathing of Maps (Thailand)


The Japan Foundation Asia Center will present "The Breathing of Maps" in Thailand in January 2020.

The history of modernization in Asia is in part a history of confrontation with the West. As a symbolic product of the modernization process, maps reveal the dramatic changes in national sovereignty, culture, economics, and folkways that transpired in Asia under the influence of the West. Maps have functioned as a visual means of generating the concepts of space and community that distinguish modern society.
Thai historian Thongchai Winichakul posits that the maps produced by modern geographers have been instrumental in forming the spatial conceptions and community (i.e. national) consciousness of Thailand as a modern nation-state. He uses the term "geo-body" to describe this concept.

Treating the geo-bodies defined by maps as dynamic, not static entities, the exhibition examines the social transformations occurring in the layers of time that lie between maps as it explores the "living geo-bodies" shaped by the ongoing accumulation of human activity.

Accompanying the exhibition will be related artworks, performances, and lectures by artists and scholars from Southeast Asia and Japan based on their own unique research into the history, culture, politics, economics, folkways, and other social phenomena of their respective countries.
The program is a reconstruction of the exhibition entitled "The Breathing of Maps" held at the Yamaguchi Center for Arts and Media [YCAM] in December 2018- March 2019 and Tokyo Metropolitan Theatre in July 2019.

Event Details


Chiang Mai
January 25 (Sat.) – 30 (Thu.), 2020
MAIIAM Contemporary Art Museum GoogleMap
Organized by: The Japan Foundation Asia Center, MAIIAM Contemporary Art Museum
Supported by: Yamaguchi Center for Arts and Media [YCAM]

February 1 (Sat.), 2020
Ayara Hall, Jim Thomson House GoogleMap
Organized by: The Japan Foundation Asia Center, Jim Thompson Art Center


Hikaru Kuwahara (Ms.)
Benyatip Tiraviriyapol (Ms.)
The Japan Foundation, Bangkok
Tel: 66-2-260-8560~4, E-mail: /

MAIIAM Contemporary Art Museum
Tel: 66-52 081 737

Yasuko Furuichi (Ms.)
Arts, Culture, and Exchange Section 1
The Japan Foundation Asia Center
Tel: 81-3-5369-6140

*Please check the following site for more details.
The Japan Foundation, Bangkok


Mark Teh (Member of Five Arts Centre, Malaysia)
Kumiko Idaka (Independent Curator, Japan)


Gridthiya Gaweewong (Artistc Director, Jim Thompson Art Center, Thailand)

Lecture & Lecture Performance & Symposium

Ho Rui An (Artist, Singapore)
Ho Tzu Nyen (Artist, Singapore)
Irwan Ahmett & Tita Salina (Artist, Indonesia)
Monthatip Suksopha (Director of Wandering Moon Performing Group, Thailand)
Yudai Kamisato (Theater Director, Japan)
Charnvit Kasetsiri (Historian, Thailand)
Thanavi Chotpradit (Art Historian, Thailand)
Thongchai Winichakul (Historian, USA/Thailand)
Masashi Kohara (Curator/Critic, Japan)

Video Screening

Carlos Celdran (Artist, Philippines)
Farish A. Noor (Historian/Philosopher, Singapore/Malaysia)
Janet Pillai (Sociologist, Malaysia)

Events Schedule

  • Jan 25, 2020 (Sat.), at MAIIAM Contemporary Art Museum
    1:00 p.m. [Special Tour]
    Gridthiya Gaweewong, San Kamphaeng 101: special temple, food, craft & Studio tour
    *To sign up
    (lunch 200THB)

    7:00 p.m. [Lecture Performance]
    Charnvit Kasetsiri, An Imperial Sake Cup and I
    Directed by Ka-ge Teerawat Mulvilai, Nonthawat Numbenchaphol & Anan Krudphet

    Jan 26, 2020 (Sun.), at MAIIAM Contemporary Art Museum
    Moderated by Sing Suwannakij
    2:00 p.m. [Talk]
    Thanavi Chotpradit, Map, Mourning and Monument

    3:00 p.m. [Talk]
    Masashi Kohara, The 1903 World's Natives Building and Exposition

  • Jan 27, 2020 (Mon.), at MAIIAM Contemporary Art Museum
    7:00 p.m. [Lecture Performance]
    Irwan Ahmett & Tita Salina, Name Laundering

  • Jan 28, 2020 (Tue.), at The Wandering Moon Theatre & Thepsiri Art House GoogleMap
    6:00 p.m. [Talk & Drink Event]
    Yudai Kamisato, Stranger Encounters: Between Ayutthaya and Awamori

    8:00 p.m. [Lecture Performance]
    Monthatip Suksopha, Shadow World

  • Jan 29, 2020 (Wed.), at MAIIAM Contemporary Art Museum
    7:00 p.m. [Lecture Performance]
    Ho Rui An, Asia the Unmiraculous

  • Jan 30, 2020 (Thu.), at MAIIAM Contemporary Art Museum
    7:00 p.m. [Lecture performance]
    Ho Tzu Nyen, The Critical Dictionary of Southeast Asia

  • Feb 1, 2020 (Sat.) at Ayara Hall, Jim Thompson House
    2:00 p.m. - 5:00 p.m. [Symposium]
    Between Geo-Bodies and the Unforgetting
    Thongchai Winichakul, Irwan Ahmett, Tita Salina, Kumiko Idaka, Mark Teh

This is the certified project of beyond 2020 program.