Neither future

Chumpon Apisuk

Asia plunged into economic breakdown.  Both the goverments of Asian nations and private investors swept these countries into economic crisis.  Nevertheless, we see the current situation as an opportunity for change.  The failure of our leaders brought insights to the people of Asia.  These insights have prompted many citizens to speak out in the street of cities across the Kontinent.
During the past few decades, Asia had entered a political dimension. Our countries are part of global economy and free market system of CAPITALISM (whatever it means). We are coming closer to attaining freedom than ever before.  Discussions on civil liberty, human rights, and the Korruption of politicians are taking place on an unprecedented scale.  This wave of change has been building for some time and it appears that new era is finally upon us.
As citizen of the world we encourage peace and prosperity, we call for recognition of our human right, our arts and our culture. We are all creative human being and we need support and opportunity.  Economic should not be solely concerned with bringing in money. A budding economy must also bring opportunity for all: opportunity for education, jobs, social welfare, healthcare and the opportunity for community activism and expression.
We often hear laudatory sermons on the radio and television extolling our glorious past, the utopia realm of Thailand’s history. We see the glory of Shukhothai and Audhaya posted in beer advertisements and tourism brochures. The creators of these glorious images and form of cultural propaganda are advertising firms and government’commissions.    They seek to impress upon Thai citizen that the glorious past once more awaits them in the future. This seems a laughable proposition, a bad comedy routine, but it has a profound effect on many Thais. Many of us are plagued with the insecurity of our current situation. These inhibit Thai people from envisioning the future by replacing our future with the past.
Out of our dissatisfaction with nostalgic reconfigurations of the past and our solidarity with the sufferings of our fellow Thais, we invented Asiatopia. The word was invented spontaneously. Asiatopia leads us to imagine an ideal society, an open society with peace and freedom. Unilateral expressions of political unity are always circumspect. Nevertheless, they appear in almost every popular political movement. We view Asiatopia as a cultural, rather than a political, ideal. lt is cultural in that we seek ways of living and working together. Asiatopia rejects the present situation in which justice is not met and the natural - balance is being destroyed.  However, we neither condemn the present world, nor aim to create a new society. We seek only to represent an idealism that is present in our being as citizens of a single world.   We think of beautiful Asia, and we ask ourselves what is beautiful Asia? We do not have the means or the desire for television advertisements for our -topia and we do not wish to advertise Asiatopia. lt is just and expression which demands imagination and that challenges the existence of our unjust and despotic world.
We are just living in this society like everyone else, but with the dreams and challenges of Asiatopia, as we all have the right to do.......nor dream.

Asiatopia II
Bangkok, Thailand
20-21 November 2542 B.E (A.D.1999)
57/60 Tivanond Road, Nonthaburi 11000,Thailand,
tel: +66-2-968-8021; fax: +66-2-526-3294,

ASIATOPIA II is an Asian Performance Art Festival, supported by the Bangkok Metropolitan Administration (BMA). It is organized by Concrete House, in co-operation with    EMPOWER Foundation, the Office of Social Welfare Division of BMA and five other independent Artists Groups. The first ASIATOPIA was held in October 1998,  with participation from 19 Artists from Japan, Korea, Bangladesh, Indonesia, Singapore and Thailand.
This year, ASIATOPIA will be held in November 20-21 at Saranrom Park in the old city of Bangkok. There will be 30 artists from Bangladesh, Japan, Korea, Myanmar,
Philippines, Singapore, Vietnam, Indonesia, England, Australia and Thailand.
The emphasis of Asiatopia is the strengthening of cooperation among Asian performance artists and related practices.

ASIATOPIA  aims to promote:

• performance art practices
• art activities in public space
• political commitment to contemporary arts
• increased cultural funding and support from the Thai Government and other governments in the region

This year's  ASIATOPIA  will include some new  events to take place alongside the performances, including:

• NETOPIA,  a live broadcast and linkages via electronic mail system, organized and designed by a media artist Prapon Kumjim.  ASIATOPIA is seeking direct    internet links with artists  overseas, in Bangkok and throughout Thailand. If you wish to participate,  please send us your e-mail address. Khun Prapon will contact you to arrange and schedule the link.

• A series of  Artist Talks will be held,  highlighting the artist's works, practices,  and performance arts in their respective cultures. The Talks will culminate with  an evaluation session, entitled "Crossing    Borders". The speakers will focus on the  negotiation of cultural displacement of artists working in foreign cultures. What impact do artists have on the cultures and societies where they practice,  and what is the effect of culture on their work?

Below is a brief description  on what can be expected at this year's festival:

Performance art today usually includes forms of embodied consciousness, including    theatre, dance, video/media, conceptual and public art.

This year's two-day main program will introduce a new range of performance techniques, from new  compositional techniques and aesthetic strategies that deal with various aspects of technological culture,  to creative intervention with the public,  to works of self-definition.

Maruyama Tokio (Japan)  will present "Transition",  a work concerned with  the impact of urbanization on  human  life. Much like the chaos theory, this performance brings to awareness the hyper-connectivity  of seemingly unconnected phenomena, by using a variety of electronic media.

Lin Kailie (Singapore)  will use recorded sound in his performance,    but his contextual critique is directed to  the idea of reconciliation and   'non-interference' in culture. In his  own words, he will be re-formulating the Singapore Government's "White Paper for Shared Values".

Iwan Wijono (Indonesia)  will present dialectical works using  text and  dialogue, as will  Ray Langenbach (USA/Singapore)  who also will be using video projection, and a medical procedure.

The work of South Korean Artists, Ko, SeungHyun and Ri, EungWoo call    for assimilation with the nature.

Thailand, besides the U-Kabat group, a few new faces will be making their regional debut,  including Khun Prapon Kumjim. His fascination with mediascape and cyberspace inevitably transforms our usual perception towards the performance framework that is commonly associated with the U-Kabat group.

Much more could be said about the participating artists and their works, suggesting that most of today's' hybrid,  transcultural performances are the outcome of continuous crossovers,  transmigrations and displacements in the political history of diasporic cultures, as they manifest in the field of ideas, materials or media.

If you seek further publicity or inquiry on this year's ASIATOPIA, please don't hesitate to call or email:
Chumpon Apisuk - Director/Organizer of ASIATOPIA,  Email:

Josef Ng - Editor/Co-organizer

Thanom Chapakdee - Editor/Co-organizer

Asiatopia II
Bangkok, Thailand
20-21 November 2542 B.E (A.D.1999)
57/60 Tivanond Road, Nonthaburi 11000,Thailand,
tel: +66-2-968-8021; fax: +66-2-526-3294,

Asiatopia is an Asian live art festival, focus on performance, public interaction, media works, etc.
Organized by Jaxpa’99 with cooperation of EMPOWER Foundation
Sponsored by Bangkok Metropolitan Administration

Asiatopia Artists:

1.   Mahbubur Rahman

2.   Maruyama Tokio
3.   Smelly

4.   Ko, Zeung – Hyun
5.   Ri, Eung - Woo

6.   Aung Myint

7.   Alwin Reamillo

8.   Lin Kailie, Kai
9.   Ray Langenbach
10. Jason Lim

11. Pham Ha Hai

12. Juliet Lea

13. Iwan Wijono

14. Chumpon Apisuk
15. Surapol Panyawacheera
16. Paisal Plienbangchang
17. Jittima Pholsawake
18. Mongkol Plienbangchang
19. Vasan Sittiket
20. Michael Shaovanasai
21. Prapon Kumjim
22. Sompong Tawee
23. Wantanee Siripattana-Nantakul
24. Charnwit Mongkolsawad
25. Visuth Koosolmanomai
26. Thammasak Meesuk

Guest Artists:
27. Helmut Lemke (Germany/England)
28. Maruyama Yoshiko (Japan)
29. Wijit Apichatkriengkrai (Thailand)
30. Pdungsak Kochasamrong (Thailand)

Asiatopia Event Schedule:

Performance Venue : Saranrom Park (opposite Wat Po)

Mon 15 Nov. Arrival of some Artists

Tue 16 Nov. Artists’ presentation and casual gathering at Gallery 253, 6:00 pm
Artists talk: Jason Lim (Singapore) and Maruyama Tokio (Japan) on their own artistic practices.
Wed.17 Nov. Kick off event: Project 304, 6:00 pm. Party/Meeting with the local art community.
Artists’ Presentation to media performance involving sound.
Speakers : Helmut Lemke (Germany/England) & Lin Kailie (Singapore)

Thu. 18 Nov. All artists arrive
Press Conference at Bangkok City Hall. 1 – 2 pm
Welcoming party: Concrete House, 6:00 pm

Sat.  20 Nov. Program starts from 12 noon
Artists Talk.
Speakers : Mahbudur Rahman (Bangladesh)
Aung Myint (Myanmar)
Pham Ha Hai (Vietnam)
Maruyama Tokio (Japan)
Ri, Eung-Woo (Korea)
Juliet Lea (Australia)

Presentation on their artistic practices.  3 – 4 pm
Discussion on Performance Art in their respective societies  4 – 5 pm
Official opening: 5:30 pm / 1st performance night: 6 - 9 pm

Sun. 21 Nov. Program starts from 12 noon
Artists talk:
Speakers : Jason Lim & Lin Kailie (Singapore)
Alwin Reamillo (Philippines)
Iwan Wijono (Indonesia)
Jittima Pholsawake & Pdungsak Kochasamrong   (Thailand)

Presentation on their artistic practices  3 – 4 pm
Discussion on Performance Art in their respective societies  4 – 5 pm
Moderators for both days : Thanom Chapakdee & Josef Ng
2nd Performance night : 6 - 9 pm
Mon. 22 Nov. Artist’s seminar / evaluation 1 – 3 pm
Speakers : Jay Koh & Ray Langenbach
Topic : Crossing Borders

Thank you party: About Café, 7:00 pm
Loy Kratong (lantern floating festival) at night

Tue:  23 Nov. Artists depart.
** Addresses of various venues: 
Gallery 253
34(23-24A: 2nd floor) Ekamai 21, Vadhana, Bangkok 10110
Tel/Fax : (662) – 382-1406
Project 304
49/3 Setsiri Road
Semsennai, Phayathai
Bangkok 10400
Tel/Fax : (662) – 279-7796
Email :   HYPERLINK,

Concrete House
57/60 Tivanond Road
Nonthaburi 11000
Tel : (662) – 526-8311
Fax : (662) – 526-3294
Email :   HYPERLINK,

About Studio/About Café
402-408 Maitreejit Road Pomprap,
Bangkok 10100
Tel : (662) – 623-1742
Fax : (662) –623-1743
Email :   HYPERLINK,

Bangkok Metropolitan Administration
Dinso Road, Phranakorn District
Bangkok 10200
Tel : (662) – 226-1886
Fax: (662) – 224-9737
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