LEE, Tang; CHANG, Tang; AUNG SOE, Bagyi
"Misfits" : Pages from a loose-leaf modernity
What makes artworks valuable? How do museums decide what to collect? Today, as the canon is being expanded to include non-Western art, these questions are posed with new urgency while at the same time answering them is becoming more complicated. Based on the eponymous exhibition at Haus der Kulturen der Welt, the book Misfits presents three artists standing at the threshold of the canon: the modernist and film actor Bagyi Aung Soe (1923, Rangoon, British Burma – 1990, Yangon, Myanmar), the artist and poet Tang Chang (1934, Bangkok, Siam – 1990, Bangkok, Thailand), and the cartoonist and filmmaker Rox Lee (born 1950 in Naga, the Philippines). None of these three exceptional figures fits the usual art historical narratives, none of the three can be seen in a national art collection. Using a succinct selection of their impressive works, Misfits reveals what made these artists both marginal and pioneering personalities and why they are important today in particular.
With essays by David Teh (author, curator, researcher, National University of Singapore), Merv Espina (artist and researcher, the Philippines), Yin Ker (art historian, Nanyang Technological University, Singapore), and Mary Pansanga (freelance curator, Thailand)