Migration Narratives in East and Southeast Asia
Migration is accompanied by narratives. After all, border crossings require certain stories. The knowledge that organizes migration circulates in networks ― in loosely knit networks as well as in networks of family and friendship. The stories of migration, most of which have no place in official historiography, are recorded, remembered, and passed on. They are found in letters, conversations, phone calls, connections on social media, as well as in books, films, photographs, drawings, songs, and art. What, how, when, and where migration is, is determined by those who make the journey and less by those who try to prescribe and limit it with laws. At the same time, migration must always be seen in relation to time and space. Wherever migration is taking place, something new will always be written: migration makes history.
Narratives of Migration looks at a number of narratives and stories from various artistic and curatorial perspectives, examining not only their content, but also their formats. Narratives of Migration are documents, reports, and fabulations at the same time.
The starting point is a spatial setting; the process is that of exchange and relation: curators from East and South East Asia have examined the relationship between art and migration.
The focus was on the following questions, among others: Who is talking about migration and when? What is being negotiated? What is the relationship between art and migration? Are these works of art about migration, about migrants, or by migrants? Is art one of the sites of migration, as a topic, a structure, or an attitude? Is migration an artistic or above all an artful practice? Does migration bring about art, does art make migration possible, or is it perhaps the other way around? Are art and migration related? Is there an art of migration, art about migration, or art with migration?
Narratives of Migration consists of a number of projects and stations in Asia, and attempts to draw connections: between art and migration, between the curators involved, between the respective areas of research, between the locations where the Narratives of Migration have taken and will take place, with workshops, research trips, collective viewings, studio visits, and discussions with artists as well as solo and group exhibitions.
This exchange will be made visible through commissioned artistic works and curatorial contributions from the group at exhibitions and podium discussions in Beijing, Hong Kong, Ulan Bator, and Gwangju.