The Southeast Asian Arts Forum (SEAAF), having recently concluded its third run last August 4 and 5, is a multidisciplinary coming-together focused on the interplay between creative endeavors and community solutions focused on issues within Southeast Asia, especially environmental issues, resource management, heritage conservation, and the accessibility of the creative sector.
The forum is organized by the Institute of Southeast Asian Arts at Nanyang Academy of Fine Arts (NAFA) in Singapore, one of the region�s premiere schools aimed at developing creative professionals. The academy has ties with major institutions around the world such as the Royal Academy of Art in London.
Clockwise: Bridget Tracy Tan, Sirasar Boonma, KristynCaragay, Sukontip Nakasem
Serving as an opportunity for institutions and practitioners to forge new collaborations, the latest run was held in-person in Singapore as well as online. Vietnamese multiplatform artist Uudam Tran Nguyen and Malaysian embroidery artist Jesse Joy were some of the regional luminaries featured.
In Why Eco-Do, Nguyen incorporated Daoism into showing how art can be a force for ecological intervention. Joy presented Finding Bundusan, a documentary on how a particular plant species, the bundusan shapes the heritage of the Kadazan and Dusun people of Sabah, related to how ecological concerns are intimately tied to issues faced by nature�s human guardians: the indigenous people.
In both days of the forum, a number of Filipinos actively participated as either key resource speakers or featured artists.
During a discussion moderated by SEAFF conceptualizer Bridget Tracy Tan on contemporary practices in the arts and creatives sectors, participants were also exposed to different pedagogies and education�s impact on social transformation.
Here, speakers from Thailand such as social entrepreneur and sound engineer and designer Sirasar Boonma and gallerist Sukontip Nakasem of Warin Lab Contemporary joined Nguyen and Joy. University of the Philippines Diliman (UPD) College of Home Economics assistant professor Krystyn Caragay also joined the panel with NAFA lecturer Kimberly Tham and multidisciplinary architect Wendy Teo from Borneo, Malaysia.
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