- "Contested Modernities. Postcolonial Architecture in Southeast Asia" Exhibition
By reworking the ideas and concepts from a regional perspective – in other words with knowledge of the climatic requirements of buildings in tropical regions and cultural specificities – local modernisms emerged which, for a long period of time, shaped the image of Southeast Asian cities.
Contested Modernities is part of the long-term Encounters with Southeast Asian Modernism programme, originally launched in 2019 with exhibitions and events in Phnom Penh, Jakarta, Yangon and Singapore. Five curatorial teams have explored the significance of local architectural modernisms in different ways. The exhibition brings these contributions together in Berlin. Documentary projects, interviews and artistic research works provide great insight into the debates conducted in the respective cities. These contributions are complemented by a look at the role played by the two German states in the modernisation process in Southeast Asia during the Cold War. The section of the exhibition entitled “Poelzigs Enkel und die Platte in den Tropen: Deutsche Einflüsse und Projekte in Südostasien (Poelzig's nephew and the prefabricated slab in the tropics) takes stock of planning and construction activities with the participation of the Federal Republic of Germany and the GDR (German Democratic Republic) in several countries in South-East Asia from the 1950s to the 1970s. The intent is to open a shared thought process to explore new perspectives on the perception and treatment of modernist architecture in Southeast Asia, as well as in Germany, of which the exhibition venue, the Haus der Statistik (House of Statistics) is a good example. Built as an administrative building in a central location in the city, it remained empty after reunification, doomed to demolition. Thanks to the commitment of civil society and an open-minded administration, it will now be reused as a model project combining cultural, social, educational, residential and administrative uses in this special place.
Contested Modernities is an initiative curated by Sally Below, Moritz Henning, Christian Hiller and Eduard Kögel.
"Contested Modernities. Postcolonial Architecture in Southeast Asia" Exhibition
From September 10 to October 30, 2021
Haus der Statistik, Haus A, Berlin
Images: see captions
Find out more: https://www.seam-encounters.net/programme/contested-modernities-exhibition/