Art / Zen and the art of minimalism in Southeast Asia

An exhibition in Singapore is putting minimalism in the spotlight for the first time in Southeast Asia – and revealing a history of radical artistic experimentation in the region that breaks down traditional borders.

Pich Sopheap’s newest installation hangs from the glass roof of National Gallery Singapore, two imposing structures the size and shape of shipping containers cutting across several stories of the open foyer. There is a weightless quality to them; instead of the opaque steel of the docks, Sopheap, who is widely considered one of Cambodia’s leading international artists, has woven together rattan and bamboo to encase a sculpture of pure air, transforming a capitalist symbol of global trade into something that truly transcends borders.

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