The Panel Discussion on Archive was meant to bring attention not only to archives, but also the panelists experiences working with archive through research, exhibition, and writing/publishing.
Sana started off the discussion by examining his own work and use of archive. Through his personal practice, he looks at war and memory. Memory is the archive of the Civil War in Sri Lanka and Sana isolated experiences through objects, displaying these objects in an exhibition as well as publishing a book – The Incomplete Thombu. His practice involved speaking to people, reliving and sometimes rebuilding their memories.
Hammad followed with some of the archival research and projects of Asia Art Archive, where he is Head of Research. Hammad was asking important questions: what gets written? Who are the voices? What is recognized and what is not? He described 4 separate archives including Salon Natasha, the performance art video archive of Ray Langenbach, the China Interviews of artists in the 1980s, and the India Bibliography.
Zasha Colah and Sumesh Sharma spoke toward the end of the day and shared about some very interesting projects focused on the archives of exiled Myanmar artists. Htein Lin and the prison painting series, Sitt Nyein Aye and his Myanmar archive in India, and Sawangwongse Yawnghwe, a little known exile from Shan State who grew up in a border camp, and remembers Myanmar through his family’s memories and his own recreation of events with historic proportions.
A discussion ensued addressing the issues of archiving such as focus, digitization, personal affiliations and exhibiting archive not through library or catalogue but through curated exhibitions – a way to examine the archive through history and image.
Mobile Library is sponsored by Foundation for the Arts Initiative and Mr. and Mrs. Serge Pun.