The Power Institute with Sydney Ideas is pleased to present a lecture by Dr Apinan Poshyananda, former Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Culture, Thailand, the first in our series of Keir Lectures on Art.


During the past twenty years contemporary art from Southeast Asian region has emerged with critical acclaim. Almost  unrecognized prior to this period, artists have been key players in promoting national identities and regional talent.

Amidst changes in the international art world, Southeast Asian contemporary art has served as catalysts for cultural exchanges and international spectacle.

The body as art, ritual and identity politics has played a prominent role in emergence of contemporary art in this region. Performative action and relational aesthetics opened up space on the body, gender and ethnicity. However, body as art is not always affiliated with protest, anti war, femminism and activism.

This lecture will discuss Australia’s important contribution and leading role as promoter of festivals, forums and discourse on Southeast Asian contemporary art.


Dr Apinan Poshyananda is former permanent secretary of Ministry of Culture, Thailand. He is art historian, critic, artist and curator who has been involved in Venice Biennale, Sydney Biennale, Istanbul Biennale, Liverpool Biennial, Yokohama Triennale, Asia-Pacific Triennial.

He was guest curator of Contemporary Art from Asia: Traditions/Tensions (New York, Vancouver, Perth, Taipei), Temple of the Mind (New York, San Francisco, Canberra), Asia-Pacific Triennial, Australian selection (Brisbane), Beyond Paradise (Bangkok, Kuala Lumpur, Shanghai), Heri Dono: Dancing Demons, Drunken Deities (Tokyo), Show Me Thai (Tokyo), Heroes and Holies (Limerick), Floating Chimera (Stockholm), Tout a fait Thai (Paris), Thai-Tanic (New York), Thai Transience (Singapore), Thai Trends (Bangkok), Thai Charisma (Bangkok), Thailand Eye (London). Solo shows by Zhang Peili, Nobuyishi Araki, Yasumasa Morimura, Marina Abramovic.

He is author of Modern Art in Thailand (Oxford University Press), Western-style Painting and Sculpture in the Royal Thai Court (Royal Household), Behind Thai Smile, Playing with Slippery Lubricants (Office of Contemporary Art and Culture). His new book Thai Trace, 1868-2016 will be published in 2017.

He has been awarded 3 medals at National Exhibition of Art, Bangkok, Outstanding Researcher, National Research Council, Bangkok, first class Knight of Royal Order Polar Star by King Carl Gustav XVI, Knight of the Star of Italian Solidarity, government of Italy, Officer of the French Arts and Literature, government of France.


Thursday 10 November
Law School Foyer
Level 2, Sydney Law School, Eastern Avenue, University of Sydney
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Free and open to all with online registrations required.
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Dr Apinan Poshyananda’s lecture is coordinated by the Power Institute as part of the Keir Lectures on Art series, supported by the Keir Foundation and presented in partnership with The University of Melbourne.