The Power Institute, together with the School of Literature, Arts and Media and the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences at the University of Sydney, presents the symposium ‘Art, Digitality and Canon-making?’ as part of the Gender in Southeast Asian Art Histories project. Following the symposium, on 19 October the exhibition Archiving Womanifesto opens at Cross Art Projects, with original works by members of the Womanifesto collective. Join us for two days of exciting presentations, conversations and art. 


This symposium continues conversations first initiated in Chulalongkorn University in Bangkok in April this year entitled Art, Design and Canon-making? By harnessing the potential of digital tools and methodologies in academic research and digital humanities, the symposium aspires to form a bridge between the tools and ideas in the hope of providing a platform for the presentation of new research on gender broadly, and for the rethinking of frameworks, approaches and methodologies in the writing of feminist and area art histories.


Attempts to scrutinise and challenge canon-making processes from feminist perspectives are often characterised as “re-telling a compensatory history”, in the words of Flaudette May Datuin (University of the Phillipines). Considering each of the various activities involved in feminist art historical work among others, papers presented at this symposium move from thinking with the questions of researching and writing, to questions of making and using archives, as well as approaching and interpreting information, art, and their absences. This symposium offers the opportunity to explore the potential of digital approaches in discourses of gender in Southeast Asian art histories as well as to come to terms with the critical and scholarly issues that may arise.


The event concludes with the opening Archiving Womanifesto at The Cross Art Projects on 19 October. This exhibition foregrounds the voices of several of the artists and organisers involved in this ongoing international project, which began more than two decades ago in Thailand. Archiving Womanifesto shifts our attention to art and artists, and their own agential role in constructing and resisting the canon, including their use of digital tools.


Register for tickets here. For more information about the exhibition opening, click here

Download the programme here. Or scan the code.  The final symposium programme is now available.



(Note: all attendees must be registered to attend.)



Day 1 – Symposium

9:00am – 6:00pm

Friday 18 October 2019

New Law School Foyer

University of Sydney NSW 2006


Day 2 – Archiving Womanifesto

3:00pm – 5:00pm

Saturday 19 October 2019

Cross Art Projects

8 Llankelly Pl, Potts Point NSW 2011


Organising Committee

Dr Yvonne Low, University of Sydney 

Dr Catriona Moore, University of Sydney

Dr Roger Nelson, National Gallery Singapore

Dr Clare Veal, LASALLE College of the Arts


Keynote Speaker

Prof Flaudette May Datuin, University of the Philippines



Dr Siobhan Campbell, University of Sydney

Dr Wulan Dirgantoro, University of Melbourne

Greg Doyle, University of Sydney

Dr Jaya Jacobo, University of the Philippines

Varsha Nair, Womanifesto

Phaptawan Suwannakudt, Womanifesto

Nitaya UeareeworakulWomanifesto

Wong Bing Hao, Independent writer and researcher

Michelle Wong, Asia Art Archive



ARCHIVING WOMANIFESTO: An International Art Exchange, 1990s – Present

In 1995 an informal gathering of women artists, writers and activists in Bangkok put together a feminist art exhibition, Tradisexion. Calling themselves Womanifesto, this collective went on to organize biennale events that aimed to increase women’s visibility. It was the first feminist collective of its kind in the region, seeking to strengthen links between women artists regionally and internationally. Among its many projects include art residencies held in rural Thailand and online curations in cyberspace. Archiving Womanifesto presents this history, with issues raised to be discussed in an open symposium. The exhibition is curated by Varsha Nair, Phaptawan Suwannakudt and Nitaya Ueareeworakul.



We aim to provide a welcoming and inclusive environment, including for parents and care-givers. The organisers offer reimbursement for childcare services required by participants during the symposium and related events. This reimbursement is offered in place of on-site childcare, which regrettably we are unable to provide. If you require childcare support during your participation, please contact the organisers no later than 5 October 2019.


This symposium is supported by the Power Institute together with the School of Literature, Arts and Media and the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences at the University of Sydney. The organisers gratefully acknowledge the partnership of Cross Art Projects for the Womanifesto archive exhibition, and the support of Asia Art Archive and John Cruthers and Professor Elaine Baker.