In Conversation: Patrick Flores, Phaptawan Suwannakudt & Samak Kosem

The second event in the 2021 Sydney Asian Art Series, which took place on 8 April 2021.


Patrick Flores is Professor of Art Studies at the Department of Art Studies at the University of the Philippines, which he chaired from 1997 to 2003, and Curator of the Vargas Museum in Manila. He is the Director of the Philippine Contemporary Art Network. He was one of the curators of Under Construction: New Dimensions in Asian Art in 2000 and the Gwangju Biennale (Position Papers) in 2008. He was a Visiting Fellow at the National Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C. in 1999 and an Asian Public Intellectuals Fellow in 2004. Among his publications are Painting History: Revisions in Philippine Colonial Art (1999); Remarkable Collection: Art, History, and the National Museum (2006); and Past Peripheral: Curation in Southeast Asia (2008). He was a grantee of the Asian Cultural Council (2010) and a member of the Advisory Board of the exhibition The Global Contemporary: Art Worlds After 1989 (2011) organized by the Center for Art and Media in Karlsruhe and member of the Guggenheim Museum’s Asian Art Council (2011 and 2014). He co-edited the Southeast Asian issue with Joan Kee for Third Text (2011). He convened in 2013 on behalf of the Clark Institute and the Department of Art Studies of the University of the Philippines the conference “Histories of Art History in Southeast Asia” in Manila. He was a Guest Scholar of the Getty Research Institute in Los Angeles in 2014. He curated an exhibition of contemporary art from Southeast Asia and Southeast Europe titled South by Southeast and the Philippine Pavilion at the Venice Biennale in 2015. He was the Artistic Director of Singapore Biennale 2019 and is the Curator of the Taiwan Pavilion for Venice Biennale in 2022.

Phaptawan Suwannakudt (born in Thailand, 1959), trained as a mural painter with her late father Paiboon Suwannakudt and led a team of painters that worked in Buddhist temples throughout Thailand during the 1980s-1990s. She was also involved in the women artists group exhibition Tradisexion in 1995 and in Womanifesto. She relocated to Australia in 1996 and completed MVA degree at Sydney College of the Arts, The Sydney University. She has exhibited extensively in Australia, Thailand and internationally including Traces of Words: Art and Calligraphy from Asia, Museum of Anthropology, UBC, Vancouver, Canada (2017) Retold-Untold Stories, Chiang Mai (2014) and Sydney (2016), Thresholds: Contemporary Thai Art, New York (2013) and the18th Biennale of Sydney: All Our Relations (2012). she is selected to participate in Beyond Bliss the Inaugural Bangkok Art Biennale, Thailand (2018-9) Most recently her work is included in Asia TOPA 2020, Art Centre Melbourne and The National 2021, Art Gallery of New South Wales. Her works are in public collections including the Art Gallery of New South Wales, Art Bank Sydney, the National Art Gallery of Thailand and the National Gallery Singapore.

Samak Kosem (b 1984) lives and works in Chiang Mai, Thailand. He works in the field of anthropology and is researching in Northern Thailand on transnational sexuality and the remaking of borders-bodies as part of his on-going PhD project at Chiang Mai University. Since 2017, he has merged social sciences and art practice to shape knowledge on queer studies and nonhuman subjects as portrayed through visual ethnography and assemblage art. His project focus on ‘queer Muslim’ in the Deep South border together with socio-cultural context of sheep and sea waves, later this project was part of the first edition of Bangkok Art Biennale in 2018. His art works on queer, nonhuman and migration have been presented internationally in galleries and museums.

This event is part of the 2021 Sydney Asian Art Series, convened by Olivier Krischer.

Learn more about this lecture series here.

The series is co-presented by the University of Sydney’s China Studies Centre, The Power Institute, and VisAsia, with support from the Art Gallery of New South Wales.


“Enable me to be great full for Your favour”, still image from “Ramadan Nights” (2021) by Samak Kosem (with assistance by Jeff Moynihan).