Patrick Flores in conversation with Phaptawan Suwannakudt and Samak Kosem


Thursday, 8 April 2021
6:00pm-7:15pm (Sydney AEST)


You will receive a Zoom link upon registration.

This lecture offers remarks on the ways to annotate the artistic work of Philippine artist Junyee germane to the concern for the category of the “environment.” In this regard, the initial proposition is to conceive of nature as material and site as work in the specific context of modernist sculpture and contemporary installation; and the aspiration is to discuss a possible shift from a history of environmental art to an ecological art history, or the imbrication of these two methods that elaborates on the double bind. Crucial in this approach is the materiality of Junyee’s practice that is organized around the following: wood/things; vine; climate; guava; and site. Inflecting these reflections is finally a consideration of the political and the ethical in the social world of art and the art history of the natural. Junyee is acknowledged as one of the initiators of installative art in the Philippines and Southeast Asia and a diligent advocate of the mediation of local materials in the production of contemporary form. He has extensively done projects in the Philippines, Japan, Australia, and Cuba in a career that begins in the sixties and remains active in the present.


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. 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 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.

Sydney Asian Art Series

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

Learn more about this lecture series here.

Presented by

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).