Wassan AL-KHUDHAIRI (Iraq)

In these times of uncertainty across the globe thinking about the future can cause much anxiety. Alternatively some might say the future is all we have to hold on to. In a world that is becoming so obsessed with extreme binaries the crucial in-between spaces are becoming extinct. The 2017 Asian Art Biennial aims to explore the tool of negotiation as a means to navigate the possibilities for the future. Creating a platform to explore a trilateral discussion between art, public and society the Biennial hopes to engage in a conversation focused on the way artists through their practice employ the act of negotiating to influence power and politics, give a voice to the unheard, and transform collective thought.

Ade Darmawan (Indonesia)

Seeing art as a social practice will be as important for us to view the artistic practice as a way to speculate into the future. Future might be a luxury idea in a certain context, but art can always negotiate and strategize for it from the present. Art as today’s constant and never-ending negotiation will shape our near future. Negotiation and speculation give art today a strong role in enriching the society’s criticality and imagination.

In today’s super complex reality, it has not only changed the lives of the people, but also changed the position of artists. The artists of today are demanded to have multi-dimensional approach and sensibilities. Through engagement approach in the community, the position of the artist organically shifted to become the collaborator, and mediator. With such strategic and significant position, artists’ and the communities bring the artistic and knowledge production to a broader context to keep on being relevant.

Kenji KUBOTA (Japan)

With globalization, various issues of economic inequality, environment, ethnicity and religion in this society have been expanded to be more crucial and more complicated. These issues, however, are definitely not to be solved by merely ignoring the problems, believing in nativism or protectionism, or even by waging wars.

Art is a process of inspiring the imagination of viewers or participants via works. It is all about creating new possibilities in the future. With the innumerable practices of negotiation, a new horizon of the future is discovered, and if all those negotiating practices are full of creative imagination, then we surely will have an innovative future with diversified alternatives.

LIN Hsiao-Yu (Taiwan)

Negotiation the Future is looking to highlight contemporary art’s power to act and dynamism and also how art could obtain a sense of balance and seek out negotiation possibilities in the midst of different relation and power struggles. Artists use their art practices to spark discussions on imbalanced conditions observed in today’s society, with social and historical critiques raised through actions. The artworks could be considered as incentives or bargaining chips for power or social negotiations. With mediation, arbitration, or compromise constantly taking place, each negotiation could potentially ignite colossal changes, and the changes could catapult us into the next unknown phase.