Zomi – Trans-local Migrants on the Water: Contemporary Art from the Mekong region


Semba Site Art Project

Jul 17 - Sep 05, 2021

All images courtesy of Senba Art Project and the artists

Zomi - Trans-local Migrants on the Water: Contemporary Art from the Mekong region

We will hold an exhibition of our collection from the AURA Contemporary Art Foundation, headed by Yuto Yabumoto, the founder of an international law firm with 21 offices around the world and general producer of Kinan Art Week to be held in Wakayama Prefecture this autumn. The foundation provides grants to artists, curators and exhibitions mainly in Asia, and at the same time, is engaged in collection activities, focused on moving image artworks.
This year's exhibition, titled “Zomi-Trans-local Migrants on the Water: Contemporary Art from the Mekong Region” is a group exhibition featuring mainly young artists who have participated in international exhibitions. Starting from the "Water" of the Osaka Semba and the Mekong Basin countries, we would like to discover the common denominator between the people of Osaka and Asia, and re-present the state of globalization and capitalism from Osaka/Asia.
This exhibition will feature not only prominent artists from the Asian region, such as Arin Rungjang, an exhibiting artist at the 55th Venice Biennale, and Khvay Samnang an exhibiting artist at the Singapore Biennale, but also a total of 10 artists/collectives, mainly regular exhibitors at international exhibitions, who will be introduced for the first time in Japan. The exhibition will be curated by ”Production Zomia," a mixed team of Japanese and Southeast Asian curators led by AURA Contemporary Art Foundation, and this event will provide an opportunity for visitors to experience cutting-edge contemporary art from the Asian region.

【Exhibition Outline】

Dates: July 17, 2021 -September 5, 2021
(Friday, Saturday, Sunday, national holidays and substitute holidays)
Venue: Semba Excel Building (3-2-11 Kyutaromachi, Chuo-ku, Osaka-shi, Osaka, Japan)
Hours: 11:00 - 20:00
(Friday: 16:00-19:00, Saturday: 13:00-19:00, Sunday: 13:00-19:00, National Holidays/Substitute Holidays:13:00 - 19:00)
Fee: 1000 yen for admission (including conference at the venue or online on July 17)
Fee: 500 yen for conference at the venue or online per conference

Official site URL:https://www.semba-art.site/
Ticket selling URL: https://semba-art-site-pj1.peatix.com
※ Advance reservation required.

Organizer: ARTLOUGE Inc.
Co-organizers: Tatsuno Corporation, Japan Arts and Culture Agency, Eastern Culture Foundation, AURA Contemporary Art Foundation, etc.

Production: Artport Inc
Curation: Production Zomia
Artworks: Aura Contemporary Art Foundation


Producution Zomia:
Anonymous curatorial team formed by AURA Contemporary Art Foundation. In the world of Zomia, no individual name is left behind. Based on the oral tradition of their culture, we decided to create an anonymous collective. It is a transnational, mixed production consisting of Japanese curators and Cambodian, Laotian, and Myanmarese curators from the Mekong Basin countries.

【Exhibiting Artists】

Ngoc Nau:
Vietnamese artist Ngoc Nau is a multi-media artist whose originates from Kinh ethnic region of northern Vietnam. She graduated from the Vietnam Fine Arts University with a major in Vietnamese Art History and critique. Her work ranges from moving images, video projections, holograms, augmented reality and collage photography and photography lightbox. Nau has participated in various exhibitions and art projects in Japan, Hong Kong, North Iceland, South Korea, UK, Canada, Singapore, and Vietnam.

Portfolio: Ngoc Nau – Portfolio PDF
The Foundation's Collection
 1. She Dances for Desire 
 2. Ninh Binh-Saigon 

  • Ngoc Nau

  • She Dances for Desire, 2017

  • Ninh Binh – Saigon, 2017

Arin Rungjang:
Thai artist Arin Rungjang is known for his skillful use of historical materials. He overlays large and small narratives across multiple time periods, places, and languages. Events that can draw upon the past, across time and space, are central to Arin's investigations. His work covers a range of media and includes a variety of videos and site-specific installations. The protagonist of his work, "Golden Teardrop," is a woman from Osaka, Japan, who has experienced the vast trade history of sugar from the traditional Thai food stall snack, "Thong Yot," which transcends time and space to connect Europe, Asia, and Japan. This work was exhibited at the 55th Venice Biennale and is part of the collection of the Singapore Art Museum.

Portfolio: Arin Rungjang – Portfolio PDF
Our collection: Golden Teardrop

  • Arin Rungjang

  • Golden Teardrop

Souliya Phoumivong:
Souliya is an animator and new media artist from Laos. Initially educated as a painter, he was the first to develop an artist-run space in Laos. The handmade quality of his work is of utmost importance, and his recent video and installation works imaginatively combine filmed footage, stop-motion animation, and models made from local clay. He also teaches younger artists in the fields of film and animation, and is actively involved in activities in Laos.
Portfolio: Souliya Phoumivong – Portfolio PDF
Our collection: Flow Vol.1

  • Souliya Phoumivong

  • Flow, 2018

Sa Sa Art Projects:
Lyno Vuth (pictured left), Samnang, and Sokchanrlna are the founding members of ‘Stiev Selapak’, an artist collective that re-evaluates and remembers Cambodian history and explores the continuity of visual art practices that were destroyed by the civil war and the Khmer Rouge regime. ‘Stiev Selapak’ established two non-profit art spaces, Sa Sa Art Projects (2010-present) in Phnom Penh between 2010 and 2011. It conducts a daily residency for creative experimentation, creative education programs, exhibitions, and other special collaborative projects.
Sa Sa Art Projects: https://www.sasaart.info

Lyno Vuth:
Our interview: Ten Years of Supporting Contemporary Art in Cambodia

  • Lyno Vuth

Khvay Samnang:
Cambodian artist Khvay Samnang lives and works in Phnom Penh. Samnang's interdisciplinary practice uses humorous and symbolic gestures to present new perspectives on traditional cultural rituals, as well as on history and current events. His work, which encompasses all types of media, focuses on the humanitarian, environmental degradation, and ecological impacts of colonialism and globalization. Each work is based on in-depth research into local idiosyncrasies, structures, and conditions.
Portfolio: Khvay Samnang – Portfolio PDF
Our Interview: Artist of Acting
The Foundation's Collection:
 1. Untitled, 2011
 2. Popil

The exhibited work “Popil” was created for a solo exhibition at the Haus der Kunst, Munich, Germany in 2018. A dragon mask woven from Cambodian fishing vines is symbolically represented by a Khmer dancer wearing it. The two dragons love each other, but are sometimes in conflict, and dance graciously. This work was exhibited at Frieze, UK, and the Bangkok Art Biennale.

  • Khvay Samnang

  • Popil, 2018

  • Untitled, 2011

Lim Sokchanlina:
Cambodian artist Lim Sokchanlina continues to contemplate boundaries. Using photography, video, installations, and performances, Sokchanlina works across documentary and conceptual practices. He draws attention to the various social, political, geopolitical, cultural, economic, and environmental changes in Cambodia in relation to the rest of the world. 
Portfolio: Lim Sokchanlina – Portfolio PDF
Our Interview: Communicate as it is Fusion of reality and unreality
The Foundation's collection:

The work “Letters to the Sea", exhibited this time, is a work that was to be exhibited at the 2020 Singapore Biennale, and reads as the stories of seamen and fishermen of Cambodia at the bottom of the sea. There is a man who emits a voiceless voice on the seabed near the Thai-Cambodian border. Will his voice spread throughout the ocean as a bubble and reach the sea people of the past and the spirits of the sea?

  • Lim Sokchanlina


  • Wrapped Future II, 2019

Mech Choulay and Mech Sereyrath:
The Mech sisters are photographers and videographers born in Kandal Province, Cambodia, and Choulay has a disability in her left eye. All life on earth acquires a history after being damaged once, which transforms life into something more beautiful and unique. “The Mother River” is a work that features a performance by an artist. In this work, unidentified figures, their faces and bodies covered with very long red robes, wander, twist, and float in the river. They are at times sad and at other times eerie, but while they cause the destruction of seasonality, they are not so different from the way in which the river suffers from human actions. This figure digs and eats sand until she becomes pregnant, and a large lump of sand baby is produced. The work was born from the common Khmer word for birth, "Chhlorng Tonle"(crossing the river).
Portfolio: Mech Choulay and Mech Sereyrath – Portfolio PDF
Foundation Collection: Mother of River

  • Mech Choulay

  • Mother of River, 2020

  • Mech Sereyrath

  • Mother of River, 2020

Supaparinya Sutthirat:
Sutthirat is an artist based in Chiang Mai, Thailand, who uses a variety of media, including installations, objects, and still and moving images, to question public information through her work. Her recent projects have focused on the impact of history and human activity on other humans and landscapes, and she is constantly seeking to foster freedom of expression through her art practice. This time she presents a painful question regarding Thailand’s changing rivers and closed sea lanes.
Portfolio: Supaparinya Sutthirat – Portfolio PDF
Our collection: My Grandpa's Route Has Been Forever Blocked

  • Supaparinya Sutthirat

  • My Grandpa’s Route Has Been Forever Blocked, 2012

Maung Day:
Maung Day is an artist, poet, translator, and social activist from Myanmar. Based in Yangon, he works with local non-profit organizations. He is also the editor of several art and literary magazines and has published eight books on poetry. His poems have been published in international journals, and this time he will use Buddhist thought as a basis to question the impermanence of the bounded world.
Portfolio: Maung Day – Portfolio PDF
The Foundation's Collection:
 1. Bloodflowers
 2. Monument of Doubt
 3. Kissers in the Park

  • Maung Day

  • Bloodflowers, 2018

  • Monument of Doubt, 2018

  • Kissers in the Park, 2016

Samak Kosem:
Samak works in the field of anthropology and has been conducting research on Islamic culture and non-humans in the deep south of Thailand in his ongoing research in the region. His work is portrayed through photography and visual ethnography as part of his methodology to reflect partial truths/facts from his research. Samak is also interested in queer studies, with a focus on homosexuality in Islam and understanding the limitations of local and regional gender perspectives.

Portfolio: Samak Kosem – Portfolio PDF
Our interview: Minorities and Artwork in Islamic Society
The Foundation's Collection:
 1. Sheep
 2. By the shore of the sea
 3. Ferocity/violent city

  • Samak Kosem

  • Sheep, 2017-2018

  • By the shore of the sea, 2019

  • Ferocity, 2017


Zomi - Trans-local Migrants on the Water: Contemporary Art from the Mekong region

July 17th 2021 - September 5th 2021
会 場
Semba Excel Building
3-2-11 Kyutaromachi, Chuo-ku, Osaka City, Osaka 541-0056, Japan
電 話
Ticket selling URL: https://semba-art-site-pj1.peatix.com ※ Advance reservation required.
Hours: 11:00 - 20:00(Friday: 16:00-19:00, Saturday: 13:00-19:00, Sunday: 13:00-19:00, National Holidays/Substitute Holidays:13:00 - 19:00) 

Editor: Aura Contemporary Art Foundation