Pollination #3 (2020/2021)

About ‘Pollination’ 
Initiated by The Factory Contemporary Arts Centre in 2018, ‘Pollination’ provides emerging curators and artists in South East Asia the opportunity to co-produce and collaborate, to mutually benefit from this region’s private arts infrastructure – platforms recognizing the value of sharing (pollinating) their critical ideas and activities. Aiming to set up a regional community of producers linking talent to network, space and opportunity, ’Pollination’ seeks to nurture artistic practice via curatorial enquiry, with the view that deeper connections between artists and curators enable critical reflection, writing and dialog – a discourse greatly needed as an intra-regional comparable accessible resource. ‘Pollination’ is envisaged as a long-term collaborative exercise between different institutions/community groups across Southeast Asia, with the aim of offering emerging curatorial and artistic talent the chance to work with other like-minded entities in their region. As one of the first private/non-governmental initiatives of its kind, ‘Pollination’ aims to develop and nurture the skills and relationships between artists and curators interested in working (and questioning) institutional structures of display in Southeast Asia.

Participating Organizations and Artists: ‘Pollination #3’
The third edition of ‘Pollination’ is organized by The Factory Contemporary Arts Centre (Ho Chi Minh City); co-funded by SAM Funds for Art and Ecology (Jakarta) and MAIIAM Contemporary Art Museum (Chiang Mai), with the support of Selasar Sunaryo Art Space (Bandung). Project period January 2020 – May 2021.

COVID-19 can be seen as a form of strike imposed by the earth to push pause for degrowth. Instead of flying across the sea and widening the geographical scope of our research, we follow local trails of rivers and mountains. Such landscapes have been subjected to the whim of colonizer and capitalist, exploiting land via extraction of its natural resources. Following the trail of two hunters, in Thai and Indonesian mythology respectively, invited artists Ruangsak and Maryanto will dig deeper into ‘local embodied knowledge’ of how such practice seeks to balance human desire with awareness of repercussion, attempting to present ways in which impact of human production can/should be measured sustainably. Ruangsak takes the story of Naga, a mythical creature preserving the opulence of nature and known to the locals as the River God. As the years pass and more hunters overexploit their natural resources, there is no control over the rapid change, losing the balance of nature and weakening the belief of Naga. Maryanto takes the story of Barata the elephant hunter who lives under the volcano, who shows us how humans seemingly colonized the non-human world to its own insatiable needs and desires. At this moment in time, even the mightiest hunter can turn into a protector of the human and non-human alike, turning attention to the limit of material resources, questioning consumption habits of society and its ways of ‘living’. ‘Pollination 3#’ proposes we intertwine with nature, prompted by the artistic methodologies of Maryanto and Ruangsak, explored as exhibition titled The Hunters, at the MAIIAM Contemporary Art Museum in April 2021; and as a public program, titled The Gathering, which will also launch a dedicated project website, titled Of Hunters & Gatherers, at Selasar Sunaryo Art Space in May 2021.