Moving Pledges: Art And Action In Southeast Asia


Date & Time

Opening Date: Fri 19 Oct 2018, 6:30pm – 8:30pm
Exhibition Period: Sat 20 Oct 2018 – Wed 23 Jan 2019
Opening Hours: 12:00pm – 7:00pm, Tue to Sun, closed on Mon and public holidays


Earl Lu Gallery
Institute of Contemporary Arts Singapore
LASALLE, 1 McNally Street





Artists: FX Harsono, Mella Jaarsma, Bui Cong Khanh, Koh Nguang How, Justin Loke and Yang Jie, Manit Sriwanichpoom, Restu Ratnaningtyas, Ikoy Ricio, Jakkai Siributr, Sutee Kunavichayanont, Truong Tan, Tay Wei Leng, Josephine Turalba

Guest curator: Iola Lenzi

Moving pledges presents works by Southeast Asian artists who use art as a means to probe social and political power structures. The exhibition comprises participatory and performance art, photography, video and installation. Works employ aesthetics and conceptual frameworks—sometimes borrowed from the state—to prompt discussion about the systems of authority that regulate daily life.

Produced over four decades (1977–2018), the works show the artists’ persistent belief in art as a conduit for social and political empowerment. Jakkai Siributr’s Changing room (2017) invites audiences to try on military jackets embroidered with images of violence experienced by Muslims in Thailand’s deep south. While aesthetically seductive, Scandals (2013–), a series of hand-stitched slippers made of spent bullet cartridges by Filipina artist Josephine Turalba, are also painful to wear. A sound work by Tay Wei Leng distorts recordings of Singapore citizens reciting the national pledge and explores the meaning of national allegiance. Indonesian artist FX Harsono presents his pistol-shaped rice cracker installation (1977), one of the region’s earliest participatory artworks.

Exhibition supported by

Cultural Matching Fund

Download exhibition guide 

Image: Bui Cong Khanh, Stamp on Me, 2004, performance with 2 two stamps—"Yes" and "No", 2 hours, NIPPAF Festival, Japan © Courtesy the artist