03 April, 2020 10:51 AM featured_programme


ASEAN has, since its inception, done much to facilitate people-to-people exchange in the arts sector across Southeast Asia to encourage dialogue and debate.

This unique space for artistic discourse that allowed for pluralistic notions of what constituted a regional artistic identity and aesthetic is one of ASEAN’s great legacies and is widely discussed, researched, and acknowledged by a new generation of art historians and curators. In the last 15 years ASEAN relinquished this role – an important aspect of its community building aspirations in the arts sector – allowing the proliferation of Asian biennales, art fairs, and maturing cultural institutions to serve this function in its stead.

As the post-Cold War reality of a new world has taken shape and formed new directions and conversations, ASEAN will re-enter the contemporary art space via collaborative efforts between various ASEAN bodies. KONNECT ASEAN is a development project supported by the Republic of Korea and will serve as the ASEAN Foundation’s core arts and cultural programme. KONNECT ASEAN signals both an eagerness by ASEAN to revitalise its once integral role in contemporary visual arts and South Korea’s sincerity in establishing closer ties with ASEAN.

The programme will celebrate Southeast Asian arts using different platforms e.g. exhibitions, educational outreach, community arts workshops and exhibits, and printed and digital documentation, and in the process explore and discuss social, political, economic, and environmental issues in the region. The artists' works and activities will engage and strengthen the public's understanding of ASEAN. Furthermore, the programme intends to connect with the three major stakeholder groups of government, business, and civil society to achieve the vision of an ASEAN Community. Outcomes will provide permanent resources recording why ASEAN matters and its ongoing contribution to the region's growth, prosperity, and stability.

Futhermore, KONNECT ASEAN addresses the Strategic Plan for Culture and Arts 2016-2025 of the Senior Officials Meeting on Culture and Arts by contributing to realise strategic priority no. 4.1 which is to encourage a multi-stakeholder approach in promoting an ASEAN mind-set and identity to increase the appreciation for ASEAN’s histories, arts, traditions and values. At the same time, the KONNECT ASEAN addresses the work plan of ASEAN-Republic of Korea Plan of Action, 2016-2020 by promoting cooperation in the area of culture and arts.

Introduction of Proponents/Implementing Agencies

  • The ASEAN Foundation is an organisation from and for the people of ASEAN. As one of ASEAN’s bodies, the ASEAN Foundation is tasked to support ASEAN mainly in promoting awareness, identity, interaction and development of the people of ASEAN. The Foundation is also recognised for its capacity and experiences to work through the ASEAN system, and its work plan and initiatives are also strategically planned and developed to align fully with the ASEAN agenda and priorities, in particular, the ASEAN Blueprint 2025 forging Ahead Together. 
  • Asia Art Agency collaborates with arts specialists across the globe to conceive of sustainable art programmes for government agencies in Asia. Burmese-Australian curator Benjamin Milton Hampe represents the agency in Southeast Asia. He has been the curator and consultant for the ASEAN Gallery since 2018.  

Information on the programme/project management teams


ASEAN Foundation [https://www.aseanfoundation.org/]

Dr. Yang Mee Eng, Executive Director ([email protected])

Asia Art Agency [https://www.arndtartagency.com/]

Mr. Benjamin Hampe ([email protected])




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