7 March 2008

NEW PUBLICATION - Cosmopatriots: On Distant Belongings and Close Encounters (Rodopi 2008)

Cosmopatriots: On Distant Belongings and Close Encounters
Edited by Jeroen de Kloet and Edwin Jurriëns

This volume analyzes mediated articulations of “cosmopatriotism” in East and South-East Asian popular cultures and arts. Cosmopatriots navigate between a loyalty to the home country and a sense of longing for and belonging to the world. Rather than searching for the truly globalized cosmopolitans, the authors of this collection look for the postcolonial, rooted cosmopolitans who insist on thinking and feeling simultaneously beyond and within the nation. The cultural sites they discuss include Hong Kong, Indonesia, China, Singapore, the United States, South Korea and Australia. They show how media from both sides of the arbitrary divide between high art and popular culture - including film, literature, the fine arts, radio, music, television and mobile phones - function as vehicles for the creation and expression of, or reflection upon, intersections between patriotism and cosmopolitanism.

Contributing Authors (AASRN members in green):
Michelle Marie Antoinette, Emma Baulch, Tom Boellstorff, Rey Chow, Yiu Fai Chow, Jon Dunbar, Stephen Epstein, Edwin Jurriëns, Jeroen de Kloet, Helen Hok Sze Leung, Song Hwee Lim, Francis Maravillas, Qin Liwen, Kyongwon Yoon.

Publisher: Rodopi (New York and Amsterdam).
>> Visit the publisher's Cosmopatriots page


Michelle Antoinette's article is titled "Deterritorializing Aesthetics: International Art and its New Cosmopolitanisms, from an Indonesian Perspective."

In this paper, I examine the contemporary art practice of two “Indonesian” artists who form part of a new class of internationally (hyper)mobile “cosmopolitan” artists: Heri Dono and Mella Jaarsma. Representing the Indonesian contemporary art scene, both artists have travelled frequently on the international art circuit with their work featuring in a number of international exhibitions since the 1990s. I argue that the increased global mobility and interactions experienced by these Indonesian artists situates them and their art within a distinctive cosmopolitan milieu of contemporary international art practice which, at the same time, offers alternative definitions of Indonesian space, place and subjectivity. Significantly, the fact that one artist is a “native” to Indonesia and the other a “foreigner” – whose heritage relates to the former Dutch colonial power – is highlighted, in order to demonstrate how the artists’ respective cosmopolitan practices are rooted in and distinguished by different cultural histories and relationships, to Indonesia and to the world.


Francis Maravillas' article is titled "Haunted Cosmopolitanisms: Spectres of Chinese art in the Diaspora."

In this chapter, I examine the work and lives of a number of artists – Guan Wei, Ah Xian, Fan Dongwang, Shen Jaiwei and Guo Jian – who migrated from China to Australia in the late 1980s and early 1990s. I explore how the work and identity of these artists may be situated in relation to a renewed cosmopolitan framework of understanding, one attuned to their transnational forms of imagining and living, as well as their particular local contexts of art-making, exchange and appraisal. In particular, I show how these artists alter and reconfigure the ‘Chineseness’ of their originary ‘homeland’ culture by creatively restaging it in the context of their new adopted ‘home’. In this way, ‘Chineseness’ appears as a spectral entity that both haunts, and is haunted by, the work and identity of these diasporic Chinese artists. Their ‘cosmopolitan’ experience of migration and diaspora can thus be viewed as one that is haunted by ghosts and which, in turn, produces hauntings that engages in a politics and poetics of memory and translation.