We are glad to inform you that the most recent issue #53 of our journal Pacific Geographies has been published.
Editorial of PG #53:
we are delighted to present you a new special issue of Pacific Geographies, this time focussing on public art. In the emerging countries of the Asia-Pacific region the recognition of culture is on the rise, noticeably among the young generation who are expressing their appreciation for the murals of the local graffiti scene. This special issue also shows that graffiti art is not an underground culture anymore but that it’s increasingly being used by local governments for place-making and community development and thus also as a means of tourist development and income generation.
The first article introduces public art in Jakarta. The Indonesian capital has become the founding site of the first Southeast Asian graffiti network known as “Ladies on Wall”. For these young women in Indonesia, graffiti is a means of empowerment and an expression of creativity.
The following two contributions present examples of public art in Vietnam. Hien Nguyen, co-founder of the non-profit association “Pho Ben Doi”, introduces Vietnam’s first annual, inter- and multi-disciplinary community art show located in the Central Highlands city of Dalat, Vietnam. Its ultimate goal is to transform Dalat into a unique cultural destination of Southeast Asia. And, Le Dieu Anh introduces another pioneering public art project, the transformation of traditional fishermen villages in Central Vietnam into a public art space. This activity mainly served to strengthen community and tourist development and was implemented in a participatory way with the support of various donors and well-known artists as well as students.
Two excerpts of school poster exhibitions, co-published by APSA, complement this special issue. Both present graffiti art, one in the Special Administrative Region of Hong Kong and the other one in Cambodia’s capital Phnom Penh. Both convey impressions of the vibrant local scene and of the wide variety of graffiti styles in each city.
The last page of this issue refers to a recently published book, a highly interesting compendium highlighting the whole architecture spectrum of Phnom Penh and particularly its valuable New Khmer Architecture (NKA) heritage. At the same time, it also introduces innovative architects who build upon the NKA tradition and transfer their principles into state-of-the-art green architecture forms. Co-publisher of this volume is Walter Koditek, a long-time APSA-member.
We sincerely hope you enjoy your readings of this issue.
The managing editors, Michael Waibel & Matthias Kowasch