In Search of Southeast Asia through the M+ Collections





Exhibition design by Collective Studio

We designed the exhibition graphics, campaign and printed matter for In Search of Southeast Asia through the M+ Collections, an exhibition at M+, Hong Kong, that continues the museum’s mission to unpack aspects of Asia in a transnational framework. As a museum of visual culture M+ has included works from Southeast Asia in its collection since 2014, encompassing the fields of architecture, design, moving image and visual arts. In Search of Southeast Asia both questions and reinforces the political and geographic construct of Southeast Asia. Through contributions by artists, designers, architects and filmmakers, the exhibition presents a cross-disciplinary account of practices from, and in relation to, Southeast Asia from the 1930s to the present.

Our approach was grounded in this curatorial framework, providing a structure for individual histories in the form of interpretation panels, captions and display units, a guidebook and postcards. We developed a colour system to help visitors navigate through the exhibition’s three sections – Conditions of Place, States and Powers, and Transnational Flows. Introductory texts were screen-printed on coloured acrylic, mirroring the translucent character of the perforated walls and acrylic tables presenting archival ephemera, both designed by the Hong Kong-based Collective Studio. Building upon the idea of an imaginary Southeast Asian landscape, we created collages that contrasted the different contributions, including Kiri Dalena’s Erased Slogans, Sopheap Pich’s Compound or Malayan Architects’ Negeri Sembilan State Mosque.