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August Gathering

In 2001, the late Ambassador Rodolfo C. Severino Jr., the 10th Secretary-General of ASEAN, proposed to dedicate a space to curate gifted artworks at the ASEAN Secretariat as testimony to the enduring friendship and cooperation between ASEAN and its partners from around the world. A wealth of paintings, sculptures and art objects are maintained and displayed since the ASEAN Gallery was inaugurated on 8th August, coinciding with ASEAN Day, that year.

The August Gathering book commemorates the 20th anniversary of the ASEAN Gallery. In partnership with the ASEAN Foundation and through the generous support of the ASEAN-Korea Cooperation Fund, the milestone publication showcases the ASEAN Gallery’s role in documenting key moments over the years. To celebrate ASEAN’s golden jubilee anniversary in 2017, the gallery held an inaugural exhibition entitled Assemblage: Reflections on ASEAN where the audience were invited to look back on the cultural diversity that has embodied and united the region for half a century. In 2019, when ASEAN saw the completion of the new ASEAN Secretariat building, the gallery commemorated this defining moment with an exhibition entitled Shifting Tides in its new space. Commemorative exhibitions have since been a staple in the work of the ASEAN Gallery to bring together arts and cultural communities from across the region.

The ASEAN Gallery is also committed to nurturing artists and contributing to the burgeoning art movement. August Gathering features creative individuals who were part of the ASEAN Artists Residency Programme, which was launched in 2019 to provide a platform for young and emerging talents to share their visions of ASEAN’s identity through the medium of arts. The four-week residency programme in Jakarta, Indonesia involves contributing to the current collection and is now among its annual flagship activities that plays a key role in enhancing arts and culture-related collaborations in the region.

ASEAN is deeply rooted in the art of giving, ranging from artworks to resources. August Gathering gives readers a renewed appreciation of ASEAN culture, while serving as an important resource to better appreciate our region’s diversity as well as its rich arts and cultural heritage.