New Emissary

No Extra Baggage

Asian artists embark on a road trip, each equipped with one special suitcase.

Last year, six Asian artists embarked on an unusual road trip from Singapore. As they travelled through Thailand and Malaysia, members of the ‘1 x Suitcase’ travelling exhibition were equipped with one suitcase each, reserved not for toothbrushes, t-shirts and extra shoes, but for art.

Their own artwork to be precise; compact and portable pieces that aim to ‘reveal the cause to journey, to record one’s involvement, memories of events, fragmented recollections of moment and hopes’ (According to 1 x Suitcase’s official website).

One of the show’s creators, artist Ernest Chan, has said the exhibit further aspires to show how both artists and their works can be packed up and transported across international borders at relatively low cost and without much hassle.

The group hit China in March, with a new look, having along the way added more works to their luggage and recruited additional members—native artists from the countries they’ve visited. And their exhibit is now on display at the Xi’an Textile City Art District Exhibition Center, in Shaanxi. In late April, they’ll pack up and head to Cambodia, then back to Hong Kong and Shanghai.

When the exhibition comes full circle, returning to Singapore next year, a planned book featuring the complete collection will be a worthy record of the project.

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Lightweight, but heavy in meaning—sounds like a great piece of luggage to me.