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Guggenheim UBS MAP Global Art Initiative Design by Johnson Banks © Solomon R Guggenheim Foundation, New York
Guggenheim UBS MAP Global Art Initiative Design by Johnson Banks © Solomon R Guggenheim Foundation, New York

Guggenheim UBS MAP Global Art Initiative

Five-Year Cross-Cultural Collaboration Supports Art, Artists, and Curators from South and Southeast Asia, Latin America, and the Middle East and North Africa

(NEW YORK, NY, April 12, 2012) – Richard Armstrong, Director of the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum and Foundation, and Jürg Zeltner, CEO of UBS Wealth Management, today announced an ambitious, fiveyear collaboration to chart creative activity and contemporary art from around the world. Guggenheim UBS MAP Global Art Initiative will identify and support a network of art, artists and curators from South and Southeast Asia, Latin America, and the Middle East and North Africa in a comprehensive program involving curatorial residencies, acquisitions for the Guggenheim’s collection, international touring exhibitions, and farreaching educational activities. Unprecedented in its areas of concentration and approach, Guggenheim UBS MAP will catalyze creative exchange and help broaden the geographic outreach for the Guggenheim and other institutions around the world by fostering lasting professional relationships among curators, artists, and educators on regional and global levels.

June Yap Guggenheim UBS MAP Curator, South and Southeast Asia Photograph by David Heald ©Solomon R Guggenheim Foundation, NY
June Yap Guggenheim UBS MAP Curator, South and Southeast Asia Photograph by David Heald ©Solomon R Guggenheim Foundation, NY

Over its five-year period, the project will focus successively on the selected regions, beginning with South and Southeast Asia. The Guggenheim will invite one curator from each of the regions to participate in overlapping two-year residencies in New York, during which they will work in concert with the Guggenheim staff to identify new and recent artworks, that reflect a range of each region’s most salient cultural practices and intellectual discourses.

Works selected for the Guggenheim UBS MAP Global Art Initiative will be presented in traveling exhibitions, each of which will be inaugurated at the Guggenheim Museum in New York, and will enter the museum’s permanent collection. The exhibition will then be presented in the focus regions and in a major city elsewhere in the world. The first exhibition, focusing on South and Southeast Asia, will travel to two venues following the opening exhibition in New York. Both Singapore and Hong Kong are target cities where discussions are underway. In total, three exhibitions will travel to three venues each for a total of nine presentations. Each exhibition will be accompanied by a dynamic and customized suite of audience-driven educational opportunities for the public, both at the exhibition venues and online.

“To a great degree, our view of art history remains Western-centric. Through this collaboration with UBS, we hope to challenge that view, and extend the art world to the real world’s horizons,” Guggenheim Director Richard Armstrong stated. “Having long admired UBS’s involvement with contemporary visual art, we are grateful to the company for joining us in this project, which will forge and foster critical links among artists, audiences and diverse cultural communities including the Guggenheim itself. From the time of our founding, we have been committed to seeking out the most advanced contemporary art without regard to borders.
Guggenheim UBS MAP will enable us to carry this mission forward as we learn from the inspirational artists and curators who are at the heart of this initiative and who will chart the course for our expanded thinking.”
Guggenheim UBS MAP builds upon and reflects the Solomon R. Guggenheim Foundation’s distinguished history of internationalism, as manifest today in its global network of museums and wide-ranging art programs that promote the research, acquisition, and exhibition of non-Western art and transnational studies.

“UBS and its clients share a passion for art, and we are proud to be working with an organization with the reputation and stature of the Guggenheim,” said CEO of UBS Wealth Management Jürg Zeltner. “As longtime patrons of contemporary art, we look forward to a collaboration that will support creative talent in many dynamic regions around the world. This powerful and timely project will promote professional and cultural exchange, bring contemporary art to a wider audience and encourage the acquisition and exhibition of artworks that open important new perspectives locally and internationally.”

Throughout its 150-year history UBS has actively supported cultural and artistic endeavors across the world, with a focus on promotion, collection and educational activities in the world of contemporary art. Longstanding commitments to the internationally renowned art fairs Art Basel and Art Basel Miami Beach, the UBS Art Collection and the UBS Art Competence Center offer a comprehensive and varied platform for art enthusiasts, students and UBS clients to participate in the art world. Regional partnerships with organizations such as the Swiss Institute in New York, the Nouveau Musée National de Monaco, the Fondation Beyeler in Switzerland and The Art Gallery of New South Wales in Sydney, and numerous exhibition sponsorships at leading museums around the world, testify to the passion for contemporary art which UBS shares with its clients.

Phase 1: South and Southeast Asia

The first phase of the project will focus on the art of South and Southeast Asia. June Yap has been selected as Guggenheim UBS MAP Curator, South and Southeast Asia, having been nominated by a committee of five esteemed experts on these regions: Patrick Flores, Professor, Department of Art Studies, University of the Philippines; Kwok Kian Chow, Senior Advisor to the Board and CEO, National Art Gallery, Singapore; Alexandra Munroe, Samsung Senior Curator of Asian Art, Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum; Sandhini Poddar, Associate Curator, Asian Art, Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum; and Kavita Singh, Associate Professor, School of Arts and Aesthetics, Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi. Ms. Yap has begun her twoyear residency at the Guggenheim in New York.

Based in Singapore, Ms. Yap has worked for six years in the curatorial departments of museums of modern and contemporary art, including the Institute of Contemporary Arts, Singapore, and the Singapore Art Museum, and another four years as an independent curator. Through her curatorial projects she has worked with artists throughout South and Southeast Asia, most recently organizing an exhibition of the work of Ho Tzu Nyen for the Singapore Pavilion at the Venice Biennale in 2011.

“June Yap’s outstanding expertise in contemporary art from South and Southeast Asia, and her longstanding leadership in the field, make her ideally suited for her new role as the first Curator of Guggenheim UBS MAP,” stated Nancy Spector, Deputy Director and Chief Curator of the Solomon R. Guggenheim Foundation. “We are looking forward to learning from her perspectives on the art of a broad and multifarious region that the Guggenheim’s collection does not yet adequately represent. We hope that her essential role in this new initiative will in turn help contribute to and sustain an expanded network of regional and international curators, artists, educators, and museums.”

“I’m delighted to have been selected as curator for South and Southeast Asia for Guggenheim UBS MAP,” stated Ms. Yap. “I’m excited by the prospect of participating in this project, and see it as an occasion to generate dialogue between the regions, which I hope will continue beyond the project. I am grateful to the Guggenheim and UBS for this valuable opportunity to play a part in a remarkable undertaking that underscores their commitment to promote cultural exchange and conversation.”

Ms. Yap has recently begun to work with members of the Guggenheim curatorial staff to identify what constitutes the defining geographic parameters of her research. Countries under consideration for inclusion in the first phase of Guggenheim UBS MAP are Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Burma (Myanmar), Cambodia, India, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Nepal, Pakistan, the Philippines, Singapore, Sri Lanka, Thailand, and Vietnam. New or recent artworks that represent key artists, movements, collaboratives, and creative networks from selected countries will be identified and the works will be proposed for accessioning into the Guggenheim’s permanent collection. They will also form the basis of an exhibition that will open in winter 2013 at the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York, before traveling subsequently to two venues.

Phases 2 and 3: Latin America and the Middle East and North Africa

The second and third phases of the project will focus on Latin America and the Middle East and North Africa respectively. Advisory committee members, curators, cities, venues, exhibition tour dates and more specific information about these regions will be announced later in the year.

Education Programs

All educational programs accompanying the exhibitions will evolve from a dynamic and inclusive process of cross-cultural and professional exchange among the Guggenheim curatorial and education staff, the project curators, the artists, and colleagues from each of the exhibition venues. The exchanges will focus on learning about the educational philosophies, approaches and programs at each of the regional venues, as well as their audience priorities. A minimum of two to three working sessions, both in the country of the venue and in New York, will ensure that interpretive materials and educational activities for Guggenheim UBS MAP will be codeveloped and customized to best serve the audiences identified for each venue and reflect a multicentered exchange process between museological cultures.

Online offerings will provide rich content on the exhibitions, collection artworks, cultural contexts and programming and serve as a vibrant platform for audience engagement, multidisciplinary learning, and crosscultural exchange. The Guggenheim’s website ( will be instrumental in sustaining the initiative and extending learning and participation to a worldwide audience. The website will present online forums surrounding exhibition themes, a multimedia journal on the experience of researching and creating the exhibitions, and an archive of past public programs. The website will also include Teacher Resource Units to familiarize educators and students with the work of the artists and curators, and Family Activity Guides to aid enjoyment and provide suggestions for things that families can do and talk about when visiting the exhibitions.

Information about Guggenheim UBS MAP will be interspersed throughout with a central hub for users to access the latest news stories, exhibition information, and program updates about the initiative.

During the final year of Guggenheim UBS MAP, the Guggenheim will organize and host a culminating summit, including representatives from each of the exhibition venues to review their experiences and share processes, findings, and accomplishments. Information gathered from the summit will be documented and shared with other arts and cultural organizations and the general public both regionally and globally.

About the Solomon R. Guggenheim Foundation

Founded in 1937, the Solomon R. Guggenheim Foundation is dedicated to promoting the understanding and appreciation of art, primarily of the modern and contemporary periods, through exhibitions, education programs, research initiatives, and publications. The global network that began in the 1970s when the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York, was joined by the Peggy Guggenheim Collection, Venice, has expanded to include the Guggenheim Museum Bilbao (opened 1997), the Deutsche Guggenheim in Berlin (1997-2012), and the Guggenheim Abu Dhabi currently under development. Looking to the future, the Guggenheim Foundation continues to forge international collaborations that take contemporary art, architecture, and design beyond the walls of the museum. More information about the Foundation can be found at

About UBS

UBS draws on its 150-year heritage to serve private, institutional, and corporate clients worldwide, as well as retail clients in Switzerland. Its business strategy is centered on its global wealth management businesses and its universal bank in Switzerland. Together with a client-focused Investment Bank and a diversified Global Asset Management business, UBS will drive further growth and expand its wealth management franchise.


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