The Secret Society Behind Papaya Magazine — 09.03.2020

After attending my first Intra Asia Network (IAN) meeting in Gwangju/Seoul in 2006, I came home with high expectations for the secret society* formed in Korea. With Margaret Shiu's infectious enthusiasm and initiative, the Asian cultural directors were hoping that the newly organized network would catalyze a fresh wave of collaborations and cooperations among non-profit cultural organizations in the region.

As a result of the workshops in Gwangju, smaller groups with similar characters and trajectories met to discuss micro projects that IAN can support. Davide Quadrio, director of BizArt (Beijing) and who was working closely with Margaret then, organized another meeting/workshop among Cemeti, Green Papaya, and ArtHub.

Davide, Mella Jaarsma, Defne Ayas (Performa, NY), and myself met in Jogjakarta in 2007. It was during this meeting that I presented Papaya's publication proposal. 12 years ago this month, with a grant from Prince Claus Fund through ArtHub, we were able to launch the first and only issue of Papaya Magazine.

Many thanks to Davide!

Norberto Roldan
September 3, 2020


*The "Secret Society of Asian Cultural Directors" was a moniker Anne Yao and Margaret gave the initiative before the name Intra Asia Network got officially adapted.

Papaya: Independent Art and Culture in Manila No. 1
(September 2008)

Papaya Magazine’s cover image: Conrado Velasco’s “Metallurgy of Desire no. 11,”⁣ 2008.

Lena Cobangbang’s Parallel Platforms, pp. 23.

Lena Cobangbang’s Parallel Platforms, pp. 24.

Lena Cobangbang’s Parallel Platforms, pp. 25.

Lena Cobangbang’s Parallel Platforms, pp. 26.

Lena Cobangbang’s Parallel Platforms, pp. 27.