Stealing Public Space examines Southeast Asian contemporary art that co-opts different types of public space to engage and empower the public on collective, social issues. Since the 1970s, and more markedly after 1990, regional artists have occupied alternative spaces for their works to expand viewership beyond the white cube, or in reaction to institutions unreceptive to experimental art. This site-specificity emerges from necessity, and a desire to activate art as an incursion into public zones, which can be physical, as well as sometimes immaterial. Stealing Public Space explores the connection between Southeast Asian art languages, the city, and intangible or symbolic public “sites” such as money, national anthems, history, and maps. This expansive exhibition comprises 25 artists and 32 historical and newly-commissioned works by established and emerging artists from across the region. Several works invite audience participation, exemplifying expressive strategies that distinguish Southeast Asian contemporary art on the global scene.