Gazing from the Sinosphere: Media Art as Border Crossings
- When 1 Nov - 2 Nov 2019
Cnr Oxford St & Greens Rd, Paddington NSW 2021
+61 2 8936 0888
How are cultural borders depicted and disrupted?
This two-day symposium discusses new media works by three post-1980s East Asian artists who have all witnessed rapid globalisation, the rise of new capitalist powers, and swift advancements in digital technologies that are predominately manufactured in East Asia.
Musquiqui Chihying (Taiwan), Hao Jingban (China), and Au Sow Yee (Malaysia) each use moving image as a primary medium to articulate their research-based projects. Working across geographic and cultural boundaries, the artists are interested in decoloniality, migration, and early moving image and photography practices in war time.
Day One at the UNSW Art & Design Lecture Theatre includes screenings of each artist’s work, featuring the two-channel video Café Togo, where Musquiqui Chihying and Gregor Kasper narrate the little-known colonial relationship between Togo and Germany; Hao Jingban’s From South Lake Park to Hongqi Street, tracing the early moving image industry during the Japanese occupation of Northern China; and Au Sow Yee’s Pak Tai Foto, weaving fictional narratives by South Asian migrant workers with footage of an early photo studio in Kuala Lumpur. Each artist’s time-based works can be understood in various site-specific contexts although it is not possible to label them as culturally specific, local, or global. Following the screening program, curator and researcher Kim Machan provides the keynote lecture, presenting pioneering research on cross-sections of early video in East Asia.
On Day Two at UNSW Galleries, Musquiqui Chihying will present a performance lecture using African crafts as examples revealing the emerging cultural and economic landscape connecting China and Africa.
This smyposium is organised by Yu-Chieh Li, Judith Neilson Postdoctoral Fellow in Contemporary Art, UNSW Art & Design with Dr Veronica Tello, UNSW Art & Design Research Forum, and Julia Mendel, UNSW Galleries.
Supported by the Faculty Research Fund, UNSW Art & Design.
1.30–6pm Friday 1 November 2019
EG02 Lecture Theatre, UNSW Art & Design
1.30pm | Introduction
1.40pm | Screening
Au Sow Yee (Malaysia), Pak Tai Foto 2015, 19 mins
2.00pm | In Conversation
Au Sow Yee via skype and Wah Guan Lim
2.20pm | Screening
Musquiqui Chihying (Taiwan) and Gregor Kasper (Germany), Café Togo (2018), 27 mins
Hao Jingban (China), From South Lake Park to Hongqi Street (2018), 30 mins
3.20pm | Break
Refreshments in the UNSW Galleries foyer
3.45pm | Panel Discussion
Musquiqui Chihying, Olivier Krischer (Sydney University), and Hao Jingban
5.00pm | Keynote
Kim Machan (University of Queensland)
Refocusing on the Medium: reconsidering the rise of East Asian video art
Exhibitions exploring the histories of video art have featured across Asia in the past decade. The cumulative results have enhanced detail and depth to specific national histories laudably expanding an existing world (European and American) history of video art. The exhibitions and accompanying research expose scholarly accounts of experimental practice and international exchange that provokes a more radical review of the way video art is considered. As a new technology and artistic medium with distinct characteristics, video art arrived with no cultural traditions, no significant conventions or history – a new international contemporary art tool. This view of the medium gives reason for a recalibration of thinking and reassessment of the contribution that artists from East Asia have made to this still contested history. This paper will draw from case studies of select pioneer artists including Katsuhiro Yamaguchi (1928–2018) from Japan, Korean artist Park Hyun-ki (1948–2000), and Chinese artist Zhang Peili (b.1957) to refocus on the medium in the rise of video art. How did artists in East Asia take up the apparatus of video and experiment with this new global medium, and can this change the way we might approach the history of video art?
Response: Yu-Chieh Li, Judith Neilson Postdoctoral Fellow in Contemporary Art, UNSW Art & Design
3.00–4.30pm Saturday 2 November 2019
3.00pm | Performance Lecture
Musquiqui Chihying (Taipei and Berlin), The Sculpture
In The Sculpture, Musquiqui Chihying presumes the persona of Andre Malraux’s Musee Imaginaire, and narrates a story about Mr. Xie, a Chinese collector of African sculptures. The artist walks us through the works imbued with precolonial and postcolonial gazes as the product of timeless, ethnic others. The politics of viewings of these objects and their circulation are complicated by the colonial history and political relationship between China, Africa, and Europe. This performance lecture is part of a larger research-based art project exploring the complexity of social interchange between China and Africa and their roles in global discourses.
3.45pm | In Conversation
Musquiqui Chihying (Taipei and Berlin) with Julia Mendel, UNSW Galleries
4.00pm | Refreshments
Refreshments in the UNSW Galleries foyer
Au Sow Yee was born in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia and now lives and works in Taipei. Au’s works focuses mainly in questioning, exploring and expanding the relation between images, image making, history, politics and power, through video installation and other mediums. Au’s recent works focus on re-imagined history of Malaysia, South-east Asia and its related region from perceptions and ideologies bounded by the Cold War. A finalist for the 2018 Asia Pacific Breweries Foundation Signature Art Prize and Han Nefkens Foundation - Loop Barcelona Video Art Award 2018, Sow-Yee’s works were exhibited in MMCA (Seoul), Mori Art Museum (Tokyo), HKW (Berlin), Shanghai Rockbund Art Museum, and Singapore Film Festival among others. Sow-Yee Au is a guest writer for the online magazine No Man’s Land and co-founded Kuala Lumpur’s Rumah Attap Library and Collective in 2017.
Hao Jingban completed a BA in Media and Communication from Goldsmiths College in 2007, and an MA in Film Studies from University of London in 2010. She currently lives and works in Beijing. Hao’s work takes microhistories as a starting point to investigate the social contexts of image making and its receptions. Found footages, recordings, and archival materials are interwoven into complex historical narratives and social movements in her experimental videos and essay films. Her solo exhibitions include 'Uninvited Guests: Hao Jingban' (Blindspot Gallery, 2018); 'New Directions: Hao Jingban' (Ullens Center for Contemporary Art, Beijing, 2016) and 'Over-Romanticism' (Taikang Space, Beijing, 2016). Group exhibitions include 'FRONT International: Cleveland Triennial for Contemporary Art' (Cleveland, USA, 2018); 'Prospectif Cinéma: Performing Dramas I' (Centre Pompidou, Paris, France, 2017); and the '11th Shanghai Biennale: Why Not Ask Again?' (The Power Station of Art, Shanghai, China, 2016); among others.
Musquiqui Chihying is a graduate of Berlin University of the Arts and lives and works in Taipei and Berlin. His recent research-based projects engage with unpacking the decoloniality of Africa through its intertwined histories with Germany and China. His recent solo exhibitions include 'The Power of My Smile' (Kuandu Museum of Fine Arts, 2018) and 'New Directions: Musquiqui Chihying' (Ullens Center for Contemporary Art, 2018). He has participated in group exhibitions such as The 68th International Berlin Film Festival Forum Expanded Exhibition (Akademie der Künste, Berlin, 2018); 'Place an Image / Place in Image' (Museum für Fotografie, Berlin, 2014); 10th Shanghai Biennale (Power Station of Art, Shanghai, 2014); and the 2016 Taipei Biennial (Taipei Fine Arts Museum, Taipei, 2016).
Olivier Krischer is an art historian, curator, writer and translator, who is currently acting director of the China Studies Centre, University of Sydney. He is interested in the role of art in modern and contemporary China and Japan, as well as intra-Asian networks of creative activism. He has edited and authored publications including Zhang Peili: from Painting to Video (ANU Press, 2019), the special issue ‘Asian Art Research in Australia and New Zealand: Past, Present and Future’, Australia & New Zealand Journal of Art (Taylor & Francis, 2016), Asia through Art and Anthropology (Bloomsbury, 2013), and was previously managing editor of ArtAsiaPacific magazine in Hong Kong (2011–12). His curatorial projects include ‘Zhang Peili: from Painting to Video’ (2016, co-curated with Kim Machan, Media Art Asia Pacific), ‘Weileng Tay: The Other Shore’ (2016), ‘Between: Picturing 1950-60s Taiwan’ (2015). He has published numerous translations of art writing from Japanese and Chinese, including most recently for the catalogue Blaze Carved in Darkness: Woodcut movements in Asia, 1930-2010s (Fukuoka Asian Art Museum, 2018).
Yu-Chieh Li is the Judith Neilson Postdoctoral Fellow in Contemporary Art at UNSW Art & Design. She is working on a book on post-socialism, collective practice, and audience participation in Post-Mao Chinese art. Li worked as an Andrew W. Mellon C-MAP Fellow at the Museum of Modern Art, New York, and as an adjunct researcher at Tate Research Centre: Asia. Her current research concerns performativity, artistic networks, and diaspora of Sinosphere from the 1970s to the 1980s.
Dr. Wah Guan Lim recently joined the faculty of Chinese Studies at UNSW Sydney. He was an assistant professor of Chinese at Bard College in New York. He is a scholar of transnational Chinese literature and theatre. Currently, he is completing a book manuscript that examines the politics of culture and performance across Hong Kong, Taiwan, China, and Singapore in the 1980s. He received his BA (Hons 1) from UNSW Sydney, MSt in Chinese studies from Oxford University, MA in East Asian studies from Princeton University, and PhD in Asian literature, religion, and culture from Cornell University.
Kim Machan is founding director of MAAP and has developed curatorial projects in Australia and the Asia regions through this organisation since 1998. Machan has pioneered collaborative cultural partnerships with arts organisations and governments throughout the Asia regions to produce and curate major exhibitions, festivals, public art programs and innovative art projects. Machan has curated numerous solo exhibitions including Zhang Peili, Wang Gongxin, Shilpa Gupta, and Yeondoo Jung. In 2016 she co-curated 'Zhang Peili: From Painting to Video' with Olivier Krischer and is a contributor to the exhibition’s publication of the same name, published by the Australian National University Press in 2019. She is currently writing a PhD addressing the critical aesthetic reading of video art in East Asia that will also encompass a major museum exhibition considering the rise of video art in East Asia opening in 2020.
Julia Mendel is a producer, working to develop community engagement projects and public programs for cultural institutions. She has previously held positions in public programs at the Art Gallery of New South Wales, community engagement at Information and Cultural Exchange (ICE) and was the co-director of the Critical Animals Creative Research Symposium as part of This is Not Art. Julia is currently Public Programs & Events Officer at UNSW Galleries and Deputy Chairperson of Firstdraft, Australia’s longest running artist-led gallery.