Forum To Take Place In Hong Kong, May 21-23
Along with the growing interest in buying and collecting art in China — whether for personal or investment reasons — has come increased demand for information and educational resources from the country’s “new collectors.” To address this information gap, new books and online resources, along with more forums and conferences, have appeared on the scene in mainland China and Hong Kong, designed with Chinese collectors and art enthusiasts — rather than just academics and curators — in mind.
Next month, the Asia Art Forum will take place in Hong Kong from May 21-23. This lecture series will include several respected figures from the Asian contemporary art world, as well as one day fully devoted to a deeper examination of the current state of the art market and the role of the collector in Asia. At this event, audience members will get a unique opportunity to hear personal testimonies from prominent collectors who are building art collections in Asia today. Additionally, participants will be able to take part in a trip to Hong Kong’s Fotan art district, a former industrial area that’s now home to the studios of many of Hong Kong’s most prominent artists.
Lectures planned for the forum include:
Bang to Boom: Chinese Art in the 1990s
Curator Karen Smith will trace the events, ideas and theories that unfolded through the 1990s to produce the backbone of China’s new art. Cynical Realism, Political Pop, performance art, photography, video, installation, and extreme conceptual expression all have their roots in this decade of tumultuous advance and experimentation, strung between the socio-political events of 1989–that began with a bang when woman artist Xiao Lu fired a gun into her work in February 1989–and the economic boom that began in 2004. The 1990s was an extraordinary incubator for art reflecting the extraordinary times that characterise the era.
Centre and Periphery: the Dynamics of Hong Kong Contemporary Art
Eclipsed by the overwhelming attention directed at mainland China, Hong Kong artists have been free from commercial pressure to quietly develop a unique aesthetic. Compounded by the fact that Hong Kong is a place where physical platforms for visual art are curiously limited, many artists have survived by carving out private spaces far from the centres of control. This tendency towards privacy and interiority has become part of the fundamental vocabulary in the expressive content of Hong Kong contemporary art. Against this background, critic and independent curator Valerie Doran examines the quietly vibrant dynamics of Hong Kong art, past, present and future.
Big Art in China
Philip Tinari explores the mechanisms of artistic production in contemporary China, asking how China’s unique economies of labor affect how work is made. Looking specifically at locales and situations including the studio districts of Beijing, the ceramic workshops of Jingdezhen, and the “copy” painting village of Dafen in Shenzhen, it raises questions of artistic authorship and social relations against the wider background of China’s status as “the world’s factory.”
Speakers at the Asia Art Forum include:
Karen Smith: Smith has been in Beijing since 1992 researching Chinese contemporary art. She is the author of Nine Lives: The Birth of Avant-Garde Art in New China and the forthcoming monograph on Ai Weiwei. Her curatorial work includes The Real Thing at Tate Liverpool, 2007; The Chinese, Kunstmuseum Wolfsberg, Germany, 2004; and Illumination; Ai Weiwei and Tibetan Plateau, Beijing Girls: Liu Xiaodong both at Mary Boone Gallery, 2008.
Philip Tinari: The editor-in-chief of LEAP, a new bimonthly journal of contemporary Chinese art based in Beijing. He is a contributing editor to Artforum and adjunct professor of art criticism at the China Central Academy of Fine Arts. He serves as China advisor to Art Basel and worked previously as academic consultant to the Chinese contemporary art department at Sotheby’s. He has written and lectured widely on contemporary art in China, recent projects include the book Hans Ulrich Obrist: The China Interviews (2009) and the exhibition The Hong Kong Seven, mounted by the Fondation Louis Vuitton at the Hong Kong Museum of Art last year.
Jeremy Wingfield: A Contemporary Art Specialist for Phillips de Pury & Co. He lives and works in Beijing. From 2002 to 2006 he directed the CourtYard Gallery in Beijing. Before coming to Phillips, Jeremy operated in Beijing as a private dealer and collaborated with Chinese artists on special projects while helping collectors outside of China to sell to Chinese buyers. Mr. Wingfield has a bachelor’s degree in Art History from Reed College and speaks Chinese fluently.