15 Jun 2015

Asia Art Archive (AAA), in collaboration with Ullens Center for Contemporary Art (UCCA) in Beijing, presents Peripheral Thinking, a lecture performance by renowned Johannesburg-based artist William Kentridge on 30 June 2015. This new work relates to the particular aesthetics and ideals of socialist China with utopian projects that have been developed for Kentridge’s concurrent solo touring exhibition Notes Towards a Model Opera opening on 27 June at UCCA.

The Hong Kong Academy for Performing Arts (HKAPA) provides the backdrop for Kentridge, whose hour-long performance uses sounds and images to point to socialist values and utopian ideals, both past and present. Like much of his other work, Kentridge interplays drawing, animation, performance, spoken word, and film to transform sobering political events into powerful poetic allegories. Staged as a public lecture, Peripheral Thinking also allows a look into the artist's working process. Kentridge’s self-conscious approach to art-making extends from the studio to the proverbial 'artist talk' as forms unto themselves. By taking these as models to look at larger questions of how human knowledge and agency take shape, Kentridge asks himself and the audience what possibilities exist in 'learning from the edges'.

The Hong Kong Academy for Performing Arts (HKAPA) has generously sponsored the venue for the performance with additional support from Mandarin Oriental, Hong Kong, and the National Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art (MMCA), Seoul.

About the Artist

William Kentridge (b. 1955, Johannesburg) lives and works in Johannesburg, South Africa. He studied at the University of the Witwatersrand and Johannesburg Art Foundation in Johannesburg, L'École Internationale de Théâtre Jacques Lecoq in Paris, and was a founding member of the Free Filmmakers Co-operative. Recent international exhibitions and biennales include: Mobile M+, Hong Kong (2015); dOCUMENTA, Kassel (2012, 2002); Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York (2012); Tate Modern, London (2012); Jeu de Paume, Paris (2010); Musée du Louvre, Paris (2010); The Museum of Modern Art, New York (1999, 2010); San Francisco Museum of Modern Art (2009); Mori Art Museum, Japan (2006); Centre Pompidou, Paris (2002); Shanghai Biennial, China (2000); and Kwangju Biennial, Korea (2000). The work of William Kentridge has been featured in countless publications and in 2011–2012, he was awarded the Charles Eliot Norton Professorship in Poetry at Harvard University.

The Hong Kong Academy for Performing Arts (HKAPA), established by Government Ordinance in 1984, is a leading tertiary institution in performing arts in Asia. It provides professional undergraduate education and practice-based postgraduate studies in Chinese Opera, Dance, Drama, Film and Television, Music and Theatre and Entertainment Arts. Its educational philosophy reflects the cultural diversity of Hong Kong with emphasis on Chinese and western traditions, and interdisciplinary learning. www.hkapa.edu

Ullens Center for Contemporary Art (UCCA) is an independent, not-for-profit art center serving a global Beijing public. Located at the heart of Beijing’s 798 Art District, it was founded by the Belgian collectors Guy and Myriam Ullens and opened in November 2007. Through a diverse array of exhibitions with artists Chinese and international, established and emerging, as well as a wide range of public programs, UCCA aims to promote the continued development of the Chinese art scene, foster international exchange, and showcase the latest in art and culture to hundreds of thousands of visitors each year. www.ucca.org.cn