For the past twenty years, thanks to the generosity of so many, Asia Art Archive (AAA) has played a pivotal role in enabling the history of modern and contemporary art from Asia to be studied, written, and shared globally. AAA remains dedicated to making less-visible histories accessible through one of the most important collections on contemporary art, as well as through hundreds of public programmes and publications, freely accessible from our website and onsite library.
AAA is happy to unveil a series of activities scheduled for its twentieth anniversary celebration. Highlights include the launch of three new collections—the archives of India-based artist Nilima Sheikh, as well as Womanifesto and Green Papaya Art Projects. These will be presented alongside a series of public programmes that pay tribute to artist-teachers and schools that have shaped contemporary practice in the region.
AAA is presenting three exhibitions from now to 2021. Opened at AAA Library on 16 July, Crafting Communities considers the history of Womanifesto, a feminist biennial programme active in Thailand from 1997 to 2008, highlighting the central role played by pedagogy. This is followed by Learning What Can’t Be Taught in November this year, which reflects on changes in art education in China from the 1950s to 2000. Lastly, the exhibition Portals, Stories, and Other Journeys will take place in early 2021 at Tai Kwun Contemporary, featuring newly commissioned works that engage the archive of the late artist Ha Bik Chuen, covering fifty years of art in Hong Kong.
Online, AAA debuted the first edition of Life Lessons in May 2020—live conversations between artists exploring personal moments of learning that influenced their practices. We also launched Artist Exercises, a series of activities designed by artist-educators that students and art-lovers can carry out independently at home.
Co-founder and Executive Director Claire Hsu says:
We are quietly marking the twentieth anniversary—a considerable amount of time for a not-for-profit arts organisation in Asia—with a series of programmes that speak to some of the core lines of enquiry within our field. The last few months of COVID-19 have given us a chance to further reflect on our work and to make clear our commitment for the next twenty years. We are dedicated to our responsibility as stewards of this exceptional resource, to further enriching our understanding of the world through the collection, creation, and sharing of knowledge on lesser known art histories, and to shine light on new connections between these histories. This includes our continued efforts to secure a more permanent home for our collections, and to improve community engagement with our public spaces and digital platforms. It is, however, foremost a time to express our sincere gratitude to all of the incredible individuals and organisations that have put their trust in us and made our work to contribute to a more generous history possible these last two decades.
AAA’s collections spans over 90,000 records including periodicals, books, videos, audio recordings, images, exhibition ephemera, and the personal papers of artists, curators, and art critics across the region. In addition to building the collections, AAA has presented close to 1,000 public programmes, and collaborated with organisations locally and across the world, including over 250 high schools in Hong Kong. In 2019, AAA welcomed over 106,000 digital and physical visitors. With its long-term commitment to collection building, research, and the activation of new ideas, Asia Art Archive has opened up a new imagination of the role an archive can play.
Download the images: https://bit.ly/3gXYGcO
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Learning What Can’t Be Taught: Wendy Lee & Stephen Li; Virginia & Wellington Yee
Life Lessons and Artist Exercises for Learning at Home: S. H. Ho Foundation Limited and C. K. and Kay Ho Foundation.
Crafting Communities: Women In Art History Fund (Jonathan Cheung, Geoffrey Chuang, Luke Fehon, Shirazeh Houshiary / Lisson Gallery, Margie Lau, Dee Poon, and Claudine Ying)