This March, Asia Art Archive (AAA) focuses on performance art and presents a series of related talks and exhibitions. Opening on 13 March at the AAA Library, the exhibition Form Colour Action showcases the sketchbooks and notebooks of the late performance artist Lee Wen for the first time. From 27–31 March, AAA’s booth in Art Basel in Hong Kong, The Body Collective, looks at the evolution of performance art in Asia from the 1960s til today. Events will be held at the booth including performances by artists siren eun young jung, performer and activist Maya Krishna Rao, and a talk by artist Xing Danwen. On 28 March, Zhang Peili will speak at AAA’s annual artist’s lecture to reflect on the role of performance in his artistic development. 


Performance is considered an art form comprising gestures and actions, to be experienced live at a particular place and time. Yet in reality, most people encounter it through recordings and recollections, especially since a performance frequently leaves no trace. In other words, its ephemerality makes it all the more reliant on the archive for understanding its history. AAA’s March programmes explore a performance’s connection to the archive and the document, and expands our understanding of this most elusive of genres.

Dedicated to the loving memory of late performance artist Lee Wen, the exhibition Form Colour Action brings together his sketchbooks and notebooks for the first time, to offer a site to study his development of performance as an articulation of the place of the self, and its relation to the social and natural world. His training in drawing and painting gave him the tools to express complicated ideas with the clarity of line, form, and colour, and to transform those ideas into action. The selection of materials from the archive of Lee Wen shows multiple alter egos that he created, and early manifestations of his use of the performing body as a medium that understands the individual as a part of the body politic. The exhibitions will be on view at the AAA Library from 13 March to 29 June. View a video on Lee Wen here.

From 27–31 March at Art Basel in Hong Kong, AAA presents The Body Collective at booth P7. The exhibition looks at the evolution of performance art in Asia from the 1960s till today, and features artwork and other materials drawn from AAA’s Research Collection, including the archives of Kwok Mangho Frog King, Ray Langenbach, Lee Wen, and Betsy Damon (Keepers of the Waters), among others. Related events will be held at the booth. Ahead of her exhibition in the Korean Pavilion at the Venice Biennale, artist siren eun young jung will present Our Panting Ankle Barely Passed, featuring performer Lee Dongwoo and live musical accompaniment. Theatre artist and social activist Maya Krishna Rao will stage “Loose Woman: A Talk and Presentation on Performance and Theatre,” to discuss the relationship between the performative genres. Artist Xing Danwen will speak about her photographic work’s relationship to performance art, with a focus on the East Village scene in Beijing and beyond. Full schedule of events at AAA’s booth can be viewed here.


AAA is honoured to welcome Zhang Peili as a guest speaker for our annual artist’s lecture on 28 March. Zhang is widely considered the “father of Chinese video art” in acknowledgement of his contributions to the development of the genre in

East Asia. What is less well-known is how this engagement with the technology of video grew out of a concern and interest with the body and embodied actions. In this conversation, Zhang reflects on the work of his early years, which considers the role and place of performance in his own development as an artist and that of China more broadly.


Exhibition | Form Colour Action: Sketchbooks and Notebooks of Lee Wen

Date: 13 March–29 June 2019

Venue: Asia Art Archive Library, 11/F Hollywood Centre, 233 Hollywood Road, Sheung Wan, Hong Kong


Artist’s Lecture | Zhang Peili

Date: 28 March 2019

Venue: Asia Art Archive, 10/F Hollywood Centre, 233 Hollywood Road, Sheung Wan, Hong Kong Registration:


Exhibition | The Body Collective: Performance Art Histories

Dates: 27–31 March 2019

Venue: Booth P7, Art Basel in Hong Kong, Level 1 Concourse, Hong Kong Convention & Exhibition Centre, Wan Chai


Related events at The Body Collective (AAA’s booth at Art Basel in Hong Kong)

Performance | siren eun young jung

Date: Wed, 27 Mar 2019

Time: 6–6:30pm


Talk | Maya Krishna Rao

Date: Thu, 28 Mar 2019

Time: 6:30–7:30pm


Talk | Xing Danwen in Conversation with Jane DeBevoise

Date: Sat, 30 Mar 2019

Time: 3–4pm


Registration to the events


Special thanks

Form Colour Action: Eunei & Ron Lee; Yvonne Wang & Alex Turnbull; The St. Regis Hong Kong

Artist's Lecture by Zhang Peili: The St. Regis Hong Kong

The Body Collective: Shane Akeroyd; Susan Beningson & Steve Arons; Mimi Brown & Alp Ercil; Patricia & Jonathan Crockett; Katherine Don & Daniel Touff; Catherine & Barry Freeman; Eunei & Ron Lee; Wendy Lee & Stephen Li; James Lie; Tiffany Soong & Jake Lynch; CL3 Architects Ltd.; The St. Regis Hong Kong; Art Basel in Hong Kong; alonglongtime; Artomity; Ocula