This interview was conducted at Asia Art Archive, Hong Kong on 9 January 2008. 

Hou Hanru (b. 1963, Guangzhou) is an internationally renowned art critic and curator.

In the 1980s, Hou studied Art History at the Central Academy of Fine Arts (CAFA) in Beijing. In 1985, Hou assisted Maryn Varbanov in organizing the ‘Tapestry Art Exhibition’ in the National Art Museum of China (NAMOC). In 1988, alongside Yang Jiechang, Chen Tong and Tang Songwu and others, Hou staged the performance Language, Communication, Man in the Sun Yat-Sen Library in Guangzhou. That same year, he translated and published Concepts of Modern Art by Nikos Stangos, and the following year, he was one of the organizers of the ‘China/Avant-Garde Exhibition’ in Beijing.

After moving to Paris in 1990, Hou became an active curator and has organized and co-organized numerous important exhibitions such as ‘Cities on the Move’ (Vienna, Bordeaux, New York Long Island, Denmark, London, Bangkok and Helsinki, 1997–2000); the second Johannesburg Biennale (1997); the Venice Biennale’s French Pavilion (1999); ‘Z.O.U. – Zone Of Urgency’ at the Venice Biennale (2003); the Chinese Pavilion’s ‘Everyday Miracles’ at the Venice Biennale (2007); the third Asia-Pacific Triennial of Contemporary Art (Australia, 1999); the third Shanghai Biennial (2000); the Gwangju Biennial (South Korea, 2002); the second Guangzhou Triennial (2005); the 10th Istanbul Biennial (2007); and the 10th Lyon Biennale (France, 2009).

八十年代,侯瀚如主要活躍於北京。1985年11月協助萬曼先生(Maryn Varbanov)在中國美術館舉辦《壁掛藝術展》。1989年為《中國現代藝術展》組織者之一。另外,他還保持與廣州的關係,特別是1988年與楊詰蒼、陳侗、唐頌武在廣州中山圖書館舉行了行為演出⟨話•對•人⟩。他並在1988年出版了譯作《現代藝術觀念》(Nikos Stangos, Concepts of Modern Art)(四川:四川美术出版社,1988)。
移居巴黎後, 1997—2000年間,侯瀚如與漢斯•烏爾裡希•奧布裡斯特合作,策劃世界巡迴展《運動中的城市》,先後於世界七大城市,包括維也納、波爾多、紐約、路易斯安那、倫敦、曼谷及赫爾辛基。侯瀚如曾策劃的其他展覽包括:第二屆《約翰內斯堡雙年展》(1997);《威尼斯雙年展》(1999,法國館;2003,《緊急地帶》 主題展;2007中國館《日常奇蹟》);第三屆《亞太藝術三年展》(1999);第三屆《上海雙年展》(2000);韓國《2002光州雙年展》(2002);第二屆《廣州三年展》(2005);第二屆《地拉那雙年展》(2005,阿爾巴尼亞);第十屆《伊斯坦堡雙年展》(2007);第十屆《里昂雙年展》(2009)等。


In 2006, Asia Art Archive began a focused archiving project called 'Materials of the Future: Documenting Contemporary Chinese Art from 1980-1990'. This project aimed at developing a comprehensive collection of primary research materials including books, periodicals, newspapers, exhibition brochures, invitations, video recordings, correspondence, and other relevant documents. 

As part of this project, AAA digitised more than 80,000 items of material from personal archives to include artists Mao Xuhui, Wu Shanzhuan, Zhang Xiaogang, and Zhang Peili; curators and critics Fei Dawei, Lu Peng, and Zheng Shengtian; as well as the archives of Tokyo Art Gallery. As part of the research process over 75 in-depth interviews with key artists, curators, and critics were conducted. From a portion of these interviews, AAA created a documentary film about experimental art in South China (Guangzhou) in the 1980s entitled From Jean-Paul Sartre to Teresa Teng: Contemporary Cantonese Art in the 1980s.

AAA’s 1980s archiving project culminated with the launch of a comprehensive website portal called in September 2010.

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Interview: Hou Hanru (English subtitles)