The workshop will bring together art professionals from around the world to look at issues of archiving, documentation, preservation, knowledge management and sharing of information on contemporary art from Asia. It also comes as a response to the serious lack of documentation for the growing number of Asian contemporary art exhibitions world-wide and the rapid developments within the region's visual art scene over the past two decades. Despite the importance of these developments there exists only a handful of centres where information and in-depth research, discourse and critical writing within this complex area can be found.

We will address issues critical to the much-needed development of platforms in Asia for knowledge management and sharing, and provide an arena in which existing models of archives and resources for contemporary Asian art will be examined and future collaboration, networks and models considered. Issues of digital versus the tangible, classification systems, collection policies, conservation, language, accessibility and technology will be discussed in detail. As an unprecedented number of Asian artists engage with multimedia approaches to their work in the past decades, such as installation, digital and performance, we will touch upon issues of the preservation of non traditional media artworks and how this overlaps with the role of the archivist. The workshop will also look at additional roles of the archive as a generator of knowledge and information.

Why are Archives so Important for the Future?
The Asia Art Archive is at the forefront of acknowledging the shifting role of the archive; from collecting printed material and ephemera for preserving information relating to an artist's work, to one that also plays an active role in generating knowledge and awareness of contemporary art in the region. The traditional purpose of an archive, originating in ancient Greece, as an arkheia for storing the public records that form the administrative basis of democracy, is no longer at the core of its activities. Archives need to respond to and be proactive in forging new modes of presenting their holdings to wider audiences and to be seen as commissioning and producing publications, and undertaking related activities.

At a time when museums are aiming to attract greater audience through more innovative and dynamic relationships between artworks and their environment, art archives must also change their strategy to draw attention to and make the best use of their holdings or collections. For contemporary art archives to exist in this day and age, their strategy for dynamism is vital, and it is for this reason that more relevant programme and events accompany their activities. It is this dynamic approach to archiving and to new resource centres that will have an important place in the future of contemporary art in Asia, and other parts of the world. These institutions are essential for recording cultural roots and diversity, yet can simultaneously be adapted to emphasise and draw attention to historical links. Archives will play an important role in building networks of communication and information exchange within Asia and in presenting Asian art to the world.

This workshop sees the beginnings of a body of diverse organizations and individuals with similar goals all coming together today to form strong partnerships, as well as encourage similar initiatives in countries where such centres of documentation currently do not exist.

Workshop Participants

Keynote Speakers:
Ms Beatrice von BISMARCK (Deputy-Director, Academy of Visual Arts, Leipzig, Germany)
Mr Thomas BERGHUIS (PhD student, University of Sydney)
Ms Pamela KEMBER (Independent art critic, historian and curator)

Ms Michelle ELLIGOTT (Museum Archivist, Museum of Modern Art, New York, USA)
Mr Michael FITZHENRY (Lecturer in New Media and Film Studies, Communication and Design Department, Zhongshan University, China)
Ms Judy GUNNING (Head, Information and Publishing Services, Queensland Art Gallery, Australia)
Dr Dew Harrison (Research Fellow, Grays School of Art, Robert Gordon University, Scotland, U.K.) 
Ms Claire HSU (Executive Director, Asia Art Archive, Hong Kong)
Mr KOH Nguang How (Artist / Art Researcher, Singapore)
Mr Robert LEE (Executive Director / Curator, Asian American Art Centre, New York, USA)
Mr Peng LU (Independent art historian, China)
Mr Daravuth LY (Founder, REYUM Institute of Arts and Cultures, Cambodia) 
Ms Nunuk Ambarwati (Coordinator, Documentation & Publication Section, Cemeti Art Foundation, Indonesia)
Ms Lioba REDDEKER (Managing Director, Basis Wien, Austria)
Mr Didier SCHULMANN (Chief Curator, Musee National d'art Moderne and Chief Executive, Kandinsky Library, Centre Pompidou, France)
Mr Peter, Perng-Juh SHYONG (Executive Director, Dimensions Endowment of Art, Taiwan)
Ms Judy Freya SIBAYAN (Artist, The Philippines)
Prof Akira TATEHATA (Director, The National Museum of Art, Osaka, Japan)
Mr Sen UESAKI (Archivist, Provisional office of Art Science Department Archives at Tama Art University, Japan)
Mr YAO Juichung (Artist, Art historian and Curator, Taiwan)
Mr ZHENG Shengtian (Managing Editor, Yishu: Journal of Contemporary Chinese Art, Canada)
Ms Anja ZIEGLER (Librarian and Information Manager, Institute of International Visual Art (inIVA), UK)PUBLIC TALKS- Reservation Required

Tobias BERGER, Curator, Para/Site Art Space, Hong Kong 
Grace CHENG, Exhibition Manager, Hong Kong Arts Centre, Hong Kong
Silvia FOK, PhD candidate, Fine Art Department, Hong Kong University, Hong Kong
Sue HAJDU, Co-director, a little blah blah (albb), Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam
Emiko KATO, Director, RICE+, Toyko, Japan
Eri OTOMO, Independent curator, Art Autonomy Network, Yokohama, Japan
Nuria QUEROL, Art Correspondent, ExitExpress Arts Magazine, Beijing, China
Yu Jin SENG, Project Assistant, P-10, Singapore
Margaret SHIU, Director, Bamboo Curtain Studio, Taipei, Taiwan
Erika TAN, Independent Curator / Artist / Research Candidate, Camberwell College University of Arts, London, London, UK
Nora TAYLOR, Visiting Scholar, Vietnam Institute of Art and Culture, Hanoi, Vietnam
Inge THOES, Student Intern, Bamboo Curtain Studio, Taipei, Taiwan
Teresa TO, Branch Librarian, New Asia College Ch'ien Mu Library, Hong Kong
Motoko UDA, Co-director, a little blah blah (albb), Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam
Anne YAO, Project Manager & Researcher, Bamboo Curtain Studio, Taipei, Taiwan
Seiji SHIMODA, Director, Nipon International Performance Art Festival (NIPAF), Japan
Yasuko FURUICHI, Exhibition Coordiantor, Visual Arts Division, Arts Department, The Japan Foundation, Japan
Seung-Bo JUN, Chief Curator, Marronnier Art Center, The Korean Culture & Arts Foundation, South Korea
Kyung-Nyun SON, Research Manager, Presidential Committee for Culture Cites, Ministry of Culture and Tourism, South Korea
Jae-Bong YOO, Director, Marronnier Art Center, The Korean Culture & Arts Foundation, South Korea

Public Talks: 

Date: Monday 18th April 2005
Time: 6.30pm - 8.30pm
Venue: Agnes b. gallery, Hong Kong Arts Centre
Free Admission - Reservation required

The Centre without a Centre - Spectral Archives
Pamela Kember
With recent developments in Asia for alternative archival practices to traditionally centred methods of cataloguing and dissemination, can we therefore consider the archive as merely a trace, a collection of the moment? Certainly with new technological advances in archival practices, there is the potential for new directions away from materiality and collection based operations, towards what I describe as 'anamorphic spaces' - hidden, transient and without a centre. A condition that in some respects is also that of archives to be found in many locations in Asia. Beginning with Derrida's writings on the archive as a place between the houses of power and the home ( the external rules of law and the interior psyche of the mind) the talk will critique the notion of the archive as one obsessed with saving against destruction, and the quest for accumulating the impossible. These ideas are formed in relation to the writings of existentialist thinker, Edmund Jabes, and the science fiction work of Stanislaw Lem.

Performance and Beyond - Documenting Performance Art in Asia
Thomas J. Berghuis
This talk will focus on the various aspects of documenting performance art practices in Asia and address the challenges that are involved in collecting and archiving these documentations. It will further cover different forms of documentation, including video, photography, preparatory drawings, and written statements by artists. Following the increased level of production of performance art in Asia in recent years and the growing interest by art institutions, the presentation will address ways in which art institutions can present these documentations in exhibition settings.

Processing the Archive
Prof. Beatrice von Bismarck
This talk will look specifically at cultural practices that lead to a conscious and co-active involvement of archives in the social present and future. The established functions of the archive to record and collect cultural goods and information in a most complete way are responsible for their strong link to the past; however, their contemporary dynamic potentials lie instead in aspects of participation, multiplicity, disorder and incompleteness. The exhibition and publication project 'Interarchive' , an archive of archives, will serve as an example for different modes, in which artistic and cultural archives reflect on and participate in processes of the constitution of meaning.
Talks conducted in English with simultaneous interpretation into Cantonese.

A three-day event commencing Monday, 18th to Wednesday, 20th April 2005 at Hong Kong Arts Centre, the workshop will offer an arena for lively discussion, debate and solution solving in the field for over 20 international and local art experts. With the exception of the public talk the workshop is closed to participants and registered observers only.

Presented and Organised by:
Asia Art Archive

Made possible by:
American Center Foundation
Asian Cultural Council (Hong Kong)
Sino Group
The W.L.S. Spencer Foundation

Supported in part by:
Austrian Consulate General (Hong Kong)
China Club 
Hong Kong Arts Centre
Lane Crawford

Special Thanks to:
Hong Kong Film Archive

Workshop and Public Talk Venue:
Hong Kong Arts Centre (Agnes b cinema and McAulay Studio Theatre)
2 Harbour Road, Wanchai, Hong Kong

Public Enquiry & Registration:
Asia Art Archive
Tel: 2815 1112
Fax: 2815 0032
Address: 2/F no.8 Wah Koon Building, 181-191 Hollywood Road, Sheung Wan, Hong Kong

Media Enquiry:
Ms Orlean Lai (Coordinator) Tel: 9628 4114 Email:
Asia Art Archive Tel: 2815 1112 Email:

Due to limited seating, reservation is required on 2815 1112 or

Relevant content

The Thoughtful Dissemination and Archiving of Japanese Moving Image Works

The Thoughtful Dissemination and Archiving of Japanese Moving Image Works

Ann Adachi-Tasch reflects on her engagement with Japanese experimental moving image works of the 1950s to 1980s

Archiving the Contemporary: Documenting Asian Art Today, Yesterday and Tomorrow
Archiving the Contemporary: Documenting Asian Art Today, Yesterday and Tomorrow
6 Images

Archiving the Contemporary: Documenting Asian Art Today, Yesterday and Tomorrow