This talk centres around the newly published book Art Criticism for the People, which presents a selection of Oscar Ho's art writings in Hong Kong newspapers from the 1980s–90s. Edited by Anthony Leung Po Shan, the book pays tribute to Ho's role as an art critic and curator who helped shape the cultural landscape of Hong Kong over the last few decades.
On this occasion, AAA brings together Anthony Leung Po Shan and two cultural critics: Howard Yuen Fung Choy, who has worked as a theatre critic since the 1980s, and Grace Gut, a culture reporter and editor. They ask: How has the role of the art writer as a public intellectual changed over the decades? What type of community of writers and readers are they building?
After the discussion, Oscar Ho, theatre critic Bernice Chan, and researcher Michelle Wong offer responses based on their work on art writing in Hong Kong.
This event is organised in partnership with the International Association of Theatre Critics (Hong Kong). It builds on AAA’s Hong Kong Conversations 2014, which focuses on art criticism in Hong Kong, and It Begins with a Story: Artists, Writers, and Periodicals in Asia, AAA’s symposium organised in collaboration with The Department of Fine Arts at The University of Hong Kong in 2018.
The event will be held in Cantonese, with English simultaneous interpretation.
Howard Y. F. Choy is Associate Professor at Hong Kong Baptist University. He received his PhD in comparative literature and humanities from the University of Colorado. His research focuses on Chinese culture and literature. Currently editing a volume of Liu Zaifu's selected essays, he is the editor of Discourses of Disease: Writing Illness, the Mind and Body in Modern China (2016), the author of Remapping the Past: Fictions of History in Deng's China, 1979-1997 (2008), and the assistant author of The Illustrated Encyclopedia of Confucianism (2005). He has also published a number of articles and translations in major scholarly journals, including positions, American Journal of Chinese Studies, and Asian Theatre Journal. He has taught at Stanford University, the Georgia Institute of Technology, and Wittenberg University.
Grace Gut is the art and culture editor for Stand News (Hong Kong), and a writer for ARTouch (Taiwan).
Anthony Leung Po Shan is an artist and art critic based in Hong Kong. She studied Fine Arts and Cultural Studies at the Chinese University of Hong Kong, and Leeds University. She was a member of Para Site Art Space, In-Media (Hong Kong), and Hong Kong Culture Monitor. Her research interests include art ecology, city space, cultural politics, and art labour. Her essays and commentaries have been published in The Hong Kong Economic Journal, In-Media (Hong Kong), City Magazine, and Ocula. She is also a contributor to various Chinese media platforms, including Leap, Art Newspaper (Chinese edition), ARTouch and Initium. She is the author of I Love Art Basel: On Art and Capital and the editor of Modern Art in a Colony: Narrated by Hon Chi-fan at the Millennium, Odd One In: Hong Kong Diary (by Pak Sheung Chuen), QK – Specimen Collection of Chan Yuk Keung, and The Red Twenty-years of Ricky Yeung Sau-churk. She is a member of the art critic collective Art Appraisal Club.
Oscar Ho is Adjunct Associate Professor of Practice in Cultural Management at the Department of Cultural and Religious Studies, the Chinese University of Hong Kong. He specialises in the practice and critical studies of cultural management, particularly in the area of visual arts, museum management, and curatorship. He was formerly Exhibition Director at the Hong Kong Arts Centre, Senior Research Officer at the Home Affairs Bureau of the Hong Kong Government, Founding Director of Museum of Contemporary Art in Shanghai, and Programme Director of the MA programme in Cultural Management, CUHK. Ho received his curatorial training at Deutsche Museum in Munich and Museum of Modern Art in New York. He has been active in curatorial practice for nearly three decades and has curated many exhibitions locally and internationally in Asia, Europe, and North America.
Bernice Chan Kwok Wai is a theatre critic based in Hong Kong. She is currently the General Manager of the International Association of Theatre Critics (Hong Kong). She holds an MA in Theatre Studies at University of Leeds and was a recipient of the Hong Kong Arts Development Council-University of Leeds Chevening Scholarship in 2005. She is the editor of Hong Kong Drama Yearbook (2007–14), Hong Kong Xiqu Yearbook (2009–14), and Willy Tsao on Contemporary Dance Vol. 1 & 2, among others.
Michelle Wong is a PhD student in art history at the University of Hong Kong. From 2012–20 she was a researcher at AAA, with a focus on Hong Kong art history and histories of exchange and circulation through exhibitions and periodicals.