AAA invites four individuals from Hong Kong’s independent arts organisations to join us as guest researchers. Over the course of several weeks, they will delve into AAA’s Hong Kong collection, offering distinct perspectives informed by their varied expertise. This endeavour seeks to bring fresh insight into the archive not limited by the confines of traditional academic research, and aims to locate creative potential embedded within historical records.
Hong Kong Conversations 2023: Independent Researchers kicks off AAA’s two-year project Recalling Disappearance: Hong Kong Contemporary Art. The project aims to promote knowledge about Hong Kong art, with a focus on creating and sharing archives, and seeks to foster creative, scholarly, curatorial, and educational endeavours related to Hong Kong art.
Free and open to the public with registration. This event will be conducted in Cantonese, with English simultaneous interpretation provided. Please register separately for each talk.
Talk #1: Alternative Advertising as Creative Editorial Content
The first talk revolves around the independent art periodicals of 1980s and 90s Hong Kong, with a particular emphasis on the concept of “creative editorial content masked as alternative ads” (as quoted from Cheung Fai). These independent periodicals, namely Art Currents and Crossover, served not only as vital platforms for the dissemination of news and criticism but also as a distinctive arena for visual and textual creation. The 1980s to 90s marked a pinnacle in Hong Kong’s print advertising industry, and it was within this vibrant cultural milieu that alternative advertising emerged as a form of artistic expression, carrying profound critical and revelatory implications.
Florence Lam on Crossover
Jeremy Ip on Art Currents
Talk #2: The Decentralisation of Art
By exploring the works of two pioneering figures in Hong Kong’s art scene, guest researchers in the second talk examine how the Hong Kong arts community actively worked to break down authority and elitism in the arts, promoted knowledge on art, and narrowed the gap between art and the public during the 1980s to 90s. During his time as Exhibition Director at the Hong Kong Arts Centre, Oscar Ho not only curated numerous landmark exhibitions, but also worked to decentralise art discourse, profoundly influencing the landscape of Hong Kong art. Similarly, after having begun her career in avant-garde video art, May Fung was later heavily involved in the establishment of art education in Hong Kong, making significant contributions.
Eunice Tsang on Oscar Ho's 1993 exhibition We Don't Know How to Paint
Mandy Chan on creative outreach in independent arts organisations
Florence Lam is a Hong Kong-based artist and curator. She works with wonder, animism, and magical thinking, using improvisation as thought process, to fuse together current moral issues with child-like worldviews in performance, poetry, and film. She obtained an MA in Fine Art from Iceland Academy of the Arts in 2017 and a BA in Fine Art from Central Saint Martins in 2014. She has exhibited and performed around Asia and Europe, and worked as a re-performer for Marina Abramović from 2018–19. She co-founded Per.Platform in 2021, a Hong Kong-based live art platform.
Jeremy Ip, currently living in Hong Kong, enjoys contemplating whether materials can embody abstract messages. He attempts to respond to the brutal state of existence by reproducing his perception of life in the form of painting. The by-products are the documentation of occurrences, which often deviate from the main discourse. He currently runs WURE AREA, an art space located in the Kowloon Bay Industrial Area that encourages mutual understanding and exchange of thoughts through non-verbal language and sensations, and explores artistic observation modes as a medium.
Eunice Tsang is a curator and artist based in Hong Kong. She is the founder of Current Plans, an experimental art space that encourages cross-disciplinary dialogues through exhibition making. Previously, she organised The Artists’ Book Library at Tai Kwun Contemporary and is currently part of BOOKED: Hong Kong Art Book Fair’s curatorial team. Her curatorial interests lie in how artists develop new languages and symbols in times of political change, and how to manoeuvre the liminal space between legal and illegal, fact and fiction—using magic-realism, sarcasm, humour, and myth-making.
Mandy Chan earned a BACM from the Critical Intermedia Lab of City University of Hong Kong’s School of Creative Media. Chan was Programme Coordinator and Assistant Programme Manager at Spring Workshop (2013–18), and has been Programme Leader at soundpocket since 2018. In recent years, Chan has been exploring the possibilities of sound and listening from an accessibility perspective, seeking to broaden the language of reception and expression within it.
Recalling Disappearance: Hong Kong Contemporary Art is financially supported by the Arts Capacity Development Funding Scheme of the Government of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region. The content of this programme does not reflect the views of the Government of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region.