Innovation Through Tradition takes a comparative look at ink painting, miniature, and calligraphy through a public talk and private two-day workshop. Citing Chinese, Indo-Persian, and Arabic influences, international scholars, curators, researchers, and artists consider the ongoing impact these disciplines have on contemporary modes of creative expression.
Participants share their wide-ranging perspectives in an effort to challenge prevailing narratives including Euro-American art historical accounts that frame these practices through the lens of 'tradition'. Using broader cultural references spanning geography, time, space, and media, 'tradition' is instead coupled with 'innovation', both hinging on direct engagement through the past, and not by its rejection.
How these vigorous, variable, and pervasive practices offer an opportunity to rethink the possibilities for exhibitions, publications, and writing is also explored, along with speculations on how to build alternate frameworks to reinterpret and re-imagine prevailing histories of art.
Innovation Through Tradition inaugurates an intermittent series of private workshops and related public programmes. Conceived as a way to encourage academic, curatorial, and artistic engagement, these programmes seek to identify issues, develop research strands, and explore ways to catalyse new thinking to contribute to a richer discourse around recent art of Asia.
22 July 2014 Programme
Session I: Lunchtime Talk
Reading Art in Literature of the Arab World
Salwa Mikdadi, Visiting Associate Professor of Art History, New York University Abu Dhabi
Calligraphy, Ink, and Miniature
Iftikhar Dadi, AAA Resident; Chair, Department of Art (2010-2014), and Associate Professor, Department of History of Art, Cornell University
Hammad Nasar, AAA Head of Research & Programmes
Martina Koppel-Yang, Art Historian and Curator
Henry Au-yeung, Founder and Director, Grotto Fine Art
23 July 2014 Programme
Johnson Chang, AAA Co-Founder & Advisory Board member; Director, Hanart TZ Gallery
Hung Fai, Vito, Artist
Modernity and the Nation
Lesley Ma, Curator of Ink Art, M+, West Kowloon Cultural District; Managing Editor, Para/Site
Public Economy, Cultural Diplomacy, and Institutional Imperatives
Jane DeBevoise, AAA Chair of the Board of Directors, Hong Kong/New York
Savita Apte, Art Historian
Supported by Spring Workshop