Part I: Screening of excerpt from Many Undulating Things (dir. Bo Wang and Pan Lu, 2019), followed by a conversation with Bo Wang, Pan Lu, and Simon Soon
Date: 17 Aug 2019
Venue: JC Cube, Tai Kwun
Part II: Panel with Roberto Castillo, Innocent Mutanga, Eunice Seng, and Ming Tiampo. Moderated by Alice Jim.
Date: 17 Aug 2019
Venue: Tai Kwun Contemporary's Artists’ Book Library—Room 03-206, Barrack Block
This two-part programme takes as its hinge Chungking Mansions, a building in Tsim Sha Tsui, Hong Kong, made famous by Wong Kar Wai’s Chungking Express (1994). Chungking Mansions’ remarkably diverse population and status as a key business hub between Asia and Africa has led anthropologist Gordon Mathews to posit it as an alternate paradigm for the study of globalisation.
The first section features a screening of an excerpt from Bo Wang and Pan Lu’s collaboration Many Undulating Things (2019). The film’s third chapter, “Ferro Vitreous,” presents the contemporary state of Chungking Mansions in all its social and architectural complexities. Described as a political poem, the film concentrates on the circulatory system of Hong Kong, ultimately taking it as an archetype for other cities of globalised capitalism.
In the second part, panel speakers from the fields of art and architectural history, anthropology, and cultural studies discuss Chungking Mansions—from its beginnings in 1961 as a luxury residential development in Tsim Sha Tsui, to its current status as a centre of “low-end globalisation.”
Free and open to the public with registration.
Bo Wang is an artist and filmmaker based in Brooklyn, New York. Wang studied physics and mathematics as an undergraduate and cosmology for his Master’s, both at the Tsinghua University, Beijing. He later received his MFA in photography, video, and related media from the School of Visual Arts in New York. As an artist, his works have been exhibited internationally at venues including the Guggenheim Museum and Museum of Modern Art in New York, Garage Museum of Contemporary Art in Moscow, Visions du Réel in Switzerland, Image Forum Festival in Tokyo, Essay Film Festival at ICA in London, DMZ Docs in South Korea, CPH:DOX in Copenhagen, Times Museum in Guangzhou, BOZAR in Brussels, and others. A recipient of a fellowship from the Robert Flaherty Film Seminar in 2013, he was also artist-in-residence at ACC-Rijksakademie 2017–18 and NTU CCA in 2016. He teaches in the departments of Visual and Critical Studies and Art History at the School of Visual Arts, New York.
Pan Lu is a filmmaker and scholar based in Hong Kong. Pan received her PhD in Comparative Literature from the University of Hong Kong. Previously, she studied literature and cultural studies in Shanghai and Bayreuth. Her current research interests include visual culture, urban space, war memory, and theories of aesthetics. Pan was visiting fellow at the Technical University of Berlin, Harvard-Yenching Institute, Fukuoka Asian Art Museum, and Taipei National University of the Arts. She teaches Chinese-language cinema, literature, and cultural history as an assistant professor at the Hong Kong Polytechnic University. As Bo Wang’s creative collaborator, she received an Award for Excellence from the Image Forum Festival in Japan, an Honorable Mention by UCF/IAMCR Urban Communication Research Grant, and was granted the DMZ Documentary Fund from DMZ Docs in South Korea.
Simon Soon is a senior lecturer at the University of Malaya in Kuala Lumpur. His research focus includes nineteenth- and twentieth-century art and visual culture in Southeast Asia. Other research interests include global flows in art, architecture, and visual cultures of Asia (early modern, colonial, modern/contemporary), Latin American and Southeast Asian cultural networks and comparative frameworks, and abstraction and modernism in Asia and Africa. His doctoral dissertation investigated the spatio-visual practices of postwar left-leaning art movements in Singapore/Malaya, Indonesia, Thailand, and the Philippines from the 1950s to 1970s. Prior to undertaking academic research, he worked as a curator in the field of Southeast Asian modern and contemporary art. Soon is co-founder and a member of the editorial collective of SOUTHEAST OF NOW: Directions in Contemporary and Modern Art in Asia, a new peer-review journal published by NUS Press. He is also a team member of Malaysia Design Archive, an archival, research, and education platform on visual cultures of the twentieth century.
Roberto Castillo is Assistant Professor in Cultural Studies at Lingnan University in Hong Kong. He has been living, working, and researching in the Asian region since 2006. He is also trained in journalism, international relations, political science, and history. In 2009, when he was working as an editor for a branch of Xinhua News Agency in Beijing, he became interested in the increasing presence of foreigners in China and their transnational connections. Since 2010, he has been carrying out cultural research on Africans in Guangzhou. He also administers the website Africans in China.
Innocent Mutanga is a Hong Kong-based Zimbabwean entrepreneur who champions social justice through raising awareness of the needs and conditions of the marginalised and the vulnerable in society. An anthropologist in the making, he has travelled to various developing countries, and in Hong Kong he is the co-founder of three social enterprises: The Wandering Voice, Africa Center Hong Kong, and Harmony HK. Through these efforts, he addresses issues faced by people of multiple disadvantaged identities such as refugees, female migrant domestic workers, non-Chinese sex workers, and LGBTQ ethnic minorities.
Eunice Seng is Associate Professor and Chair of the Departmental Research Postgraduate Committee in Architecture at the University of Hong Kong; and Principal of SKEW Collaborative Shanghai-Hong Kong. She is a founding member of Docomomo Hong Kong and co-director of the Singapore Institute of Architects Archifest 2017. An architect and architectural historian, her work explores interdisciplinary intersections and questions of agency in architecture. A forthcoming book, Resistant City: Histories, Maps and the Architecture of Development (2020) explores urban resilience and architecture’s complicit role in Hong Kong.
Ming Tiampo is Professor of Art History and Director of the Institute for Comparative Studies in Literature Art and Culture at Carleton University in Ottawa, Canada. She is a scholar of transnational vanguardism. She is author of Gutai: Decentering Modernism (2011) and co-curated the AICA award-winning Gutai: Splendid Playground (2013) at the Guggenheim Museum in New York. In addition, Tiampo has published on globalisation and art, multiculturalism in Canada, and the connections between Inuit and Japanese prints. She is currently working on two books: Decentering Globalism is an interdisciplinary and methodological analysis of World Art Studies, while Paris from the Outside In: Art and Decolonization considers Paris as a site of intersection to investigate the historical conditions of global modernism. Her interests and expertise in global modernism and decolonisation are deeply relevant to this project.
Alice Ming Wai Jim is Professor of Contemporary Art and University Research Chair in Ethnocultural Art Histories at Concordia University, Montreal in Quebec, Canada. As an art historian, curator and cultural organiser, her research interests include contemporary ethnocultural and global art histories, media arts, international art exhibitions, and critical curatorial studies. In 2018, she co-edited the fall special issue of RACAR, “What is Critical Curating?” A recipient of the 2015 Centre de documentation d'Artexte Award for Research in Contemporary Art, Jim co-convened the 2019 Global Asia/Pacific Art Exchange (GAX), Asian Indigenous Relationalities conference in Contemporary Art, in Montreal.
This event is part of an ongoing collaboration between Asia Art Archive and the Department of Cultural Studies at Lingnan University.
Co-presented by Asia Art Archive and Tai Kwun Contemporary.