15 Invitations for 15 Years
A special programme series featuring exhibitions, projects, written works, performances, a blog, and set of e-dossiers marking Asia Art Archive's 15-year anniversary.
Between 1967 and 2009, Hong Kong-based artist Ha Bik Chuen collaborated with the Beirut-based artist Suha Traboulsi on a number of projects. Most of these remained out of view until 2010, after Ha's death, when his archives were unpacked and studied. The two met in 1962 when Traboulsi travelled to Hong Kong to research Chinese calligraphic practices. They struck an immediate friendship that soon turned into an artistic collaboration from afar: Ha in Hong Kong and Traboulsi in Beirut.
For Section 39_Index XXXVII: Traboulsi at AAA Library, works from two collaborative series are on display: Editor’s Introduction (1972–1980) and Notes (1983–2009). Editor's Introduction consists of several "sculptural spaces" built by Traboulsi and inspired by Ha's ephemera-laden collage books. Notes consists of Traboulsi's reproductions of canonical modern paintings by Arab artists: Inji Efflatoun, Abdel Hadi el-Gazzar, Hamed Nada, Ibrahim el-Salahi, Marwan, Seta Manoukian, among others. The Traboulsi reproductions were scattered among several of Ha's collaged notebooks. Traboulsi never revealed where her productions were strewn, and it has taken several years of painstaking archival research to reassemble some of her paintings shown here.
– Walid Raad
Section 39_Index XXXVII: Traboulsi stems from Walid Raad's interest and research into AAA's Ha Bik Chuen Archive. During his 2014 residency at AAA, Raad was introduced to the work of Ha Bik Chuen. Raad immediately realised Ha's affinity to one of his fictional collaborators, Suha Traboulsi.
Theme-based tours on the project in relation to AAA's work and collections will be held in August and September by AAA team members.
A selection of books related to the project is available in AAA's collection.
Staging and Performing the Archive
Date: 13 Aug 2016
Time: 11am–12pm (English); 2–3pm (Chinese)
Language: English and Chinese
Description: AAA Researcher Michelle Wong explores the concept of documents as neither art nor record, but the private performative space of an art practice through AAA's Ha Bik Chuen Archive.
Art in the Age of Surpassing Disasters
Date: 20 Aug 2016
Description: AAA Head of Research and Programmes Hammad Nasar discusses Raad's project in relation to Lebanese artist and thinker Jalal Toufic's concept of '"withdrawal of tradition past a surpassing disaster."
The Artist as Author
Date: 3 Sep 2016
Description: AAA Public Programmes Curator Ingrid Chu expands on the idea of the "artist as author"' in creating alternative readings of their work and how this resonates through AAA's growing collection of artist books.
Walid Raad is an artist and Professor of Art at the Cooper Union, New York. Raad's works include The Atlas Group, a fifteen-year project between 1989 and 2004 about the contemporary history of Lebanon, and ongoing projects Scratching on Things I Could Disavow and Sweet Talk: Commissions (Beirut). His books include The Truth Will Be Known When The Last Witness Is Dead; My Neck is Thinner than a Hair; Let's Be Honest, the Weather Helped; and Scratching on Things I Could Disavow.
Raad's works have been shown at The Museum of Modern Art, New York; the Louvre, Paris; Documenta 11 and 13, Kassel; Kunsthalle Zurich; Whitechapel Art Gallery, London; the Venice Biennale; the Hamburger Bahnhof, Berlin; Homeworks, Beirut; and other museums and venues throughout Europe, the Middle East, and the Americas. Raad is the recipient of the ICP Infinity Award (2016); Hasselblad Award (2011); Guggenheim Fellowship (2009); Alpert Award in Visual Arts (2007); Deutsche Börse Photography Prize (2007); and Camera Austria Award (2005).
15 Invitations for 15 Years is supported by the S. H. Ho Foundation Limited, the C. K. & Kay Ho Foundation, and The Hong Kong Arts Development Council. The programme is part of the ADC 20th Anniversary Celebration Series. Special thanks to Hani Charaf, Kemistry Design; and Spring Workshop.