Featured in this video is a talk presented by the co-director of The Substation arts centre in Singapore, Lee Weng Choy on 6 December 2005 at Goethe-Gallery, Goethe-Institut Hongkong. It was conducted in English.

The Original Talk Outline

How does one make sense of the art of our time?

The rise of contemporary art from Asia has been characterized by an unbalanced proportion between the production of spectacles and events versus reflection and critical discourse. While there is already a substantial and diverse body of writing on contemporary art from the region, this body of work remains largely uncollated, insufficiently analysed and poorly disseminated. So how would one anthologize this writing? Such a project raises all sorts of questions about the selection and canonization of artists and artwriters. For instance, what exactly are the relations between contemporaries? How can one compare an artwork or text from Hong Kong with those from Thailand? The writing from the region has tended to be by locals commenting on their respective "backyards".

In his talk, "Coincidence & Relation", Lee will try and complicate the matter further. There are, of course, many registers of discourses on art; Lee will argue for a kind of art criticism which aims to speak to art as personally and honestly as possible. Lee will play with the idea that the convictions one makes about an artwork are not entirely unlike the declarations one makes to a loved one. Both insist on specificity—there is no one else but this person; this artwork is significant—and yet this insistence is possible perhaps only in the face of coincidence: "I happen to live here now".

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Talk: Lee Weng Choy: Coincidence & Relation: Art Criticism and Heartbreak
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Talk: Lee Weng Choy: Coincidence & Relation: Art Criticism and Heartbreak