Summer Institute 2018: Labour and Privilege

Summer Institute 2018: Labour and Privilege

Tai Kwun Contemporary

Courtesy Tai Kwun.

July 4, 2018
Summer Institute 2018: Labour and Privilege
July 30–August 10, 2018
Application deadline: July 6
Tai Kwun Contemporary
10 Hollywood Road, Central
Hong Kong
Hours: Tuesday–Sunday 11am–7pm

Participating professors: Ackbar Abbas, Jaleh Mansoor, Joan Kee and Rirkrit Tiravanija

Apply now for Tai Kwun Contemporary Summer Institute, a two-week education initiative exploring how the theme of Labour and Privilege affects art and cultural production in Hong Kong and Asia.

Tai Kwun Contemporary convenes an inaugural Summer Institute, aiming to address the ways in which urgent philosophical issues apply pressure to contemporary cultural production. The 2018 semester runs from July 30–August 10. Selection is limited to small group seminars working closely with the professors. Admission is 100 USD. Subsidies may be available on a case by case basis.

The Tai Kwun Contemporary Summer Institute invites 4 professors on an annual basis to focus on a theme each year that ranges from specific discussions related to Hong Kong’s immediate conditions to more abstract discussions about visual art on an international basis.  For our inaugural theme on Labour and Privilege, visiting faculty will include: Artist Rirkrit Tiravanija, Hong Kong focused cultural theorist Ackbar Abbas, Art Historian Jaleh Mansoor and Art Historian Joan Kee.

Please click here for more info.

To apply
Students, faculty members, art professionals, and scholars in the arts, the humanities, and related social sciences are invited to submit an application.

Please send the following to learnart [​at​]
–One sample of recent writing in English
–A current transcript or a letter of recommendation (encouraged, but optional)

Jaleh Mansoor, University of British Columbia
Seminar: July 30–August 3
Public lecture: July 31

Jaleh Mansoor is a historian of Modern and contemporary cultural production, specializing in twentieth-century European art, Marxism, Marxist feminism, and critical theory. She received her PhD from Columbia University in 2007 and has taught at SUNY Purchase, Barnard College, Columbia University, and Ohio University. Mansoor’s research on abstract painting in the context of the miracolo Italiano and the international relations of the Marshall Plan era nested within the global dynamics of the Cold War opens up on to problems concerning the labour-to-capital relationship and its ramifications in culture and aesthetics. Her work limns the correlation between real and aesthetic abstraction.


Ackbar Abbas, University of California, Irvine
Seminar: July 30–August 3
Public lecture: August 3

Ackbar Abbas is a professor of comparative literature at the University of California, Irvine/USA. Previously he was chair of comparative literature at the University of Hong Kong and also co-director of the Centre for the Study of Globalization and Cultures. His research interests include globalization, Hong Kong and Chinese culture, architecture, cinema, postcolonialism, and critical theory. His book Hong Kong : Culture and the Politics of Disappearance was published by the University of Minnesota Press in 1997. He previously served as a Contributing Editor to Public Culture, an academic journal published by Duke University Press.

Joan Kee, University of Michigan

Seminar: August 6–10
Public lecture: August 7

Joan Kee focuses on modern and contemporary art from multiregional and crossdisciplinary perspectives. She has published on such topics as mid-18th century Chosŏn landscape painting, socialist ink painting in Maoist China and performance art in Singapore. Her first book discussed the emergence of Tansaekhwa, a loose constellation of Korean abstract paintings first exhibited in the 1960s and 70s that underscored the potential and limits of materiality in the face of various social and political pressures. Drawing upon her experiences practicing and writing about law, Kee’s second book addresses how artists engaged with U.S. law from the early 1970s to the mid-1990s, when significant legal changes affected both everyday life and contemporary art.  A related project explores how methods of interpretation employed in the discipline of art history might be productively applied to legal cases requiring close visual analysis.

Rirkrit Tiravanija, Columbia University
Seminar: August 6–10
Public lecture: August 10

Born in Buenos Aires, Argentina, the Thai artist Rirkrit Tiravanija is widely recognized as one of the most influential artists of his generation. His work defies media-based description, as his practice combines traditional object making, public and private performances, teaching, and other forms of public service and social action. Winner of the 2004 Hugo Boss Prize awarded by the Guggenheim Museum, his exhibition there consisted of a pirate radio (with instructions on how to make one for yourself). Tiravanija was also awarded the Benesse by the Naoshima Contemporary Art Museum in Japan and the Smithsonian American Art Museum’s Lucelia Artist Award.

Tai Kwun Contemporary
Tai Kwun Contemporary is the contemporary art programming arm of Tai Kwun dedicated to presenting contemporary art exhibitions and programmes as platforms for a continually expanding cultural discourse in Hong Kong. Operated by contemporary art team, Tai Kwun Contemporary is an integral part of Tai Kwun at the Central Police Station compound, Hong Kong.

Tai Kwun
Tai Kwun is the Centre for Heritage and Arts, a place of inspiration, stimulation and enjoyment for all Hong Kong people. Tai Kwun aspires to offer the best heritage and arts experiences, and to cultivate knowledge and appreciation of contemporary art, performing arts and history in the community. It is situated at the restored Central Police Station compound, one of the most significant revitalisation projects in Hong Kong, comprising three declared monuments—the former Central Police Station, Central Magistracy and Victoria Prison.

This project was conceived and organised by Melissa Karmen Lee and Joan Kee

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Tai Kwun Contemporary
July 4, 2018

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