April 20, 2015 - Asia Art Archive - Field Notes 4: Publics, Histories, Value: The Changing Stakes of Exhibitions
April 20, 2015

Field Notes 4: Publics, Histories, Value: The Changing Stakes of Exhibitions

Courtesy of Harbour City Estates Limited.

Field Notes 4: Publics, Histories, Value: The Changing Stakes of Exhibitions

Asia Art Archive 
233 Hollywood Road
Sheung Wan
Hong Kong


Exhibitions are where artworks meet their publics. In the context of Asia, with the general absence of systematic public collections and few academic art history departments, exhibitions are more than just sites of display and interaction. Exhibitions—and the curatorial strategies shaping them, institutional demands driving them, and art writing accompanying them—have become the primary sites of art historical construction.

With the prominence of private museums, state investment in cultural districts, spread of art fairs and biennials, and rise of the “art mall”—a new “art x commerce” model in the region—a rapidly changing landscape in Asia compels a critical look into these new investment models in art infrastructure, and how they may intervene into existing structures of knowledge production, disrupt old art histories, and generate new ones.

The fourth issue of AAA’s e-journal Field Notes takes as its point of departure, the 2013 symposium “Sites of Construction: Exhibitions and the Making of Recent Art History in Asia,” and explores the exhibition’s form and its discursive, spatial, social, and economic conditions through the varied perspectives of art historians, curators, artists, researchers, and architects to emphasise alternative ways of seeing and approaching exhibitions in the writing of multiple histories of art today. The issue will be accompanied by a series of programmes with David Elliott, Maria Lind, and Park Chan-Kyong.

Clare Butcher revisits the 1997 Johannesburg Biennale; Biljana Ciric traces viewer interaction with artworks in China; Seth Denizen explores the art mall; Petko Dourmana presents a smartphone app that ranks artists; Liz Magic Laser presents her research and rebrand of the 2013 Armory Show in New York; Leung Po Shan Anthony reveals the struggle for public space in Hong Kong’s Times Square; Georgy Mamedov surveys the significance of the Central Asian Pavilion at the Venice Biennale; Hammad Nasar considers the legacy of Rasheed Araeen’s 1989 exhibition The Other Story; Jack Persekian points to the loss of 17 Palestinian art exhibitions from 1970s to 2014; Jane Pong charts Asia Art Archive’s collection of catalogues through visualisations; Rashid Rana reflects on curating a national show from a private collection as an artist; Roee Rosen introduces artist Justine Frank and her 2013 retrospective; and Ahyoung Yoo delves into the limits of digital art through the work of Young-Hae Chang Heavy Industries.

Field Notes is an ongoing series of inquiries into timely issues around recent art within a wider context in the format of a thematic e-journal expanded through complementary programmes.

Previous issues of include Archive as Method, The And: An Expanded Questionnaire on the Contemporary, and Mapping Asia. Asia Art Archive thanks the Arts Capacity Development Funding Scheme of the Government of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region.

Asia Art Archive is an independent non-profit organisation initiated in 2000 in response to the urgent need to document and make accessible the multiple recent histories of art in the region. With an international Board of Directors, an Advisory Board made up of noted scholars and curators, and an in-house research team, AAA has collated one of the most valuable collections of material on contemporary art in the region—open to the public free of charge and increasingly accessible from its website. More than a static repository waiting to be discovered, AAA instigates critical thinking and dialogue for a wide range of audiences via public, research, residential and educational programmes.


Asia Art Archive presents Field Notes: Publics, Histories, Value: The Changing Stakes of Exhibitions
Asia Art Archive
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