Discordant Harmony is a critical response to the notion of “harmony”, which serves as an ascription for a rather stereotyped and reductionist notion of Asia. Four curators from Korea, Japan, Taiwan and China have placed the understanding and discussion of art, ideas and histories of the respective regions in a larger context, researching into the multiple historical and contemporary layers of meaning on the construct of Asia. This touring exhibition started from Seoul, traveled to Hiroshima and Taipei, before coming to the last stop at the Beijing Inside-Out Art Museum.
Each episode of the exhibition series has addressed specific issues raised by each new context, bringing the most current thinking into this evolving project. It leads to a new version of this exhibition in Beijing, focusing on the period between the late 1980s and early 1990s, when a critical turn took place in East Asia. During those years, those living in East Asia not only witnessed the end of the Cold War and indeed felt its impact, including increasing globalization, but also experienced the profound transformation within the societies, political systems, economies and cultures, along with new challenges and opportunities. In this exhibition, the four curators have selected particular exhibition projects and art events of that time as case studies, to examine and represent the complexities of that era. In this way, we may better understand how the art and thoughts of those important years have continued to influence us today and relate to each other across these regions.
This two-day academic programme is inspired primarily by the pioneering and imaginative intellectual practices in the narrative of Asia by Professor Sun Ge and Professor Naoki Sakai. We hope to take this opportunity to put forward the notion of Asia and Asian theories as an intellectual horizon. As such, they have the potential to problematize existing categories and orders, and thus provide windows into the contemplation of subjectivity. We also wish to fully recognize the significance of the predicaments we have encountered in the practice of Asia and their historical origins, through this intellectual journey.
Curators' Talk： East Asia at the Transition between the 1980s and the 1990s Seen from An Art Historical Perspective
Speakers: Chien-Hung Huang, Yukie Kamiya, Sunjung Kim, Carol Yinghua Lu
Moderator: Dr. Clemens Treter, Director of the Goethe-Institut China
Language: Mandarin, English
Time: 14:00-16:00，Saturday Jan 27, 2018
Venue: Goethe-Institut China
Address: Originality Square, 798 Art District, No. 2 Jiuxianqiao Road, Chaoyang District, Beijing
A dynamic academic programme of two carefully-conceived events is organized to coincide with the last week of the exhibition. The first talk is a conversation among the four curators of the exhibition on January 27, 2018. This would be the first gathering of all four curators in Beijing since the opening of the exhibition. Taking place at the Goethe-Institut in Beijing, this discussion will review the initiation and working process of this three-year exhibition project, shedding light on their experiences and reflections from a curatorial perspective. The four curators, based on their own experience, will also analyze the possibilities and challenges of working in the Asian context alongside the multiple predicaments regarding artistic practices and historical writings in Asia.
Chien-Hung Huang is an Associate Professor at the Taipei National University of Arts in the Institute of Trans- disciplinary Art. He has published numerous books,including COQ (2009), An Independent Discourse (2010), Trans-Plex Agenda(2011), EMU (2012) and Smile of Montage (2013). Huang is also a film critic and a critic of contemporary art and the spectacle. He has translated books by G. Deleuze, J. Baudrillard and J. Rancière. Since 2007, he has been also working as a curator. Huang has curated shows such as Ex.ception (2007), S-HOMO at K's Art (2009), POST.O at Taipei MoCA (2009), Look by the cinema in OCAT Shenzhen (2010), TRANS-PLex and Solarium (2011), Chim.Pom's Beautiful World and Crush on EMU (2012), Schizophrenia Taiwan 2.0 (2013) and Post-Movement (2014), Dicordant Harmony (2015-2016), Trans-Archiving(2017).
Yukie Kamiya is Director of Gallery at Japan Society, New York. Previously Kamiya was Chief Curator at the Hiroshima City Museum of Contemporary Art, Japan, and served as Associate Curator at the New Museum of Contemporary Art, New York. Kamiya has organized many international exhibitions, including solo exhibitions by Francis Alÿs, Cai Guoqiang, Hiroshi Sugimoto, Yoko Ono, Jiro Takamatsu and Do Ho Suh. She also served as guest curator for cultural institutions including the Japan Foundation and co-curated group exhibitions such as Vital Signals –Japanese and American Video Art from the 1960s and ‘70s, which toured Japan and the USA in 2009-10, and Re: Quest-Japanese Contemporary Art since the 1970s (Museum of Art, Seoul National University, 2013). She was awarded the Academic Prize of the Foundation of Western Art, Japan, in 2011 for her curation of Simon Starling, Project for a Masquerade (Hiroshima).
Kamiya served on the advisory board of Yokohama Triennial 2014 and Parasophia, Kyoto International Festival of Contemporary Culture, 2015. She also served on the jury of festivals such as The Rolex Mentor and Protégé arts Initiative, DAAD artist-in berlin and Japan Media Arts Festival; has contributed to catalogues and publications, including Taipei Biennial 2006 and 2013 California-Pacific Triennial; and is one of the contributors to Creamier –Contemporary Art in Culture (Phaidon, 2010) and Ravaged - Art and Culture in Times of Conflict (Mercatorfonds, 2014).
Sunjung Kim is the President of the Gwangju Biennale Foundation, Gwangju. Kim was the chief curator at the Art Sonje Center in Seoul (1993-2004), Commissioner of the Korean Pavilion at the 51st Venice Biennale (2005), Artistic Director of Media City Seoul (2010), Artistic Co-Director of Gwangju Biennale (2012), Artistic Director of ACC Research & Archive in Asian Culture Center in Gwangju (2014-2015), Artistic Director of REAL DMZ PROJECT (2012-2016) and Director of Art Sonje Center (2016 - June 2017).
Carol Yinghua Lu
Carol Yinghua Lu is a PhD candidate in art history at the University of Melbourne and director of Beijing Inside-out Art Museum. She is a contributing editor at Frieze and is on the advisory board of The Exhibitionist. Lu was on the jury for the Golden Lion Award at the 2011 Venice Biennale. She was the co-artistic director of the 2012 Gwangju Biennale and co-curator of the 7th Shenzhen Sculpture Biennale in 2012. From 2012 to 2015, she was the artistic director and chief curator of OCAT Shenzhen. She was the first visiting fellow in the Asia-Pacific Fellowship program at the Tate Research Centre in 2013. She is an ARIAH (Association of Research Institute in Art History) East Asia Fellow at Bard Graduate Center in 2017.
Universality and Particularity: What is Asianness?
Speakers: Sun Ge, Naoki Sakai
Language: Mandarin, English
Time: 14:00-18:00, Saturday Jan 28, 2018
Venue: Conference room, Beijing Inside-Out Art Museum
Address: Beijing Inside-Out Art Museum, No. 50, Xingshikou Road, Haidian District, Beijing
The second event consists of two keynote speeches, followed by a conversation, under the theme of “Universality and Particularity: What is Asianness?”, to take place at Beijing Inside-out Art Museum Conference Room on January 28. The two distinguished speakers are Professor Sun Ge, Researcher at the Literature Research Institute of the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences and Professor Naoki Sakai from the Department of Asian Studies and Comparative Literature, Cornell University. These two scholars, both with long-termed commitment to academic research and articulation of Asia-related issues, will present their latest thoughts from their work in two respective keynote speeches. Following their speeches, they will have a dialogue about the historical process of Asia since the modern period. Their conversation will touch upon questions regarding the relevance of Asia as a category of perception in light of the current international political dynamic and the new reality of a fastly forstered Asian unity. Two professors will elaborate on the transcendental perspectives that the notion of Asia could provide in terms of entering our regional histories, and of re-examining the issues left out in the assumed relationship between universality and particularity.
Professor Naoki Sakai
Naoki Sakai is Goldwin Smith Professor of Asian Studiesat Cornell University. He has published in the fields of comparative literature, intellectual history, translation studies, the studies of racism and nationalism, and the histories of textuality. His publications include: Translation and Subjectivity (University of Minnesota Press, 1997); Voices of the Past (Cornell University Press, 1991); The Stillbirth of the Japanese as a Language and as an Ethnos (Shinyô-sha, 1995); The End of Pax Americana and the Nationalism of Hikikomori (Iwanami Shoten, 2017). He edited a number of volumes including Politics of Translation, special issue of Translation, co-edited with Sandro Mezzadra (2014); Translation, Biopolitics, Colonial Difference,Vol. 4, Traces - A Multilingual Series of Cultural Theory and Translation, co-edited with Jon Solomon (Hong Kong University Press, 2006); The Trans-Pacific Imagination co-edited with Hyon Joo Yoo (World Scientific, 2012). Naoki Sakai served as the founding editor for the project of Traces, a multilingual series in five languages - Korean, Chinese, English, Spanish and Japanese.
Professor Sun Ge
Professor Sun Ge is Researcher at the Institute of Literature in Chinese Academy of Social Sciences. She has a PhD in politcs at School of Law in Tokyo Metropolitan University. Her main publications include: Space for Dispersed Subjectivity, The Paradox of Yoshimi Takeuchi, The Position of Literature, Why Need We Talk about East Asia?, What Does Asia Mean?, and Collected Works of Searching for Mistakes. She has been dedicated to the study of the history of Japanese political thoughts for many years and to promoting the dialogue between the intellectuals in East Asia. In 1990s, she pushed forward the project of establishing diologues between Chinese and Japanese intellecuals with Mr. Yūzō Mizoguchi.