Reflections on Curating within Asia
Writer and curator Leeji Hong reports on how curators in Asia are engaged to present a fresh and independent angle on Asia, in a region defined by the western oriented view. In a recent lecture programme at Meeting in Asia, Seoul, young curators from across East Asia shared their vision and experiences in curating.
Meeting in Asia was led by Korea Arts Management Service and Meetingroom.
Meetingroom is a curator collective and online curatorial research platform in Korea specialized in the subjects of curating and archive. As curatorial research is becoming more and more important for healthy formation of discourses, the meetingroom focuses on the symbiotic relationship between curating and archive. Aiming to share a range of information about figures, publications, institutions, specialized research materials, residencies and fundings, the meetingroom introduces information about overseas curators' activities, curatorial interests and directions in their weekly articles published since March 2013.
In the article for The Artro, 'New Possibility of Curation on the Subject of Asia', Leeji Hong writes:
To curate an international joint exhibition in a certain region, one should consider the possibility of a new definition and the position of the region, as well as to introduce the representative local artists, who instinctively embody the regional situation.
[...] and concludes
Through Meeting in Asia, we could have time to contemplate the problems and issues that lie behind the various forms of exhibitions from different regions. When the postcolonial perspective replaces the established point of view of intolerance, and the understanding of difference is preceded by exposing the coessentiality and distinctiveness, the new interpretation on international joint exhibition is possible. If we avoid a singular translation and observe the subtle disparity to discuss and practice art, new research from another perspective and the autonomous discourse can be rooted. If the public discussion like Meeting in Asia is relocated and recontextualized, and if these movements are archived, an autonomous discourse can be produced. Also, if the multilateral relationship is established, a new solidarity may be possible instead of the simple geopolitical community. The Asian Culture Complex of Gwangju will open at the end of this year, and M+ Museum in Hong Kong will be open in 2019. Both venues are taking note of the topographic change in the art scene that was once western oriented and the new possibility of an autonomous Asian art and cultural discourse. I expect the day, when the diverse strategies and suggestions of Asian curators will be briskly actualized in the public space, is not far away.
Hong Lee-ji graduated from Hongik University in Sculpture, and finished MFA in Curating at Goldsmiths, University of London. She currently is a curator of Seoul Museum of Art, and an editor of the curatorial research platform Meetingroom.
Image: Research Lounge-Index Room at The Subtle Triangle, Seoul Museum of Art, 2015 ⓒ Hong-Chul-ki / Seoul Museum of Art