Hong Kong and Bangalore-based scholars of critical geography and urban studies consider the politics of contested urban settings to form new understandings of art in Asia as a collage of multiple logics.
15 INVITATIONS For 15 Years
A special programme series featuring exhibitions, projects, written works, performances, a blog, and publication marking Asia Art Archive's 15-year anniversary. AAA extends 15 Invitations to creative practitioners to look within and beyond the organisation as an archive, a collection of material, a digital platform, and a node in a wider collective network. The 15 Invitations take various sizes, forms, and directions—literary, polemic, political, sonic, physical, and digital—and function as a series of 'drop pins' to alternatively navigate where AAA originated and where it may be going.
FRAMING SPATIAL STORIES: LIFE BEYOND THE PLAN, SURVEY, AND THE GRID
As part of 15 Invitations, Solomon Benjamin, the Bangalore-based scholar, in collaboration with Hong Kong 'critical geographer' Wing Shing Tang, co-organise a three-day workshop around artistic explorations aimed at 'unfreezing the city'.
Instigated by what the Hong Kong Urban Renewal Authority (URA) terms ‘freezing surveys’—aimed at fixing legal claims to spaces (and thereby people) to frame cities as stable grids—'unfreezing' becomes a way to re-think and re-familiarise the relationship to cities we inhabit and travel across.
Benjamin and Tang propose that we see cities through the very practices that constitute them—how a city is 'practiced' bears witness to how it is lived. Art then becomes a way to bring critical reexamination and repositioning of the city by reworking the very methods, tools, and representations that may otherwise become fixed.
For the three-day workshop involving presentations, site-visits, Hong Kong city walks, and an e-dossier, a range of archives including the AAA collection and other everyday materials from the city will be brought forward for discussion. With participants ranging from students and artists to architects and academics, the project draws on the AAA collection; law and administration documents; street markings; publicly circulated print media; protest performance and installation documentation; the missing bricks in the pavements of Mong Kok; the use of umbrellas, banners, and dance forms; and interviews among other media.
Wedding Card Street, Mongkok, and Fotan site visits | Framing Spatial Stories (2017) by Solomon Benjamin and Wing Shing TangAsia Art Archive
Solomon Benjamin is a Bangalore-based scholar based in Chennai.
Wing Shing Tang is a Professor in the Department of Geography at Hong Kong Baptist University.
15 Invitations Blog
Research Assistant: Maurice Yip
15 Invitations for 15 Years is supported by the S. H. Ho Foundation Limited, the C. K. & Kay Ho Foundation, and The Hong Kong Arts Development Council. The programme is part of the ADC 20th Anniversary Celebration Series. Special thanks to Hani Charaf, Kemistry Design; and Spring Workshop.