27 – 31 March 2019

Central Harborfront
Hong Kong


Education Partner, Asia Society Hong Kong Center, returned to Art Central to present a daily programme of talks and panel discussions. The programme featured for a second time highly anticipated talks from two of the 2018 Asia Society Honorees. 

Art and Conflict

Speakers: Adeela Suleman [Artist] & Dinh Q. Lê [Artist], Nathalie Johnston [Curator and  Founder of Myanm/art]
Moderator:  Maurice Benayoun [Professor , School of Creative Media, City University of Hong Kong / Artist]

Through experiences of trauma and loss in times of global conflict and war, art can be a channel through which to heal. Moderated by Maurice Benayoun, academic, curator and acclaimed artist whose installation ‘World Skin – A Photo Safari in the Land of War’ won the Golden Nica, Ars Electronica (1998), this panel will discuss the relationship between the traces of chaos & violence left behind on local landscapes after conflict, and the ways in which it informs the growth of artistic development and pushes creative minds to bold actions, rousing motifs of identity, memory, history and reconciliation.


The Complexities of Text in Art

Speakers: Dr. Miwako Tezuka [Co-Director of PoNJA Gen-Kon (Post-Nineteen-forty-five Japanese Art Discussion Group)] and Charwei Tsai [Artist]
Moderator: Cailin Broere 

While the appearance of text in art was often criticized in the 1960s, in particular when Robert Indiana came to the forefront of the newly emerging Hard-edge painting and Pop art scene, it has since become omnipresent as a key ingredient of visual expression. This discussion, in light of the current exhibition at the Asia Society Hong Kong Center LOVE Long: Robert Indiana and Asia that brings together works by Robert Indiana and those by contemporary Asian artists along the unifying theme of use of language in visual art, will bring to discussion some of the complexities the presence of text has instilled in art


Queerness in Art - a Discussion with the Players

Speakers: PATRICK SUN [Collector and Founder of the Sunpride Foundation], MING WONG [Artist] & JES FAN [Artist]
Moderator: DOMINIQUE CHAN [Head of Gallery and Exhibition, Asia Society Hong Kong Centre]

“Queer” was first used to denote peculiarity, and later developed into a derogatory label for homosexual relationships. Today, the table has been turned. “Queer” is reclaimed as a fluid term encompassing different sexualities and gender identities, questioning normative values. By exploring the practice of artists Jes Fan and Ming Wong, the discussion looks at various expressions of “queer” in the form of installation, performance, and sculpture among others. Jes Fan, a Brooklyn-based artist from Canada and Hong Kong, experiments with materials speak to the malleability of identity, rejecting binary social constructs. Ming Wong is known for his parodies of classic cinematic elements in the exploration of issues on identity. He lives and works in Berlin and Singapore. The discussion is joined by Patrick Sun, a collector of modern and contemporary Asian art who founded the Sunpride Foundation in 2014. The Foundation was the organizer of Asia’s first major LGBTQ exhibition, Spectrosynthesis. He will share his insights on the emergence of the queer art scene in Asia.

Image: Watermelon Love, 2017 by Ming Wong and Yu Cheng-Ta

Shirazeh Houshiary, in conversation with Michelle Yun

Moderator: MICHELLE YUN [Senior Curator, Modern and Contemporary Art, Asia Society]

Shirazeh Houshiary, a member of the New British Sculpture movement in the 1980s, employs painting, sculpture, and video installations, often incorporating elements of Islamic texts and imagery, including Sufi poetry, as a means to ruminate on the intangible nature of spirituality and our common humanity. Her work was included in the groundbreaking exhibition “Magiciens de la Terre” at the Centre Pompidou, Paris (1989). She has had solo exhibitions at Tate Liverpool (2003) and the British Museum (1997). Her work has been featured in the 57th Venice Biennale (2017); The Museum of Modern Art, New York (2006); Tehran Museum of Contemporary Art (2004); and São Paulo Biennial (1996). Houshiary was shortlisted for the Tate Modern’s prestigious Turner Prize in 1994.

Subodh Gupta, in conversation with Elaine Ng

Speakers: SUBODH GUPTA [Artist]
Moderator: ELAINE NG [Editor and Publisher of ArtAsiaPacific]

Subodh Gupta draws from a diverse range of media including painting, sculpture, installation, performance, photography, and video in his practice. Gupta is best known for his use of the mass-produced stainless steel and brass cooking vessels ubiquitous throughout India, which he transforms into monumental sculptural installations that explore migration, globalization, and the social repercussions of economic development. Gupta has held solo exhibitions at the Arthur M. Sackler Gallery, Washington, D.C. (2017); and the Victoria and Albert Museum, London (2015). He has participated in Performa 13, New York (2013); Kochi-Muziris Biennale, Kochi, (2012); and the 51st Venice Biennale (2005). In 2018, Monnaie de Paris will present a retrospective exhibition of the artist.

In the Public Eye: The Art of Creative Activism

Speakers: Mikala Tai  [Director, 4A Centre for Contemporary Asian Art], Dr. Kacey Wong [Artist] & Sampson Wong [Artist] 
Moderator: Cosmin Costinas [Executive Director/Curator, Para Site]

Art at its best can make a viewer feel or think. The unique aspect of performance art is that it can establish a direct connection with the public/non-art inclined audiences in order to engage with issues and generate social change/awareness. This panel will focus on the art of creative activism, and the role of performance art in employing public spaces as their alternative to traditional museum settings. Moderated by curator, cultural producer, and author Cosmin Costinas, the panel will feature the Director of 4A Centre for Contemporary Asian Art, Mikala Tai, as well as performance artists Kacey Wong and Sampson Wong (of Add Oil!) who were chosen due to their collective backgrounds in artistic curation, creation and activism in relation to performing arts


Myths and Histories in Contemporary Practices

Speakers: Ying Kwok [Curator], Andrea Wolf [Artist], Maud Maris [Artist] & Lavar Munroe [Artist] 
Moderator: Laure Raibaut [Head of Visual Arts at Le French May]


The notion of contemporary art comprises the idea that art in this era utilizes contemporary mediums. While new media, installation and augmented reality are at the forefront of 21st-century artistic practices, with these mediums comes a sense of ultra-modernity. How are contemporaneous mediums used in representing historical motifs? Does this create a reinterpretation of our collective experience of past memories? This panel discussion will explore the juxtaposition of contemporary mediums with historical themes and its effect on the sensibilities of the audience when working with unconventional media to connect the past and the present.