The Bagri Foundation is pleased to announce the Asia Forum for the Contemporary Art of Global Asias in Venice 2022. A new platform conceived by curator Annie Jael Kwan, envisioned for discourse surrounding experimental art practices and research that produce hopeful new worlds beyond the North Atlantic.
The Asia Forum in 2021/22 is presented as digital gatherings this spring and fall, and an inaugural one-day programme at the historic Fondazione Querini Stampalia on 23 April 2022.
The still-unfolding events of 2020/21 have resulted in a fundamental reconfiguring of timelines and work practices. These changes provide an opportunity to imagine with artists, curators, researchers, and activists, a new worlding of contemporary practices. It is a chance to rethink the discursive conditions of art production and communities – a task given urgency by the rise of racism and xenophobic foreign policy strategies around the world. The Asia Forum will bring awareness to and contextualise the fast-developing artistic practices and contemporary geo-politics of Asia/s. Live streamed digitally IN 2021/22 via ArtReview it will engage a ‘public’ eager for discourse on urgent issues of climate, democracy, anti-racism, and creative agency for addressing global anxieties through the lens and engine of “Asia/s’.
The digital gathering on 14 May 2021 presents a roundtable with protagonists who are leaders in their field: art historian and curator, Patrick Flores, anthropologist Anna Lowenhaupt Tsing, and artists, Shilpa Gupta, Ho Tzu Nyen and Lantian Xie, followed by a working group for deeper dialogical engagement with raised propositions. The digital gathering is free but booking is required.
The Asia Forum works with a council of international curators and researchers, Hammad Nasar, John Tain, and Ming Tiampo, in a sustained dialogue with contributors to navigate the key themes that have arisen in relation to contemporary artistic practices of Global Asias.
“The Asia Forum is a project driven by a hope that is energised by artists’ innovation in engaging a difficult, complicated and messy world around them. Across the wide scope of global “Asias”, we’ve experienced this last year many extreme situations that included sites of political unrest, and the breakdown of faith in public services and institutions – all intensified against the unfolding reality of the pandemic. While these challenges are ongoing, alongside our need for planetary solutions to ecological degradation, the Asia Forum wishes to provide a critical platform for the most inspiring curators, artists and researchers to collectively future a different imagining of the world. I’m very honoured to be working with such esteemed colleagues from across the world who will gather together this May.” Annie Jael Kwan, Asia Forum
“It is with great pride that the Bagri Foundation, with the esteemed Asia Forum working council, presents the first event Asia Forum in Venice in 2022. In keeping with our ethos to support inspiring cross-cultural discourse from Asia, we are excited to be on this year-long journey, culminating in the first major international platform delivered during the Venice Biennale focusing on contemporary art practices of Asia. The Forum is a great opportunity to collaboratively re-imagine our world in these turbulent times.” Chelsea Pettitt, Head of Arts, Bagri Foundation
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About the Working Council
Annie Jael Kwan is an independent curator and researcher whose exhibition-making, programming, publication and teaching practice is located at the intersection of contemporary art, art history and cultural activism, with interest in archives, histories, feminist, queer and alternative knowledges, collective practices, and solidarity. She leads Asia-Art-Activism (AAA), a research network that has presented an active public programme of presentations, talks, workshops, mini-residences and festivals that challenge and complicate notions of ‘Asia’. She currently teaches Critical Studies at Central St Martins, University of the Arts, London, and co-teaches Writing and Curating at KASK, School of Art, in Gent, Belgium.
Hammad Nasar is a London-based curator, researcher and strategic advisor. He is presently Senior Research Fellow at the Paul Mellon Centre for Studies in British Art, where he co-leads the ‘London, Asia’ project; Principal Research Fellow at the University of the Arts London, Decolonising Arts Institute; and co-curator of British Art Show 9 (2021-22). He was the inaugural Executive Director of the Stuart Hall Foundation, London (2018-19); Head of Research & Programmes at Asia Art Archive, Hong Kong (2012-16); and, co-founded (with Anita Dawood) the pioneering hybrid arts organisation, Green Cardamom, London (2004-12).
John Tain is Head of Research at Asia Art Archive, where he leads a team based in Hong Kong, New Delhi, and Shanghai. He has organized several exhibitions, among them Yasuhiro Ishimoto: Someday, Chicago (2018), “Out of Turn” at the Serendipity Arts Festival in Goa (2018) and “Women Make Art History” and “The Body Collective” during Art Basel Hong Kong (2018, 2019), and most recently, Crafting Communities (2020), which looks at the confluence of feminism, crafts, and social practice in the biennial series of Womanifesto events organized in Thailand from 1997 to 2008. In 2019-20, he co-convened MAHASSA (Modern Art Histories in and across Africa, and South and Southeast Asia, 2019-2020), a collaboration with the Dhaka Art Summit and the Institute for Comparative Modernities at Cornell University.
Ming Tiampo is Professor of Art History, and co-director of the Centre for Transnational Cultural Analysis at Carleton University. She is interested in transcultural models and histories that provide new structures for understanding and reconfiguring the global. She has published on Japanese modernism, global modernisms, and diaspora. Tiampo is an associate member at ici Berlin, a member of the Hyundai Tate Research Centre: Transnational Advisory Board, a fellow at the Paul Mellon Centre for British Art on the London, Asia project, a founding member of TrACE, the Transnational and Transcultural Arts and Culture Exchange network, and co-lead on its Worlding Public Cultures project.