Potential Longevity: Language and Landscape in the ‘Electronic Information Environment’

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LANGUAGE and LANDSCAPE in the ‘Electronic Information Environment’ – November 15, 11.00am to 4.00pm at the Dodson Room (Rm 302), Irving K. Barber Learning Centre.


Morning Session, 11.00AM – 1PM

Ken Lum 

Ken Lum was born in Vancouver, Canada but presently resides in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania where he is a Professor in the School of Design at the University of Pennsylvania.  From 2000 to 2006 Ken Lum was head of the graduate program in studio art at the University of British Columbia, Vancouver, where he taught from 1990 until 2006. Lum joined the faculty of Bard College, Annandale-on-Hudson, in 2005 and worked there until 2007. He has been an invited professor at the École Nationale Supérieure des Beaux-Arts, Paris, the Akademie der Bildenden Kunst, Munich, California College of the Arts, San Francisco, and the China Art Academy, Hangzhou.

Lum is co-founder and founding editor of Yishu Journal of Contemporary Chinese Art.   Lum was Project Manager for Okwui Enwezor’s The Short Century: Independence and Liberation Movements in Africa 1945 – 1994 (2001). He was also co-curator of the 7th Sharjah Biennial (2005), and Shanghai Modern: 1919 – 1945 (2005).  Lum has exhibited widely, including São Paulo Biennial (1998), Shanghai Biennale (2000), Documenta 11 (2002), the Istanbul Biennial (2007), and the Gwangju Biennale (2008), Moscow Biennial 2011 and the Whitney Biennial 2014.  He has published many essays on art.  He has also realized permanent public art commissions for the cities of Vienna, Vancouver, Utrecht, Leiden, St. Moritz, Toronto and St Louis.

Lum turned to conceptual art after receiving his undergraduate degree in science. He drew a great deal as a child, but it was not until he took a course from Vancouver photo-conceptual artist Jeff Wall that the world of contemporary art, beyond traditional drawing and painting, opened up to him. He completed a Master of Fine Arts at the University of British Columbia in 1985. He believes that his lack of early formal art training enabled him to be more receptive to the influences of other conceptual artists, such as Martha Rosler and Dan Graham. Lum asserts that, by the late twentieth century, concepts rather than the artist’s technical skill were most important in creating a work of art. Like many artists of his generation, he uses mass-produced consumer materials, diminishing the boundary between “art” and “popular culture.” Lum rarely fabricates his own art but works with studio photographers and tradespeople on his projects.

Joe Wai

Born in Hong Kong and educated in Vancouver, Joe Wai’sarchitectural career has spanned 35 years and two continents. He worked with both Arthur Erickson and Thompson, Berwick and Pratt in Vancouver as well as Denys Lasdun and Partners and the Greater London Council in London, England. In 1978 he established Joe Wai Architects. His practice is focused on community development, most recently with Hynes Developments’ Seylynn Village in the District of North Vancouver, BC.  Joe Wai has been involved with senior/social housing and a volunteer in Chinatown community issues for over 40 years. He is also the architect of the Dr. Sun Yat-Sen Classical Chinese Garden, the Chinatown Millennium Gate, the Chinese Cultural Centre Museum and Archives, the Chinatown Parkade and Plaza, and the Commemoration of Block 17 as well as many restorations of the early Chinatown Society buildings.  One of Wai’s recent projects is the restoration of the historical Chinese Freemasons Building on the northwest corner of Pender Street at Carrall.

Terrence Russell 

For roughly the past ten years, Terrence Russell’s research has focused on the ongoing process of identity definition in Taiwan in the post-martial law era, since 1987. This has been a very complex, multileveled, and politically charged engagement over who is Taiwanese and how Taiwan should understand its own history.  Dr. Russell’s earliest work looked at how “nativist” intellectuals attempted to wrest cultural and political capital from the previously dominant (and colonial) Nationalist government and its supporters (mainly post-1949 émigrés from mainland China).

More recently, Russell has turned his attention to relations between the majority Minan Chinese population and the remains of the indigenous Austronesian population. By exploring various forms of cultural production, Professor Russell has looked at how indigenous populations have sought to reclaim a subjective presence in Taiwan. This involves not only challenging the hegemony of the Chinese majority in political and economic areas, but also asserting claims to social and cultural sovereignty.  For example, Professor Russell has worked on the involvement of social activism networks, including Indigenous groups, in resisting attempts to remove Amis squatters from their long-established riverbank communities in northern Taiwan.


Afternoon Session –  2.00PM – 4.00PM

Ryo Sugiyama

Ryo is the Curator of Nitobe Memorial Garden.  Ryo has a Masters degree in Environmental Science and Landscape Design from National Chiba University’s School of Science and Technology. While there, Ryo studied under Professor Fujii, long noted for his interest in the work of Kannosuke Mori. Mori’s masterwork includes the Nitobe Memorial Garden, completed in 1960.

David Bellman and M. Cynog Evans

CAUSA co-founders David Bellman and M. Cynog Evans have worked internationally (since 1980) within a wide curatorial framework that consistently encompasses an expansive network of acclaimed contemporary artists. To date, important exhibition projects have been realized (both independently and with support from major cultural institutions) in close association with an exalted roster of experimental  practitioners that includes:  Carl Andre, Giovanni Anselmo,  Robert Barry, Iain Baxter&, Stanley Brouwn, Daniel Buren, James Coleman, Hamish Fulton, Gilbert & George, Dan Graham, Nancy Holt, On Kawara, Sol LeWitt, Richard Long, Keith Sonnier, Jeff Wall, Lawrence Weiner, Ian Wilson.

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Image: Ken Lum, courtesy Vancouver Biennale

This symposium is part of the KEN LUM/CAUSA: CENTRE/SURROUND art exhibition from November 1 to 30, 2014 at the Irving K. Barber Learning Centre (2nd level foyer).   The exhibition highlights a collaborative interplay of ‘creative’ artist’s practice and ‘purposeful’ curatorial research. The aim of this project is at once affirmative and speculative – it points, persistently, to both a ‘future’ in the ‘past’ and the ‘contemporaneity’ of ‘classical’ Chinese culture.

This exhibition is a curatorial research initiative which addresses an expansive, cross-cultural and trans-generational theme – ‘Chinatown(s) In Motion’.

About the Artist

Ken Lum is an artist born and raised in Vancouver, BC. Lum is co-founder and founding editor of Yishu Journal of Chinese Contemporary Art. Lum has exhibited widely, including Sao Paulo Bienal (1998), Shanghai Biennale (2000), Documenta 11 (2002), Liverpool Biennial (2006), Istanbul Biennial (2007), Gwangju Biennale (2008), Moscow Biennial (2011) and the Whitney Biennial (2014). Lum is also active in public art, realizing permanent works in Vienna, St. Moritz, Edmonton, Vancouver, St Louis, Leiden, Rotterdam, Toronto, and Utrecht. He presently resides in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania where he is a Professor in the School of Design, University of Pennsylvania.

Curators

CAUSA co-founders David Bellman and M. Cynog Evans have worked internationally (since 1980) within a wide curatorial framework that consistently encompasses an expansive network of acclaimed contemporary artists. To date, important exhibition projects have been realized (both independently and with support from major cultural institutions) in close association with an exalted roster of experimental  practitioners that includes:  Carl Andre, Giovanni Anselmo,  Robert Barry, Iain Baxter&, Stanley Brouwn, Daniel Buren, James Coleman, Hamish Fulton, Gilbert & George, Dan Graham, Nancy Holt, On Kawara, Sol LeWitt, Richard Long, Keith Sonnier, Jeff Wall, Lawrence Weiner, Ian Wilson.

Resources

Cheinman, Ksenia. (2012) “CAUSA – Close Connections: A Bibliographic Exhibition.” Alternative Library Spaces. Retrived online on September 17, 2014 at http://alternativelibraryspaces.wordpress.com/2012/01/15/causa-close-connections-a-bibliographic-exhibition/


KEN LUM: CENTRE/SURROUND continues on display from November 1 until November 30. Exhibition space hours are 6am to 1am Monday – Sunday