Asian Avant-Garde Art and Its Practice


Arts & Culture

Gregory Coates/ Flickr

Full Day Seminar with Curators, Artists, Museum Directors and Professors
Registration: 10:15am
Session 1: 10:30am — 1:20pm
Session 2: 2:30pm — 5:20pm
Free admission, Online registration required


“We artists will serve you as an avant-garde, the power of the arts is most immediate: when we want to spread new ideas we inscribe them on marble or canvas.”
Henri de Saint-Simon, 1825. 

The term “avant-garde” has become more and more popular to describe a certain kind of art. But to what extent has the expression developed within Asia and how has the audience from the region responded to it? In this seminar, artists, scholars and senior curators from Korea, mainland China, Hong Kong and Japan will discuss the current trend of avant-garde art and the interrelationship within the region. The seminar will bring Korean art discourse to an international surface by discussing it under the context of trilateral art history. The seminar will also touch on Japanese Avant-Garde as well as Chinese Political Pop Art.


Session 1

“Korean and Japanese Avant-Garde”

Yeon Shim Chung, Associate Professor, Department of Art History and Theory, Hongik University, Seoul, South Korea

Doryun Chong, Deputy Director and Chief Curator, M+, Hong Kong

Yongwoo Lee, Executive Director, Shanghai Himalayas Museum (Moderator)

Session 2

“Korean and Chinese Political Art”

Young Min Moon, Art History Professor, University of Massachusetts- Amherst, U.S.A.

Philip Tinari, Director, Ullens Center for Contemporary Art, Beijing

Ding Liu, Artist

Kim Honghee, Former Director of Seoul Museum of Art (Moderator)

Yeon Shim Chung received her Ph.D. in art history at the Institute of Fine Arts, New York University. Before becoming an associate professor at Hongik University, Dr. Chung was an assistant professor at the Fashion Institute of Technology in New York City and a researcher for the exhibition The World of Nam June Paik at the Guggenheim Museum, New York, in 1999. In 2013, Chung compiled the critical anthology of Lee Yil, a major proponent of Dansaekhwa in post-war Korean art (Mijinsa, 2013); its excerpts in English are scheduled to be published at Les Presses du Réel in late 2017. She also authored several articles on Dansaekhwa at M+ Matters (Hong Kong), and monographs on Nam June Paik, Park Hyun-Ki, Chung Chang-Sup (Kukje Gallery, Seoul), Lee Seung-taek (Gallery Hyundai, Seoul), Lee Seung-Jio (Perrotin, Hong Kong), and Korean experimental avant-garde artists.

Doryun Chong was appointed in September 2013 as the inaugural chief curator at M+, a new museum of visual culture, which will open its Herzog and de Meuron-designed building in 2019 in the West Kowloon Cultural District in Hong Kong. In January 2016, he was promoted to deputy director and chief curator of M+. He oversees all curatorial activities and programs including acquisitions, exhibitions, learning and public programs, and digital initiatives encompassing the three main disciplinary areas of design and architecture, moving image, and visual art. The most recent exhibitions he co-curated include Mobile M+: Live Art and Tsang Kin-Wah: The Infinite Nothing, Hong Kong’s participation in the 2015 Venice Biennale. Prior to joining M+, Chong was the associate curator of Painting and Sculpture at MoMA, where he organized projects including the critically acclaimed exhibition Tokyo 1955-1970: A New Avant-Garde (2012) and acquired a diverse range of works, many of them non-western, for the museum’s collection. From 2003 to 2009, Chong held various positions as curator in the Visual Arts department at the Walker Art Center in Minneapolis.

Yongwoo Lee is an art academic, curator and writer. He is the executive director of Shanghai Himalayas Museum and the president of International Biennale Association (IBA) since 2014. He founded the Shanghai Project in 2015, which is a multidisciplinary knowledge and ideas platform, and serves as co-artistic director of the Shanghai Project with Hans Ulrich Obrist. Lee was artistic director of Gwangju Biennale in 2004 and served as president of Gwangju Biennale Foundation from 2008 to 2014. (Moderator)


Young Min Moon is an artist and critic whose work reflects on his migration across cultures and his awareness of the hybrid nature of identities forged amid the complex historical and political relationships between Asia and North America. In his paintings and text-based works, Moon represents loss, mourning, and reflection on traumatic memories and violence. He has exhibited his art in many solo and group exhibitions internationally. Moon has also written extensively on contemporary art in South Korea. He published a bilingual Korean-English catalog for his curatorial project Incongruent: Contemporary Art from South Korea and contributed scholarly essays to Rethinking Marxism, BOL, and the anthology Contemporary Art in Asia: A Critical Reader (MIT). Moon is a professor of art at the University of Massachusetts Amherst. 

Philip Tinari has served as director of Ullens Center for Contemporary Art (UCCA), the museum at the heart of Beijing's 798 Art District, since late 2011. In his six-year tenure, he has mounted more than sixty exhibitions and organized a wide range of public programs and development activities. His program has introduced to China major international artists including Robert Rauschenberg, William Kentridge, Taryn Simon, Tino Sehgal and David Diao, and has tracked the evolving Chinese art scene through retrospectives and surveys of artists including Zeng Fanzhi, Liu Wei, Xu Zhen, Wang Xingwei, Kan Xuan, and Gu Dexin, as well as initiatives focused on emerging artists such as the 2013 survey ON | OFF: China's Young Artists in Concept and Practice, the international group exhibition The New Normal: China, Art, and 2017, and the ongoing exhibition series New Directions

Kim Hong-hee is an art historian, curator, and critic based in Korea. Her main field of interest is in video art and feminist art. She has served as the director of the Seoul Museum of Art (2012-2016); the director of the Gyeonggi Museum of Modern Art (2006-2010); the director of Ssamzie Space, the first alternative space in Korea (1998-2008). Her major activities include artistic director for the 2006 Gwangju Biennale; commissioner for the Korean pavilion for 2003 Venice Biennale; commissioner for the 2000 Gwangju Biennale etc. In 2013 she acted as a member of Finding Committee of Documenta 14 in Kassel, Germany. She received her Ph.D. in feminism video from Hongik University’s Art History Department in 1998, and master's degree from Concordia University, Canada with Nam June Paik’s video art in 1989. (Moderator)

Ding Liu is a Beijing-based artist and curator. He has participated in international biennials such as 2015 Istanbul Biennial, 2015 Asia Pacific Triennial, 2014 Shanghai Biennial, 2014 Prospect 3 New Orleans, 2012 Taipei Biennial, Chinese Pavilion of 2009 Venice Biennial, 2008 Media City Seoul, and 2005 Guangzhou Triennial. His work has been shown at numerous art institutions including Tate Modern, Turner Contemporary, Arnolfini, UK; Kunsthalle Wien, Austria; Astrup Fearnley Museum of Modern Art, Oslo; São Paulo Museum of Art, São Paulo; ZKM, Karlsruhe; Kunstmuseum Bern, PasquArt Biel, Switzerland; Fondazione Sandretto Re Rebaudengo, Turin; Seoul Museum of Art etc. He co-curated Little Movements: Self-Practice in Contemporary Art at OCAT, Shenzhen (2011), which travelled to Museion in Bolzano, Italy (2013) and to the Asia Cultural Complex, Gwangju, Korea (2015), the Shenzhen Sculpture Biennale in 2012, From the Issue of Art to the Issue of Position: Echoes of Socialist Realism (OCAT, 2014) and New Measurement Group and Qian Weikang (OCAT, 2015), most recently Fine Art Practices from 1972 to 1982 in Profile - A Beijing Perspective (Beijing Inside-out Art Museum, 2017). 


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Event Details

Fri 26 May 2017
10:30 AM - 5:20 PM
Asia Society Hong Kong Center, 9 Justice Drive, Admiralty, Hong Kong
Register Now
Free admission, Online registration required
Add to Calendar 20170526T023000 20170526T092000 UTC Asia Society: Asian Avant-Garde Art and Its Practice Asia Society Hong Kong Center, 9 Justice Drive, Admiralty, Hong Kong