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Labtalk | City Flip-Flop: Curation as a Way to Shape the Character of a City

The Interaction Between “Curation” and “City”

For the upcoming Labtalk, City Flip-Flop: Curation as an Approach to Shape the Character of a City, on July 28, Taiwan Contemporary Culture Lab (C-LAB) has invited four keynote speakers: Kim Sunjung (金宣廷), the president of the Gwangju Biennale Foundation, Kazuhiko Washio (鷲尾和彦), Japanese cultural researcher at the Art & technology institute in Linz, Austria (Ars Electronica), Jo Hsiao (蕭淑文), senior curator at the Taipei Fine Arts Museum (TFAM), and Huang Shan-Shan (黃姍姍), supervisor of the Jut Art Museum. The speakers will share their experiences of how the intervention of exhibitions in city spaces inspired interests and the sense of connection in contemporary society.

Project of the Year - City Flip-Flop

This island, Taiwan, has seen its fair share of rulers and governments and they each left explicit or implicit influence on Taiwan’s cities and towns. The same goes for C-LAB. Every leader contributed to shaping our diverse culture and, consequently, our approach of converging technology with history. Our project of the year, City Flip-Flop, focuses on three curatorial themes, “Multiplex”, “Stains”, and “Cycle”. The project includes a series of “Labtalks” to explore how culture workers perceive, contemplate, deconstruct and reconstruct contemporary society.

Possible Solution by “Multiplex”

Rapid technological development in recent years has brought us both convince and challenges. The meanings of interpersonal relationships, living, privacy, morality, and regulation have all been disrupted. No one is exempt from this dramatic change. So how should we prepare for the unknown future? The “Multiplex” concept is about reflecting on the connection between technology and human emotion, reinterpreting the context of how cities come to be through artwork, and finding possible solutions to our contemporary problems.

Though this Labtalk, we will discuss features of our modern culture, history, customs, and geography and try to come up with ideas that transcend time and space together. Let our experiences from the past help us imagine the infinite possibility for the future.

Time: July 28, 2019, 13:00-18:30
Location: CREATORS’ SpaceR102 Coworking Space
12:30 Registration
13:00 Opening
13:05 Kim Sunjung: Open the Door of History and Let Art in
13:50 Kazuhiko Washio: How can we foster the creativity of city?
14:40 Discussion: Sunjung Kim & Kazuhiko Washio
Panelist: Guo Jau-Lan (郭昭蘭)
15:20 Break
15:35 Huang Shan-shan: Interdisciplinary Practices/Curation and City – Ten Years at the Jut Art Museum
16:20 Jo Hsiao: Notes on “City”
17:10 Discussion: Shan-Shan Huang & Jo Hsiao
Panelist: Roan Ching-Yueh (阮慶岳)



Kim Sunjung金宣廷

Kim Sunjung is currently the president of the Gwangju Biennale Foundation. This experienced Korean curator was listed on London-based art magazine ArtReview’s “2018 Power 100”. From 1993 to 2004, she was the chief curator of the Artsonje Center in Seoul and the commissioner of the Korean Pavilion at the 51st Venice Biennale. Kim has extensive experience of organizing exhibitions in historic sites, political spaces and restricted areas.

Her talk will begin with the Platform Seoul project (2006-2010), for which she organized a satellite exhibition and program connecting distant and diverse venues, including the then vacant and unused Old Seoul Station building. Working for the Gwangju Biennale (in 2012 and since 2017), Kim has been interested in looking into not only the city’s democratic history but also the Gwangju Biennale’s own history. And it has resulted in turning some of the city’s historic and public restricted sites into exhibition venues for the 2018 Gwangju Biennale. Lastly, she will share her experience with initiating the REAL DMZ PROJECT, a long-term project of contemporary art and research dedicated to Korea’s border issues and of curating art productions and exhibitions inside the Civilian Control Zone.

In her curatorship and directorship in projects in Seoul, Gwangju, and Cheorwon, Kim has managed to explore and address the different cities and sites’ unique history, stories, cultural conditions, and other spatial characters.

Kazuhiko Washio 鷲尾和彦

Kazuhiko Washio is currently working with the Hakuhodo Institute of Life and Living (HILL) as a creative producer. He graduated from the Department of Urban Engineering, University of Tokyo, and processes expertise in photography, publishing, and filmmaking. Washio once served as a Prix Ars Electronica Jury (2014-2015). His publications include Branding for empathy, Ars Electronica, and To the Sea” (as a photographer). The title of his Labtalk is How can we foster the creativity of city? He will share his observation of the interaction between Ars Electronica and art festivals as well as key lessons from the collaboration project between Tokyo and Ars Electronica.

Huang Shan-Shan黃姍姍

Shan-Shan Huang is the supervisor of the Jut Art Museum. She received her Ph.D. degree from the Office of Cultural Resources Studies, University of Tokyo. Huang previously served as the deputy manager of the MOT/ARTS gallery, gave professional lectures at the Graduate School of Arts and Cultural Policy, National Taiwan University of Arts, and worked as an assistant curator in Yokohama for three years. Her areas of expertise are museology and art management, while her interests as a curator lie in social issues, such as cultural identity/sense of belonging. Huang has participated in the planning and coordination of multiple local and international exhibitions and projects, The Flying Land, Zero City, HOME 2025, Metabolism: The City of the Future, Di-stances, Flowers, or Not ? to name a few.

In this Labtalk, she will share how the Jut Art Museum, a private museum, carry out a conversation with the city through curating. The museum boasts a long list of exhibitions and projects and each reflects the goals of the Jut Foundation for Arts & Architecture founded in 2007. The goals are curating in the context of the city, turning unused spaces into trial grounds for arts and culture, rediscovering the DNA of Taipei City and connecting it to the museum architecture. In short, breaking boundaries. These curatorial practices free art from the existing museum building and allow it to be an experience that can be enjoyed in any corner of the city, stimulating even more imagination and creative thinking.

Jo Hsiao蕭淑文

Jo Hsiao received her MA in museology from the University of Leicester in the UK. She is a senior curator at Taipei Fine Arts Museum and has curated numerous mixed media exhibitions since 2015, ex. Testimony of Food: Ideas and Food (2015), Alice Rabbit Hole: Everyday Life Comprehensible and Incomprehensible (2015), Under the Azure Sky: Life between Delight and Discomfort (2016), Arena – An Adventurous Expression of the Dual Engagement of Exhibition and Performance, (2017), and Cross through the Magical Mirror, and Enter a New World! (2018).

At the Taipei Brewery in 2007, Hsiao organized an art project, City Fables, in which “Taipei City” was used as a medium. In an article dedicated to the project, she quoted Yi-Wei Geng (耿一偉) from his The Implicit Words – The Power of Culture Crawling beneath the City:

“Taipei is not Beijing. We do not have the slow water in Memories of Peking: South Side Stories. Instead, what we have are either the fallen nobles in Hsien-Yung Pai’s Taipei People or the outlanders in Issac Lee’s Taipei’s Guests. We have the military dependents’ villages, Wanhua, and Ximending. Each group of people in this city lack some meaningful aspects of life in one way or another.”

This quote captured the essence of the exhibition which built a conceptual city right on the border between virtuality and reality. It was deeply rooted in the emotional connections we made to the city we live in, which is a web of time, space, and events in our flowing society and lives.

In this Labtalk, Hsiao will share how we can approach the imagination, desires, memories, symbolism, life, and death of “city” through the lens of art. The observation may well be “intimate”, “distant”, “subjective”, or “objective.” To Calvino, cities are not mere descriptions of physical spaces such as “how many skyscrapers, iron towers or streets are there?” or “what does the arcade look like?”, but also temporal and historical entities that morph over time. The city, however, does not tell its past, but contains it. Every segment of the city marked with the scratches, indentations, scrolls of the past. It is only with these scratches, indentations, scrolls that one can draw the silhouette of the city.