GS/ARTH6020 and GS/VISA6020/6030
Professors Hong Kal and Yam Lau
This course examines a broad range of contemporary art practices that address social, political, environmental and aesthetic challenges embedded in selected cities in Asia. In particular, the remarkable proliferation of art practices is concerned with creating social-political dialogues in conflict-ridden urban spaces. Complex, contradictory and unruly, these art practices often cross boundaries between art, activism, urbanism, anthropology and other fields. Distinguished by their localities, these art practices are urgent responses to emergent crisis on both cultural and “natural” registers. Inspired by a growing interest in public participation, these art practices question relationships between individual and collective, conflict and consensus, aesthetic autonomy and social responsibility. From the studio perspectives, the trajectories of these art practices will be situated within the larger paradigms of traditional aesthetics, modernism, postmodernism and globalism, as these paradigms are filtered through specific urban contexts. From the perspectives of art history and theory, issues of contemporary Asian art will be discussed with focus on critical debates on socially engaged art; artistic intervention in urban development; and disaster, trauma and affect in visual art.