An Opera for Animals “百物曲”
About the Event 关于活动
An Opera for Animals is part of a long-term collaboration between the Rockbund Art Museum and Para Site, Hong Kong by curators from both institutions. For the Rockbund Art Museum, it is relevant to research such a project in order to re-contextualise and to question different formats and practices related to theatre, music and visual arts, especially in China and other areas in Asia.
This exhibition takes the history of different versions of opera as a departure point to explore both contemporary and traditional uses of performance, fantasy, and group spectacles in relationship to the environments that they inhabit. Like the complex history of the museum or exhibition, it has gradually developed into another collective kind of ritual. Dominating and controlling audience’s experience with every detail, opera here is just as an institutionalized setting to consider our contemporary society. Beyond the specter of phantoms in opera, animals and cultural narratives around animals reemerge in the exhibition as extensions to infiltrate and expand the specificity of opera as an institutionalized setting to consider the pattern of the relationship between our modernity and the natural world. Our interest lies in how the medium inadvertently mutated into an expanded stage for other more unpredictable transitions between notions of animality and our humanity. This exhibition unfolds throughout the different levels to offer a different operatic environment to explore these inter-related themes.
During this public dialogue, three curators will share more about the exhibition concept, a review of the close curatorial collaboration between two organizations as well as the expectations for future cooperation.
About the Speakers 关于讲者
Cosmin Costinas (b. 1982, Romania) is the Executive Director/Curator of Para Site, Hong Kong since 2011. He was Guest Curator at the Dakar Biennale 2018, La Biennale de l’Art africain contemporain, DAK’ART (2018), Curator of Dhaka Art Summit 18’ (2018), Co-curator of the 10th Shanghai Biennale (2014), Curator of BAK-basis voor actuele kunst, Utrecht (2008-2011), Co-curator of the 1st Ural Industrial Biennial, Ekaterinburg (2010), and Editor of documenta 12 Magazines, documenta 12, Kassel (2005–2007).
Hsieh Feng-Rong is senior curator and founding staff member of Rockbund Art Museum; he joined Rockbund Art Museum in 2009 during its preparatory stage. He was the coordinator of the renovation process and implemented the institutional structure of the museum. In 2013, he got involved in founding the first HUGO BOSS ASIA ART award and was also the project manager for the award. With the rise and development of Arts Museum in China, Hsieh is concerned about the changing roles this institute should play and how it can retain its self-criticality. He continues to explore the relationships between arts and the audience and how these relationships can be redefined. Recently, he focuses on topics related to performance as method and has curated a series of talks and events along this line of thinking. Meanwhile, he hopes to inspire more cross-cultural and cross-regional conversations, furthering explorations of mechanism of visuality. Recent exhibitions curated by Hsieh include: “Walking on the Fade out Lines” (co-curated with Larys Frogier, 2018, Shanghai), “Tell Me a Story: Locality and Narrative” (co-curated with Amy Cheng, 2018, Fondazione Sandretto, Turin), “RAM HIGHLIGHT 2018: Is It My Body?” (2018, Shanghai).
Billy Tang is Senior Curator of the Rockbund Art Museum (RAM) in Shanghai. He joined the museum in Spring 2018. His previous projects have helped to introduce moving-image artists to new audiences in Mainland China, commissioning large-scale works of young artists, and curating projects that look to disrupt the architectural function and experience of the exhibition space. Other projects involve curating daily interventions that explore how art appears or is consumed by visitors—most recently at a restaurant in London. He has worked collaboratively with curators and writers to realize exhibitions of works by among others, Wang Bing, Liu Chuang, Lav Diaz, Li Jinghu, Yu Ji, Nabuqi, Yao Qingmei, Song Ta, and Trevor Yeung. In March 2019, he recently co-curated with director Larys Frogier the first institutional solo exhibition in China for the German conceptual artist Tobias Rehberger.
谢丰嵘为上海外滩美术馆资深策展人。2009年加入上海外滩美术馆进行筹备开馆工作，同时与美术馆团队建立各项制度；2013年参与规划首届HUGO BOSS亚洲新锐艺术家大奖。随着美术馆在中国的发展与崛起，谢丰嵘关注机构角色的演变及自我批判，并探索艺术与观众之间关系及重新被定义的可能性，近期专注以表演作为方法，进行一系列的项目与讲座策划；同时积极促进跨文化、地区的对话，探索图像与历史生成机制。近年策划的项目包括：“行将消退——作品来自山德雷托·雷·雷包登戈收藏”（与拉瑞斯·弗洛乔共同策划，2018年，上海）、“告诉我一个故事：地方性与叙事”（与郑慧华共同策划，2018年，都灵山德雷托基金会）及“RAM HIGHLIGHT 2018：谁的身体？”（2018年，上海）
About Para Site 关于Para Site艺术空间
Para Site is Hong Kong’s leading contemporary art centre and one of the oldest and most active independent art institutions in Asia. It produces exhibitions, publications, discursive, and educational projects aimed at forging a critical understanding of local and international phenomena in art and society. Founded in early 1996 as an artist run space, Para Site was Hong Kong’s first exhibition-making institution of contemporary art and a crucial self-organized structure within the city’s civil society, during the uncertain period preceding its handover to Mainland China. Throughout the years, Para Site has grown into a contemporary art center, engaged in a wide array of activities and collaborations with other art institutions, museums, and academic structures in Hong Kong and the international landscape. For more information, please visit: www.para-site.art
Para Site’s activities are made possible by the generous support of its patrons, and grants from foundations and the Government of the HKSAR.
Para Site艺术空间为香港首屈一指的当代艺术中心，亦是亚洲历史最悠久、最活跃的独立艺术机构之一。成立宗旨在透过展览、出版刊物及教育项目等活动，促进在地与国际间的对话，希冀打造一个对当代艺术、社会现象提出批判性论述及理解的平台。Para Site艺术空间1996年由一群香港艺术家成立，时值香港回归之际，空间的创立成了第一个展览策划的当代艺术机构。随着时代变迁，Para Site艺术空间晋身为一当代艺术中心，透过各种活动和合作，连结香港与其他国际艺术机构、美术馆、双年展及学术单位间的交流。更多信息请访问：www.para-site.art