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Arts preview: it's all about shelf preservation

Edmund Lee

 

AAA OPEN WEEKEND: SPARK!
Asia Art Archive

 

There are only so many ways to make a library come to life and the Asia Art Archive (AAA), the organisation which hosts the region’s most comprehensive research database on contemporary art, is thriving with its ever more innovative approaches to reach out to a wider audience.

For the second year running, the Sheung Wan-based non-profit art body is welcoming the public to a weekend of activities intended to attract new users and spark discussion.

“AAA is a shared resource. Both the programmes and collection are accessible to all, free of charge,” says Susanna Chung Yuk-man, the archive’s head of learning and participation.

“AAA is a co-creation process: it is a space that is open and productive, and it generates new ideas that continually reshape the archive itself.”

Titled “Spark!”, this year’s programme aims to highlight the archive’s function as a catalyst for new inspiration and networking opportunities. A range of workshops, talks, screenings and even discussions over meals are scheduled. They will be conducted in English and Cantonese by a mix of researchers, artists, designers and journalists.

For G Yeung Tin-shui, curator of House News’ culture section and organiser of the archive’s journalistsin- residence programme, the chance to research for a journalistic piece using the physical collection – instead of going online – is an attempt to reconsider what we know about contemporary art.

“If we can’t find an artist’s name on the internet, we generally come to the conclusion that he or she is not very famous,” he says. “But is it true?” The same thinking extends to design. Curated by the local studio Milkxhake, the mini-exhibition “Unseen” seeks to reconsider the archive’s fine collection of contemporary art books, some of which are by famous designers, and which you will never find in local bookstores, says Javin Mo Cheuk-yin, founder and design director of Milkxhake.

Food for Thought, the programme which brought artists and audiences together through eating and drinking, is returning presumably by popular demand.

While artist Kwan Sheung-chi and researcher Anthony Yung Tsz-kin will chat over whisky, Warren Leung Chi-wo is going to reveal his chocolate cake recipe to both the audience and AAA director Claire Hsu.

“The objective of the AAA public programme is to demystify art and artists,” Leung says. “I love chocolate and can really eat a lot.”

edmund.lee@scmp.com

 

Asia Art Archive, 11/F Hollywood Centre, 233 Hollywood Road. July 6 10am-7.30pm, 9pm-10.30pm, July 7 10am-7pm. Inquiries: 2815 1112

 

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