Asia-Global Cultural Studies Forum

Asia-Global-Cultural-Studies-Forum (AGCSF) is a forum of a lively discussion of Asia and Asia Global-related art, design, culture, media, creative strategy, and research. It is initiated by the professors and students at OCAD U who aspire to support and promote creative and critical research as well as art, design, media productions and ideas by Asian and/or Asia-Global students, professors, researchers, and professionals. The artist-designer-creator-researchers whose works are inspired by Asian cultures, values, and epistemology, as well as those who explore the latter’s connectivity to their work, are welcome to the forum.
The forum invites 3 tiers of presenters: the students, the professors, and the professionals.

The participatory organizational model of this forum consists of the presenters, the discussants, and the audience whose participation is to be valued equally to bring about a diverse and multidirectional discussion. The selection criteria of the presenters are based on merit and the contents of their works, not on rank or prestige.

The current focus of AGCSF is East Asia, particularly China, Korea, and Japan. However, the topics can be extended to include the issues related to South East Asia (i.e. the Philippines, Vietnam, and Thailand), the historical development and cultural formation of which are closely connected to that of the East Asian region through migration, etc. 

Everyone is welcome to participate in this forum or become a presenter in future events.

The AGCSF does not support any form of ethnocentric/regional chauvinism or hegemonic nationalism unfit for our vision of the future. The AGCSF does support the emergence of other cosmopolitan research groups and fora at OCAD U - based on a non-hierarchical and non-exclusionary notion of regional, national, ethnic and cultural identities.

For more information, please visit the website: https://asiaglobalculturalstudiesforum.wordpress.com

 

The Ethos of AGCSF

• A syncretic forum of all levels of researchers (students, professors, and professionals)

• Merit- and contents-based (not rank or prestige).

• No ethnocentric/regional chauvinism or hegemonic nationalism.

• Cosmopolitanism and exploration of difference and alternative epistemologies.

• Non-hierarchical organizational model for the promotion of a culture of open discussion.

• Participatory forum: The participants will consist of the presenters, the discussants, and the audience whose participation is to be equally valued to bring about diverse and multidirectional discussions.

• The Discussants are an important category of this forum. They are the generators of discussion as well as latent presenters. Those who are interested in presenting are recommended to participate as the discussants first. The discussants – along with the audience – who have previously participated in the forum and substantially contributed to the discussions will be considered with priority as the presenters for the following event.

• Embodied participation is implied in its growth model based on merit and contribution (rather than on rank or prestige). AGCSF hopes to make this forum truly an intellectually viable place for lively exchange and discussion of ideas and visions, a lively intellectual fora filled with genuine curiosity and openness to different perspectives.

• Embodied and experiential knowledge: AGCSF values embodied and experiential knowledge, research, and ideas rather than the overly academicized outcomes short of the conductive power to generate grounded and real conversations.

• ESL students are the most welcome. You are the holders of up-to-date global knowledge. If you have any ideas to share but the only thing that makes you hesitate is your English, please bring a translator or discuss the ideas with us.

 

The inaugural AGCSF event

The inaugural AGCSF event occurred on May 17, 2019 between 1:00 and 6:00pm at 205 Richmond St. West, Rm. 115.

Presentations delivered included:

• Dr. Soyang Park (OCAD U), A Cosmopolitan Remapping of East Asia and the Asia-Global: Notes Towards Asia-Global-Cultural Studies Forum(AGCSF)

• Leon Hsu (OCAD U), Reinventing Tradition Beyond Cultural Paradigm: A Brief Discussion of Cai Guo-Qiang’s Pyrotechnic Ephemera Works

• Christie Carriere (OCAD U), Returning the Gaze: Contemporary Asian Female Artists Responding to (Techno) Orientalism

• Richard Luong (OCAD U), Directing Orientalism: The Scent of Green Papaya (1993)

• Jessica Liu (OCAD U), Painting My Own Being in the World, Falling in and out of Past and Contemporary

• Christine Li (OCAD U), Manuel Ocampo and Colonial Legacy: Trauma, Multidirectional Memory, and Redemption

• Ema Dan (OCAD U),  Idol, Not Celebrity: K-Pop, K-Pop Fans, and their Symbiosis

• Yilong Liu (OCAD U), Confronting Ambiguity: The Intersection of Racial and Sexual Repression and Marginalisation in Rex vs Singh and Seeking Single White Male

• Florence Yee (OCAD U), Bad Forgeries Make for Good Originals: A Studio-Research Project into Cantonese-Canadian Issues of Authenticity, Belonging and Diaspora Subjectivities Working with Text-based Art

• Yujia Shi (University of Toronto), From One-Child to Two-Child: Understanding Birth Planning Policies in China’s Population Governance

• Hannia Cheng (TeaBase), Tea Base: Against the Displacement and Gentrification of Chinatowns

 

Additional Information:

What is Culture?

Culture is the shared value system and code of conducts that exist in interconnected and contingent differences across communities, cultures, and nations.

Culture in all its manifestations – conventional, popular, emergent, marginal, and resistant – are constantly shaped by and are (re-)shaping our status quo, ways of thinking, and visions.

Culture is not fixed but constantly shifts through the intersecting influences of politics, economy, populations, migrations, and even environment.

The study of culture is empirical as well as theoretical, and most importantly, it is an interdisciplinary endeavor. The set of questions, analyses, and evaluations it involves itself in interacts with other fields of study such as the study of economy and politics; social studies, ethnic studies; cultural anthropology and media studies; identity, gender, sexuality, class, and ideology studies.

What is a Forum?

A gathering place for exchanges of ideas and views. It is also the agora (Greek), a proto-site of democracy.

 

Event photographs courtesy of Carlina Chen.

Creator: 
Sponsor(s): 
Photograph of Dr. Park and speaker conversing with audience at the AGCSF event.
Friday, July 12, 2019 - 12:15pm
Lab Member: 
Soyang Park

Inaugural Event of Asia-Global-Cultural-Studies-Forum (AGCSF )

Photograph of Dr. Park and presenter conversing at the AGCSF event.
Friday, July 12, 2019 - 11:45am

The inaugural event of the Asia-Global-Cultural-Studies-Forum (AGCSF) facilitated by Dr. Soyang Park (LASSIS) was successfully held on May 17, 1-6 pm in room 115 at 205 Richmond St. West.

11 speakers presented their research, creations, community activities/entrepreneurship on and dealing with diverse topics concerning the issues in Asia and the Asia-Global. The presenters and discussants consisted of OCAD U student-researchers from both undergrad and graduate programs (Art, Design, CADN, VCS, CRCP, CCP, and IAMD), OCAD U faculty members, graduate researchers from other institutions (UofT), and a professional (the founder of Tea Base).

Topics dealt with at this event included: the art, creation, media, and strategies concerning, multiculturalism, cosmopolitanism, (techno-)orientalism, memory/trauma, multi-directionality, race and gender, the matriarchic history of Vietnam, the colonial history of Philippines, K-pop and Korean pop cultural industry, the intersection of racial and sexual oppression in Canada, the visual strategies of the artists working in-between cultures, etc. 

The interdisciplinarity (art, research, and media) of the presentations and syncretic organization (intersecting all tiers of presenters such as professors, students, and professionals), endorsed as the key ethos and organizational model of AGCSF, were attested to be conductive and refreshing throughout this inaugural event. The forum really came alive within about an hour or so, as the participants became more relaxed and more engaged in the presentations and discussions. Different views were presented, engaging the participants in truly lively discussions. With Dr. Park in the role of active mediator of the multilateral conversations and learnings, the forum successfully made the event a participatory occasion for intellectual conversations about the presented topics and researches wherein the contributions by the presenters, the discussants, and the audience were all equally valued.

The event’s organizer received many heartfelt feedback from the students and faculties (including those from the LAS Office) who participated and witnessed the event. Many appreciated how the forum was so lively and inclusive. Also, they shared that they are looking forward to the next event and that they wish for this forum to continue and grow further in the future. Many attendees have expressed their interest in presenting their works at future events.

Thanks to a few engaging and extended presentations and discussions, the event went over the intended 5 hours and continued until 7 pm. Despite the extension, 35-40 people (5-6 coming in and out) stayed until the end with such enthusiasm and keen interest.

The organizer wishes to extend thanks to all participants in the forum, especially Yilong Liu (Louie) and Richard Luong for their hard work as the coordinators, and to the Research Office and the LASSIS department for extending the funding and supporting the event. The organizer also thanks Professors Ian Clark, Marie-Josée Therrien, and Ashok Mathur who came to witness and participate in the event. Special thanks also go to Kirstyn Moore for assisting the coordinators with circulating the event announcements to the wider OCAD U community and to Carlina Chen for her support as well. 

For more information on AGCSF and its future events, please visit the website: https://asiaglobalculturalstudiesforum.wordpress.com

 

Event photographs courtesy of Carlina Chen.

Expanded Context: Black Canadian Curators at the 56th Venice Biennale

Expanded Context: Black Canadian Curators at the 56th International Art Exhibition, the Venice Biennale 2015 was a forum which brought together black Canadian curators and critics at the 56th Venice Biennale in order to build transnational networks and promote black Canadian visual art. The forum sought to ameliorate the invisibility of the works of black Canadian artists, curators, and critics within the international sphere.

The goals of Expanded Context: Black Canadian Curators at the 56th International Art Exhibition, the Venice Biennale 2015 were as follows:

  • To foster greater awareness, understanding and opportunities for partnerships and collaborations between culturally diverse curators and the visual arts establishment, negotiating progression pathways for the new generation of leaders in visual arts.
  • To promote Canadian black artists and develop an engaging dialogue between Canadian art and the international stage
  • To allow Black curators a space for critical reflection, research, dialogue, experimentation, and exchange
  • To provide access to ideas, artists, and artworks that can be developed for curatorial research
  • To develop partnerships for future exhibition opportunities

Expanded Context: Black Canadians Curators at the 56th International Art Exhibition, the Venice Biennale 2015 was a unique professional development opportunity for Black Canadian curators and critics. It was a two-day gathering (held May 7th and May 8th, 2015) which addressed the politics and practice of curatorship in a globalized world.

The program of engagement included networking meetings and interviews with artists, curators, gallerists and collectors, as well as the opportunity to visit Biennale exhibitions and collateral events. The participation of Black curators and critics at the 56th Venice Biennale served to correct the visible absence of Black Canadian curators at key international arts events. The Expanded Context project provided an international platform for connecting Black Canadian curators, and created a global forum for these professionals to share projects and initiatives.

Participants included: Julie Crooks, Pamela Edmonds, Andrea Fatona, Sally Frater, Dominique Fontaine, Gaetane Verna, Camille Turner, Rinaldo Walcott.

Participants were selected from the group of curators and academics who attended the State of Blackness : From Production to Presentation conference. Keynote speakers included curators Bisi Silva and David Bailey

This project has been the subject of an article, “Questioning Citizenship at the Venice Biennale: Responses and Interventions” in C Magazine, Issue 128, and a podcast, "New Point of View at the Venice Art Biennale" by Fresh Arts International, Fresh Talk Series.

Other Resources:
The State of Blackness Website
 The State of Blackness on Youtube
 

  • We acknowledge the support of the Canada Council for the Arts, which last year invested $153 million to bring the arts to Canadians throughout the country.
  • Nous remercions le Conseil des arts du Canada de son soutien. L’an dernier, le Conseil a investi 153 millions de dollars pour mettre de l’art dans la vie des Canadiennes et des Canadiens de tout le pays.

 

Creator: 
The State of Blackness Logo - text and a gradient in stacked rectangles from black to gray
Canada Council for the Arts logo
Ontario Arts Council Logo
Wednesday, December 6, 2017 - 10:45am
Lab Member: 
Andrea Fatona

The State of Blackness Database

Photo of community meeting participants by Anique Jordan.

The State of Blackness Database project is a searchable, web-based, annotated catalogue of key visual art productions, analytic essays, oral history interviews, research papers and colloquia presentations – produced by and about black Canadian artists, critics and curators from the late 1980s to the present.  The database seeks to provide visibility, and make accessible, information pertaining to black Canadian visual arts productions.

The State of Blackness Database will create a centralized site to house scholarly information and works by and about black artists and cultural producers. The database will provide access to material created by black artists, curators, and critics who, because of racial difference, have historically been at the margins of Canadian art production. It will centralize and disseminate knowledge from a cross section of disciplines including fine arts, design, and curatorial practice. The database will be made available in multiple modalities (text, image, and audio).

The database will provide insights into transcultural and transnational knowledge production in the context of Black Canada, highlighting its relationship to art education, the politics of representation, and inclusivity.

Content of The State of Blackness Database will include:

  • A listing of curators, contributors, and Black artists
  • Headshots, bios, and links to curators’ and artists’ website
  • Artworks
  • Past and current exhibitions projects curated by and about Black Canadian artists
  • Digital versions of exhibition catalogues
  • Essays, interviews, and papers on black Canadian visual art

This project will provide access to scholarly information on Canadian black visual art productions. It will also increase the visibility of black visual art and develop the Canadian discourse on Canadian black visual art. The project was inspired by discussions held at The State of Blackness: From Production to Presentation Conference.

Phase I (completed October 2017)

Vtape supported Phase 1 of the State of Blackness Database project. Vtape is a distributor of historical and contemporary media arts work by local, national, and international artists. It houses a research centre that caters to curators, scholars, educators, and the public. Vtape is also a world leader in the preservation and archiving of video art. The organization is committed to education and provides technical and research training to undergraduate and graduate students, cultural workers, and community groups through their internship programs.

Website: www.vtape.org

Guided by Andrea Fatona, and Vtape’s Artistic Director Lisa Steele, researcher Elisha Lim compiled data on Black Canadian video production and presentation activities that have taken place between the early 1980’s through 1999, cataloguing key visual and media arts curatorial projects, analytic essays, oral history interviews, research papers and colloquia presentations — produced by and about black Canadian artists, critics and curators from the late 1980s to the present. The research included an exploration of the programming archive at A Space Gallery and the Vtape holdings.

A community meeting was held in late October to discuss and vision ways in which end users of the information- black artists, cultural producers and community members -  can contribute to the processes by which new categories are developed to describe the materials. Preview access of the Vtape catalogue and a list of holdings by black artists were given to all attendees.

Other Resources:
The State of Blackness Website
 The State of Blackness on Youtube
The State of Blackness: From Production to Presentation Conference

 

Creator: 
Group photograph of attendees at T.S.O.B. Vtape meeting
Wednesday, December 6, 2017 - 10:30am
Lab Member: 
Andrea Fatona

State of Blackness: From Production to Presentation Conference

The State of Blackness: From Production to Presentation Conference brought together artists, critics, and curators to develop art education practices as a way of rectifying the invisibility of Blackness in Canadian art curriculum.  It engaged participants in dialogue about the history, current state, and future of black diasporic artistic practice and presentation in Canada.

The State of Blackness: From Production to Presentation Conference focused on developing networks of engagement and knowledge exchange while developing methodologies and practices that inform the future of black Canadian artistic production and teaching.  The conference addressed:

  1. The role of post-secondary art education in perpetuating the invisibility of Blackness
  2. Broadening conversations and scholarship on the state of pedagogy in relation to blackness in Canada
  3. Making and strengthening connections across disciplinary fields including fine art, design, and curatorial practice
  4. Developing working education strategies that serve as resources for multicultural educators, curators, and researchers

 

The State of Blackness: From Production to Presentation was a two-day interdisciplinary conference held at OCAD University and the Harbourfont Centre of the Arts in February 2014. It brought together 42 artists, curators, academics, students, and multiple publics to engage in dialogue about the history, current state, and future of black diasporic artistic practice and presentation in Canada. The conference included closed working sessions and public events.

Since the demise of Canada’s national black arts service organization, CAN: BAIA, in the late ‘90s, there has been little public effort to engage the multiplicity of communities and discourses that define blackness and its expressive manifestations in the Canadian context.  The State of Blackness: From Production to Presentation conference was therefore a much-needed forum, as it placed issues of race and cultural difference at the center of a discussion with regards to the marginalization and simultaneous excess of Blackness in the realm of popular culture.

The State of Blackness: From Production to Presentation conference created an interdisciplinary approach to teaching practices and curriculum content development in both universities and galleries. It allowed scholars and curators to network and share pedagogical strategies for disseminating the works of black artists. Documentation of the conference via podcast (include link here) archives the activities of the conference and provides research data for academics.

This project served to enhance the visibility of black cultural production in the context of multicultural Canada, and broadened critical knowledge about art practices and products. While attending The State of Blackness conference, several delegates successfully proposed to further the discussion by holding another forum of Black curators during the professional preview of the 56th Venice Biennale. The conference was also the inspiration for the State of Blackness Database project.

Other Resources:
The State of Blackness Website
 The State of Blackness on Youtube
The State of Blackness Database project
Expanded Context: Black Canadian Curators at the 56th International Art Exhibition, the Venice Biennale 2015

Conference participants included: Karen Miranda Augustine, Deanna Bowen, Sandra Brewster, Charles Campbell, Mark V. Campbell, Wayde Compton, Julie Crooks, Erika DeFreitas, Pamela Edmonds, Dominique Fontaine, Honor Ford-Smith, Richard Fung, Sylvia Hamilton, Jérôme Havre, Ebony L. Haynes, Johanna Householder, Camille A. Isaacs, Michelle Jacques, Alice Ming Wai Jim, Betty Julian, Olivia McGilchrist, Anna Jane McIntyre, Megan Morgan, Charmaine Nelson, Abdi Osman, Michèle Pearson Clarke, AboubakarSanogo, Adrienne Shadd, Dionne Simpson, Rema Tavares, Camille Turner, Gaëtane Verna, Rinaldo Walcott, Genevieve Wallen, Syrus Marcus Ware, and Natalie Wood.

Photograph of conference participants by Ella Cooper.

Creator: 
The State of Blackness Logo - text and a gradient in stacked rectangles from black to gray
Group photograph of participants at The State of Blackness Conference
Ontario Arts Council logo
SSHRC Logo
Wednesday, December 6, 2017 - 10:00am
Lab Member: 
Andrea Fatona