Through Beijing-based Liu Ding and Carol Yinghua Lu’s own daily conversations and their contributions to “Letters Against Separation” on e-flux conversations, they have had a chance to reflect on the impacts of COVID-19, not just on the everyday life in a practical way but on their conception of the existing orders of organization that condition our lives. They have observed a general overdependence and almost blind trust on larger structures, systems and framework of thinking as well as a universal abstraction of individual positions, conditions and subjectivities. The rhetoric around COVID-19 has pivoted on politics and its problematic, yet they argue that politics can only represent and emulate an abstract form of the society consisting of countless individuals, but not actual individuals.
The talk is followed up by a written response by Toronto-based writer and curator Su-Ying Lee, which has been published here.
About the speakers:
Liu Ding is a Beijing-based artist and curator. He has participated in international biennials such as 2015 Istanbul Biennial, 2015 Asia Pacific Triennial, 2014 Shanghai Biennial, 2014 Prospect 3 New Orleans, 2012 Taipei Biennial, Chinese Pavilion of 2009 Venice Biennial, 2008 Media City Seoul, and 2005 Guangzhou Triennial. His works have been presented in many art institutions and museums across the world.
Carol Yinghua Lu is an art critic and curator. She is a Ph.D. candidate in art history at the University of Melbourne and director of Beijing Inside-out Art Museum. She is a contributing editor at Frieze and is on the advisory board of The Exhibitionist.
As a curatorial team, Liu Ding and Carol Yinghua Lu have curated Liberation (2010); Little Movements: Self-practice in Contemporary Art I\II\III (2011, 2013, 2015); The 7th Shenzhen Sculpture Biennale (Accidental Message: Art is Not a System, Not a World) (2012), From the Issue of Art to the Issue of Position: Echoes of Socialist Realism (2014), New Measurement and Qian Weikang: Two Case Studies in Early Chinese Conceptual Art (2015), Salon Salon: Fine Art Practices from 1972 to 1982 in Profile—A Beijing Perspective (2015) and Factories, Machines, and the Poet’s Words: Echoes of the Realities in Art (2019). Their ongoing practice of exhibition and publication making establishes organic connections between history and the contemporary, investigates and narrates historical realities from multiple perspectives. They intend to generate narratives of the subjectivity in Chinese art from a diversity of entry points, related closely to the intellectual tradition in China.
Pacific Crossings: Triangulations
Borrowing a term from both navigation and research methods in social science that employ multiple points of view, Triangulations offers three online propositions with artists and curators in Hong Kong, Beijing and Manila, encompassing shared concerns germane to the pandemic and locational contexts. Produced as part of Pacific Crossings in partnership with Centre A: Vancouver International Centre for Contemporary Asian Art, Nanaimo Art Gallery, and Richmond Art Gallery, Triangulations is a coordinated effort to bring forward distinct perspectives from different regions through digital means to support empathy and to cultivate shared understandings about what the future may hold for the arts sector and for the public.