Sarah NG 吳秀華
University Museum and Art Gallery, The University of Hong Kong
香港大學美術博物館

An Exceptional Traveling Exhibition: A Case Study of An Artistic Exchange Mechanism in a Cross-strait Four-region Artistic Exchange Project

This paper studies the Cross-Straits Four-Region Artistic Exchange Project 2014 which intends to present a new generation of artists and expand the horizons of young artists around the four regions: Hong Kong, Mainland China, Macao and Taiwan. The theme is "Conforming to Vicinity," which requires artists to explore the new state of contemporary art in these four places and to understand how regional and city development influence their artistic creation. Their works are shown in museums of these four regions throughout the year including the University Museum & Art Gallery, He Xiangning Art Museum, Macao Art Museum and Pingtung Art Museum. This is an exceptional exhibition which is different from most traveling exhibitions which usually present the same set of exhibits throughout the tours, this project requires most participating artists to strive for change in their respective places to showcase their developing artworks which grow from one place to another until they reach their completed state at the final stop. In addition to its site-specific theme, this exhibition emphasizes the collaboration among multiple institutions and the process of curation and creation.

The paper will discuss this ambitious project from the point of view of the organizational strategies and practical issues that required coordinating the artists and running the project. It will also study the problems that the partners need to deal with issues such as the artist support, artwork display, transport and promotion of this challenging project.

Why do institutions as well as artists want to participate in such an artistic exchange project? Does this type of experience provide a deeper engagement with audiences and give institutions and artists an opportunity to learn from these experiences? What are we finding in the process?