Between Knowing and Unknowing: Research in-and-through Art

24 – 26 September 2015

Thursday-Friday, 10:00–17:00; Saturday,10:00-14:00

Languages: Chinese and English, withsimultaneous interpretation


Guangdong Times Museum

Times Rose Garden III, Huangbianbei Road,Baiyun Avenue

Guangzhou, China

+ 8620 26272363


Artists may have been doing research since the Renaissance, but the current visibility and discourse of artistic research has only recently been consolidated within higher educational settings in North American and European universities, as well as by the global leverage of large-scale exhibitions such as the biennials. Institutionalization of artistic research in the West brings theramifications of the topic under the spotlight, revealing conflictingarguments. Some propose  thelegitimization of artistic methodologies and knowledge in comparison with otherscientific academic disciplines; others disagree, claiming  incompatibility between aesthetic andscientific languages.


In June 2015, the first few researchers of Contemporary Art Practice received their PhD degrees from the Chinese Academy of Art in Huangzhou, signalling official recognition by the art academy system in China of research-based practice as a form of knowledge production. However, discussions of “artisticresearch” and “research-based practice” are still rare, and there is a lack ofresearch on artists’ practices within the Chinese context.  Most of the research-based projects that haveemerged in China in the past few years have stemmed from practitioners’individual needs and intuitions, in attempts to go beyond the orthodoxy oftheir own autonomy and construct different perspectives on the world aroundthem and on the society at large. In this sense, “research in-and-through art”might simply mean “to learn about something and to search for some kind ofartistic framing of the real”. The duration of such research-based projects isunclear, and not in conformity with the predominant visual consumerism, while theiroutcomes resist easy objectification or commodification. Self-initiated research is usually laid aside within commercial and institutional systems.Within current mechanisms for the display of art, such projects are eitherunder-represented or are poorly mediated in presentation.


Theseminar Between Knowing and Unknowing:Research in-and-through Art will consider the urgency and necessity ofresearch. How have artists, curators and researchers integrated social andscientific motives with aesthetics, and how have they developed inquiries tocreate forms that address the critical and creative processes? Since mostresearch-based projects are responsive to their respective social situations orcontexts, the seminar also sets its premise in relation to the criticalperspectives of the curatorial by probing into how the curatorial can betterfacilitate and accommodate the creative and critical thinking manifested inresearch-based projects, and make these projects more clearly addressed andaccessed.


Inassociation with the seminar, interviews with artists, curators andresearchers, with a special focus on those living and working in China, willhelp to identify questions for substantial discussion on-site. From September24th-26th, contributors from different areas and disciplines are thus invitedto the Times Museum, to share, enact, perform and reflect on their specificinquiries within a three-day discursive platform. At the end of 2016, aselection from the interviews, seminar transcripts and newly commissionedwritings will be published as a book and be followed by an exhibition whichwill further present the related topics of the seminar.


Justas knowledge can become a regime of segregation, the things we call “facts” areonly forms of representation. The 4th para-curatorial series seminar of theTimes Museum, Between Knowing and Unknowing: Research in-and-through Art, willchart the future and return to the beginning, to re-imagine the ways in whichart projects and practices can challenge our set perceptions of certain realityand knowledge and how research can advance the agenda of art production.


Withpresentation, talk, conversation, screening and respondence by: Antariksa, Mélanie Bouteloup, ChenXiaoyang, Chen Yiming, Cheng Ran, Elaine W. Ho, Hu Yun, Li Xiaofei,   Mao Chenyu, Edward Sanderson, GraemeSullivan, Wu Chao,Xia Weilun, Xu Tan, Yu Ronghao, Zhao An’an and Zheng Bo


Curatedby: Nikita Yingqian Cai

GuestResearcher: Sipei Stephanie Lu


Sep. 24 Art Practice as Research: Why Research? ResearchWhat?


10:00-10:15  WELCOME, Nikita Yingqian Cai

10:15-10:30   INTRODUCTION, Sipei Stephanie Lu

10:30-11:00  TALK, Antariksa, Do it with others: Knowledge Productions in                   Indonesian Art

11:05-11:35  TALK, Li Yafeng, A Brief History of Dinghaiqiao Mutual-Aid Association

11:40-12:10  TALK, Li Xiaofei, The Nonchalant Assembly Line

12:10-12:30  Q&A

13:00-14:18  SCREENING, Mao Chenyu, Ximaojia Universe, 2009

14:13-15:15  TALK, Mao Chenyu, A Self-Ethnography: The Practice of Paddy Film                     

            between 2003 and 2015

16:00-16:30  RESPONDENT, Chen Xiaoyang and Chen Yiming

16:30-17:00  Q&A


Sep. 25  Interdisciplinary:And What About the Objects?


10:00-10:45  TALK: Mélanie Bouteloup, A Preview of Villa Vassilieff

11:00-11:45  TALK: Hu Yun, The Route with No Direction

11:45-12:15  Q&A

12:45-14:30  SCREENING, Cheng Ran, Orange Blue, 2015

14:45-15:15  TALK: Cheng Ran, Orange Blue — A Film-in-Progress

15:20-16:00  Wu Chao in conversation with Xia Weilun andYu Ronghao, An InterdisciplinaryConversation about Project of Audio-Video Awakening of Patients in VegetativeStates

16:00-16:30  RESPONDENT, Zheng Bo and Sipei Stephanie Lu

16:30-17:00  Q&A


Sep. 26  Affect vsEffect: How is Knowledge Embodied?


10:00-10:30  SCREENING, Xu Tan, Socio-Botanic, 2013-

10:35-11:20  TALK: Graeme Sullivan, Art Practice as Research Act

11:20-12:00  Edward Sanderson in conversation with ElaineW. Ho, Who Goes, 

            Where Are? — Part 7

12:00-12:20  Q&A

12:20-12:35  WRAP UP, Nikita Yingqian Cai & SipeiStephanie Lu

12:45-14:00  CLOSED-DOOR SESSION with all the contributors


All events and schedule are subject tochange, for updates and further information, please check our official websiteand follow our wechat accout; all events happen within Times Museum except forspecial notice.



The Para-curatorial Series of Times Museum


Thepara-curatorial series initiated by GuangdongTimes Museum features an annualseminar and related publication. As a discursive platform where on-siteresponses are encouraged as an active form of reflection and self-education, itaims at situating the investigation and discussion of contemporary art within abroader social, economic, and cultural context; the para-curatorial is regardedas multiple forms of thinking, researching, spatial practicing, and knowledgeexchanging not restricted to the making of an exhibition. The registration andsharing of multidisciplinary knowledge and practice activates the museum intobecoming a temporary coalition comprising a community center, laboratory, andacademy.


Presented by   Times Museum  

Core funded by  Times Property

Partner  New Century Art Foundation

The seminar is realized with support by the U.S Consulate General in Guangzhou andthe Consulate General of France in Guangzhou