[-empyre-] Welcome to Manifest Dynasty from Edward

Edward Sanderson ed at escdotdot.com
Wed Nov 3 21:14:33 EST 2010

Hello -empyre-,

Thanks for the intro Melinda and for devoting so much effort to  
organizing Manifest Dynasty.

It's a great privilege to be part of this forum, and I'm looking  
forward to sharing our thoughts and experiences over the next few  
weeks. Melinda and I will be doing our best to ask some difficult  
questions to keep things moving!

To start with, I'll try and outline my position here. As Melinda said,  
I'm originally from the UK and came to China for the first time 3  
years ago, just in time for the run up to the Olympics in Beijing. My  
focus has mainly been on the new media side of things (working with  
many artists and curators in this field), and in my experience this is  
a particularly strong niche in the Chinese artworld – it's obviously  
not as prominent as, ooh let's say painting, but there seems to be a  
ready awareness and acceptance of "new media" amongst artists in China  
over the last few generations.

Today and on Friday I will be introducing curators, writers and  
artists who have played a leading role in developing the new media art  
environment here. I'm really looking forward to seeing how bringing  
them together can produce new routes through the potential chaos of  
new media art in China.

--A note about Chinese translations--
This discussion will primarily be in English, but we have limited  
translation services we can call upon. If anyone prefers to write in  
Chinese, before posting to the forum please send these messages to me  
at <ed at escdotdot.com> – I will get them translated and submit them on  
your behalf. Translations can usually be done overnight, if I receive  
them by 5pm (Beijing time).

Now I'll provide introductions to the first two guests to the forum  
from this part of the world: Robin Peckham and Rebecca Catching. Robin  
is a prolific and characteristically forthright writer and curator on  
the art scenes of China and Hong Kong (and elsewhere). His knowledge  
of the local art scenes and ability to capture them in words is pretty  
impressive and he has been someone whose output I've always found  
insightful and helpful to my own understanding.

Rebecca has consistently curated some really well thought-through  
shows, combining a whole range of media in fruitful juxtaposition. Her  
knowledge of the local art scene as well as an ability to put it into  
relationship with artists from further afield, and her support of the  
more experimental and challenging work makes OV one of the most  
interesting galleries in Shanghai – for me it's a must-see when I'm in  

-->Robin Peckham
-->Shanghai/Hong Kong

Robin Peckham is a writer and curator at the Society for Experimental  
Cultural Production based in the Pearl River Delta (www.kunsthallekowloon.org 
). Recent projects include a monograph on architectural practice MAP  
Office, a symposium on Cantonese and Taiwanese sound art, and an  
exhibition on Hong Kong "nice painting." Currently contributing to  
publications including LEAP, Artforum, Yishu, and ArtSlant, he has  
previously been affiliated with commercial space Boers-Li Gallery,  
alternative space Long March Project, performance art venue Hart Salon  
Center for the Arts, landmark sound and music venue What?!, and  
digital architecture thinktank Crystal Media Center.

-->Rebecca Catching

Art critic, journalist and director of Shanghai’s OV Gallery, Rebecca  
is avid China watcher. Rebecca has a background in East Asian studies  
and art history and is fluent in Mandarin. She has been following the  
Chinese cultural scene for the past eight years working as an arts &  
entertainment editor for local culture magazine that’s Shanghai and  
freelancing for a number of international publications such as Art  
Asia Pacific, Art Review, Flash Art and the Far Eastern Economic  
Review. Rebecca’s latest curatorial projects include “Make-Over” an  
exploration the great renovation of Shanghai in advance of the Expo  
and the issues of history, image and face which accompany it.

Edward Sanderson
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