December 12, 2016, by Franziska Koch

ANN: The proceedings of ReNet MoCoCA’s kick-off conference are published – JCCA’s double issue on “Chineseness”

ReNet MoCoCa is pleased to announce the first edited publication by a range of distinguished members: The selected and enriched proceedings of ReNet MoCoCa’s kick-off symposium have been published! Co-edited by Franziska Koch and Rui Oliveira Lopes as guest-editors of the Journal of Contemporary Chinese Art (principal editor: Paul Gladston) the proceedings constitute its volume 3, numbers 1-2 (cover date: June 2016) and feature 12 articles (including the editorial) related with the theme “‘Chineseness’ in contemporary art discourse and practice”, supplemented by two exhibition reviews.

Most contributions were presented in earlier stages at the international symposium (In)Direct Speech. ‘Chineseness’ in Contemporary Art Discourse and Practice. Art Market, Curatorial Practices and Creative Processes at Lisbon University’s Faculty of Fine Arts in 2015. The peer-reviewed double issue demonstrates the necessity and advantages of addressing ‘Chineseness’ as a global discursive as well as aesthetic and artistic practice-related phenomenon and at the same time a globally researched one. It connects scholars, curators and artists working in France, Germany, Portugal, Spain, United Kingdom, United States as well as in the PRC, Taiwan, Hong Kong or Macao. Although this network is by no means global and points to long-standing, often Orientalist and/or colonial research histories and diverging local academic infrastructures that partially account for why the conference and its proceedings have not attracted authors who work, for example, in Australia, Africa, South America or India, it still shows the ongoing differentiation and growth in the field. Together, the contributions achieve a thematically broad and methodologically multilayered exploration.

The exploration includes at least three overlapping foci on ‘Chineseness’ (1) in terms of various institutional and curatorial practices and specific exhibition displays, (2) in terms of exemplary artistic practices that (re-)negotiate or invent Chinese ‘tradition’ and particular cultural concepts, (3) as a discursive construct that is challenged or strategically affirmed by locally situated, but often globally informed agents from (interconnected) centres and peripheries alike, who do not necessarily recognize nor explicitly speak about the historicity of ‘Chineseness’, while contributing to the ongoing art historiographical and practical significance and multiple (re-)signification of the concept. Discerning these competing, supplementing or conflicting voices in culturally intertwined processes thus poses the third, largely theoretical, challenge caused by often invisible underlying and confining epistemologies.

List of authors ordered according to the table of content: Franziska Koch, Mi You, Jane Chin Davidson, Eva Aggeklint, Shiyan Li, Voon Pow Bartlett, Marie Laureillard, Beccy Kennedy, Nicola Foster, Yuen-yi Lo, Susan Pui San Lok, Laia Manonelles Moner; exhibition reviews written by: Christine Vial Kayser and David Carrier.

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