CityU event examines the value of art

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An annual exhibition and a symposium examining the “value” of art will be co-presented by City University of Hong Kong (CityU) and the Osage Art Foundation as part of the celebration of the 30th anniversary of the University.
This year’s event, called “Market Forces”, will question “value”. In 2012, “Market Forces, Whither Contemporary Art?” asked whether we could find new paradigms for intellectual and artistic inquiry and debate, and for 2013, “Market Forces: The Friction of Opposites” emphasised value in terms of moral or societal notions. For 2014, veteran curator Mr Charles Merewether has been invited to curate the third annual offering, called “Market Forces; Erasure: From Conceptualism to Abstraction”. The exhibition will be held at Osage Hong Kong and CityU.
The symposium accompanying the exhibition, to be moderated by Mr David Elliot, is entitled “Art and Values”. The invited speakers, including Mr Jens Hoffmann, Ms Biljana Ciric, Mr Charles Merewether, Mr Kurt Chan Yuk-keung and Mr Enin Supriyanto, will examine the increasingly over-determined economic interpretation of the value of art.
1)      Exhibition: Erasure: From Conceptualism to Abstraction
Osage Hong Kong
(Venue One)
City University of Hong Kong
(Venue Two)
Event Dates
16 May 2014 to 30 June 2014
16 May 2014 to 15July 2014
Opening Hours
Mon–Sat: 10.30 am–6.30 pm Sun: 2:30–6:30 pm
Closed on public holidays.
Open to special appointments outside of these times.
Mon–Sat: 10: 30 am–7:00 pm
Sun: 2:30–7:00 pm
Closed on public holidays.
Open to special appointments outside of these times.
4/F, 20 Hing Yip Street, Kwun Tong
18/F, Academic 3, CityU
Preview Receptions
5–7 pm
Friday, 16 May 2014
7–9 pm
Friday, 16 May 2014
Hong Kong: Au Hoi Lam, Tang Kwok Hin
China: Song Dong, Yu Ji, Zhao Zhao
Singapore: Ng Joon Kiat, Milenko Prvački, Jeremy Sharma, Grace Tan, Ian Woo
Philippines: Ringo Bunoan, Nilo Ilarde, Bernardo Pacquing,
Maria Taniguchi
Japan: Masanori Handa, Kishio Suga
South Korea: Shin Il Kim, Young Rim Lee, Mee Ai Om
Indonesia: FX Harsono, Tintin Wulia
Thailand: Nipan Oranniwesna
The basis of the exhibition is to question “value” as assigned or measured by the global art markets; more specifically, it aims to critically engage with the increasingly pervasive conflation of aesthetic value with market price—a phenomena which has been exacerbated by the booming contemporary market’s general tendency to favour particular media, styles and “brands”. Art in this case is reduced to a vehicle for representation rather than a basis for exploring ideas and issues or a way of engaging with the world through the senses; in other words, subject matter takes precedence over the concept and materiality of works.   
For docent-guided visits, please contact Ms Grace Lam at or (852) 2389 8332.
2)      Symposium: Art and Values
17 May 2014 (Saturday)
2–6 pm
Wong Cheung Lo Hui Yuet Hall, 5/F, Academic 3, CityU
Starting from the general question of aesthetic values versus market price, speakers will each respond by focusing on the different conditions for art production within different localities, as well as the global art market, with a particular emphasis on the situation in Hong Kong and Asia. Drawing on similar issues of contention as the exhibition, the symposium will draw connections between different regions and their value systems, critically examining the market driven interpretations of works, and issues of representation versus intrinsic aesthetic values.
Topic Descriptions
Charles Merewether is an art historian, curator and writer on modernism, and has curated a number of exhibitions of major artists from across South America and Asia, including Central Asia.
Charles Merewether, curator of the exhibition ‘Erasure: From Conceptualism to Abstraction’, will further elaborate on the thesis of the show, focusing on object-based work and conceptualism and how this reflects the arts and culture scene within Asia.
Biljana Ciric is an independent curator based in Shanghai and has presented numerous critically acclaimed projects. Her ongoing research encompasses institutional critique and artist institutions.
Biljana Ciric will present her observations on the current situation of art production in China and the reactions of younger artists against the distortions of the market and the careerism that this has engendered.
Jens Hoffmann is a writer and curator; currently the Deputy Director of the Jewish Museum in New York and the senior adjunct curator at the Museum of Contemporary Art Detroit.
Jens Hoffmann’s presentation will be focused on the production of art in relationship to the art market in New York. 
Enin Supriyanto is an independent curator and writer based in Jakarta – Jogja, Indonesia. He has curated numerous exhibitions and contributed essays for various publications on contemporary Indonesian art in Indonesia and abroad.
Enin Suproyanto will be focusing on the development of art in Southeast Asia, in particular Indonesia, under the domination of market and prices of artwork, and the rise of a new market form in the last decade.
Kurt Chan is an artist and art educator; currently the director of the Master of Arts (Fine Arts) program at the Chinese University of Hong Kong. His research interests are in Hong Kong art, mixed media and public art.
Kurt Chan’s presentation will examine the current situation of art production and the art market in Hong Kong, relating this to the wider, global situation.
The symposium is open to the public. Simultaneous interpretation (English–Mandarin) will be provided.
For registration, please contact Ms Grace Lam at or (852) 2389 8332.
About the curator
Charles Merewether was born in Scotland and earned his PhD in Art History from the University of Sydney. He is an art historian and writer on modernism and contemporary art who has taught at universities in the United States, Mexico and South America, Australia and Singapore. He was Collections Curator at the Getty Research Institute in Los Angeles from 1994 to 2004, Artistic Director and Curator for the 2006 Sydney Biennale, Deputy Director for the Cultural District, Saadiyat Island, Abu Dhabi from 2007 to 2008, and Director at Institute of Contemporary Arts Singapore (ICAS), LASALLE College of the Arts from 2010 to 2013. Since 1991 and at the ICAS, he has curated a number of major exhibitions of major artists from across South America and Asia, including Central Asia. He has published extensively articles and books including Ai Weiwei: Under Construction (2008) and Ai Weiwei: Beijing, Venice, London, Herzog & de Meuron (2008) and After Memory: The Art of Milenko Prvački – 40 Years (2013). He has also co-edited After the Event: New Perspectives on Art History (2010), Art, Anti-Art, Non-Art: Experimentations in the public sphere in postwar Japan 1950-1970, (2007). He is currently Visiting Professor of the School of Art, Design and Media, Nanyang Technological University.
About the moderator
David Elliott is a curator and writer who has directed contemporary art museums and institutions in Oxford, Stockholm, Tokyo, Istanbul, Sydney and Kiev. A specialist in Soviet and Russian avant-garde, as well as in modern and contemporary Asian art, he has published widely in these fields as well as on many other aspects of contemporary art. He is currently Artistic Director of A Time for Dreams, the IV International Biennale of Young Art, to open in Moscow in June 2014, co-curator of PANDAMONIUM: New Media Art from Shanghai (on show in Berlin at present), and associate curator of the Hors Piste Film Festival in Tokyo. He was President of CIMAM (the International Committee of ICOM for museums of modern and contemporary art) from 1998 to 2004, and is currently President of the Board of Triangle Art Network/Gasworks in London, Chairman of MOMENTUM in Berlin, a member of the Asia Advisory Board of the Guggenheim Museum, New York, and Guest Lecturer in Curatorship at the Chinese University in Hong Kong.  In 2008–10 he was Artistic Director of the 17th Biennale of Sydney and in 2011–12 directed the inaugural International Biennale of Contemporary Art in Kiev, Ukraine.  He has also advised the Hong Kong Jockey Club Charitable Trust on the development of the Central Police Station heritage site into a centre for contemporary art.
Media enquiries
Ms Kaya Lo| +852 2389 8322 | +852 2172 1693
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