M+ Matters ARTWORKDOCUMENTATION: Photographing China

M+ Matters ARTWORKDOCUMENTATION is a workshop and public panel discussion that attempts to unpack the multiple roles that an object (or image) can inhabit—documentation, archive, evidence, historical record, material support—and how these align with our understandings of the “the work.” Inviting specialists and practitioners from diverse backgrounds, ARTWORKDOCUMENTATION will look at the ways in which conceptions about “artworks” are in flux, and how these shifts—particularly in the institutional context—can engender new ways of thinking about collections, exhibitions and display.

Choosing to name the third M+ Matters discussion ARTWORKDOCUMENTATION points intentionally to the seamlessness of boundaries, and hints at the invention of a new approach whereby traditional hierarchies—professional and amateur, high and low, original and copy, art and everything else—are unmoored. How does the entangled relationship between documentary and art open up new ways of seeing and relating to notions of the aesthetic? When do artworks become documentation? And when does documentation become artwork? Is it even useful to draw such distinctions when tasks such as collecting architecture are often limited to so-called supporting materials such as models, sketches, plans and studies? Or in the case of design, when the focus on physical objects—whose “authenticity” has always been complicated by issues of mass-production—is shifting towards a greater emphasis on process and interactive, experiential, digital and decentralized modes of production? Answers to these questions may be largely context dependent, further begging the question: What kind of context will M+—a planned museum of visual culture—provide?

M+ Matters ARTWORKDOCUMENTATION is comprised of a two-day closed door workshop and two public panel discussions. Speakers include Tina DiCarlo (London/Berlin); Gu Zheng (Shanghai); Nav Haq (Antwerp); Liu Heung-shing (Beijing/Hong Kong); Kieran Long (London); Ken Lum (Philadelphia); MAP Office (Hong Kong); Park Chan-kyong (Seoul); Claire Roberts (Adelaide); Siu King-chung (Hong Kong); Yang Xiaoyan (Guangzhou); and Lydia Yee (London).

About M+ Matters
M+ Matters is a series of workshop/symposiums and public talks organized by M+, the new museum for visual culture that will be a centerpiece of the West Kowloon Cultural District in Hong Kong.

M+ Matters is just one of the many efforts M+ is undertaking in the lead-up to the museum building’s opening in 2017. Through this platform, we will explore critical issues with key players in the fields of visual art, design, architecture and the moving image as we hone our curatorial and acquisitions frameworks, while welcoming the public to participate in the discourse.

Asia Society Hong Kong Center (The Hong Kong Jockey Club Hall)