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Postgraduate Workshop: Asian Art Research Now 

18 November 2022, 9am-5:10pm

Zoom Online Meeting/Seminar 


Media and method: Interdisciplinary approaches to contemporary Asian art
3:20pm-5:10pm AEDT

The artwork is a set of related transactions: Structuralist Performance, Hong Kong, 1980-1989

Genevieve Trail (University of Melbourne)

During the 1980s, Hong Kong witnessed the emergence of a new type of performance, broadly differentiated by its emphasis on structure as a primary aesthetic component. Situated at the intersection of postmodern theatre and dance, installation art and video art, structuralist performance in Hong Kong made use of video and installation art as performance elements; literal, non-virtuosic and non-expressive movement; objective or clock time; and the deconstruction or deferral of narrative meaning through non-linear and alogical scripting. Drawing from works by artists including Choi Yan Chi, Ellen Pau and Zuni Icosahedron, this paper will describe structuralist performance as a particular strand of performance art dominant in Hong Kong through the 1980s and draw out its influence on the overall direction of contemporary art in Hong Kong through the 1990s.

In notating the development of structuralist performance in Hong Kong and its broader ambit of influence on emergent media of installation and video over this decade, this paper offers an alternative genealogy to extant histories of Hong Kong performance which tend to trace a history of socially disruptive actions from the maverick artist Frog King Kwok Mangho through to contemporary activist and protest art. It aims to contribute to a growing body of scholarship articulating the specificity of Hong Kong’s art historical development within greater China, situating performance art within a broader postmodern trends of the 1980s whereby Hong Kong artists utilised strategies of deconstruction, fragmentation and literalism in order to actively resist demands for the legible narration of Hong Kong’s political exigencies and cultural identity.



Genevieve Trail is an arts writer, editor and PhD candidate working on Wurundjeri land at the University of Melbourne. Her research focuses on the interdisciplinary emergence of installation, video and performance art in Hong Kong from 1970-1989. Genevieve has written for Art & Australia, Art Monthly Australasia, Currents Journal and Di'van: a Journal of Accounts, amongst others. In 2021 she co-edited a special issue of the Australian and New Zealand Journal of Art with Dr Claire Roberts and Dr Mark K. Erdmann, 'Shifting the Ground: Rethinking Chinese Art'.  


Choi Yan Chi 蔡仞姿, Leung Ping-kwan 也斯, and Sunny Pang 彭錦耀, Paintings by Choi Yan Chi and Works of Art in Dialogue with Poetry and Dance, 1987, performance documentation. Photograph by Ha Bik Chuen, courtesy Asia Art Archive 

Change of Perceptions: Online-Only Asian Art Auctions

Lu Guan (RMIT University)

In the past, online-only auctions were always considered to be a second-tier auction platform for major auction houses to engage with the younger and emerging collectors. Many art industry practitioners and collectors believe that physically attending the curated auction viewing rooms to view/inspect and handle the artefacts are very important for them to make the purchase/bidding decisions, especially for the high-value lots.  

My research focuses on contextual analyzing and examining the online-only auctions that are adopted by Christie’s and Sotheby’s in their Asian art sector. I will investigate how their potential buyers’ recognition and perceptions of the values (market value and artistic value) of the artworks are changed by participating in the viewings and auctions online, therefore the buyers’ final purchases in turn would influence the Asian art market. In addition, I will discuss the advantages and limitations of doing online-only Asian art auctions by Christie’s and Sotheby’s and will provide a solution in terms of strategically online curating to minimize the limitations. 



Lu Guan is the director of L Guan Asian art ( and an Australian government approved culture Gift Program valuer.He is the Asian art curator at Artvisory auction house ( ). He worked as a specialist at Chinese works of art department at Christie’s (London, Hong Kong and New York).He is former Asian art specialist at Mossgreen, Australia and former researcher and specialist at Joyce Gallery Pty., Ltd., Hong Kong. Lu Guan is holding a Master of Letters (MLitt) degree in Chinese art history from University of Glasgow and Christie’s Education.

South Asia: Visual Arts, Technology, and its different expositions

Hilal Ahmad Khan (Jamia Millia Islamia University)

South Asia as a geo-political entity has different diplomatic and intelligence interventions which affect the survival construction of art society and many constituent elements related to it. The research investigates the epistemology of technology concerning visual arts and how the three nation-states, India, Pakistan, and Bangladesh represent identity in the definition of South Asia edifices. This paper tries to find the oppositional aspect of art and technology both in terms of developed nations and developing nations, thus presenting the cultural and diplomatic dialogue on how new technologies transfer from their original place and intervene with different characteristics.

The research examines the areas which point an important role in defining the Modern and Contemporary art scene of India, Pakistan, and Bangladesh and how these transformations affect the “media” in the “visual representations”, and influence with interconnection between the International art scene, it focusses on the dimensionality of artworks described as “digital art” and “new media” and how different initiatives like institutions, art spaces, media research spaces, art events, innovational fairs, scientific research programs impacts on the contemporary “new media art” in South Asia.

It investigates the visual art structures and developments in South Asia, concerning cold war diplomacy and the United States. How can the developments in Visual Technology and its advancements be configured in examining the “new media” interaction with visual arts in India, Pakistan, and Bangladesh?


Hilal Ahmad Khan (1985) is from Indian occupied Kashmir, completed his bachelor’s degrees in Humanities, Education and in Visual Arts from University of Kashmir. He has completed his Master’s degree in Art and Design Studies from Beacon House National University Lahore. At present he is research scholar in Department of Art History and Art Appreciation, Faculty of Fine Arts, Jamia Millia Islamia University. In 2017, he was co-curator of “Processual” an exhibition of new media art, New Delhi. His research areas are the developments and construction of visual art structures in South Asia with post-colonial influences and the sequential formations of new media art in relation with the migration of technology from the west.


Delivery of IBM 1620 computer to IIT Kanpur, July 1963. (Source: Normal C Dahl, “Revolution on the Ganges: A Report on the Indian Institute of Technology, Kanpur, “Tech Engineering News, April 1967, 18, photographer unknown. Reproduced courtesy Institute Archives and Special Collections, MIT Libraries, Cambridge, Massachusetts.)

The Dilemma of Self-Censorship: Contemporary Diasporic Iranian Artists

Nasibeh Ghasri Khouzzani (Australian National University)

This research engages with diasporic Iranian artists and their contribution to world contemporary art. The aims of this study are to introduce the unique life experience of diasporic Iranian artists and to examine the dilemma caused by self-censorship.

Although these artists have transitioned from a suppressive environment to a more liberal society with no formal censoring force, this study argues they still cannot freely express themselves like those who are borne and raised in liberal societies. This research is expected to shed light on the constitutive potential of self-censorship among expatriate contemporary Iranian artists.


Emergence of diasporic Iranian artists can be divided into two waves that coincide with significant historical, political, and social events in the last 43 years. The first massive migration surge can be traced back to the 1979 Islamic Revolution and ensuing invasion of Iraq, while the second wave has begun after the controversial presidential election in 2009 and the Green Movement. Through individual interviews with artists mainly from the latter group, this study tries to identify the boundaries between intentional and unintentional self-censorship practices as experienced by these artists, and to unearth the artist’s intentions or rationalization for placing restraints on themselves in artistic expression.



Nasibeh Ghasri Khouzani is currently a candidate for a Doctor of Philosophy at ANU School of Art and Design. She received a Master of Philosophy degree in Fine Arts at The University of Wollongong, and she completed her Bachelor of Fine Arts at the Art University of Tehran, Iran. In her masters, she studied strategies adopted by contemporary Iranian artists to circumvent state censorship, and in her PhD, she explores the dilemma caused by self-censorship in diasporic Iranian artists who are no longer under the state censorship.


Nasr, Nasim. Erasure. 2010

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