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HKAC Art Shop Inspiration series x Lingnan University 50th Anniversary Lecture Series (2017-2018)
Open Architecture: Migration, Citizenship and Urban Renewal

Date & Time:
08/10/2018  From 6:00 pm to 8:00 pm

HKAC Art Shop Inspiration series x Lingnan University 50th Anniversary Lecture Series (2017 – 2018)

Open Architecture: Migration, Citizenship and Urban Renewal

Exploring the implications of the concept of “open” as a common metaphor in the era of global connections, and as a foundational modern value albeit prone to contradictions, this lecture defines open architecture as the translation of a new ethics of hospitality into design process. In particular, it exemplifies the inclinations towards open architecture (or the lack thereof) in the context of the discriminatory housing regulations of an urban renewal development in Berlin’s immigrant neighbourhood Kreuzberg. This urban renewal was undertaken by IBA-1984/87, which invited many established and emerging architects to build public housing here, including Bohigas/Mackay/Martorell Architects, Peter Eisenman, Vittorio Gregotti, Zaha Hadid, John Hejduk, Rem Koolhaas, Rob Krier, Aldo Rossi, Alvaro Siza, Frei Otto, Oswald Mathias Ungers, and many other understudied architects whose due acknowledgment is given with this research. Giving voice not only to architects and policy makers, but also to residents through oral history and storytelling, the overarching theme of noncitizen rights to the city allows for a joint discussion of the history of the twentieth-century public housing, the participatory, postmodernist and poststructuralist architectural debates, and the contradictory relation between international immigration laws and housing.
Esra Akcan is an Associate Professor in the Department of Architecture and the Director of the Institute for European Studies at Cornell University. Akcan’s research on modern and contemporary architecture and urbanism foregrounds the intertwined histories of Europe and West Asia. She is the author of Architecture in Translation: Germany, Turkey and the Modern House (Duke, 2012); Turkey: Modern Architectures in History (Reaktion, 2012, with Sibel Bozdoğan) and Open Architecture: Migration, Citizenship and the Urban Renewal of Berlin-Kreuzberg by IBA-1984/87 (Birkhäuse, 2018). Akcan has also authored over a hundred articles in scholarly books and professional journals of multiple languages on critical and postcolonial theory, modern and contemporary architecture in West Asia and its diasporas in Europe, architectural photography, immigration, translation, neoliberalism, globalization and global history. She received awards from the Graham Foundation, American Academy in Berlin, UIC, Institute for Advanced Studies in Berlin (Transregional Studies Forum), Clark Institute, Getty Research Institute, Canadian Center for Architecture, CAA, Mellon Foundation, DAAD, KRESS/ARIT and Columbia University.
Roberto Castillo is an Assistant Professor at the Cultural Studies Department of Lingnan University. His academic training is in Cultural Studies, International Relations, History and Journalism (Ph.D., Lingnan; MA, Usyd). For the last several years, he has been working around foreign communities and urban spaces/politics in the southern Chinese cities of Guangzhou and Hong Kong. His research/teaching interests are: transnationality; migration and mobility; China’s changing ethnoscapes; Africa-China relations; (cultural) research methodologies; the cultural politics of media representation; race/ethnicity; critical theory; and Chinese politics & social development. He administers the website: http://www.africansinchina.net.

Registration: Click HERE


Eric Hotung Studio, LB/F Hong Kong Arts Centre


Free admission


Organised by the Department of Cultural Studies, Lingnan University; Co-organised by Hong Kong Arts Centre


Conducted in English

Past Event:

14/11/2017 7pm - 8pm

The Ecology of Images
The idea that ecology is a form of critical and unorthodox thinking that urgently addresses the crises of our time finds a number of parallels in contemporary cinema. Films like Jia Zhengke’s Still Life, Lars von Trier’s Melancholia, or Tsai Mingliang’s Stray Dogs develop what might be called an ‘ecology of images.’ These films do not so much deal directly with ecological crisis as with the less perceptible social-political forms and affective structures—the ‘slow violence’-- that bring about such a crisis. In their treatment of the cinematic image, these films advance a kind of ecological thinking in their own right.

Ackbar Abbas is internationally renowned for his writings on Hong Kong and China. His book, Hong Kong: Culture and the Politics of Disappearance (published in 1997 by University of Minnesota Press) is a path-breaking work in urban studies and cultural theory. His scholarship spans a range of cultural practices, from cinema to architecture to the visual arts. He has been writing on art and visual culture in China, and speaking at important international art events like the Sydney, Venice and Moscow Biennales on Asian art. Before moving to UCI in 2006, he was Professor of Comparative Literature at the University of Hong Kong. He is also currently Adjunct Professor, Department of Cultural Studies, Lingnan University.

Hong Kong: Culture and the Politics of Disappearance

Prof Stephen CK Chan
Stephen Chan is Professor of Cultural Studies, Lingnan University, and Chair of the international Association for Cultural Studies. He was the founding Head of LU’s Cultural Studies Department in 2000. Chan received his BA and MPhil (Chinese/Comparative Literature) from University of Hong Kong, and PhD in Literature from University of California, San Diego. Published on Hong Kong culture, film, literature, education and cultural studies, Chan’s current interests are cultural politics and identity formation; martial arts cinema; pedagogy, performance and creativity studies. He edited “Hong Kong at a Crossroads” for Inter-Asia Cultural Studies (vol. 16, no. 3, 2015).

2/3/2018 6:45pm - 8pm

Anxious States: Culture and Politics in Singapore and Hong Kong
Since Singapore and Hong Kong are the two most economically successful, ethnic Chinese dominant city-states in Asia, comparisons have always been made between these locations. Fundamental to the Singaporean collective social life is a realization that ‘the world does not need Singapore but Singapore needs the world’. The demand for immigrants to supplement the small local workforce is constant, adding complexity to the domestic multi-ethnic population and geopolitical situation, and confounding the processes of individual and national identity formation.  The constant demand of physical space threatens to erase heritage, social memories and individual biographies, yet simultaneously encourages a progressive future-mindedness. The prevalent social anxieties undergird a wide political consensus that emphasizes stability, cohesion and political order. This has engendered a ‘politics of the middle ground’, favoured by the long governing single-party dominant parliament, that marginalizes liberal individual rights and individuals who falls out of the ‘middle’. Are such anxieties broadly shared by Hong Kong and its people? And, if they are, how might some of these anxieties be culturally and politically expressed, and in what institutional structural configurations? 

Chua Beng Huat is currently Head, Urban Studies, Yale-NUS College and Professor, Department of Sociology, National University of Singapore. He has served concurrently as Provost Chair Professor, Faculty of Arts and Social Science (2009-2017), Research Leader, Cultural Studies in Asia Research Cluster, Asia Research Institute (2000-2015); Convenor Cultural Studies Programmes (2008-2013) and Head, the Department of Sociology (2009-2015), National University of Singapore. He is co-executive editor of the journal, Inter-Asia Cultural Studies.

His book publications include: as author, The Golden Shoe: Building Singapore’s Financial District (1989), Communitarian Ideology and Democracy in Singapore (1995,1997) and Political Legitimacy and Housing: Stakeholding in Singapore (1997), Life is Not Complete without Shopping (2003), Structure, Audience and Soft Power in East Asian Pop Culture (2012) and, Political Liberalism Disavowed: communitarianism and state capitalism in Singapore (2017); as editor, Consumption in Asia: lifestyles and identities (2000), Communitarian Politics in Asia (2004), Elections as Popular Culture in Asia (2007), (Co-editor, Chen Kuan-Hsing) Inter-Asia Cultural Studies Reader (2007), East Asia Pop Culture: Analysing the Korean Wave (2008) and Port Cities in Asia and Europe (2008).

Tejaswini Niranjana is Professor and Head, Department of Cultural Studies, Lingnan University, Hong Kong. She is co-founder of the Centre for the Study of Culture and Society, Bangalore, which offered an innovative inter-disciplinary PhD programme from 2000-2012. She is the current Chair of the Inter-Asia Cultural Studies Society.

She is the author of Siting Translation: History, Post-structuralism and the Colonial Context (Berkeley, 1992), Mobilizing India: Women, Music and Migration between India and Trinidad (Durham, 2006), and a forthcoming monograph on musicophilia in Mumbai. Her most recent edited volume, with Wang Xiaoming, is Genealogies of the Present: Situating Inter-Asia Cultural Studies (Delhi, 2015).

30/3/2018 2pm - 4pm

Towards an Activist Praxis in Performing Arts Research
In the past four decades, there has been a humanistic turn in performing arts research. Activist scholars have called for the development of research strategies that privilege the voices and the concerns of the communities they study. In line with this call, this presentation argues for the move towards participatory dialogic approaches in two community projects in Penang: (i) revitalization of the endangered Potehi glove puppet theatre and (ii) musical-theatre for young people that promotes cultural interaction for peace building. Central to the strategies is the collaboration and partnership of the researcher with the tradition bearers, students, members of the community including young people in all aspects of research, documentation and performance. This type of people-centered collaborative research approach strives for more horizontal and equal relations between the researcher and the research subjects. This paper assesses the potentials, tensions, and contradictions emerging from the encounter of community engagement and scholarly activism, and calls for a change in the training of performing arts researchers.

Tan Sooi Beng is Professor of Ethnomusicology at the School of the Arts, Universiti Sains Malaysia, Penang. She is the author of Bangsawan: A Social and Stylistic History of Popular Malay Opera (Oxford University Press, 1993), and co-author of Music of Malaysia: Classical, Folk and Syncretic Traditions (Routledge, 2017) and Longing for the Past, the 78 RPM Era in Southeast Asia (Dust-to-Digital 2013), which won the joint SEM Bruno Nettl Prize, 2014. Tan is the Editor-in-Chief of Wacana Seni, Journal of Arts Discourse, serves in the Advisory Editorial Board of Asian Music (USA), and is an elected Board Member of the International Council for Traditional Music and the Asia-Pacific Society for Ethnomusicology. She is actively engaged in the practice of community theatre for young people and the revitalization of the multicultural heritage of Penang.

Soo Ryon Yoon is an assistant professor of performance studies in the Department of Cultural Studies at Lingnan University, Hong Kong. Her research interests in performance, Korea-Africa relations, and racial politics in contemporary South Korea have shaped her manuscript-in-progress tentatively titled, Choreographing Affinities: Performance and Transnational Blackness in Korea. Soo Ryon Yoon’s writings are published or forthcoming in <비틈> (web), Theatre Journal, Journal of Contemporary Research in Dance (当代舞蹈艺术研究), positions: asia critiqueDancing East Asia (Emily Wilcox and Katherine Mezur, eds), ASAP/J, and Inter-Asia Cultural Studies. She received her Ph.D. in Performance Studies from Northwestern University and was previously a postdoctoral associate in the Council on East Asian Studies at Yale University.

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