Open discussion with William Wong, Ashley Wong and Lee Chun-Fung
Time: 14 October 2010, 6:30-8:30pm
Venue: Asia Art Archive (11/F Hollywood Centre, 233 Hollywood Rd, Sheung Wan, Hong Kong)

Organised by DOXA

What is the current state of the arts in the UK amidst a major economic recession? How relevant now is their highly celebrated ‘creative economy’ as a model for culture? What can Hong Kong learn as it continues to be influenced by the UK to become a ‘world class city’ and as Graham Sheffield of the Barbican Centre in London is appointed Chief Executive of the West Kowloon Cultural District?

William Wong (cultural consultant, Clore Leadership Fellow, UK)
Ashley Wong (co-founder DOXA, cultural producer and researcher, UK)
Lee Chun-fung (artist, cultural producer, and art educator, Hong Kong)

In May 2010, DOXA held their first discussion event in London exploring the state of the arts in the UK in a time of great economic turmoil and just shortly after the election of a new coalition government. Re-imagining Culture provided a platform to reflect and review the role of arts and culture in society as a whole, and to explore new visions and possibilities for culture for the future. In the next three years, the UK will likely see a 30% cut in public subsidies for the arts, a mass restructuring of the arts council including the abolition of the Film Council and the Museums, Libraries, and Archives Council. The DOXA discussion asked what could be learned from the boom and bust of ‘Cool Britannia’ as the UK faces an onslaught of issues such as unemployment, unpaid labour, and precarity in the creative labour market. As well, the DOXA event considered the changes in today’s culture brought on by digital technology and new relationships between producers and audiences.

For the conversation at AAA, DOXA will mediate a conversation that will again consider discourses emerging in the UK and ask what can be learned by Hong Kong as it strives to be an international cultural metropolis. How can Hong Kong develop a model that is unique to its cultural context beyond copying international models that are not only greatly problematic but also relatively unrelated to Hong Kong’s local condition? For this discussion, DOXA seeks to interlink ideas and developments in the UK with recent developments in Hong Kong to raise questions about how the city can ‘re-imagine culture’ for itself.

William Wong is the Chief Executive of 3become1, a cultural strategy brokerage connecting UK arts with non-UK domiciled businesses, to raise mutual brand profiles and develop new markets. He was recently commissioned by NESTA to research how leaders are driving innovative business models in cultural organisations. His provocation piece, ‘@udi£nce-Inv€$tor: WE LOVE YOU’ was launched in July 2010. He is a Clore Fellow and 2009 Visiting Fellow at the London School of Economics where he explored the link between the US$3 billion cultural hub-in-the-making, the West Kowloon Cultural District in Hong Kong, and the city’s ambition to become an international cultural metropolis.

Ashley Wong is an artist, cultural producer, and researcher based in London, UK. She is founder of independent arts platform LOUDSPKR and co-founder of international research collective DOXA. She has produced numerous artistic and curatorial projects internationally. Her work has been presented in Taipei, Hong Kong, London, Paris, Madrid, New York, Gothenburg, and soon Seoul. She has a background in digital image/sound and the fine arts and holds an MA in Culture Industry from Goldsmiths’, University of London. She is the former project manager at Videotage and currently works with Sound and Music in London – UK’s landmark organisation for new music and sound.

Lee Chun-fung is an artist, cultural producer, and art educator based in HK. He graduated from the Chinese University of Hong Kong’s Fine Arts Department in 2007. He has curated several political art projects, including Hong Kong Anarchitecture Bananas: Artists who reclaim space (2008) and FENG YU PIAO YAO AI GUO SHI─ art response to June 4th 20th anniversary (2009). He is one of the founders of the community art space Woofer Ten, and he hosts the art critique programme post-wave on the community radio station FM101. Chun-fung’s passionate interest in civil disobedience informs and enriches his involvement with local art developments.