Yishu - Journal of Contemporary Chinese Art

The July/August 2017 Issue Is Now Available

Wednesday, July 5th, 2017

Editor’s Note

Over the years, Yishu has published a number of thematic issues addressing topics that have currency in the minds of artists, critics, art historians, and curators. In some cases, the topics have been geographical, ideological, or historical in nature and have involved collaborations with institutions such as the Asia Art Archive, the Guggenheim Museum, the Long March Project, and the World Biennial Forum. In other cases, we have worked on special issues of Yishu with individual guest editors, among them Biljana Ciric, Lu Jie, and Lu Pei-Yi, each of whom also had various specific subject matter they aimed to explore.

This current guest-edited issue arises from one of the Asia Art Archive’s Open Platform sessions in 2016 at Art Basel Hong Kong that I attended. It was conceived of and hosted by Mia Yu and Pan Lu and titled Archive Between Present and Future. The participants included Nikita Yingqian Cai, Lee Kai Chung, Elaine Lin, Christopher Phillips, Shen Ruijun, Pelin Tan, and Teng Chao-Ming. The discussion brought into play the importance of archives within cultural ecology, and I sensed that it would make a compelling and timely publication; thus, I invited Mia Yu, a highly respected critic and curator, to guest edit an issue focused on archives. Yishu 81 is the outcome.

Mia Yu has taken an expansive view of what archives and archival work consists of. She has invited artists, curators, and critics to contribute their ideas and experiences related to archives and the importance of the information these “banks” hold in an era where the role of historical documentation in our understanding of the world seems increasingly tenuous. What emerges, however, is the suggestion that even though archives are fundamental to the preservation of many different histories, they are unable to provide a complete view of history. As the writers express here, archives are fluid in the information they offer; more important, they allow that information to be applied in creative ways.

I extend many thanks to Mia Yu for her enthusiasm and commitment in guest editing Yishu 81 and to the authors who have contributed so much in bringing our attention to the value, inspired uses, and new perspectives on archives within contemporary culture.

Image (top): Mia Yu, An Art Historian’s Studio—The Atlas of Archives, 2017, five-part installation at Villa Vassilieff, Paris. Courtesy of Mia Yu.

Keith Wallace

Long March Space
Art Basel 2023
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Equinox Gallery
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