Multicultural Art Institutions at the Crossroads is one of London Metropolitan University’s Strategic Priorities Fund projects led by Professor Wessie Ling and in collaboration with the Manchester-based Centre for Contemporary Chinese Art (CFCCA). It seeks to understand the ways in which cultural policy impact on the operation of creative labour, organisations and artistic production in the building of and sustaining multicultural heritage.
The project addresses these questions:
- How do multicultural art organisations express, build and maintain cultural heritage from their represented communities?
- Who are their stakeholders and what are the challenges in serving their, at times, conflicting motivations?
- What is the role of institutional archive in the build-up and extenuation of artistic expression of cultural heritage?
- Where do artists/creative labour situate in the developmental journey of these organisations against the backdrop of funding pressure, organisational survival, and the shifting political and socio-cultural landscape?
The project focuses on CFCCA, a multicultural art organisation, as a case study to understand the ways in which cultural policy impact on the operation of creative labour, organisations and artistic production in the building of and sustaining multicultural heritage. Through the activity of archiving, the project facilitates ideas and exchanges among practitioners, policymakers, academics, cultural mediators in search for a balance between social cohesion, and organisational and community growth through multicultural voices and artistic activities.
Two activities – digital archiving and a two-part panel discussion series – underpin the project. Digital archiving involves cataloguing CFCCA residency programmes between 2003-10, a pre-institutional archive era at CFCCA and pivotal period for artist-in-residence when on-site residency was a novelty across the sector. Through the activity of archiving, decisions and complexity arising from the organisation and cultural policy are unpacked to review policy engagement in organisational development, resilience and shaping multicultural heritage.
A two-part series of panel discussions convened and moderated by Professor Wessie Ling is conducted to address the complexity arising from multicultural organisations and decisions from cultural policy in order to unpack policy engagement in organisational development, resilience and shaping multicultural heritage. One part of the series is Multicultural Art Archives, seeking to articulate the role and challenges of institutional archive as an active agency for memory that expresses and sustains multicultural heritage through contemporary visual art. It consists of John Tain (Head of Research, Asia Art Archive); Dr Alda Terracciano (Honorary Research Fellow; Co-leader of the Centre for Critical Heritage Studies at UCL; founding Chair of Future Histories archives); Marianna Tsionki (Senior Curator of CFCCA); Katie Waring (CFCCA Archivist) and Leung Chi Wo (Artist; co-founder of Para/Site Hong Kong; Associate Professor, City University of Hong Kong).
Another panel, Pressing Challenges, aims to uncover systematic issues within multicultural art institutions and the sectoral challenges of equality, diversity and inclusivity in recent years. Speakers include Terry Adam (Relationship Manager for Diversity, Arts Council England); Sepake Angiama (Artistic Director, InIVA - Institute for International Visual Arts), Dr. Susan Ashley (Associate Professor, Northumbria University); Teresa Cisneros (Inclusive Practice Lead, Wellcome Collection) and Dr Kai Syng Tan (Artist; Senior Lecturer, Manchester Metropolitan University).
Image: Installation view Memory Collector 1----- The Unbearable Lightness of Text messages, (2006), Sophia Hao, Open Studio, 2006 Mar 2, Chinese Arts Centre, Manchester. Photography by the Chinese Arts Centre. Courtesy of the CFCCA Archive & Library, (GB3451/OC/D/2101/10).
Professor Wessie Ling, PI
Katie Waring, Archivist at CFCCA
Marianna Tsionki, Senior Curator at CFCCA
Zoe Dunbar, Director at CFCCA
Centre for Contemporary Chinese Art (CFCCA)
Transcultural Exchanges and Network
Panel discussion details
Multicultural Art Archives
4 March 12-2pm
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Recent and Current Projects
Multicultural Art Institutions at the Crossroads
Multicultural Art Institutions at the Crossroads: Institutional Art Archives
Thursday 4 March 2021, 12pm
Institutional Art Archives: Part 1 of the "Multicultural Art Institutions at the Crossroads" series conceived by CREATURE and CFCCA.