Theme: Rethinking the Canon
From ‘Historicizing’ to ‘Participating’: Research through Curating
Socially Engaged Artistic Practices
Recent years have witnessed an increasing curatorial interest in process-oriented, time-based socially engaged artistic practices (SEAPs) in China. This study will investigate the agency of curating SEAPs in facilitating research activities for both SEAP practitioners and museums, in addition to offering greater publicity of SEAPs, through an examination of how two SEAP practitioners, CHEN Jianjun and CAO Minghao, consider “presenting” their projects in museums at different stages of their work. I argue that curating SEAPs may push museums in China to address public issues and deepen museums’ engagement with the society, thus making museums a site of research and public discourse.
Sipei LU is a PhD candidate in Museum Studies at the University of Leicester, UK. Her writings and curatorial projects investigate how art engages with social issues in China and what agency art institutions and curating have in this process. Her recent projects include 100 Stories of Migration (co-curator), a photographic and media exhibition in partnership with the Migration Museum Project, London (2015). She is an editor of the peer-reviewed journal Museological Review.