GA TALK 022 “Refusing to get used to the new normal.” by Jun Yang〈楊俊〉(Artist)

GLOBAL ART TALK 022 “Refusing to get used to the new normal.” by Jun Yang 〈楊俊〉(Artist)

When asked to do the Global Art Talk I had a few presentations in mind that I had written before and thought would make sense for such a presentation. One sounded very optimistic – like me believing in art and trying to give art and our practice all the hopes and the imagined possibilities we all teach and preach – that art is important and relevant to society. I would have said sentences like: perhaps as artist I am naïve, but possibly this naivety gives me the strength to keep on doing what I do; keep me believing I / we can see and think the world differently, we can change the world around us with/through art. Some part of this talk was written first for a conference at MMCA in Sydney on art as a motor of change.
But then last year for ruangrupa’s gudskul in Jakarta – I wrote a different take – where it was about the ethics and the hypocritical morals in contemporary art: art as a pure luxury commodity, art as a fig leaf, and whitewashing. Artist as a henchman. Art in the context of Aichi Triennale and its weak position in Japanese nationalistic society; art in context of the Sackler family’s blood money support; Warren Kanders / Whitney teargas Biennale.

It could have been the same talk, but two different versions – the blue or the red pill. But then today sitting here I am not sure either makes sense?
Today is September 7th and the virus has captured all of us since almost half a year; and it does not look like things will return to the life and the world we knew. My life has been turned upside down in many ways and I can get myself to get used to the new normal.

Last week my performance piece (together with Michikazu Matsune) was scheduled for the Taipei Arts Festival. Since the global travel restrictions, Matsune could not come to Taipei; we decided to screen the work and in addition we created a new story which I performed live alone on stage. The piece is made of letters we wrote each other reflecting on art and our situation in times of Covid-19. Perhaps it would make sense to read one or two letters from this.

As guest tutor to the Global Seminar my course would have been an intense 2 weeks in Kyoto but to the our new normal including the partly closure of the university campus I decided to stretch it to several month. A series of online talks with the seven students of my class. Since June we have been in regular two weeks contact.

In times of distance I feel I have become close and part of this group.
(Jun Yang)

About the Talk

Time/Date:18:30-20:00 2020.9.23.
Admission:Free (Booking required)

*We will hold the Global Art Talk online this time to take preventive measures against the proliferation of COVID-19. Please kindly understand that we still have possibility to cancel this event depending on the circumstances.
*Information to access the online talk will be informed via email in advance.
*English>Japanese consecutive translation available

Organized by: Kyoto University of the Arts, Graduate School of Art and Design Studies/HAPS

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About the Speaker

Jun Yang〈楊俊〉
Jun Yang is an artist based in Vienna, Taipei and Yokohama. His works encompass various mediums – including, film, installation, performance and projects in the public spaces. Previous exhibitions include the Biennial of Sydney, the Gwangju Biennale; the Taipei Biennial, the Liverpool Biennial, the Venice Biennale, and the Manifesta 4. Jun Yang has always been interested in the overlapping and intersection of contemporary visual arts, business and politics. This can be found in many of his gastronomic and institutional projects, such as the gfzk garten, the café and the hotel Paris Syndrom, or a contemporary art centre, taipei (a proposal), Taipei Biennial08, which led to the founding of the Taipei Contemporary Art Center. He is also co-founder of the restaurant/bar ra’mien, and the Café Leopold at the Leopold Museum in Vienna.


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Connecting Kyoto and the World through Contemporary Art

The environment surrounding contemporary art has become vastly more complex over the past few decades. Faced with this situation, it is no easy task for artists to find a way to be active at a global level. Naturally, it is virtually impossible to get a firm grasp on the art scenes that are being produced concurrently all over the world. In particular, in neighboring Asian countries that are seeing rapid economic growth and modernization, there are more opportunities than ever before to show one’s work, taking into account the new art museums and art fairs that are being established, and the flourishing numbers of international exhibitions. Although global attention focused on this region has increased, the situation is quite different in Japan, where there is a general sense that the work of developing art-related institutions has been finished. However, it is precisely this state of affairs that has led to a renewed questioning of how global networks are constructed, a reconsideration of how institutionalization works, and the role of artists in society.
In Kyoto, art schools produce a large number of new artists each year. But what kinds of connections might one discover today between this center of traditional Japanese culture and the world of contemporary art that has grown ever more complex in this way? “Global Art Talk,” presented by HAPS and Kyoto University of the Arts, is a program where internationally active artists, curators, collectors, researchers, and gallerists, among others, are invited, and, through a series of dialogues, strives to provide a global perspective as well as deepen understanding.

The “GLOBAL ART TALK” is part of the Curatorial Research Program of the HAPS, which seeks to provide support to young emerging artists.

The Kyoto University of the Arts is dedicated to establishing an institution that will foster artists from Kyoto who aim to work in the contemporary art world at a global level.