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Dear Steven, 2009

Essay Published in: ART SCHOOL: PROPOSITIONS FOR THE 21ST CENTURY, MIT Press, Ed. Steven Henry Madoff, October, 2009 © Ken Lum and MIT Press Dear Steven, I am sorry but I cannot seem to be able to get a proper handle on what I want to say. Much of this has to do with a […]

Encountering Chen Zhen: A Paris Portal, 2007

Published for the Vienna Kunsthalle in the posthumous retrospective catalog on the work of Chen Zhen, 2007 I first met Chen Zhen in 1995. I was living in Paris and teaching at the Ecole des Beaux-Arts. While there I was introduced to a number of Chinese artists and curators who had immigrated to France. They […]

The Ghanaians of Vicenza, 2019

Located on a hilltop just outside of Vicenza, an Italian town designated as a UNESCO World Heritage Site, sits the Villa Rotonda designed by the sixteenth century architect Andrea Palladio. On a recent visit to the site I was struck by how the building and its location cater to a particular type of vision. The […]

Keynote Speech for the opening of the 2006 Art Biennale of Sydney, 2006

SEVERAL YEARS AGO, IN DAKAR, SENEGAL, on the occasion of Dak’Art, the largest art biennial in West Africa, I was on Gorée Island, a short ferry ride from Dakar, a place developed during the 17th century as an administrative post for the embarkation of slaves destined for the Americas. For more than three centuries, European […]

Visuality and Opticality in the Art of Tania Mouraud, 2004

Tania Mouraud (b. Paris, 1942) has consistently pursued the relationship between the body and opticality in her art. Her Borderland (2008) series comprises landscapes that have been photographed with a filter made out of the same transparent plastic that is used to bale hay. The result is an image of the landscape that is unevenly […]

Aesthetic Education in Republican China: A Convergence of Ideals, 2004

In preparing for Shanghai Modern, the curators, Jo-Anne Birnie Danzker, Zheng Shengtian and I, paid several visits to the West Lake (Xi Hu) city of Hangzhou, two and a half hours by train west of Shanghai. One of six capital cities in the long history of China, Hangzhou was the national capital during the Southern […]

Canadian Cultural Policy: A Metaphysical Problem, 1999

Published in: On Cultural Influence: Collected Papers from apexart International Conferences 1999-2006 Edited by Steven Rand and Heather Kouris, published by apexart ISBN: 1-933347-11-2 paperback, 304 pages 27 bw illustrations Release date: October 2006 A quip from former Canadian Prime Minister Mackenzie King contends that too much geography rather than too little history afflict Canada. […]