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Curating Contemporary Art (MA)

Jiayue He (Cindy)

Breath Variations (12 – 14 May) is a new body of work created by Irish artist Christopher Steenson for Flat Time House, the former studio-home of late British conceptual artist John Latham. Using sound, video, and transmission-based methodologies, Breath Variations will explore the materiality of time – its permanence and evanescence – and the power that attention has over its transmission and state of matter.

By manipulating and extending the sonic dimensions of Flat Time House, Steenson investigates the capacity of breath as a ‘least event’ – Latham’s term for the shortest departure from a state of nothingness – to punctuate linearities of time and space.

MA curators: Thomas Cury, Cindy He, Salomé Jacques, Romy Lagesse, Napas Mangklatanakul, Ariana Martin, Liyin Wang, Hyora Yang

Artist: Christopher Steenson

drawing from my sketchbook that I carried with me to the UK

I am a curator, mediator, and researcher based in UK and Shanghai. My curatorial research focused on understanding the infrastructures of public cultural institutions, how cultures are being institutionalised and the complexity of curatorial care. I am attracted to the accidental fragments of everyday life and document them through my art sketches and journal writings. I draw curatorial inspirations from both UK and Chinese cultures and explore the potential links that exist between both cultures.

My graduate dissertation, “Curatorial care: the complexity of care and how institutions think with care”, focused on problematising the complexity of care by discussing the perceptions of contemporary art curating and institutional practices. My research intends to open new ways of thinking and practising care for future practitioners and draws attention to what exists outside the dominant discourse of care. 

In partnership with Flat Time House, my graduate project “Breath Variations” explored the idea of ecology, sound and attention. I co-conducted exhibition research and co-edited curatorial rationale and a curatorial appendix for exhibition leaflets. I worked closely with Irish sound artist Christopher Steenson and the partner gallery during production to provide technical and material support. For my future career, I look forward to working with artists, writers, and multi-disciplinary practitioners to explore the various modes of communication and collaborations through curating. 

I am also a co-founder of Backitchen curatorial collective (co-curating with Youjia Qian &Wanlan Chen), a collective devoted to promoting Asian art, its social engagement and care. The collective has curated solo artist and group shows at Venice Arsenale; Behavan gallery and Liquid Gold Studios at London. The collective has built connections and relational web among international Asian art communities to provide an ongoing sustainable platform for future collaborations. 

Photo credit to: Ruiduo Chen
Exhibition photo "Home | Away" (Photography: Ruiduo Chen)
Photo credit to: Ruiduo Chen
Exhibition photo "Home | Away" (Photography: Ruido Chen)
Photo credit to: Bobby Zhaocheng Hsiung
Exhibition photo "The Quack Agent". (Photography: Bobby Zhaocheng Hsiung)

Instagram: piecindy_