Skip to main content
Curating Contemporary Art (MA)

Guanhai Zhu

The Archive of Losing

Starting with the idea of creating a space to help artists undertaking an international residency, connect with each other and the city around them, we began to consider what opportunities arise when something is lost or left in transience. Working as seven curators for whom English is a second language, we wondered what possibilities emerge from misunderstanding and miscommunication. In our response to the original brief from Delfina Foundation, we proposed that when something is lost in translation or transition, this is not a moment of failure but of creative potential to be valued.

What does losing mean? Is it possible or even desirable to archive these lost moments? Is it possible to generate new communicative possibilities through losing?

The Archive of Losing is a propositional space for actively losing; losing is a poetic mode for unlearning, unlearning as a liberating measure. We explore the potential of spaces in-between to embody losing as a reflexive destructuring. In our curatorial display, the commissioned artists Giulia Frascino and Josh Clague use images and text as an invitation to the audience to experiment with the possibilities of losing. The live element of our proposal, a performance by Gianna T, explores the creative potential of misalignment and unlearning of conventions.


I am now working on the symbolism of symbols to explore the relationship between urbanisation and the urban citizen as an individual, in the face of rapid globalisation.

In this process, I am concerned with the topic of how individuals in multicultural environments position themselves. Who am I as "I" in this city/community? How do I exist and do I exist? is the central question. It also questions the trend towards the depersonalisation of urbanism. Against this background, I am planning a residency, public art project. It will be a year-long project, using billboards scattered around the city as a stage to showcase the changes in self-symbolism and understanding of urban space that the invited overseas artists have made over the course of the year.

Establishing a balance between fantasy, reality and history is what I have always wanted. I studied Fine Art at the University of Art London(Chelsea). Such experiences have made me curate exhibitions with a curiosity for uncertainty in addition to references to the real world. This tendency does not lead to contradictions but rather welcomes the possibility of my future curatorial thinking.