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Visit People's Park Plinth

Peer to Peer: UK/HK Online Festival

11/11/2020 – 14/11/2020

Registration is now open for the Peer to Peer: UK/HK Online Festival, an online platform for cultural exchange between the UK and Hong Kong’s Visual Arts sectors as they interrogate topical  themes of our time including art & activism, art in the digital realm and the climate emergency.

The festival has announced its programme of public events and panel talks, alongside an online exhibition of digital artwork including existing artworks and 5 brand new commissions from artists based in the UK and Hong Kong.

The Peer to Peer: UK/HK Online Festival will take place entirely online between 11-14 November 2020 on The festival is free and open to all.

Originally envisaged as a physical exchange between UK and Hong Kong visual arts networks, the project has responded to the Covid-19 pandemic to become an online space where meaningful exchange can happen and partnerships and relationships can be forged.

Curated by independent curator Ying Kwok, the festival has announced its public events programme. These will be a series of engaging public debates with artists, curators and visual arts leaders from across Hong Kong and the UK. 

Arts Council England’s Director International, Nick McDowell, will open the event on Wed 11 November alongside Ying Kwok and festival organisers Lindsay Taylor (University of Salford Art Collection), Sarah Fisher (Open Eye Gallery) and Zoe Dunbar (Centre for Chinese Contemporary Art).

“This is such a heartening example of international exchange and partnership evolving despite the global pandemic. Artists may not be able to travel but – as this project shows – they can connect and innovate in the digital space.” Nick McDowell, Director International, Arts Council England.

Commission: Sharon Lee Cheuk Wun, Same River Twice (newspaper stand), 2020, Gelatin-silver prints, 6-channel videoed on google map
Commission: Sharon Lee Cheuk Wun, Same River Twice (newspaper stand), 2020, Gelatin-silver prints, 6-channel videoed on google map

The panel events will include:

“The themes that will be explored in the festival have grown from mutual interests from partners in Hong and the UK as we respond to timely global events and issues. It reflects how we have co-curated the festival with all partners in an experimental approach for international collaboration. We see this festival as a springboard for meaningful exchange between Hong Kong and the UK in the future.” Ying Kwok, Festival Director

Social Media Residency: Raul Hernandez, Room Available, 2017, film
Social Media Residency: Raul Hernandez, Room Available, 2017, film

Online exhibition & social media residencies

Accompanying the public events will be an entirely online exhibition of digital artworks from artists based in the UK and Hong Kong.

It will include five brand new commissions, nominated and selected by UK and Hong Kong partner organisations taking part in Peer to Peer: UK/HK. They include UK based artists Antonio Roberts – nominated by Furtherfield, Danielle Brathwaite-Shirley and Hetain Patel, and Hong Kong based artists Lee Kai Chung and Sharon Lee Cheuk Wun.

The commissions will be accompanied by over 15 existing digital artworks from nominated artists, to be announced.

As part of the exchange between UK and Hong Kong, artists based in each country have also been nominated for a series of online residencies hosted on the social media accounts of partner organisations in the corresponding country. The artists will respond to different themes set by the host organisation.

The residency exchange began last weekend with Hong Kong International Photo Festival nominating Raul Hernandez, a Spanish born artist living in Hong Kong, to take over Open Eye Gallery’s Instagram channel for four consecutive weekends as part of his Room Available project exploring being a foreigner in a new environment. 

Hong Kong’s HART gallery have also nominated Hong Kong artist Wu Jiaru who will be taking over Furtherfield’s Instagram channel from 19 – 29 October, as an extension of their work currently displayed in HART’s exhibition Household Gods.

Further residencies will be announced on the Peer to Peer: UK/HK Residencies page.

Peer to Peer: UKHK Festival Programme

Full programme below:

Wednesday 11 November 2020

Opening session: Welcome and introductions
11.30am UKT / 7.30pm HKT
Outline of programme and launch of online commissions 

Speakers: Nick McDowell (Director International, Arts Council England), Ying Kwok (Peer to Peer: UK/HK Festival Director), Sarah Fisher (Director, Open Eye Gallery), Lindsay Taylor (Curator, University of Salford Art Collection), Zoe Dunbar (Director, Centre for Chinese Contemporary Art) 

Panel One: Local/international artist exchange in time of global pandemic
12pm UKT / 8pm HKT
The values of becoming artist-led as a radical and necessary approach to responding to a changing international world.
Chair: Wing Sie Chan (a-n The Artists Information Company, UK)
Panel: Angel Leung (Videotage, HK), Dorcas Leung ( HART, HK), Jamie Wylde (Videoclub, UK)

Panel Two: Working with communities
1:15pm UKT / 9:15pm HKT
How do visual arts organisations in the UK and Hong Kong connect with communities in a rapidly changing political and social world.
Chair: James Green (Newlyn Art Gallery and The Exchange, UK)
Panel: Charlotte Frost (Furtherfield, UK), Liz Wewiora (Open Eye Gallery, UK), Bruce Li (Centre for Heritage Arts & Textile, HK), Ivy Lin (Oil Street Art Space, HK)

Thursday 12 November 2020

Panel Three: Isn’t all art activism?
12pm UKT / 8pm HKT
Activision: The philosophy and principle of activism in art. Isn’t all art activism?
Chair: Skinder Hundal (New Art Exchange, UK)
Panel: Chantal Wong (Eaton Workshop, HK), Yang Yeung (1983, HK), Helen Wewiora (Castlefield Gallery, UK)

Panel Four: Placemaking: utopian vision v social experiment
1:15pm UKT / 9:15pm HKT
Challenges and barriers in face of art programming for placemaking and community building in Hong Kong and the UK.
Chair: Jeannie Wu, (HART, UK)
Panel: Fiona Venables (Milton Keynes Arts Centre, UK), Bess Chan (Hong Kong International Photo Festival, HK), Maddi Nicholson, (Artist/Art Gene, UK)

Friday 13 November 2020

Panel Five: Climate: The Defining Emergency of Our Times
12pm UKT / 8pm HKT
How can we join forces to engage and empower the public, or influence policy, towards a greener recovery?
Sarah Fisher (Open Eye Gallery, UK)
Panel: Patrick Fung (Clean Air Network, HK), Colette Bailey (Metal, UK), Richard Fitton (Energy House, University of Salford, UK), 

Panel Six: Archives/collections
1:15 pm UKT / 9:15pm HKT
A discussion of the profound changes recently affecting archives and collections; what they contain, who they represent and how they are accessed.

Chair: Paul Hermann (Redeye, the Photography Network / The Photographic Collections Network, UK)
Panel: John Tain (Asia Art Archive, HK), Joseph Chen (Videotage, HK), Stephanie Fletcher (University of Salford Art Collection, UK), Melanie Keen (Wellcome Collection, UK)

Saturday 14 November 2020

Panel Seven: Exploring the realm of “online”
11am UKT / 7pm HKT
An online exhibition or an exhibition online? Creating and curating online art as an artistic practice – not a solution.
Vennes Cheng (Academic and Curator, HK)
Panel: Jacob Bolton (Peer to Peer: UK/HK), Peter Bonnell (Derby Quad, UK), Antonio Roberts (Artist, UK)

Closing Remarks
12:15pm UKT / 8.15pm HKT
Chairs: Lindsay Taylor (University of Salford Art Collection) and Ying Kwok (Festival Director)
All partners and panelists invited to share their highlights of the Festival

1pm UKT / 9pm HKT

UK/HK Partners

UK partners
a-nThe Artists Information Company, Castlefield Gallery, Centre for Chinese Contemporary Art (CFCCA), Firstsite, Furtherfield, Milton Keynes Arts Centre, New Art Exchange Nottingham, Newlyn Art Gallery / The Exchange, Nottingham Contemporary, Open Eye Gallery, QUAD Derby, Red Eye Photography Network, University of Salford Art Collection, and Wellcome Collection.

Hong Kong partners
1983, 1a space, Blindspot Gallery, Centre for Heritage Arts and Textile (CHAT), Eaton Workshop, HART, Hong Kong International Photo Festival, Hong Kong Visual Arts Centre, Jockey Club Creative Arts Centre, K11 Art Foundation, Oil Street Art Space, Videotage and WMA.