Cross Cultural Live Art Project 2014

haggerston the proud archivisthanqing miao

 Top: Haggerston; Bottom: Hanqing Miao’s performance


I used to spend much my time hanging out at the ICA, yet since summer, I have been frequently visiting another new arts/cultural space, The Proud Archivist in Haggerston (an area where I was not familiar with before). I have never eaten in the restaurant downstairs, but I have attended different events in its upper gallery space related to arts, coffee and business. The space seems to be a popular venue for events hiring.

Over a week ago, I attended the “Cross-Cultural Live Art Project” led by an independent curator-partnership, Something Human as part of the SEA (Southeast Asian) ArtsFest 2014. The event brought together Southeast Asian and UK/European artists for a 2-day symposium, showcasing performances, talks and a screening programme exploring gendered/feminist notions of “rites”.

I arrived in the afternoon during a panel discussion on ‘Curating live aer in public spaces in UK and Asia’. It was interesting to hear the curators sharing their experiences and obstacles they faced in curating live art in Asia due to cultural differences. The discussion was followed by three live art performances by young Southeast Asian and British practitioners.


hanqing miaoKelvin Atmadibrata's 'Yaranaika'jonathan colemanMarc Hagan-Guirey Kelvin Atmadibrata's 'Yaranaika'jonathan coleman

Top left: Hanqing + Megan; Top Middle & 2nd row: Kelvin Atmadibrata’s ‘Yaranaika’; Top right and bottom: Jonathan Coleman’s ‘How to be a man’


The first act, “Hanqing + Megan: The Calligrapher” was performed by London-based Singaporean artist Hanqing Miao on the issue of identity, roots, culture and on being a foreigner living in London. The second act was Indonesian artist Kelvin Atmadibrata‘s “Yaranaika on Japanese pop culture, masculinity, sexuality and cultural identification ( a lot of dancing with leeks as props). And the final act was “How to be a man” created and performed by British artist Jonathan Coleman exploring the changing image and role of men today.

During the break, I met a Brazilian performance artist who moved to London 6 months ago, and we had a stimulating conversation on feminism, gender issues and the problems facing Brazil at the moment ( serious topics for an initial conversation)!


hattie Newman mayuko FujinoshotopopshotopopshotopopMarc Hagan-Guirey IMG_1457

Top left: Hattie Newman; Top right: New York-based Japanese artist Mayuko Fujino; 2nd row: Work by London-based Shotopop; Bottom left: Marc Hagan-Guirey‘s Horrogami


I was also lucky to catch the Paper Cut exhibition before it ended on the next day. The exhibition showcased paper cut work by 25 paper craft artists from around the world. It is rare to find exhibitions focusing solely on paper crafts, so it was an unique opportunity to see some stunning paper craft display. There are regular art and design-related exhibitions being exhibited at the gallery space, so check out the website or sign up to their newsletters to find out more.


The Proud Archivist – 2-10 Hertford Road, London N1 5ET.




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