CFP: Collecting Art and Exhibiting Cultures in Asia (Hong Kong, 24-25 Mar 2021)

Then and now: Collecting Art and Exhibiting Cultures in Asia
Lingnan University in Hong Kong, 24-25 March 2021
Deadline: 23 Nov 2020

Collecting art and exhibiting cultures have had a long and complex history, evolving with the ever-changing demands of society. On one hand, they are catalysts for enriching art historical narratives and contextualising art; on the other hand, they are practical activities as well as persistent scientific and socio-cultural processes.

Art collecting, involving object research, art valuation, connoisseurship and taste-formation, has been widely adopted in private collections, museums and other public institutions. Exhibiting cultures refers primarily in the case of museums and galleries to the spatial transformation of exhibition display as well as to visual methodologies. Their expanded notions have highlighted the connections between art and other realms, offering critical tools for revealing cultural debates of the past, politics, policies of an institution, and agencies of a cultural object or subject.

As a mega-region steering the global order, Asia has witnessed a phenomenal expansion of museums and art infrastructure in recent decades. The Then and Now: Collecting Art and Exhibiting Cultures in Asia conference focuses on the studies of collecting and exhibition practices in different sites of cultural production where our imagining of Asia takes place. It seeks to create an academic platform for scholars and professionals to present a variety of local and cross-cultural contexts and perspectives in Asia that contribute to art collecting, exhibition-making and the rewriting of their histories. It will reveal how collectors, curators, educators, collection archivists and policymakers from Hong Kong and other Asian cities deal with art, collections and relevant cultural institutions. The conference will also highlight the role of these actors in shaping the practice of art collecting and the historical discourse of exhibitions that span from the premodern era to the contemporary period.

Scholars, research students and professionals in the fields of art history, museum studies, visual studies, cultural management and Asian studies are invited to present cutting-edge research and participate in panel discussions. Topics may include, but are not limited to:

• The entanglements of politics, patronage and the cultures of art collecting in premodern or modern East Asia
• The relationships between imperial acquisition, private collectors and painting academy instruction
• The significant modes or forms of exhibition in the histories of Asia
• Exhibitions as curatorial agencies for exploring art display, curatorial models and for incubating new forms of art practices and cultural identities
• The role of university collections of art, artefacts and manuscripts in Hong Kong and other Asian regions in supporting teaching and research on related subjects
• Good practices of managing and promoting collection access through exhibitions, community programmes and digitalisation projects

Abstract proposal of c.250 words, together with a 2-page CV should be sent to the conference convenors by email at
Please use this form to send in your abstract before 23 November 2020.

Accepted conference papers will be grouped into panels. Each speaker will be given 20 minutes for presentation, followed by discussion. A publication resulted from the conference, such as a special issue of an academic journal on art history or curatorial studies, is anticipated.

Deadline for abstract submission: 23 November 2020
Notification of abstract acceptance: 18 December 2020
Deadline for conference registration: 31 January 2021

For enquiries, please contact the convenors, Prof. Selina Ho and Prof. Michelle Huang, Department of Visual Studies, Lingnan University, Hong Kong.


Presented by the Department of Visual Studies, Lingnan University, Hong Kong