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Week2 | Global dialogue between art and curatorial institutions

Class  inspiration and personal exploration

Under the rubric of ‘platforms and institutions’, I see the role and impact of curating in the globalized artistic landscape: the mediating role of the curator in exhibitions and their criticality – not only limited to the artists and the art objects but also extended to the curators themselves (Bacon, 2024). I am thinking about how curatorial practice can transcend traditional boundaries to form a form of exhibition that embraces the discursive.

Bacon, J.L. (2024) [screenshot] In Platforms & Organisations. [Online] MA Contemporary Art Theory. The University of Edinburgh. available at: https. //

The Institutional Turn

Drawing on Terry Smith’s Visual Arts and the Exhibition Complex (Smith, 2017), I sense how globalization is affecting art exhibition spaces, particularly through the ‘institutional turn’ in response to dominant changes in forms of social organization. This challenges traditional modes of exhibition and prompted me to explore in my post-course research how concepts such as ruangrupa’s lumbung embody community and socially activated art practices.

Universes in Universe (2022) lumbung - additional thoughts by Ruangrupa for documenta fifteen, 2022. [Online] Available at https://

Universes in Universe (2022) lumbung - concept by ruangrupa for documenta 15, 2022. [Online] Available at: [Online] Available at: /short-concept

Convergence of Theory and Practice: Exploring Intercultural Curatorial Practices

Drawing on Kester’s (2011) insights, I explore how artistic practice can contribute to wider social engagement and dialogue. In the tension between globalization and local culture, curators need to balance this complexity. In conjunction with Bennett’s (1995) analysis of art exhibitions as a platform for global cultural exchange in The Exhibition Complex, I focus on introducing China’s intangible cultural heritage to a UK audience to demonstrate its uniqueness and promote cross-cultural understanding. Responding to the classroom’s response to globalized art exchanges is at the same time an extension of my personal exploration of the new life of traditional culture in the context of contemporary art. Therefore, I have adapted my curatorial strategy to present the traditional aspects of intangible cultural heritage and reveal its vitality and relevance in the contemporary globalized context. Inspired by Appadurai’s (1996) discussion of ‘cultural mobility’ and ‘cross-cultural consumption’, I have explored how to combine Chinese ICH with contemporary British art to explore cultural identity and the modern translation of tradition in globalisation (Appadurai, 1996). I explored how to combine Chinese intangible cultural heritage with contemporary British art to explore cultural identity and the modern translation of tradition in globalisation (Appadurai, 1996). I aim not only to demonstrate the unique value of intangible cultural heritage, but also to challenge and expand the boundaries between tradition and modernity, and to explore new ways of sharing and passing on culture in the age of globalization. The project aims to exemplify how continuous dialogue and exchange of cultures can be achieved through artistic creation and curatorial practice (Mohr, 2010).


Bacon, J.L. (2024) Platforms & Organisations.[Online] MA Contemporary Art Theory. The University of Edinburgh. Available at: https://www.learn.ed. [Accessed 30 March 2024]

Smith, T. (2017). Mapping the Contexts of Contemporary Curating: the Visual Arts Exhibitionary Complex. journal of curatorial studies, 6(2), 170-180.

Kester, G. H. (2011) The One and the Many: Contemporary Collaborative Art in a Global Context. 1st edition. [Online]. Durham: Duke University Press

Bennett, T. (1995) The Birth of the Museum: History, Theory, Politics. 1st edition. [Online]. London: Routledge.

Appadurai, A. (1996). Modernity at Large: Cultural Dimensions of Globalization. Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press.

Bennett, T. (1995) The Birth of the Museum: History, Theory, Politics. 1st edition. [Online]. London: Routledge.

Mohr, P. A. (2010) Klonk, Charlotte. Spaces of experience: art gallery interiors from 1800 to 2000. CHOICE: Current Reviews for Academic Libraries 47 (8) p.1462-.

Week 1|New Interpretations of Curatorial Practice in the Context of Broken Globalisation

The first week of research has made me rethink the definition and purpose of curation. In particular, through in-depth reading of Microcurating: The Role of SVAO in the History of exhibition production (Bilbao, 2018) and On Curating: interviews with ten international curators (Thea, 2009), I have begun to question the role and efficacy of the traditional model of curating in current global cultural exchange.

Theoretical Insights and Personal Reflections
Firstly, from Microcurating: The Role of SVAO (Bilbao, 2018), I was excited by the attempts of Small Visual Arts Organisations (SVAO) to challenge traditional curatorial boundaries. They have challenged the boundaries of traditional art exhibitions and facilitated community engagement and public art practice through localized projects. This was evident in the Scottish Landscape Awards exhibition, which showcased a range of art forms from painting to multimedia, reflecting the fusion of local (Scottish) and global perspectives (Scottish Arts Trust, 2024). But I also began to ask myself: is this innovation enough to deal with the fragmentation of culture in the face of globalization? The combination of local artistic expression and global perspectives that I observed in the Scottish Landscape Awards, whilst inspiring, also revealed potential tensions and conflicts between the local and the global.

Lu, J. (2024) Selected artworks from the Scottish Landscape Awards. [photographs] 
Bridging Intercultural Dialogue
On Curating: Interviews with Ten International Curators (Thea, 2010) has helped me to understand the role of the curator as mediator, translator and creator, and Zarina Bhimji’s exhibition Flagging it Up is an excellent example of this, as Bhimj explores the themes of power and subjectivity through her video and installation works. Bhimj explores themes of power and subjectivity through her videos and installations, and her subtle use of color and light, ambiguity and ambiguity in her work creates an atmosphere of non-directive narration, which is exactly how Thea’s (2010) interview discusses how the curator can contribute to the public’s understanding of the work of art through the provision of context.







Fruitmarket(2023)Zarina Bhimji Exhibition Walk Through.Vimeo.Available at : // (Accessed:17th Jan)

In the face of the dual challenges of globalization and localization, I believe that the future of curation should focus more on breaking down the boundaries between tradition and innovation, and pay more attention to audience diversity and participation. How should we balance the universality and specificity of art, and how should we transform curating into a real medium of global cultural exchange? This is a question I would like to explore in depth in the future.

Collective Group Work
During the first week of our group’s explorations, we collectively inspired ideas about curatorial themes, digging deeper into the artistic veins of Edinburgh and Scotland to find a resourceful direction for our research. I think this process reveals the power of exploration and inclusion in art-making (Kester, 2014). By tapping into resources such as The Skinny and The List, we laid out our project timetable and analyzed assessment points in advance, and Adam’s tutor recommended that we have an in-depth dialogue with the artist to explore the story and motivation behind their work, which provided inspiration for our curatorial practice session (Smith, 2012). In the end, we outlined the structure for a 2500-word dissertation, analyzing the reflections and curatorial approaches around the collective project.


Bilbao Yarto, A. E. (2018) Micro-Curating : The Role of SVAOs (Small Visual Arts Organisations) in the History of Exhibition-Making.

Thea, Carolee. & Micchelli, Thomas. (2009) On curating : interviews with ten international curators / by Carolee Thea. First edition. New York, N.Y: D.A.P./Distributed Art Publishers.

Walmsley, B. (2019) Audience Engagement in the Performing Arts: A Critical Analysis. 1st edition. [Online]. Cham: Springer International Publishing.

Scottish Arts Trust. (2024). Scottish Landscape Awards. City Art Centre, Edinburgh.

Bhimji, Z. (2024). Zarina Bhimji: Flagging it Up. Fruitmarket, Edinburgh.

Bourdieu, P. & Emanuel, S. (1996) Rules of Art: Genesis and Structure of the Literary Field. 1st edition. Somerset: Polity Press.

Kester, G. H. (2014) Conversation pieces : community and communication in modern art / Grant H. Kester. Berkeley ; University of California Press.


The above is a modified version after Adam's first feedback




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