Public Events for the 16th Annual Goldfarb Summer Institute at York University

Detour and Access: Contemporary Diasporic Asian Art

Organized by Prof. Hong Kal and Prof. Yam Lau

Transpecific/pacific – Kyoo Lee aka Q
Tuesday, May 14, 2024, 6:30-8:00 pm
Koffler Arts, 180 Shaw St, Toronto, ON M6J 2W5

Part of a series of reflections on various paradigmatic—transepistemic and synesthetic—shifts in our perceptual lives and cognitive landscapes today, this sequel to my own modest theoretical modeling of “InOutside” (2019) and “Mimacro” (2020) reading introduces “Site/Sight/Cite-Specific” art intervention and its gestural polysemiosis with respect, specifically on this occasion, to “Asian Art” today: 1) how the conventional senses of site-specificity become multi-platformed in the age of the global mediascape where any eventual “site” becomes an instant meta-ontological riddle and textual griddle, and 2) why we need to pay closer attention to its gestural simplexity, its virtualized manifoldness; we will zoom in on this point of art in transitory transformation against the backdrop of the trans-specificities of transmitted Asianness transpacifically perceived and practiced as such.

Kyoo Lee aka Q is a philosopher, writer, critic, and a Professor of Philosophy and Gender Studies at the City University of New York (CUNY), who works widely in the interwoven fields of the Arts and Humanities. The author of Reading Descartes Otherwise (FUP) and a forthcoming book on visual philopoetics (MIT Press), she is a recipient of faculty fellowships from Cambridge University, KIAS and the Mellon Foundation among others, and her genre-bending writings explore co-generative links between critical theory and creative prose.

Diaspora and Utopia: In Searching of Alternatives – Ou Ning
Monday, May 20, 2024, 6:30-8:00 pm
Koffler Arts, 180 Shaw St, Toronto, ON M6J 2W5

Diaspora originally refers to the dispersion of Jews around the world, while the Kibbutz Movement, emerging from 1900s, was a collective utopian action under the influence of Zionism. In the 18th century, the Shakers escaped from Britain, and went to the New World for a “paradise on the earth,” who were called “the true Zion-travelers.” In 1935, a group of Japanese immigrants set up a Christian socialist farm in Brazil to realize their dream. Through the three cases, the lecture will examine how the diasporas found their communitarian utopias in the real world.

Ou Ning is the director of the documentaries San Yuan Li (2003) and Meishi Street (2006); chief curator of the Shenzhen & Hong Kong Bi-city Biennale of Urbanism\Architecture (2009); jury member of 8th Benesse Prize at 53rd Venice Biennale (2009); member of the Asian Art Council at the Guggenheim Museum (2011); founding chief editor of the literary journal Chutzpah! (2010-2014); founder of the Bishan Project (2011-2016); a visiting professor at Columbia University Graduate School of Architecture, Planning, and Preservation (2016-2017); and a senior research fellow of the Center for Arts, Design, and Social Research in Boston (2019-2024). His collected writings Utopia in Practice: Bishan Project and Rural Reconstruction is published by Palgrave Macmillan (2020). He has been living and working in New York since 2022.

2024 Goldfarb Lecture in Visual Arts
Commemoration as Exhibition: Asian Canadian Art Matters – Alice Jim
Wednesday, May 22, 2024, 6:30-8:00 pm
Join on Zoom

In this two-part lecture (online), Professor Jim will examine exhibitions of work by Asian Canadian artists in relation to the political, cultural, and community activism that led to last year’s national remembrance ceremony held in the Senate of Canada Chamber to mark the centenary of the racist 1923 Chinese Exclusion Act. Jim will reflect on curatorial research and praxis as activism, its relation to decolonial curating and worldmaking, and the concept of “Asian Canadian” as an ongoing and capacious political project.

Alice Ming Wai Jim is an art historian and curator based in Montreal. She is currently Concordia University Research Chair in Critical Curatorial Studies and Decolonizing Art Institutions and founding editor-in-chief of the journal Asian Diasporic Visual Cultures and the Americas (Brill, with Concordia University and NYU).

WHERE ARE YOU FROM? Exhibition curated by Yoon Jin Jung
May 1 – 24, 2024
Reception: Friday, May 10, 2024, 4:00-6:00 pm
The Gales Gallery, York University 105 ACW (Accolade West Building), 4700 Keele St. Toronto, ON M3J 1P3

Korean painter Eun Kyong Lee’s solo exhibition in Canada. LEE, Eun Kyong is a visual artist based in Seoul, specializing in paintings and lithography. Having grown up in Senegal and begun her artistic journey in Russia, Lee has developed a keen interest in the subtle insecurities that lurk within social structures and human relationships striving to render these underlying tensions visible in her work.

If you have any questions, please contact Yam Lau at

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Department of Visual Art and Art History
School of the Arts, Media, Performance & Design
York University
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