Once Upon a Place

Panel discussion with Lucy Steeds (Afterall, UAL) with John Tain (Head of Research, Asia Art Archive)


Friday, June 25


10:15–11:40pm CEST / 4:10–5:40pm HKT




All talks are open to public. This registration link gives access to all three days.
Please register at the Zoom Webinar HERE


If art lives in its public presentation, how may we conserve and nurture what matters after the event of exhibition is over?

We will consider this question while rooting ourselves in a show curated in London in 1989, ‘The Other Story: Afro-Asian Art in Postwar Britain’.

John Tain and Lucy Steeds will introduce this exhibition as the basis for recent online work by Asia Art Archive (Hong Kong) and Afterall (London) respectively. Bo Choy and Chloe Ting will intervene from within and outside of their institutional affiliations to these organisations and on the basis of personal connections to the cities of both Hong Kong and London.

We will quickly open to discussion, which will then feed into the later workshop, ‘Situated Knowledge, Situated Works’.

About the Speakers

As Reader within the art programme at Central Saint Martins (CSM), Lucy Steeds manages the Exhibition Histories project for Afterall and contributes to the MRes Art: Exhibition Studies course. Working across the University of the Arts London, Lucy has responsibility for postgraduate research training – as Convenor of the Research Network (RNUAL) – and she is a member of the Research Centre for Transnational Art, Identity and Nation (TrAIN).

Lucy has a PhD in Cultural History from Goldsmiths College, University of London, having originally studied Experimental Psychology (Balliol College, Oxford University) and then Visual Cultures (Goldsmiths College). Her curatorial experience is anchored in six years of work at Arnolfini in Bristol (1998–2004), and includes more recent initiatives such as the 'Magiciens de la Terre: Reconsidered' film/discussion programme at Tate Modern (with George Clark, 2014) and 'Exhibition Histories and Afrofictions' at the Michaelis Galleries, University of Cape Town (with Nkule Mabaso, 2017).

Lucy approaches the history and theory of contemporary art on the basis that art’s potential is event-based and context-dependent. Her research is centred on the field of exhibition histories, with ‘exhibition’ understood in an expanded sense, as taking on myriad forms and without necessarily privileging the museum, gallery or biennial as host. Interested in both the ontology ­of contemporary art and related issues of historiography, she seeks to learn from and share a geopolitical diversity of experiences, thinking and practices.
More about Lucy Seeds

John Tain is Head of Research at Asia Art Archive, where he leads a team based in Hong Kong, New Delhi and Shanghai. Previously, he was a curator of modern and contemporary collections at the Getty Research Institute, Los Angeles (2007–2017).

His curatorial projects include Crafting Communities, Asia Art Archive, Hong Kong (2020), which considered the history of Womanifesto, a feminist biennial programme active in Thailand from 1997 to 2008; Out of Turn (co-curated with Meenakshi Thirukode), Serendipity Arts Festival, Goa, India (2018); Yasuhiro Ishimoto: Someday, Chicago (co-curated with Jasmine Alinder), DePaul Art Museum, Chicago (2018); and In Focus: Ed Ruscha (co-curated with Virginia Heckert), J. Paul Getty Museum, Los Angeles (2013).