Image courtesy of Asia Art Archive in America.


Call for Applications: Asia Art Archive in America’s Leadership Camp

July 29, 2016
AAA in A, '09-'21

43 Remsen St. Brooklyn, NY

Application Due Date: Friday July 29, 2016

First Seminar Date: Sunday, August 21, 2016, 5–8pm
Refreshments served

Asia Art Archive in America’s inaugural Leadership Camp’s theme is “Envisioning Institutions.” Organized and moderated by Christopher K. Ho with AAA-A’s Ali Wong and Xiaofei Mo, Leadership Camp combines seminar-type discussions of selected texts, presentations by participants and guests, and a public component. The goal is to collectively workshop formats, frameworks, and missions for new and existing institutions.

Applications for Leadership Camp: “Envisioning Institutions” are due on Friday, July 29. Applications should be sent to Please send all the below elements in ONE PDF FILE:

  • a CV
  • a narrative bio (max. 200 words)
  • a short statement of interest detailing your overall directional approach to interpreting “Institution” (max. 500 words)
  • an artwork or writing sample (optional)

Your statements will be incorporated into the planning of future seminars and taken into consideration as we plan for guest speakers. Selected participants will be notified by August 5.

Prior to the first session on Sunday, August 21, 5-8pm at Asia Art Archive in America, 43 Remsen Street, Brooklyn NY 11201, participants will receive PDFs of the readings we will use as points of departure by email.


In the 1970s, institutional critique questioned the museum’s authority and attenuated canonical, chronological history’s supremacy. By the 1990s, artists could—and often did—occupy the position of curator and gallerist; they moved up the hierarchy from “labor” to “management.” But this turned out to be a two-way street. The 1990s also witnessed curators like Hans Ulrich Obrist emerge from the haze of administration and into the lumen. And today collectors are heralded as artistic visionaries, their proper names perambulating from museum walls to exhibition titles.

The becoming-artist of curators and collectors paralleled the institutionalization of alternative spaces such as PS1, in 2000 rebranded MoMA PS1. Luc Boltanski and Eve Chiapello’s 1999 The New Spirit of Capitalism further traced the inexorable mainstreaming of the margins—capitalism’s hallmark—through transformations of the subject. For them, while the contemporary model of the freelancer resists bureaucracy and forms of organization endemic to an earlier stage of capitalism, it dovetails with advanced network capitalism’s salient methodologies. Liberated, individual, and spontaneous, the freelancer, for instance, lacks company-issued healthcare and is expected to be passionate about his or her work.

This session asks: Might artists, curators, and scholars work through this institutionalization and with this subject position rather than bemoaning assimilation, or wallowing in the fact that we are paradigmatic subjects of neo-liberal capitalism? Might there be other forms of capitalism emerging from the East that complicate the narrative above? Might once marginal spaces now constitute institutional instruments for change? Done constructively, might the task of representing contemporary subjectivity found a new civic art and if so, what might this look like?

Hong Kong-born Christopher K. Ho employs diverse formats to explore often-invisible social forces implicating contemporary art. His solo show Demoiselles d’Avignon (2013, Y Gallery, NY) refracted Western abstraction through the eyes of a future class of refined Chinese princelings, while Privileged White People (2013, Forever & Today, NY) examined the sensibility of artists who grew up during the affluent Clinton presidency. He has had solo exhibitions at Winkleman Gallery, NY (2010, 2008); FJORD, Philadelphia (2013); and Galeria EDS, Mexico City (2009). His work has been reviewed in the New York Times, Art in America, Modern Painters, Artforum, and ArtReview. He participated in the Incheon Biennial (2009), the Chinese Biennial Beijing (2008), and the Busan Bienniale (2008), and produced site-specific pieces for Storm King (2013) and the Cranbrook Art Museum (2011), where he was the 2010 Critical Studies Fellow. He has additionally taught at Virginia Commonwealth University and at Rhode Island School of Design. He is trustee of NurtureArt.

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This program is supported, in part, by public funds from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs, in partnership with the City Council.