Pauline Yao Lecture: In the Mood for a Museum: Art and Collecting at M+, Hong Kong

This Thursday I have invited Pauline J. Yao to Oxford, where she has generously agreed to deliver a lecture on art and collecting at M+ to students and staff at The Ruskin School of Art (although the lecture is open to all). Pauline is currently in the UK as a Leverhulme Visiting Professor at the University of Leeds and during her time here she will be delivering a number of important lectures and public talks, including this event at Tate Modern on the 26th April. I’m therefore delighted that she will be joining us in Oxford for what promises to be an exciting opportunity to learn more about Hong Kong’s largest museum of 20th and 21st century art and design, architecture and moving image. Details of the lecture are below, all welcome.

 

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 In the Mood for a Museum: Art and Collecting at M+, Hong Kong

Old Masters’ Studio, Ruskin School of Art

Thursday, 27th April, 2pm

Pauline J. Yao is Leverhulme Visiting Professor at the University of Leeds and Lead Curator, Visual Art at M+, the new museum for twentieth and twenty-first century visual culture being built in Hong Kong. She has held curatorial positions at the Asian Art Museum of San Francisco and worked as an independent curator and writer in Beijing for six years, during which time she helped co-found the storefront art space Arrow Factory. A co-curator of the 2009 Shenzhen Hong Kong Bi-City Biennale of Architecture and Urbanism, Yao is a regular contributor to Artforum, e-flux Journal, and Yishu Journal of Contemporary Chinese Art and her writings on contemporary Asian art have appeared in numerous catalogues, online publications and edited volumes. She is the author of In Production Mode: Contemporary Art in China (Timezone 8 Books, 2008) and co-editor of 3 Years: Arrow Factory (Sternberg Press, 2011).

The Art of the QR Code

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This post is devoted to exploring a digital phenomenon that seems to have largely eluded audiences in Europe and America despite its pervasive presence within the art world in China: the QR (Quick Response) code 二维码.

QR codes are a ubiquitous feature of daily life in China. Plastered on newspaper adverts, restaurant flyers, giant billboards, subway posters, supermarket counters, buses and even business cards, the omnipresence of this seemingly mundane digital marker speaks volumes about the dominance of mobile networks, social media and communication technologies in contemporary China.

Mobility

The functionality of QR codes within China has been significantly bolstered as a result of the majority of the country’s inhabitants accessing the internet via their mobile phones rather than through personal computers. According to recent statistics, 89% of China’s 700 million internet users go online using a mobile. Mobile online networks have therefore dovetailed with the convenience of QR codes, enabling a range of activities which might seem unthinkable to users outside of China. As this recently released video demonstrates, the simple scanning of a code can be used to make online payments, join social networks, access consumer discounts, attain online information, send digital money to friends and family, as well as countless other activities and services. In short, QR codes in China go far beyond the capabilities of their QR cousins in Europe or elsewhere, where they predominantly function as a means of digital ticketing including online boarding passes etc. Continue reading