UCCA Beijing

"Drifting Realities: The Archipelago of Food Discourses" Session 7
Panel Talk | On the Invisible, Cleanable, and Forgettable


Location:  Online
Language:  English/Chinese with English Translation

For the final online panel talk in the public program series “Drifting Realities: The Archipelago of Food Discourses,” discussion shall begin by considering the handling and cleaning processes surrounding food and waste. The conversation will encompass the nature of these physical processes, as well as the implications that such actions hold on a deeper and broader social level. The coming of industrialization and the shift to factory-based production destroyed existing work systems and traditions of food production within the domestic sphere, moving work outside the home and requiring it to adopt a standardized form according to set models. Food, as a form of residual waste waiting to be sold as capital in the market, and which is readily disposed after being consumed, seems to be synonymous with ordinary and easily overlooked things that exist in daily life. However, food is not merely a trivial and fleeting object within the processes of capital production, consumption and social events, but also a key means of introduction and metaphor that connects these processes and occasions to their deeper context. In this panel talk, assembled speakers will explore how food and objects are treated as perishable in a personal, social sense within artistic creation, and how they can be used to highlight social problems by transforming daily experiences into moments of contemplative ritual through the use of alternative methods of perception.  

For this session, UCCA has invited four groups of speakers from all over the world, whose respective practices draw upon issues of social reality and individual memory and perception. Artist Asli Çavusoglu will draw upon her project "Pink as a Cabbage/Green as an Onion/Blue as an Orange”(2020), which continues the research methods she adopted in "Red/Red" (2015), using archaeological methodology to trace the history of the disappearance of pigments. She dyes natural fibers cultivated by Turkish farming initiatives with fruits, vegetables and plants, integrating the various histories and models provided by the scheme, rather than focusing on the history of specific colors.

Fang Lu and Arie Kishon will discuss the video work Canton Novelty (2016) and the creation of their “Cooking Poetry” project during the COVID-19 pandemic, as well as focusing on the “Tank” series, leading the audience through the juxtaposition of empty streets of Hong Kong and the desert in Mitzpe Ramon, Israel, experiencing a mental journey that not only concerns the internal organs, but evokes a new process of concoction of a new palette of taste. 

Bangladeshi artists Tayeba Beghan Lippi and Mabubur Rahman will represent the artist-run nonprofit organization Britto Arts Trust, and will introduce the “Zero Waste-FoodArt" project. Initiated this March in Dhaka, the project has subsequently expanded to other parts of the world. The project aims to respond to the potential agricultural and food crises revealed by the Covid-19 pandemic. It focuses on three areas: “ethnic communities and villagers”; “kitchen gardens in urban contexts”; and “food preservation and distribution.”

In addition, artist collective The Center for Genomic Gastronomy will introduce its socially-engaged projects, such as “Smog Tasting,” “To Flavour Our Tears: Anthro Aquaponics System,” and “The Planetary Sculpture Supper Club” (2015). Introducing these projects provides an insight into how creative methods can be used to explore food issues and the political action of food practice.

Finally, based on her previous research into the generational mechanisms of ancestor worship and ancestor images, academic and researcher Chen Xiaoyang will explore the relationship between food and the ceremonial, presenting anthropological knowledge from her long-term field research experience in southern China.


20:30-20:40   Introduction

20:40-21:05    Tayeba Begum Lipi & Mahbubur Rahman (Britto Arts Trust) | The Passage from Nothing to All

21:05-21:30      Fang Lu & Arie Kishon | Immediate Travel

21:30–21:50     Aslı Çavuşoğlu | Pink as a Cabbage, Green as an Onion, Blue as an Orange

21:50–22:10     The Center for Genomic Gastronomy | Gaian Gastronomy: Food & Waste Systems Across Scales

22:10-22:30     Chen Xiaoyang | Dinner with Another World: Ancestral Beliefs and Food in Rituals in Southern China 

22:30-22:40    Discussion and Q&A 


Aslı Çavuşoğlu (Artist)

Aslı Çavuşoğlu’s work examines the way in which cultural and historical facts are transformed, represented, and interpreted by individuals. Working across various media, Çavuşoğlu often assumes the role of an interpreter, writer or facilitator in her projects in order to highlight the precarious and subjective nature of our shared histories. Recent solo shows include “With Just the Push of a Voice”, MASS MoCA (North Adams, Massachusetts, 2020); “The Place of Stone”, New Museum (New York, 2018); “Red/Red”, MATHAF Arab Museum of Modern Art (Qatar, 2016); “In Diverse Estimations Little Moscow”, RISD Museum (Providence, 2014); “The Stones Talk,” ARTER (Istanbul, 2013); and “Murder in Three Acts”, Delfina Foundation (London, 2013). Group exhibitions and biennials include; Palais de Tokyo (Paris, 2020), Moderna Museet (Stockholm, 2017), Castello di Rivoli (Torino, 2019 & 2017), Manifesta 11 (Zurich, 2016), 14th Istanbul Biennial (Istanbul, 2015), New Museum Triennial (New York, 2015), Witte de With Center for Contemporary Art (Rotterdam, 2014), MAK Museum in Vienna (Vienna), and Performa 11 (New York, 2011). Her works are included in international collections including; Arter (Istanbul), British Museum (London), Castello di Rivoli (Turin), MATHAF (Qatar), MoMA (New York), and Kadist (Paris/San Francisco).

Chen Xiaoyang (Associate Professor of Sculpture and Public Art Department, GAFA, Deputy Director of GAFA Art Museum) 

Chen Xiaoyang holds a PhD in Visual Anthropology, and is currently the Deputy Director of the Art Museum of Guangzhou Academy of Fine Arts (GAFA), and Associate Professor of Sculpture and Public Art Department of GAFA. As an interdisciplinary artist and researcher, in recent years she has been engaged in anthropological research and an art practice based on social participation. Her projects and works are largely based on hidden community history and ideas of reality. She has worked in urban village communities within Guangzhou and in the hills on the outskirts of the city with volunteer organizations, teaching institutions, museums, and non-profit organizations. In addition, she is engaged in researching, disseminating and reconstructing the culture of southern China by means of local exhibitions and research writing. Since 2008, she has participated in the initiation and implementation of social participatory art projects such as the “Lantian Project,” “Nanting Research,” “Yuan Art Museum,” and other practices related to new art museums.

Fang Lu (Artist) 

Fang Lu was born in Guangzhou, China in 1981. She currently lives and works in Beacon, New York. Her main artistic focus is video art, and her works have been shown and screened in museums and art spaces including the Asian Art Museum (San Francisco), Anthology Film Archive (New York), Centre Pompidou (Paris), Borges Libreria Institute of Contemporary Art (Guangzhou), Guangdong Times Museum (Guangzhou), OCAT Shanghai, UCCA (Beijing), and Inside-Out Art Museum (Beijing). Fang’s recent work addresses the tensions that are inextricably part of modern life. Through elevating personal experience and struggles to metaphysical settings, she strives to reveal the magical aspects of the so-called mundane.


Arie Kishon (Artist)  

Arie Kishon was born in Tel Aviv, Israel in 1983, and is presently based in Beacon, New York and Tel Aviv. His diverse artistic practice includes cinema, painting, music, and poetry. Kishon has a background in cinema and photography, and has been active as a sound art and vocal performer in the Israeli underground music scene for the past 15 years. His performances are often described as “noise meditations,” shapeless and animalistic.

Britto Arts Trust (Artist-run Not-for-profit Platform)

Britto Arts Trust is the first artist-run non-profit collective in Bangladesh. Founded in 2002 by 6 artists and permanently located at Green Road, Dhaka, the collective works extensively in different locations across Bangladesh. Britto Arts Trust is an expansive and sustainable non-commercial contemporary art environment that supports and promotes multiple interdisciplinary practitioners, groups and networks. As a catalyst it provides a platform for the development of professional artists, a place where they can meet, discuss, and upgrade their skills on their own terms. As part of Triangle Network, Britto Arts Trust is connected with a number of artistic organizations and institutions across the globe. It also belongs to the South Asian Network for Art (SANA) that includes Khoj Delhi, VASL Karachi, and Theertha Colombo. In partnership with Bengal Foundation (Bangladesh) and Gervasuti Foundation (Venice/London), Britto Arts Trust participated in the 2011 Venice Biennale, marking the first time the People’s Republic of Bangladesh was featured in the Biennale’s International Art Exhibition.

Artists Tayeba Begum Lipi and Mahbubur Rahman are co-founders and trustees of the Britto Arts Trust. They serve as the trust’s representatives for this talk.

Tayeba Begum Lipi (born Gaibandha, Bangladesh) graduated in 1993 with an MFA from the Institute of Fine Art, University of Dhaka. Tayeba’s significant group shows include the Asian Art Biennial (Taichung, 2017); Kathmandu Triennale (2017); Art Festival Watou (Belgium, 2016); SONSBEEK 16’ (The Netherlands, 2016); “Frontiers Reimagined“ (Museo di Palazzo Grimani, Venice, 2015); Dhaka Art Summit (2014 and 2012); “No Country” (The Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, Asia Society Hong Kong Center, and CCA Singapore, 2013-14); Colombo Biennale (2012); Jakarta Biennale (2012); and the Bangladesh Pavilion at the 54th Venice Biennale (2011).

Mahbubur Rahman (born 1969, Dhaka, Bangladesh) completed his MFA at the Institute of Fine Art, University of Dhaka in 1993. Mahbub’s selected group shows include: Dhaka Art Summit (2020, 2014, and 2012); Jaipur Sculpture Park (2019); Kathmandu Triennale (2017); “Shadow Scenes” (Rio Complex, Colombo, 2015); “Daily Pasture” (Museum Of Contemporary Art, Xinjiang, 2014); Colombo Biennale (2014); Bangladesh Pavilion, 54th Venice Biennale (2011); Kathmandu International Art Festival (2009 & 2012); Gwangju Biennale (2008); South Asian Contemporary Art Exhibition (Copenhagen, 2006); and Indian Triennale (New Delhi, 2001).

Tayeba Begum Lipi and Mahbubur Rahman participated as an artist-duo in the 2016 exhibition “Artist as Activist” at the Eli and Edythe Broad Art Museum, USA, curated by Caitlin Doherty.


The Center for Genomic Gastronomy (Artist Collective)

The Center for Genomic Gastronomy is an artist-led think tank that examines the biotechnologies and biodiversity of human food systems. Launched in 2010 by Norwegian Cathrine Kramer and American Zack Denfeld, the Center has collaborated with scientists, chefs, hackers and farmers in Europe, Asia, and North America. Their mission is to map food controversies, prototype alternative culinary futures, and imagine a more just, biodiverse, and beautiful food system. The Center presents research about the organisms and environments manipulated by human food cultures in the form of public lectures, research publications, meals, and exhibitions. The Center’s work has been published in We Make Money Not Art, Science, Nature and Gastronomica and has been exhibited at the World Health Organization, Jeu de Paume, Kew Gardens, Science Gallery Dublin and the V&A Museum.


Yan Fang (Curator of Public Programs, UCCA)

Yan Fang is an art critic and curator of public programs at UCCA Center for Contemporary Art. She graduated from University of Paris 1 Pantheon-Sorbonne with a Master’s degree in History of Art: History of Art and Philosophy, and has previously worked at the Musée national d’Art moderne/Centre Pompidou.