[ISEA2006] Curator Statement: Container Culture

Curator Statement

Venue: South Hall

Container Culture is an exhibition developed by the Curatorial Working Group of the Pacific Rim New Media Summit. Each curator has selected one or more emerging regional artists to present at ISEA2006/ZeroOne San Jose, using a shipping container as its means of transportation and as its exhibition “white cube” — or black box — space.

One of the most significant examples of cross-cultural encounters in contemporary art is the traveling exhibition. The traveling art exhibition has often served to operationalize and exemplify the cross-cultural encounters and exchanges that are deemed “necessary” and “natural” in the globalized art world. However, a range of social, political, economic and art historical differences generally complicate the globally themed traveling exhibition. The artists in traveling exhibitions are rarely able to adequately respond to each new context through their works, which is what these exhibitions are meant to initiate. The traveling exhibition thus converts each new cultural context to, essentially, an empty container for the art works, with little ability to respond to the exhibition site as physical location.

Container Culture is an exhibition of art works that travel from different port cities that rim the Pacific in standardized containers to San Jose to be presented alongside each other; almost like a conference of containers. In an ironic reversal of the tendency of conventional traveling exhibitions to convert every new space into an empty container, this exhibition invites curators and artists from each of these diverse port cities to convert a container into a culturally specific space.

  1. Auckland Container: Rachael Rakena, curated by Deborah Lawler-Dormer
  2. Beijing Container: Hu Jie Ming, Huang Shi, Jing Jiangbo, Xing Danwen & Xu Bing, curated by Zhang Ga
  3. Hong Kong Container: Annie On Ni Wan, Curated by Ellen Pau
  4. Mumbai Container: Shilpa Gupta, curated by Johan Pijnappel
  5. Seoul Container: Taeyoon Choi, Tellef Tellefson, Cheon Pyo Lee & Love Virus, curated by Soh Yeong Roh
  6. Singapore Container: Margaret Tan & Shirley Soh, Curated by Gunalan Nadarajan
  7. Tokyo Container: Norimichi Hirakawa, curated by Yukiko Shikata
  8. Vancouver Container: Kate Armstrong, Bobbi Kozinuk, Simon Levin, Laurie Long, Leonard Paul, Manuel Piña & Jean Routhier, curated by Alice Ming Wai Jim

Full paper (PDF) p. 290-303