“A turning away from debates that have not been concluded” (1) is a collaborative performative project made by artist Ting-Ting Cheng with Manchester based performers Edenamiuki Aigoubasinmwin, Praewa Bulthaweenan, Hanaa Cara and Naomi Sumner Chan.

For 2019’s Archive & Library Artist Residency at CFCCA, Cheng revisits the seminar organised by Chinese Arts Centre (the predecessor of CFCCA) in 1998, titled “A New Vocabulary for Chinese Arts?”. The seminar intended to redefine the terminology – “Chinese” in cultural contexts, raising the questions of “who needs labels? And why? Is it for artists to identify themselves or for others to define them?”(2) Without photos and audio recordings, the only documentation of the seminar is a textual report. According to the report, there was a debate occurred at the end of the seminar, where the speakers and attenders together discussed the issues raised. Followed the information found on the report, Cheng interviewed the speakers and attenders of the seminar 21 years later, discussing the same questions in the current context. What has changed? Are we still facing the same situation?

During the residency, Cheng invited four Manchester based performers of different backgrounds to discuss the topics. Combining the report, the interviews, the discussion with local performers, along with materials found in the archive collection as well as other related essays, Cheng has written a conversation, which would be enacted by the four performers. The re-staged debates are constantly evolving, growing and repeating. As the title suggests, it’s a debate that has never been concluded.

(1) Quoted from Manchester’s Chinese Arts Centre: A Case Study in Strategic Cultural Intervention by Felicia Chan and Andy Willis, 2018
(2) Quoted from A New Vocabulary for Chinese Arts by Lois Keidan, 1998

The project is funded by National Culture and Arts Foundation (Taiwan) and CFCCA

This is a FREE event, but booking via Eventbrite is recommended as there is limited capacity.