The Board and team of CFCCA are disturbed to hear of cases of artists and ex staff members reporting negative experiences of working with the organisation.

In March 2020, artist JJ Chan’s open letter alerted us to areas of concern including the lack of embodied Chinese lived experience within the staff team, followed by their article in the July/August 2020 edition of ArtAsiaPacific and their interview alongside artist Seecum Cheung on the Resonance FM programme Studio Visit on 7 October 2020.

We are very sorry for the hurt that has been felt both past and present and we are actively listening to the issues raised. Following the invitation from JJ Chan and Seecum Cheung to engage them and others in an open and optimistic conversation, we invited applications to a newly formed Artist Working Group, who with CFCCA are committed to an anti-racist, decolonising, structural inequality agenda, with equal agency to co-design key elements of our Revisioning process – a project that will bring open consultation and conversation to help shape the future of CFCCA. Although JJ and Seecum made the decision not to be part of this, we continue to have ongoing conversations with them and hope to find a way that they feel appropriate to support and contribute to a positive and constructive process of change for the organisation. We plan to conduct an independent equality audit of the organisation and also launch an anonymous feedback process and it is our intention to continue to reach out and listen to all as we investigate the issues raised both past and present.

We recognise that we have been slow to fully respond publicly to the criticism and concerns of those who have courageously taken steps to discuss their negative experiences both openly and privately with us. We are sorry if this external silence has been perceived as indifference.  Although we have been silent, we are listening, we do care, and we are taking action.

We know we have lost the trust of some artists of Chinese heritage in the UK. CFCCA exists as a platform for their work, a place of cultural cohesion, which is now more imperative than ever. Fundamental to this disengagement is the recent lack of representation within the staff team, exacerbated by the halt on recruitment due to COVID-19. The gallery’s shift to become an internationally-facing contemporary art gallery almost 20 years ago brought with it the perception that we have lost sight of the important Chinese artists and communities on our doorstep. The connections, collaborations and co-creation we work to facilitate with the artists we seek to support and elevate are incredibly important to us. We sincerely hope we are able to build back this mutual trust through the Revisioning process and into the future. Our aim is to resolve any systemic barriers that may exist to ensure we are an actively anti-racist organisation, committed to decolonisation that is more reflective of the Chinese artists, arts-workers, communities and partners that we work with and deeply care about.

We are actively listening and willing to change, adopting a co-designed approach to our Revisioning process to support a progressive outcome. Working in collaboration with experienced facilitators from People Make it Work – a diverse collection of freelance consultant colleagues committed to creating positive change in the sector – and an Artist Working Group, we are drawing on everyone’s strengths to collectively define a transformative methodology and approach that will engage a diversity of critical voices. We are considering a Truth and Reconciliation process to acknowledge impacts, uncover truths both past and present and agree change so we can look to the future, together.

Our Revisioning will take us well into next year. We will update on a regular basis throughout 2020/21, sharing details of key milestones in the process and publicising the conclusions, outcomes and actions as soon as we are able. As this is an evolving and responsive process with co-design at its heart, it will take some time to deliver. We thank you in advance for your patience as we work through this complex process collaboratively and thoughtfully.

 

華人當代藝術中心(CFCCA)道歉聲明  2020年12月1日

對於有藝術家和前工作人員表示與中心合作方面時所遇到的負面經歷,CFCCA的董事會和團隊深感不安。

藝術家JJ Chan在2020年3月所寫的公開信讓我們注意到幾個方面的問題,當中包括工作團隊缺乏中國生活經驗的實際體現。其後在《Asia Art Pacific》2020年7月/8月號出版的文章,與藝術家Seecum Cheung的訪談,以及在2020年10月7日的Resonance FM節目《Studio Visit》當中,亦有提到同樣問題。

對於過去和現在的所造成的傷害,我們深感抱歉。同時我們亦會積極聆聽大眾所提出的問題。在JJ Chan和Seecum Cheung的邀請下,我們雙方以及其他相關人士進行了一次公開且樂觀的對話。我們已經邀請了各藝術家加入新成立的藝術家工作組,他們致力於以反種族歧視主義、去殖民化、結構平等的理念共同設計我們「Revisioning計劃」中的關鍵要素——該項目將為我們帶來公開的諮詢和對話,以助塑造CFCCA的未來。雖然JJ和Seecum決定不參與該項目,但我們會與他們持續進行對話,並希望日後他們會找到合適的方式來支持CFCCA,亦為我們正面及有建設性的變革過程做出貢獻。我們計劃對中心進行獨立的平等審查,並實施匿名意見回饋程序。我們亦計劃在研究過去及現在所提出的問題的同時,繼續聆聽大家的意見,並與大家保持溝通。

對於那些勇於採取行動,公開或私下與我們討論其負面經歷的人所提出的批評和擔憂,我們了解到我們一直未有及時地作出公開回應。對於這種對外的沉默被視為漠不關心,我們感到萬分抱歉。儘管我們保持沉默,但我們一直在細心傾聽。我們十分重視這些意見,並正在採取行動。

我們知道我們已經失去了英國一些華裔藝術家的信任。 CFCCA作為展示他們作品的平台,一個凝聚文化的地方,現在比以往任何時候都更加重要。這次事件的根本原因是近來我們的工作團隊缺乏代表性,而因COVID-19而導致的招聘停止更加劇了這種情況。大約20年前,中心轉型為面向國際的當代藝術畫廊,這令我們意識到我們忽略了重要的中國藝術家和華人社區。我們致力支持和幫助藝術家,同時亦努力地促進中心與藝術家之間的聯繫、合作及共同創造,這些對我們而言非常重要。我們衷心希望未來的「Revisioning計劃」可以使雙方重新建立起這種互信。我們的目標是解決任何可能存在的系統性障礙,以確保CFCCA成為一個積極反種族主義及致力於去殖民化的機構,以更好地代表與我們合作的中國藝術家、藝術工作者、社區和合作夥伴,我們十分重視當中的每一員。

CFCCA正積極聆聽各方意見,並願意進行改變。我們在「Revisioning計劃」中亦採用了共同設計的方法以逐步進行改善。「People Make it Work」是由不同背景的自由業顧問組成,他們致力於在這個領域中帶來正面改變。而透過與經驗豐富的「People Make it Work」推動者以及藝術家工作組合作,我們希望集百家之長共同定義一種變革方法,讓我們能接觸到各種批判性聲音。我們亦正在考慮進行「真相與和解」的環節,以了解真相和過去和現在造成的影響,並達成共識作出改變,共同展望未來。

我們的「Revisioning計劃」仍需數月才能實施。我們將在2021年度定期更新情況,在過程中分享每個關鍵里程碑的細節,並公佈我們的決定、成果和行動。由於這是一個不斷發展的過程,這當中需要意見回饋,而其基本核心亦需由雙方共同設計,因此我們需要一些時間才能履行。在我們共同努力,並縝密地落實這個計劃的同時,我們在此先感謝您的耐心等候。