‘Institutional Art Archives’ is a discussion which will articulate the role and challenges of an institutional archive as an active agency for memory that expresses and sustains multicultural heritage through contemporary visual art. The panel features: John Tain, Head of Research at Asia Art Archive in Hong Kong; Dr Alda Terracciano, Honorary Research Fellow and Co-leader of the Centre for Critical Heritage Studies at UCL, and founding Chair of Future Histories archives, Marianna Tsionki, CFCCA Senior Curator, and Associate Lecturer at the Manchester School of Art; Katie Waring, CFCCA Archivist; and Leung Chi Wo, artist and educator and co-founder of Para/Site in Hong Kong. The panel discussion will be led by the Director of CREATURE, Professor Wessie Ling.

This discussion is part of ‘Multicultural Art Institutions at the Crossroads’, a collaboration between CFCCA and the Centre for Creative Arts, Cultures and Engagement (CREATURE), at the London Metropolitan University. The project seeks to understand the ways in which cultural policy impacts on the operation of creative labour, organisations and artistic production in the building of and sustaining multicultural heritage.

The project and related discussion will further investigate an archival cataloguing project examining the Centre’s residency programme between 2003-2010. The cataloguing project will provide public access for the first time to documentation from the CFCCA Archive & Library about the early years of the Centre’s artist-in-residence programme. Since 2003, the Centre has provided an on-site studio and living space for emerging artists. The resident artists were under no pressure to develop a finished exhibition, but were encouraged to hold an open studio to present their work. The materials being catalogued are often the only record of the work produced by our resident artists, which were often site-specific installations or one-off performances.

Image: Installation view: Memory Collector 1—– The Unbearable Lightness of Text messages, (2006), Sophia Hao, Open Studio, 2006 Mar 2, Chinese Arts Centre, Manchester. Photography by the Chinese Arts Centre. (CFCCA Archive Library, GB3451/OC/D/2101/10).