Practise Till We Meet at esea contemporary, Manchester, Until 28 May 2023, free entry - Visit now
esea contemporary, formerly known as the Chinese Centre for Contemporary Art, has recently reopened its doors with a fresh name, a new brand and an inaugural exhibition Practice Till We Meet to cement its reappearance on the Northern art scene.
ESEA stands for East and Southeast Asian and emphasises the gallery’s focus on conveying community stories as a key responsibility, and empowering artists, curators and cultural practitioners to produce work which is informed by topics most pertinent to the ESEA community.
Practice Till We Meet gathers five artists and two collectives whose work explores diasporic experiences and the decisions, feelings and actions around migration and adjusting to life in a new place. The works take into account individual as well as collective experiences that span generations and places, alongside issues that range from the political to the personal. The exhibition is intricate in its concerns but always rooted in community.
The exhibition is guest curated by independent writer, curator and editor Hanlu Zhang and features the following artists: Audrey Albert, Isaac Chong Wai, Koki Tanaka, Liu Weiwei and Mimian Hsu, as well as collectives Asia-Art-Activism (AAA) and Asian Feminist Studio for Art and Research (AFSAR). Let’s take a closer look at some of their practices.
Audrey Albert is an artist based in Manchester, and a native of the island of Mauritius, with Chagossian origins, which is the focus of her project Matter Out of Place. Using food, music, objects, souvenirs and the medium of photography, Albert creates narratives around them, bringing to our attention the history of the Chagos Archipelago, whose people suffered forced displacement between 1968-1973.
Koki Tanaka on the other hand delves into the troubled attitudes toward the Korean diaspora in Japan. He does this via a video piece titled Vulnerable Histories (A Road Movie) which asks the question of ‘how to live together with difference’, in which a couple of young people take a study trip together.
Bringing together artists, curators and scholars into a decentralised network of thinkers and doers, ASFAR offers a platform for sharing personal experiences for the Asian diaspora through a feminist perspective. They organise talks, gatherings and opportunities for people to come together.
Come along to Practice Till We Meet to celebrate the reopening of esea contemporary with a diverse group of artists – all offering their unique perspectives and contributing to the ever-complex conversations on the shifting migrant identity, periods of adjustment and establishing oneself once more in a new environment.
Practise Till We Meet at esea contemporary, Manchester
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