Asia-Art-Activism’s Online Programme is the Perfect Solution to Expand Your Mind During Lockdown

Asia-Art-Activism’s current online digital programme Till We Meet Again, IRL, Best Wishes features a rich programme of exhibitions, screening pathways, panel discussions, radio broadcasts and workshops all free and open to anyone who wants to join. Curated by Annie Jael Kwan, Arianna Mercado, Cuong Pham and Howl Yuan, the digital programme offers an array of events to enrich and inspire us during the second lockdown.

Asia-Art-Activism (AAA) launched in 2018 as a voluntary interdisciplinary, intergenerational and intersectional network of practitioners, and were invited to take up residence at Raven Row in London, alongside other collectives of marginalised communities.

The act of ‘Taking space’ as a group of Asian, migrant and diasporic bodies was as much a performative gesture as it was political. Since its inauguration, AAA has presented a series of performances, presentations, mini-residencies, workshops and other events with the overall aim of investigating ‘Asia’, ‘art’, and ‘activism’ in the UK and internationally through research, dialogue, practice and collective work.

Currently, with the global pandemic in effect and people’s travels restricted, the collective responded to the times and translated their in-person programme to be entirely digital. Life as we have known it before has changed. How we conduct our lives and move within the world has been disrupted and challenged. Just within this past year, the world has seen an increase of racist violence against Asian minorities, along with the brutal killing of George Floyd in America, which have raised important questions about our individual and intersected positionalities in relation to privilege and proximity to ‘whiteness’ and power.

Co-Curator Annie Jael Kwan explains, ‘Earlier this year I was unexpectedly stuck halfway across the world in Tokyo when the pandemic caused flight cancellations and global restrictions on travel. Being ‘exiled’ while experiencing the unfolding events and the anxieties of the previous months, raised many questions of where I felt secure, cared for, what I missed, and made me question what a sustainable and fulfilling mode of working and living might look like’.

The aim of this digital programme is to collectively dream about how we might arise together through recent global anxieties due to the pandemic, worldwide political and civil unrest. Raising important questions to the viewer, Till We Meet Again, IRL, Best Wishes aims to re-invent globalised and capitalist-driven relational structures that have proven dysfunctional.

The programme is on until the 29 November and below I have highlighted my top picks of upcoming events!

Online film screenings (a new screening pathway is premiered every Monday)

-Its about the space by Howl Yuan
This pathway builds upon the relationship between ‘space’, ‘place’ and ‘site’ in relation to different parameters. Displaced reminds us of the space shared with different species; Sleeping in between Tehching Hsieh and On Kawara, but at home unfolds the experience of space in time; In Virtual Return We (can’t) Dehaunt utilises virtual space to bridge returning and belonging; and A New Experience of Love explores the space between people, including ourselves.

Its about the space by Howl Yuan

-Time warp by Arianna Merado
This screening pathway investigates time, its glitches, fluidity, and inevitability. In this pathway, the artists and their films interrogate the discrepancies between memory, reconciling between known and unknown histories with the contemporary moment.

Time Warp by Arianna Mercado

-Performing dis/located bodies in liminal imaginaries by Annie Jael Kwan
In the wake of the pandemic, our fluttering bodies have been constantly required to adjust and adapt in waves of displacement and loss, while experiencing ongoing processes of grief and change. How might we again embrace ourselves and each other, in this strange liminal space?

Performing dis/located bodies in liminal imaginaries by Annie Jael Kwan

Online panel discussions

-Politics and practices of care: 19 November at 12pm GMT
Discussion on how the politics and practices of care may be centred and interrogated in artistic and curatorial practices.

Politics and practices of care

-Tools to Transform: 24 November at 12.30pm GMT
Panel exploring how are artists and culture workers organising in current global conditions.

Tools to Transform

Online exhibition

-From floor to… by Caro Gervay: Ongoing
Online exhibition from artist, photographer and facilitiator, Caro Gervay which draws links between photography, belonging and the quality of our everyday life.

From floor to… by Caro Gervay


-Queer Bangladesh: Ongoing
This radio conversation features three prominent activists based in Dhaka; Little Boxes, Rajani Raoja and Anirban Ahmed and focuses on the recent and lesser known histories of LGBTI people in Bangladesh who are marginalised and persecuted by conservative Islam and the law.

Queer Bangladesh

Don’t miss your chance to experience these incredible events that touch upon important themes that we are experiencing today.

This programme is generously supported by the Bagri Foundation who are inspired by creative, unique and unexpected ideas that weave the traditional and the contemporary of Asian culture. Chelsea Pettitt, Head of Arts for the Foundation comments, ‘The Bagri Foundation is excited to support AAA, who represent an important group of practitioners and epitomise the idea of collective solidarity. The impact of this recent period on Asian and diasporic bodies has been particularly hard, and this programme provides a great opportunity to envision a different, more hopeful future through the lens of artists.’

For more information and to see the full list of programme events, please visit:
On until the 29 November 2020
Twitter: @asiaartactivism

Curated by Annie Jael Kwan, Arianna Mercado, Cuong Pham and Howl Yuan

Participating artists include:
Alfred Marasigan, Annie Jael Kwan, Arianna Mercado, Bettina Fung, Caro Gervay, Cuong Pham, Ghost & John, Howl Yuan, Joel Tan, Li Song, Lynn Lu, Maiko Jinushi, Mengting Zhuo, Mia Cabalfin, Minghe Hai, Nicholas Tee, Pei Chi Wu, Queer Bangladesh, Quek Jia Qi, Sam Reynolds, Sit Weng San, Songkun Wan, Thuy-Han Nguyen-Chi, Tzu-Yun Liang, Yanzhen Wu, Yarli Allison, Youngsook Choi

Freelance journalist covering fine art, photography, film and tech. UK based

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