Vancouver International Centre for Contemporary Asian Art

Let’s Twist Again


Exhibition + Symposium

The Vancouver International Centre for Contemporary Asian Art will celebrate the tenth anniversary of its gallery, Centre A, with a retrospective exhibition and a symposium that will connect the cultural development of Vancouver to global changes in contemporary art.

The project will have two major components, an exhibition, called “The Dig”(July 31 – September 25, 2010), and a symposium, called “The Twister”, at Morris J Wosk Centre for Dialogue, Simon Fraser University(September 17 and 18, 2010)

An online component will enable networked discussion and exchange.

Private funding for the project is provided by generous gifts from Lead Patron, Anndraya T. Luui; Symposium patrons: Bruce and Lis Welch Community Award, Office of the president of Simon Fraser University; and Keynote Patrons, Mark Allison and Stephanie Holmquist.

Public support comes from the Canada Council for the Arts, the British Columbia Arts Council and the City of Vancouver.

The symposium will take place in the the Asia-Pacific Hall of the Wosk Centre for Dialogue at SFU. This is made possible by a Bruce and Lis Welch Community Award and a grant from the Office of the President of Simon Fraser University. The symposium celebrates the opening of Simon Fraser University’s School for the Contemporary Arts in the Woodwards Building

The presentation of distinguished keynote speaker, David Elliott, is co-presented by the Curatorial Lecture Series of the University of British Columbia, with the support of the Morris and Helen Belkin Art Gallery, the Department of Art History, Visual Art and Theory, the Museum of Anthropology, and the Department of Anthropology, the Audain Endowment for Curatorial Studies and the Faculty of Arts at The University of British Columbia.

Symposium registration: Christina Panis 604-683-8326 or

Curator Contact: Makiko Hara, Debra Zhou, Hank Bull – 604-683-8326



The Dig
co-curated by Makiko Hara, Debra Zhou and Hank Bull

July 31 – September 25, 2010
SWARM11 Special Reception: Friday, September 10, 8pm

This exhibition will search the past for clues to the future. Since Centre A opened its doors in the summer of 2000, it has acquired a considerable, if informal, collection. Stored in boxes and back rooms, these archives are packed with history. For the archaeologist, this is a gold mine. Digging through the midden, piecing together fragments, making connections and discovering treasures, a culture comes to life and its story can be told.

Over the summer of 2010, Centre A will conduct an excavation on itself, sorting through paintings, props, photographs, media works, sculpture, objects and documents. Once laid out, this history will be made visible from a new, all-of-a-sudden, perspective.

The gallery will be packed with an astonishing array of objects and information, including works by Hong Hao, Nobuo Kubota, Shen Yuan, Germaine Koh, Sharmila Samant, Yang Jiechang, Koki Tanaka, Khan Lee, Roy Caussy, Jinhan Koh, Santiago Bose, Mo S’alemy, Leung Chi-Wo, Babak Golkar and many others. The gallery will be divided into a number of discursive spaces: a cinema, a café, a library, a bookstore, a lounge and a radio station.

Publications and limited editions will be available for sale. Video in the gallery, and on the website, will feature highlights from past performances, lectures, symposia and interviews with key contributors.

Let’s Twist Again will be both a celebration of past achievement and a platform for imagining the future.

Click here to download online catalogue of The Dig exhibition. 


The Twister
Situating Vancouver in the changing world of contemporary art

September 17-18, 2010
Asia Pacific Hall, Morris J Wosk Centre for Dialogue, Simon Fraser University
580 West Hastings Street, Vancouver

Centre A was launched in May, 2000, with a symposium called Twisting the Box. Issues raised at this conference informed the development of Centre A. Ten years later, The Twister will examine the history and the future of Centre A within the context of international contemporary art, new technologies and Vancouver’s rapidly changing cultural landscape.

An evening keynote address by distinguished curator David Elliott will be followed by a full day of discussion. The symposium will make the most of the Asia Pacific Hall’s unique design to stimulate an inclusive dialogue. Ticket ($40/$20 for registered students) includes a luncheon and cocktail reception.

Friday, September 17, 7:00 – 9:00 pm

REGISTRATION: 7:00 pm – 7:30 pm
KEYNOTE ADDRESS: 7:30 pm – 9:00 pm

David Elliot

David Elliott is one of the world’s leading museum directors, curators and cultural historians. In the 1980s he was one of the first to exhibit the new wave of world art. He has continued this work in Oxford, Stokholm, Tokyo, Istanbul, Berlin and Hong Kong. David Elliott is currently artistic director of the 17th Biennale of Sydney.

Wounds, Happiness, Distance

This lecture looks at three seminal exhibitions curated by David Elliott in three different cities that all aspire in different ways to reflect and describe the conditions of contemporary art as well as their relationship to the city and region in which they were made. The exhibitions were “Wounds: between democracy and redemption in contemporary art” (Stockholm,1998); “Happiness: a survival guide for art and life” (Tokyo, 2003); and “The Beauty of Distance. Songs of Survival in a Precarious Age” (Sydney Biennale, 2010).

Introduction by Skeena Reece, artist, participant in the 17th Biennale of Sydney.

Saturday September 18  10:00am – 5:30pm


Session 1: 10:15 am – 12:15 pm
Art/Globalization/Locating Vancouver

Moderator: Makiko Hara, Curator Centre A

World maps of contemporary art have shifted dramatically since Tiananmen and the fall of the Berlin Wall. How does Vancouver situate itself amid these changes? What are the implications for the making of art and the production of artists?

Session 2: 2:00 pm – 3:00pm

DJ (discourse jockey): Debra Zhou, Assistant Curator, Centre A.

Global networks and social media are transforming the art world. What is their impact on the design of museums, cultural policy, education and arts funding? How are Vancouver artists responding to global issues and local pressures? A mix of live and online elements.

Session 3: 3:30 – 5:30pm 
Cultural Capital

Moderator: Hank Bull, Executive Director, Centre A

Vancouver is in the grips of a city-wide debate about the place of arts and culture in the city’s vision of its future. What kind of spaces are we building for art? What does Vancouver have to say to the world? This closing discussion will consider these questions and identify the next steps forward.

The symposium features speakers who will kindle discussion with short interventions, as well as “active listeners” invited to contribute to the ensuing dialogue. Those interested in speaking are invited to submit proposals for short interventions. The following speakers are confirmed.


Jo-Anne Birnie Danzker  Director, Frye Art Museum, Seattle
Christine Cheung  
Artist, Berlin
Randy Gledhill
  Artist, Executive Director, Live Biennale
Francisco Fernando Granados
  Artist, Master of Visual Arts Studies, University of Toronto
Bruce Grenville
  Senior Curator, Vancouver Art Gallery
Ray Hsu
  Post-Doctoral Teaching Fellow, Creative Writing Department, University of British Columbia
Alice Ming Wai Jim
  Assistant Professor, Department of Art History, Concordia University
Ying Kwok  
Curator, Chinese Arts Centre Manchester, UK
Ken Lum
Jesse McKee
  Exhibition Curator, Western Front Society
Laura Marks
  Dena Wosk University Professor of Art and Culture Studies, School for the Contemporary Arts, Simon Fraser University
David MacWilliam
  Dean, Faculty of Visual Art and Material Practice, Emily Carr University of Art + Design
Brian McBay
  Arts administrator, Executive Director, 221A Artist-Run Centre, Vancouver
Jonathan Middleton
  Director, Or Gallery, Vice President of PAARC and representative to ARCA
Richard Newirth
  Managing Director of Cultural Services for the City of Vancouver
Liz Park
  Independent curator, Public Programmer, Vancouver Art Gallery
Kristina Lee Podesva
  Artists, Curator, Writer and Editor of Fillip
Bob Rennie, Rennie Marketing Systems
Sadira Rodrigues  Director of Continuing Studies, Emily Carr University of Art + Design
Joomi Seo
  Artist, MFA candidate in Visual Arts, University of British Columbia
Reid Shier
, President, Presentation House Gallery
Maiko Tanaka
  Toronto/Utrecht based Independent curator, Board Member, Gendai Gallery, Toronto
Steven Tong
  Artist, Co-curator, CSA Gallery
Keith Wallace
  Editor-in-chief, Yishu Journal of Contemporary Chinese Art
Victor Wang
  Executive Director, Make Art History; Director, Here is Now
Scott Watson
  Director, Morris and Helen Belkin Art Gallery, University of British Columbia
Paul Wong
  Artist, curator
Yan Wu
  Independent curator, writer, Program Coordinator, Gendai Gallery, Toronto
Jin-me Yoon
  Artist, Professor, School for the Contemporary Arts, Simon Fraser University
Vera Yu
  President, Asia Unlimited, Berlin
Zheng Shengtian
  Managing Editor, Yishu Journal of Contemporary Chinese Art




The symposium will be streamed live to the Internet ( Participation in the event will be possible by Ustream, Skype and Twitter. The proceedings will edited and archived on Centre A’s website.

The symposium will include time for casual conversation, conviviality and celebration.

$40 ticket includes keynote session, all-day symposium, luncheon and cocktail reception on the 18th.
$20 for registered students

Please call Christina Panis 604-683-8326 or register online:


Let’s Twist Again is made possible in part by the generous support of the following patrons:

Lead Patron: Anndraya T. Luui

Symposium patrons: Bruce and Lis Welch Communitity Award, Office of the President of Simon Fraser University

Keynote Patrons: Mark Allison and Stephanie Holmquist
Keynote address is co-presented with the Curatorial Lecture Series of the University of British Columbia, with the support of the Morris and Helen Belkin Art Gallery, the Department of Art History, Visual Art and Theory, the Museum of Anthropology, and the Department of Anthropology, the Audain Endowment for Curatorial Studies and the Faculty of Arts at The University of British Columbia.



The Canada Council for the Arts

The British Columbia Arts Council

The City of Vancouver