Ten Years of OCAT (2005-2015) Seminar Series: Seminar 1: Archive Fever

Time: December 14, 2014, 10:00-16:00

Venue: OCAT Institute, Jinchanxilu, Chaoyang District, Beijing, China (100023)

Organized by: OCAT Institute

Supported by: OCT Beijing 

Seminar: Dong Bingfeng (Academic Director of OCAT Institute)

               Zhou Lin (Head of Exhibition of OCAT Institute)





Ten Years of OCAT (2005-2015) Seminar Series

In 2005, twenty years after the ’85 New Wave marked the first momentous stage of Chinese contemporary art, the OCAT Contemporary Art Terminal officially opened to the public. Through a wide array of exhibitions, public education programs and publication projects, OCAT offers a path through the lively intellectual landscape of China. In the past two years, it expanded into a group of museums with venues in several of China’s major cities. The purpose of these centers is to promote and showcase the unique development of Chinese contemporary art within an international context and to explore the possibility of integration with local communities.


In 2014, the OCAT Institute launched a series of seminars, public lectures and exhibitions that commemorate and reflect on this unique journey. As an integral component of this program, Ten Years of OCAT (2005-2015) offers a comprehensive overview of the documentation collected from its past undertakings, initiatives by different members of the museum group, and other collaborative activities (such as the Shenzhen Sculpture Biennale).


Ten Years of OCAT (2005-2015) Seminar Series Archive Fever invites five speakers from diverse backgrounds (art history, theory and criticism of art, and philosophy) to provide presentations on archive building, criticism, and research. While these subjects are already implicit to the exhibitions and the overall operations of OCAT, we want to create an open discussion that welcomes critique, comparison and the sharing of insights, in a way that guides the exhibition and archival activities of the Institute in the future.


The seminar has two installments that will take place in December, 2014 and August, 2015.



Seminar Overview:

December 14, 2014, 10:00-12:00 

Speaker: Lin Chiming (National Taipei University of Education

Topic: The Archival Turn: Image and Trace


1. The Definition and Core Concepts of the Archive

2. Critical Theories of the Archive

3. Image and Trace

4. Conclusion


Speaker: Wang Min'an (Capital Normal University)

Topic: Walter Benjamin and Michel Foucault: Historical Debris and Archaeological Documents


This presentation is concerned with the secret solidarity between Walter Benjamin’s notion of the Flaneur and the processes of modernization that create levels of transversal between the commodification of everyday life and the production of garbage that exposes it. Furthermore, it seeks to locate points of connectivity between Benjamin’s interpretation of modernity and Michel Foucault’s archaeological method as presented his Archaeology of Knowledge


December 14, 2014, 14:00-17:00

Speaker: Qingsheng Zhu (Peking University)

Topic: The Issue of Archive in Art of the Han Dynasty and Annual of Contemporary Art of China


The talk provides an introduction to how the discipline of imagology advanced through two long-term projects that each in its own way constituted a continuous investigation into the relationship between image and text. The first project is Documents of Modern Art in China, which began in 1986 and in 2005 developed into the Annual of Chinese Contemporary Art, the second is Art of the Han Dynasty, which began in 1995.


Speaker: Fei Dawei (Independent Curator)

Topic: What is the Xinkedu Group


Active from 1988 to 1995, Xinkedu is an artist group that consists of Gu Dexin, Wang Luyan and Chen Shaoping. They strictly follow a collective model of production while using the language of pure mathematics to deconstruct and reconstruct the image, with all individual or personal elements expunged from their works. The presentation considers the significance of their production and the difficulties that come with documentation, since the group decided to destroy the manuscripts and sketches when they disbanded in 2015.


Speaker: Shen Yubing (Zhejiang University)

Topic: Translation and Research of Theory and Criticism of Western Contemporary Art


In a recent publication by Thames & Hudson titled Books that Shaped Art History, sixteen art historians and their representative works are introduced. Among them, only six have been translated into Chinese. In our current age, this peculiar poverty reflects a lack of understanding regarding the cannon of art history. Under this light, the discussion focuses on translation as an indispensable component for the discursive transmission and transformation of the history of art.


December 14, 2014, 17:00-18:00


Open Discussion

Moderated by: 

Dong Bingfeng (Academic Director,OCAT Institute)

Zhou Lin (Head of Exhibition Department,OCAT Institute)