Video: Archive As Verb: Hammad Nasar
In this special keynote presentation Hammad Nasar discusses recent and ongoing projects that he and his colleagues have developed at the Hong Kong-based Asia Art Archive, one of the world’s leading public collections of primary and secondary source material about contemporary art in Asia, as well as his curatorial work with Green Cardamom.
Hammad addresses the idea of archive as verb: a dynamic process that looks beyond the physical aspects of material culture towards the actions that engagement with archives can enable. How can artists, curators, researchers, educators, students and the broader public generate new ideas, works and individual responses that continually reshape the archive itself? What does it mean to enrich and complicate histories that are told through the archive by means of active engagement? What are the responsibilities of collecting organisations towards public accessibility, public education and the historical and political implications of facilitating others to challenge dominant global art historical narratives?
Hammad connects this theme and his current work with Asia Art Archive with his experiences in producing curatorial projects at Green Cardamom, a London-based not-for-profit organisation that focuses on art from South and West Asia and which he co-founded.
Hammad Nasar is co-hosted by 4A Centre for Contemporary Asian Art in partnership with the Australia Council for the Arts Visual Arts Section through its International Visitors Program.
Hammad Nasar is a curator, writer and Head of Research and Programmes at the Hong Kong-based Asia Art Archive. Earlier he co-founded the non-profit arts organisation Green Cardamom, London, that focuses on art from South and West Asia and has a commitment to exhibition-led enquiry. Hammad has curated or co-curated numerous international exhibitions and symposia, including: Karkhana: A Contemporary Collaboration, Johnson Museum, Cornell University (2012, Ithaca, USA) and Nasher Museum, Duke University (2013, Durham, USA); Drawn from Life, Abbott Hall Art Gallery (2011, Kendal, UK); Beyond the Page: The Miniature as Attitude in Contemporary Art from Pakistan (Pacific Asia Museum (2010, Pasadena, USA); Lines of Control: Partition as a Productive Space, Cornell University (2012, Ithaca, USA); and Where Three Dreams Cross: 150 Years of Photography from India, Pakistan and Bangladesh, Whitechapel Gallery and Fotomuseum Winterthur (2010, London, UK and Winterthur, Switzerland). Hammad plays an advisory role for various arts organisations including Delfina Foundation (UK), Rhode Island School of Design (USA) and San Art (Vietnam). He was a Fellow of the UK’s Clore Leadership Programme and Research Fellow at Goldsmiths College, London.
Asia Art Archive (AAA) was initiated in 2000 in response to the urgent need to document and secure the multiple recent histories of contemporary art in the Asia region. With research posts in China, Hong Kong, India, Japan, Korea, the Philippines, and Taiwan, AAA has collated one of the most valuable collections of material on contemporary art in the region. Built of 85% donated material, the collection now holds over 34,000 records, comprised of hundreds of thousands of physical and digital items, and it continues to grow. Through collecting and making information on the recent history of contemporary art in Asia easily accessible, AAA offers a range of programmes for educators, youth and young adults, and other members in the community, with the goal of becoming the definitive arts resource and library for the Hong Kong public, particularly educators and students.