Brief CV
Alvis Choi is an independent curator traveling between Hong Kong and Toronto. After earning her Bachelor's degree in Visual Communications, she worked as Gallery Coordinator at 1a space, an alternative visual art space. She was Assistant Manager of Videotage (2009-2011) where she organized over 30 projects, including “Wikitopia” (2010), “Cattle Depot 101” (2009), “Art in Blink” (2008) and “Second Life” (2008). Curated exhibitions include “Recycling Love” (Blue Lotus Gallery, 2011) and “Fugue in the Key of Understanding” (Osage Gallery, 2010). Her video program “20/20” (2009) traveled to festivals in Korea, the United Kingdom, Romania, Estonia, Russia and Hong Kong. She has presented and guest lectured at the 9th Seoul International Media Art Festival, Fotanian Open Studio 2011, and at institutions such as: Chinese University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong Design Institute and City University of Hong Kong. She was selected as a participant of Para/Site Art Space – Hong Kong Jockey Club Curatorial Training Program 2009-10 and recently received a fellowship from Vtape in Toronto as part of the Curatorial Incubator program 2011-12. Institutions and festivals she has worked with include: Hong Kong Museum of Art, The 6th Asia Pacific Triennial of Contemporary Art, Michigan Womyn’s Music Festival, Hong Kong Visual Arts Centre, Chapter Arts Centre, Australasian Cooperative Research Centre for Interaction Design and Microwave International New Media Art Festival. Alvis is a founding member of Dorkbot-HK and founder of Fantasy is Reality Unlimited (FiRU), an experimental initiative she established in 2011.
Curatorial Statement
From 2008 to 2011, I worked as Assistant Manager of Videotage, a non-profit media art organization in Hong Kong, where I initiated and organized over 30 projects. Many realized projects focused on advocating ideas crucial for nurturing an environment that is beneficial for the development of the local media art scene. Through the presentation of artworks, lectures, video screenings and workshops, concepts such as DIWO (Do It With Others), knowledge sharing, open systems, crowdsourcing and collaborative creativity were introduced to the public. One project I initiated in 2010 with Ellen Pau, founder of Videotage, was Wikitopia, a festival that promoted key notions in free culture and which in its first run lasted two weekends. With the participation of both local and international artists, cultural producers, IT advocates and scholars, we opened up discussions around topics of collaboration, open archive, freedom of speech and democracy. The openness of the networked world leads me to rethink the capacity and influence of technology, its ubiquity, and how it shapes human behavior, society and our future. I am interested in artistic projects that explore these issues and related matters in different formats. When presenting these projects, I favor methods of presentation that reflect a shared interest between the artist and the curator for engaging the audience. While at times the project itself can be highly engaging and interactive, I am interested in experimenting with blurring the definition of “artist,” “artwork,” “venue,” “curator” and “audience” and challenging the existing interrelationship among them. In the process of such experiments, I value ideas such as open knowledge, self-learning and collective intelligence. I try to construct a creative environment where all members of the community, regardless of their presumed role, are able to contribute to the process of production, presentation and appreciation of the art as a collective. These experiments simulate a new social structure, which is developing through ongoing technological development and shifts in human behavior and mindset, in which everyone has the opportunity to play a variety of roles and contribute to society equally, regardless of skill and experience. It is a space where we are all encouraged and supported to learn new skills and acquire knowledge in an open environment where each individual has something to teach. With the growing ambiguity between roles and identities in the networked world, we have more opportunities than ever to explore a variety of creative realms. While most technology comes from pure imagination, we have the capability of envisioning not only better tools, but also an ideal social system, a better future that is yet to be defined.
Projects realized (Selection)
2011 Recycling Love, The Blue Room (Blue Lotus Gallery), Hong Kong A barter experiment presented alongside the Hong Kong International Art Fair 2011. Thirty artists were invited to donate an object they no longer wished to keep and to tell a true or fictional story about it. They were also asked to attach a price, which could either be monetary, a request for actions, or a condition of exchange. 2010 Wikitopia, Presented by Videotage, Hong Kong The first festival in Hong Kong that addressed Internet culture within an art context. By introducing various concepts in the expanded Free Culture movement, such as knowledge sharing, networked creativity and the collaborative future, we explored our vision of a new utopia. By acknowledging and utilizing concepts growing from the technological world and entering the creative realm, we sought to open possibilities for new ways of working, thinking, and, ultimately, living. The Festival gathered artists, ICT/media activist, thinkers, curators, writers and curious-minded observers for a diverse program of keynotes, panel discussions, workshops, screenings and performances over two weekends at various venues in Hong Kong. Participating artists and speakers: Wendy Hui Kyong Chun (USA), Hector Rodriguez (HK), Jon Cates (USA), Ignacio Garcia (ES), moddr_ (NL), Kiki Nicolela (BRA), POGO (AU), Charles Mok (HK), Zheng Weimin (CN), Keith Lam (HK) among others. 2010 Fugue in the Key of Understanding, Osage Gallery, Hong Kong An exhibition combining the voices of three curators, using a musical composition form as a script for the exhibition. Under this more general theme each curator explored a more personal research. My part of the exhibition was titled “Fiction and Fact.” Excerpt from the curatorial statement: To understand why 'understanding' has become the theme for this exhibition, I have to start with the very first question of how we understand our world and ourselves. In physics, the laws of thermodynamics govern the emergence and entropy of all beings in our solar system. There is a particular motivational energy that is not governed by this law of physics. We called this motivation, curiosity. In human history, curiosity has expanded into a universe of cultures, of arts and science. Early museums often displayed their collections in so-called 'wonder rooms' or cabinets of curiosities. Today, in the age of hypermodernity which is manifested in a forward-looking commitment to science and knowledge, particularly with regard to the convergence of technology and biology, my exhibition would like to examine how curiosity is leading us in our own understanding. 2009 [20/20], First screened at Videotage, Hong Kong. Traveled to Korea, the United Kingdom, Romania, Estonia, Poland, and Russia A video program first screened in 2009, which is a conversation between two generations of Hong Kong video artists from the 1980s and 2000s. Excerpt from curatorial statement: Twenty years ago two historical events – the Tiananmen Square crackdown and the fall of the Berlin Wall – were of enormous social political and economical significance. One was acknowledged and celebrated for the 20th year anniversary; the other was deliberately forgotten and hidden. Chinaʼs economic growth became the reason to forget and the reason to love our country. [20/20] is a collection of videos illustrating the concern of the two generations with twenty years separating when they were/are both in their twenties, presenting the consciousness of Hong Kong in the most popular format.