IN SESSION 2 - Jeff Chin-fung LEUNG 


from July 9, 2015

     ~ January, 2016 



Jeff Chin-fung LEUNG wants to make art as an artist: he had the chances to, but decided otherwise. Now, the calling is back; but from where?

In our conversations so far, i have the impression that the “public Jeff” that we know as curator and art administrator is bored with (and critical of, or bored with as a way of bring critical of) the way art has been understood: Is exhibition the only means to access art? When curating is (mis)understood to be a process of the curator choosing artists from a list, reduced to an active/ passive relation, what kind of story of art is being reproduced and left untold? “Am I getting too old to understand young artists?” Jeff asks.

We wonder, is it his problem that he sees things being done today as having been done before? Does this have to do with what he has been doing with art, and what he expects of art to be or to do for him and for others? Or, is his boredom a comment on how art in Hong Kong has been?


J: Jeff Chin-fung Leung

Y: Yang Yeung



On first encounter

J A3 Sharp Street West is like The Wrong Gallery (New York 2002-5), Para/Site Central (HK 2000-06), Art Window (HK 2000), 100 Ft Park (HK since 204).


Y i am not limiting the 'use' of this space for exhibitions only. It's not what i am best at and i think the idea of 'exhibition' today – the dominant way of understanding it – immediately presents the image of completed works. As much as some curation says it is not, once 'to exhibit' what is finished becomes the main activity, some things get lost. i began with this idea too with Shop A3, and i think using this space for exhibition may be valuable considering how ambiguously, obliquely exposed it is. It may challenge some artists to be situated in a different set of relations that compel them to rethink how they work, to shift their attention to what they may not have noticed because of certain habits. But the end of this shift of attention does not have to be limited to an exhibition.


The other thing I don't want to limit this place to, as mentioned in my personal statement, is 'curation'. If there would be any curation, it would be in the broad sense of – as i have written elsewhere – caring for art (in its most general and expanded sense).iI am not trying to put up a curated program that brands this place. i am not interested in fixing what it is at the moment. The result of what is done there may eventually generate some kind of identity, but that's not my starting point. i don't know much about your examples…but i don't see this as a gallery for displaying art. This is also related to the idea that i want this to be a place of positive energy, not another complaint of how little space there is for art in Hong Kong, and how art in Hong Kong is essentialized to be a reaction to ‘smallness’. Sometimes this 'smallness' even becomes exotic. i take the smallness of A3 as just reality. It's not an apology, not a compromise. Just sharing to let you know more what I have in mind.


On making

J i have two ideas. Option 1: Co-work with a text-based artist for producing artworks. Option 2: Work as a text-based artist with you.


Y What do you mean by ‘text-based’? Text as written narratives? Text as words that are part of or the material of the creative process? Perhaps this could be the start of our conversation?


And how do you see Shop A3 as presenting the possibility of dealing with text as visual? To be a bit provocative, the whole streetscapes of Hong Kong, the congestion of advertisement, is already very much about 'text as visual'. Would love to learn more what you are thinking! 


J When looking at the physical space of A3, i was inspired to think of some calligraphy-like artwork. i also have my own (text-based) artworks that i want to present. They are not very creative but i just want to make artwork in recent years. i don't know which option is better … :P


Y All of them are good - no wonder you don't know which is better lah! How about this: Jan 2016 – your text-based works or whatever that you feel urgent to do. i hear you about wanting to make works. It's GREAT!! i mark this date for you ok? i am not entirely clear yet, but I feel the way I will tell people about 'events' in A3 is by 'process', not 'opening' of some complete work...



Ongoing (roughly) monthly face-to-face conversations