What it might mean to live as peers of contemporary art
a personal reflection on nostalgia's demand from Hong Kong
Keywords:Hong Kong contemporary art, nostalgia, vernacular, transition in Chinese thought, peer activism
The population of Hong Kong has been significantly affected by outward migration since the mass pro-democracy movement in 2019. To make sense of nostalgia as a prominent sentiment around the phenomenon, I examine the work of artist and curator duo C&G Artpartment among those who had left. While I long for a Hong Kong with C&G being around, I find inspiration in their lexicon to rethink nostalgia. C&G practices a peer activism committed to both local vernacular and global art talk. While nostalgia that is positive or negative is powered by colonizer and dominator narratives, my nostalgia for them, and for what their departure means for contemporary art in Hong Kong, is neither. It instead carries a pedagogical function. Their peer activism stays relevant in the long-run for admitting transition as an essential preparation for change.
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