Translating visual archives: on the making of the new through three cases of Hong Kong

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This study attempts to provide an original perspective to deciphering the mechanism of cultural production, the change in value hierarchies and the making of public space through the lens of art and visual archives in contemporary Hong Kong. The three cases of visual archives in question, intentionally or not, have three different Chinese translations of the English term ‘archive’: Asia Art Archive (wenxian 文獻), ‘Archive of the People’ (dang’an 檔案), and Umbrella Movement Visual Archive (kucun 庫存). The use of each translation literally and symbolically indicates the difference, tension, and diversity of the archive discourses in their specific context. In this vein, this study rethinks the art archive in relation to the idea of ‘the new’.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)81-98
Number of pages18
JournalJournal of Visual Art Practice
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2 Jan 2019


  • Art archive
  • Hong Kong art
  • the new
  • translation
  • visual activism

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Visual Arts and Performing Arts

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