Doryun Chong and Pauline J. Yao, co-curators
Mobile M+: Live Art, the ninth project in the ongoing Mobile M+ exhibition series, expands the definition of the work of art from a static object to a situation. Here, art is recast as conduit rather than form, communication rather than meaning, an active verb rather than a passive noun. Often ephemeral and temporary, as well as variable and adaptable, this kind of art activates the artist or performer’s body as the main medium and looks to voice, breath, movement, and physical effort as channels of expression. Mobile M+: Live Art presents a range of works that explore various aspects of ‘liveness’, a characteristic that has become more and more prominent in contemporary art over the last few decades. Included in the exhibition are staged performances in a theatre setting, outdoor actions and interventions, and displays of artworks doubling as performance documentation. The definition of performance in the context of Mobile M+: Live Art is wilfully ambiguous; performances can take place before an audience or in the privacy of one’s home, can emerge out of the artist’s own movements or the actions of many, and can be single events or multiple occurrences. What unifies this group of performers is their affinity for foregrounding the body as a channel or mode of expression which can produce endlessly proliferating sets of meanings. The ten artists of different generations represented here hail from Hong Kong, south China, Korea, Singapore, and the United States and are presenting a diverse group of works dating from the 1980s to the present.