Ling Fan Photo by Wang Ning

Beginning 3 February 2015, US-based, Chinese architect and scholar Ling Fan will begin his six-month term as the inaugural M+ / Design Trust Fellow, for which he will be based at M+ to conduct research on the topic ‘Hong Kong as an Archetype: Revisiting Modernist Ideas of the City and its Urban Forms’.

An initiative of M+ and Design Trust, a newly-established grant funding entity based in Hong Kong, the M+ / Design Trust Fellowship aims to support the work of a proven scholar or practitioner in contributing to the development of design and architecture-related knowledge, understanding and research relevant to Hong Kong and the Greater Pearl River Delta region. The Fellow, selected by a five-member panel after a rigorous, open application process, receives a monthly stipend from Design Trust for between three to six months, as well as a one-time travel grant for overseas awardees. In addition to supporting his research, the Fellowship offers Fan and the Hong Kong community an opportunity to engage each other, including through a paper and public talk to be presented by Fan upon completion of his Fellowship.

Fan’s Fellowship research aims to recuperate the idea of the ‘Chinese city’ as a modernist project that began in the 1940s by conceptualising it according to two extreme logics: one driven primarily by political power, as exemplified by Beijing, and the other being propelled by economic power, as in Hong Kong. The dialectics between Hong Kong and Beijing, representing the economic and the political, introduces an archetypal contrast that will appear and reappear throughout China’s recent history of urban development in ever-new incarnations. In this context, Fan will examine how Hong Kong, coming from its own, unique geopolitical situation, represents a critical passage for understanding the emergence of the contemporary ‘Chinese city’.

Fan’s Fellowship is also supported by Spring Workshop, a non-profit arts space in Hong Kong committed to an international cross-disciplinary program of artist and curatorial residencies, exhibitions, music, film and talks.

 

About Ling Fan

Ling Fan is a speculative designer, educator and urban entrepreneur. Trained as an architect, he works at the boundaries of architecture, design, urban theory and media technology. He is the co-founder of Tezign Tech & Design, a startup bridging creative talents with real-world social and business problems. In addition, he founded FANStudio in 2010, a practice straddling art and architecture, and was the Founding Innovation Director of C-Pod (Crystal Platform for Open Design), the design think tank for Crystal CG, from 2008-10. Fan currently teaches architecture, media art, human-environment interaction, urbanism and interdisciplinary design at China Central Academy of Fine Arts and the University of California at Berkeley.

Fan has received numerous awards, including the ‘Contemporary Young Art Criticism’ prize from Art Observation journal; the ‘Focus on Talent Award’ from the Martell Art Foundation and Today Art Museum; and the ‘National Art Special Project’ grant from the China National Scholarship Council. His work has been exhibited at prestigious events and fairs including Beijing Design Week, the Gwangju Biennale, Shanghai Art and Design Biennale, and Shenzhen Hong Kong Bi-City Biennale. Fan received a Doctor of Design from Harvard’s Graduate School of Design, a Master of Architecture from Princeton University and a Bachelor of Architecture from Tongji University. Fan’s Fellowship is also supported by Spring Workshop, a non-profit arts space in Hong Kong committed to an international cross-disciplinary program of artist and curatorial residencies, exhibitions, music, film and talks.

 

About M+

M+ is the new museum for visual culture in Hong Kong, as part of the West Kowloon Cultural District, encompassing 20th and 21st century art, design and architecture, and the moving image from Hong Kong, China, Asia and beyond.  From its vantage point in one of the world's most dynamic regions, M+ seeks, through its exhibitions, programming and permanent collection, to document the past, inform the present and contribute to the future of visual culture within an ever more interconnected global landscape.

 

About Design Trust

Design Trust, an initiative by the Hong Kong Ambassadors of Design, was established in 2014 as a grant funding entity, aiming to support creative projects that promote design talent, research initiatives and content related to Hong Kong and the Greater Pearl River Delta Region. Working across a multiplicity of design disciplines from graphics, media, and fashion to the built environment, Design Trust aims to actively accelerate creative design and the development of meaningful projects.

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