Andy Tat-keung Tam

Research project: Towards In-Between Nature-Culture Walking Along the River... On the Road... In the City…

Abstract

Throughout the genealogy of Chinese landscape art (Shanshui  or Mountains & Rivers), the historic legacies and contexts of the Scroll have been widely used as literary traditions  that interplay among image, calligraphy, poetry, text, and painting. Through walking among mountainous landscapes with massive crags and narrow fissures between rocks, and water flowing, landscape art depicts aesthetic, philosophical, and religious qualities as art genre and as subjects of Nature. This PhD investigates an entangled field of artworks, literary and philosophical texts, nature writing, digital images, and moving-image on spaces of possibility and the imaginary, by which landscapes have been illustrated, the research argues, as cultural construction.

An important aspect of the project is that the Practice-based Research (PbR) has been initiated by the dichotomous propositions from Robert Smithson's A Tour of the Monuments of Passaic, New Jersey. Smithson documented and walked, referring to Walking As Art, or, walkscapes, as claimed by Careri, across a post-industrial city of Passaic. Smithson's writing creates a cultural and textural space of art production (as mediation, representation, mimesis, and a documentary process), which echoes an anti-landscape and anti-aesthetic, developed through my research questions and arguments. Referring to and exploring the ‘walking-writings' and thoughts from 18th century to present, the research also experiments with and contextualizes the dialectical questions of how Nature has been widely adapted as the key to creative practices and production in relation to the extensive-SCAPES study or in the representative view, such as in Landscapes, Seascapes, Riverscapes, Mountainscapes, Cityscapes, Streetscapes, Soundscapes, Walkscapes, Picturescapes, Imagescapes, and Videoscapes. Thus, the unique artistic form- SCROLL would be employed as critical scapes and scopes in contributing to both practical and theoretical investigation.

The methodological framework expands the philosophical SCROLLs on contemporary art, by which photo documentations, fiction-like writings and travelogue have been illustrated as critical reflections on city modernization and urbanization in a view of cityscapes, that further contextualize via artistic praxis and extensive theories. The research is, thus, situated within this trajectory and trans or inter- disciplinary studies in focusing on the still-image and moving-image. Thus, the term MOVing-Image has been coined to describe the dynamism and rapid changes in nature.

This PhD thesis mainly consists of three research SCROLLs: Walking Along the River, On the Road..., and In the City… that demonstrate Walking/the Flâneur as a significant artistic-interventive tactic to further explain and illustrate an interceptive/interactive/interpretative praxis for creating contemporary art outcomes in terms of literary or visual representations.

The findings also contribute to the research arguments and to distinct knowledge by exploring new hybrid MOVing-Image forms (Manovich, 2006), via theoretical and practical contributions- a methodology which extensively updates definitions of MOVing-Image. Especially, the emergence and resurgence of the visual representation of SCROLLs as MOVing-Image are further examined in terms of experimentation with significant aspects of the Entanglement between such concepts as east and west, nature and culture, and high and low.

Finally, this PhD research also contributes to contemporary art practices that explore movement and its mediation, especially through the analogue and digital MOVing-Image.

Keywords: Cityscapes, Culture, Dichotomies, Entanglement, Flâneur, Landscapes, Modernization, Moving-Image, Nature, Riverscapes, Road, Painting, Practice-based Research, Psychogeography, Scroll, Urbanization, Videoscapes, Walkscapes.

  • Research degree: Practice-based PhD
  • Title of project: Towards In-Between Nature-Culture Walking Along the River... On the Road... In the City…
  • Research supervisor: Mr Volker Eichelmann
  • Other research supervisor: Ms Amanda Ure

Biography

PhD Researcher, School of Art, Kingston University London & Visiting Scholar of Hong Kong University. Co-curator of Art Central Hong Kong (2022), International Festival of Intermedia (2020 & 2018). Graduated at Wimbledon College of Arts, the University of the Arts London (UAL). He also participates in the projects of Affordable Art Fair Hong Kong (2018), Silk Road International Art Festival (2017), The 3rd Kunming Art Biennale (2016), Shenzhen Biennale of Contemporary Art (2015), Bi-City Biennale of Urbanism/ Architecture (Shenzhen and Hong Kong, 2012 & 2016), Kwangju Art Biennial (2005), Guangzhou Art Triennial (2005), MAAP Media Art Festival (2004), Ho Chi Minh Fine Arts Museum (2000), Taiwan IT Park Gallery (2000), Taiwan Huashan Arts District (2000), Hong Kong Biennale of Art (1996 & 1998) etc. He also performed at Malaysia National Visual Arts Gallery (2000) etc, and his art writings were released in MIT-LEA Press, 2nd APAEC (Asia-Pacific Art Education Conference), 2nd Guangzhou triennial, Korean National Commission for UNESCO etc. His art writings were released in MIT-LEA Press, 2nd APAEC (Asia-Pacific Art Education Conference), 2nd Guangzhou triennial, Korean National Commission for UNESCO etc.

Areas of research interest

  • MOVing-Image
  • Practice-based Art Research
  • Video Art
  • New Media
  • Installation and Performance
  • Visual Culture
  • Curatorship and Exhibition
  • Architecture and Urban Development
  • Arts Education
  • Chinese Contemporary Art

Qualifications

  • MEd in Art Education, HKMU
  • MA in Theatre Design and Scenography, Wimbledon College of Arts (UAL)
  • Associate Member (ARPS), The Royal Photographic Society, UK

Funding or awards received

  • Hong Kong Baptist University- Beijing Normal University, United International College (UIC) Continuing Education Fund (£5,000).
  • UIC Research Grant (2019-2022) The Liquidity of Data as the Production of Art: a practice-based research on contemporary art in the era of digitization" (£3,500).
  • How to enhance the measurement of creativity in high education institutions (2019-2021), Innovation and Enhancement Project Guangdong Province (£5,600).
  • International Festival of Intermedia (2020) Project Grants, The Leisure and Cultural Services Department (LCSD), Hong Kong Government (£25,000).
  • When Eyes meet Chinese Contemporary Art: A Simultaneous Biometrics and Experimental Aesthetics Study (2022-2026), Guangdong Higher Education Enhancement Plan (£5000).
  • Graduate Research School Fund (2023), Kingston University (£350).

Publications

Tam, T. K. (2016). 'Southeast Asian Contemporary Art'. in On the Stream: Southeast Asian Contemporary Art, Yunnan Fine Art Museum, China.

Tam, T. K. et al (2016). 'Walking @CrossRoads'. in The 1st Shenzhen Biennale of Contemporary Art, Art Planning Committee of Shenzhen Artists Associations, China.

Conference papers

Tam, T. K. (2021). 'Reflections on Applying an Innovative Project-Based Learning (iPBL): Shadow Play in OBTL Classroom'. in the 6th International Symposium on Emerging Technologies for Education SETE 2021.

Tam, T. K. (2019). 'Applying PDCA model and Four-building Blocks as Measurement Framework in Assessing the Creativity of Liberal Arts Students in China'. in The 2nd IT and eLearning expo cum the 23rd International Conference on ISO and TQM.

Tam, T K. (2015) 'In Between Institution and Market- the role of media art and infrastructure in the era of post-regional integration', in An International Conference Exploring Creative Research and Practice in Museum Making, K11 Art Foundation, UKT1 and the University of Leicester.