The making of Gong/Kyou: visual archive and the common in contemporary East Asia
ABSTRACT This study will take two cases from East Asia to illustrate how visual archive/archiving has become or potentially becomes new space where image, heterogeneous temporalities and ideas of the common may lead to a redefinition or at least reconsideration of the binaries between public and private, between image and visual, between past and future. In contrast to historical archives, such visual archives not only aim for documentation and conservation but also become the sites of creating agencies and provoking critical reflections on the idea of the public. The first case is “Center for Remembering 3.11” initiated by Sendai Mediatheque (SMT), where civic participation and the archiving of the post-311 Tohoku Earthquake images of the disaster-ridden region were solicited and made into an online archive. The second case is Multitude.asia, a digital archive initiated by Taiwanese activist and scholar Huang Sun-quan, who works in collaboration with students, artists, and researchers from Mainland China and Taiwan in sorting, interviewing, and editing videos and texts about alternative cultural activities and space in Asia. While discussions on the archive and the public discourse are predominated by theories from Europe and the US, the current study intends to contextualize the concepts of “the public” (gōng/ōyake), “the private” (sī/watakushi), and “the common” (gòng/ kyō) in Chinese and Japanese languages in the discourse of archive in cultural specificity.
KEYWORDS: Visual archive in East Asia; public and private; Mizoguchi Yūzō ; Sendai Mediatheque; multitude
Notes on contributor
Dr. PAN Lu is Assistant Professor at Department of Chinese Culture, The Hong Kong Polytechnic University. She was visiting scholar and visiting fellow at the Technical University of Berlin (2008 and 2009), the Harvard-Yenching Institute (2011-2012), researcher in residence at Fukuoka Asian Art Museum (2016) and visiting scholar at Taipei National University of the Arts (2018). Pan is author of two monographs: In-Visible Palimpsest: Memory, Space and Modernity in Berlin and Shanghai (Bern: Peter Lang, 2016) and Aestheticizing Public Space: Street Visual Politics in East Asian Cities (Bristol: Intellect, 2015).