A Hong Kong - Melbourne Exchange Project 2003 Organisation for Cultural Exchange and Mishap (OCEM)

Janina Green (AUS), Raafat Ishak (AUS), Patrick Pound (AUS), LAW Man-lok (HK), LEUNG Chin-fung (HK), LEUNG Mee-ping (HK), SO Yan-kei (HK)

Jun 27 – Jul 26, 2003

Enactment Dates:
27.06.2003 – 27.07.2003 Para/Site Art Space, Hong Kong
4.07.2003 – 26.07.2003 West Space, Melbourne Australia
Opening Reception (Para/Site): 6-8pm, Fri, 27 June 2003
Discussion Forum (Para/Site): 3pm, Sat, 28 June 2003
Gallery Hours: 12 –7pm, Wed to Sun (Closed Mon & Tue and Public Holidays)
Location: Para/Site Art Space, G/F, 2 Po Yan St, Sheung Wan, HK (near 224 Hollywood Rd)
Organisation founding members: Brett Jones (AUS) & Jaspar K.W. Lau (HK)
Organisation artist members:
Australia — Janina Green, Raafat Ishak, Patrick Pound
Hong Kong — LAW Man-lok, LEUNG Chin-fung, LEUNG Mee-ping, SO Yan-kei

Organisation for Cultural Exchange and Mishap (OCEM) comes out of an ongoing relationship between two artist-run spaces: West Space in Melbourne and Para/Site Art Space in Hong Kong. Launched by Jaspar K.W. Lau (Hong Kong) and Brett Jones (Australia), the exhibition will be held in Hong Kong and Melbourne respectively.

Based on the concept of a cultural exchange organisation, OCEM is not an Organisation in the sense of having an administrative infrastructure or a delineated institutional voice, but rather is a fluid composite of practice as enacted by artwork, documents and dialogue developed over an immeasurable length of time.

OCEM is interested in organisation, and not organization as institution. OCEM understands the primacy of artist-initiated activity. The members of Organisation at any point in time will be the organisation. This project has no aims beyond allowing artists to develop their own aims and objectives for Organisation. Organisation recognizes that these aims and objectives are developed via a process of organisation by member artists, and are therefore also subject to change and negation by member artists. The aims and objectives of Organisation are subservient to, and a direct result of imagining and enacting scenarios to do with organisation. It understands practice as a series of layered negotiations with social and cultural formations constituted through a radical critique of these constructs through play and subversion.

OCEM involves three Australian and four Hong Kong artists in a cross-cultural dialogue that attempts to exercise the scenario and enactment of Organization cultural exchange and mishap, reframe some of the issues surrounding trans/cultural practices, epitomised in the booming international exhibition circuit, international biennales and artist residency programs. In this sense it aims to consider why cultural exchange projects are regarded as important and how they affect and engage with participants in different cultural contexts.