【Updated】Conference | Art, Critical Ecologies, and Multiscalar Engagements

Mankun Liu's picture
November 12, 2021 to November 13, 2021
Subject Fields: 
Art, Art History & Visual Studies, Environmental History / Studies, Asian History / Studies, East Asian History / Studies, Fine Arts

A conference organized by Wanwu Practice Group, City University of Hong Kong

As part of the Critical Ecologies Symposium 2021: Art, Multiscalar Engagements, and Embodying Local Knowledges organized by Critical Ecologies / Shared Campus and co-hosted with Taipei National University of the Arts.


Format: online via zoom



This conference will be East Asia's first conference on contemporary art and ecology. Through the conference, we hope to bring together researchers and practitioners working in the intersections of art, ecology, indigeneity, geopolitics, and STS (science and technology studies) to build a cross-regional network of sustainable collaboration.

The conference includes three panels. All the panels are open to the public upon registration. There will be limited-time online screenings of some of the audio-visual works and reference materials related to the panel presentations. Please see the panel pages for the screening period and links for each work.




Friday, November 12


10:00am - 10:10am GMT+8 / Taipei / Hong Kong Time

Opening Remarks (Wanwu Practice Group)


10:10am-12:10pm GMT+8 / Taipei / Hong Kong Time

Panel 1 | Art, Ecology, Geology, and Climatology

Register in advance for panel 1 here (LINK UPDATED).


With Zarina Muhammad, Aki Nagasaka, Professor Darryl Whetter, Zimu Zhang

Presentation 1|  Practice of Imagining Future Forests and Vegetation through an Ancient Buried Forest and Knowing the World by Committing to a Fixed Geographical Locality (Aki Nagasaka)

Presentation 2 | Eco-mediating the 1991 Khawa Karpo Mountaineering Incident: Visualizing Climate Change in the Tibetan Sacred Mountain (Zimu Zhang) 

Presentation 3 | Eating Soil and Moving Earth: Lessons on Worldmaking Practices, Threshold Crossing, Archival Fragments and Working with Non-Human Collaborators (Zarina Muhammad)

Presentation 4 | Reading from Our Sands (a Climate-Crisis Novel) (Professor Darryl Whetter, Université Sainte-Anne, Canada)

This panel brings together presentations of four researchers-creative practitioners, whose artistic research and work focus on global climatic, ecological, and geopolitical issues. Each presenter will address how these issues take shape in specific geographical locations and socio-cultural fabrics of Tibet, Singapore, Japan, and Canada. The panel also attempts to discuss advantages, possibilities, and disadvantages of using artistic expressions, particularly storytelling/re-storytelling, as ways to approach these issues, include diverse more-than-human voices, and convey them to others.


12:20pm-2:20pm GMT+8 / Taipei / Hong Kong Time

Panel 2 | Art, Ecology, and Contested Indigeneity

Register in advance for panel 2 here

With Emily Verla Bovino and András Blazsek, Eiko Soga, Liu Mankun, Park Ji Yun

Presentation 1 | On Aggregation: Indigenous Mounds as Technological Thought in Coastal China and North America (Emily Verla Bovino and András Blazsek)

Presentation 2 | Ainu Hunter, Mon-chan (Eiko Soga)

Presentation 3 | Cosmological Fabrics of Relations: Vecik from within to beyond the Tjavadran World (Liu Mankun)

Presentation 4 | Towards Multispecies Indigeneity: Learning from Plant-Human Interactions in Orchid Conservation (Park Ji Yun)

This panel centres on the recent traffic between contemporary art, local ecologies, and indigeneity within a geopolitical framework. In particular, it calls together voices from East Asia where the contested notion of “indigeneity” is emerging through the creative initiatives, ethnographic endeavours, and theoretical provocations that strive to illuminate regional Indigenous experiences. Highlighting the role of art in this process, artists, practitioners, as well as writers of art history and criticism on this panel will share their working methods and ongoing projects not easily contained by single-disciplinary scholarship.


Saturday, November 13


12:00pm-2:30pm GMT+8 / Taipei / Hong Kong Time

Panel 3 | Art and Microbial Worlds

Register in advance for panel 3 here

With Soichiro Mihara and Yosaku Matsutani, Sophie Xiaofei Guo, The Center for Genomic Gastronomy, Timurgalieva Olga, Felipe Shibuya

Presentation 1 | An Infinite Cycle of Life and Death in Making Soil (Soichiro Mihara and Yosaku Matsutani)

Presentation 2 | Performing a Viral Future: Immune Ecologies, Animacies, and the Making of the Microbial Body in Pei-Ying Lin’s Virophilia (2018-ongoing) (Sophie Xiaofei Guo)

Presentation 3 | The Air is Alive: Tracing and Tasting a Wildfire Loaf (The Center for Genomic Gastronomy)

Presentation 4 | Human-Candida Affinities as Tactical Biopolitics in the Works of Tarsh Bates (Olga Timurgalieva)

Presentation 5 | Becoming (in)visible (Felipe Shibuya)

This panel centers on the practices at the intersection of microbial ecologies and art, including artistic reflections, art-historical, and theoretical presentations that explore various aspects of human co-existence with microorganisms. The panel comprises contributions that discuss the roles of microbes in soil, human health, food, and culture and engage with artistic investigations of microbial ways of knowing and being, microbial impact on other species, and broader macroecologies. 

Contact Info: 

LIU Mankun

Conference co-convenor 

PhD student, School of Creative Media, City University of Hong Kong