• 10 November 2020
  • 1:00 – 2:00 pm
  • This talk is part of a series of programmes for 'London, Asia', a collaboration between Asia Art Archive and the Paul Mellon Centre
  • Zoom webinar

When the Slade School of Fine Art was established in 1871 within University College, London, it joined an institution that was the first university in England to admit students from around the world, regardless of race or religion, and thus became an important site for the education of ambitious students from the colonized world.

Ming Tiampo discusses how artists from Asia came to the Slade, confronted their new environment, and endeavoured to co-constitute worlds alongside their professors and fellow students. Encountering a faculty focussed on observational realism rather than style, an art historical curriculum that was Eurocentric but not formalist, an ambient environment of postwar modernism, London’s excellent collections of global art, and classmates from other parts of the world, these students critically engaged with a conjunctural problem space that was constituted historically, politically, and artistically.

Through an analysis that connects the histories of artists from several decolonizing contexts at their points of intersection with the Slade, this lecture argues for an understanding of decolonial modernism as a transversal phenomenon rather than as separate, disconnected, ‘multiple modernisms.’ The lecture addresses three generations of artists: Firstly, postcolonial nation builders such as Zainul Abedin (East Pakistan/Bangladesh), Affandi (Indonesia), Shakir Ali (Pakistan), K.G. Subramanyan (India) and Jamila Zaidi (Pakistan); Secondly, artists focussed on the formal articulation of decolonial modernism such as Kim Lim (Singapore/UK), Anwar Jalal Shemza (Pakistan/UK), Tseng Yu (China/Hong Kong) and Wendy Yeo (Hong Kong); Thirdly, artists for whom student movements and revolution took on distinctly decolonial perspectives such as Vivan Sundaram (India), Chila Kumari Burman (UK), and Bhajan Hunjan (India/Kenya/UK).

This talk is part of a series of programmes for London, Asia, a collaboration between Asia Art Archive and the Paul Mellon Centre for Studies in British Art, and builds on Tiampo’s research as the second holder of the London, Asia Research Award. Tiampo’s project also informs the ‘Pedagogy and Learning’ stream of the forthcoming conference/events London, Asia, Art, Worlds which she is co-convening with Hammad Nasar and Sarah Victoria Turner.

Slade class photo from 1957

Slade Class Photo, 1957 Anwar Jalal Shemza, Ibrahim El Salahi, Wendy Yeo,

Digital image courtesy of Slade School of Fine Art

Guidelines for users attending Zoom webinars

Before the webinar

● Please download Zoom software in advance.

● Please register to attend the Research Lunch webinar through Eventbrite.

● We will share the link to the Zoom webinar with you in advance by email through Eventbrite.

● If you require closed captioning during this event, please get in touch at least two weeks before the event date.

During the event

● Paul Mellon Centre staff hosting the event will employ the appropriate security features to help ensure that events and meetings operate safely.

● There will be a waiting room feature that allows the host to control when all participants join the meeting.

● You will be automatically muted when you join the webinar and can only communicate verbally if the host unmutes you.

● The talk will last for c.40 minutes and will be followed by a Q&A where the chair will prompt discussion.

● Use the Q&A box to ask/write your questions after the talk.

● You can also use the virtual raise hand button if you have a question/comment to make by audio.

● Use the chat box to make comments.

● If you are experiencing any technical problems, please notify Ella Fleming (events manager) or Danielle Convey (events assistant) directly using the chat box function. Alternatively you can email them via events@paul-mellon-centre.ac.uk.

● The Paul Mellon Centre will not take photographs of this event and participants are requested likewise not to do so.

● This session will be recorded for educational and research purposes.  The recording may be made available on the Centre’s website and via YouTube. It will be stored indefinitely in the Centre’s Institutional Archive.

● Any offensive behaviour will not be tolerated and attendees can be removed from the webinar by the host.

GDPR

The Paul Mellon Centre is aware of its obligations under the General Data Protection Regulations (GDPR) and is committed to processing your data securely and transparently.

For more information on how the Centre processes personal information see our privacy policy: https://www.paul-mellon-centre.ac.uk/about/privacy-policy

For more information on Zoom’s compliance with EU GDPR see: https://zoom.us/gdpr

Banner image credit: Vivan Sundaram, South Africa, 1968.  Collection of the Artist

About the speaker

  • Ming Tiampo

    Ming Tiampo is Professor of Art History, and co-director of the Centre for Transnational Cultural Analysis at Carleton University. She is interested in transcultural models and histories that provide new structures for understanding and reconfiguring the global. She has published on Japanese modernism, global modernisms, and diaspora. Tiampo’s book Gutai: Decentering Modernism (University of Chicago Press, 2011) received an honorable mention for the Robert Motherwell book award. In 2013, she was co-curator of the AICA award-winning Gutai: Splendid Playground at the Guggenheim Museum in NY. Tiampo is currently working on three publication projects, Transnational Cities, which theorizes the scale of the urban as a mode of reimagining transcultural intersections and the historical conditions of global modernism; Intersecting Modernisms, a collaborative sourcebook on global modernisms; and Jin-me Yoon, an Art Canada Institute book on the diasporic Korean-Canadian artist. Tiampo is an associate member at ICI Berlin; a member of the Hyundai Tate Research Centre: Transnational Advisory Board; a fellow at the Paul Mellon Centre for British Art on the London, Asia project and co-convenor of the conference London, Asia, Art, Worlds; a founding member of TrACE, the Transnational and Transcultural Arts and Culture Exchange network, and co-lead on its Worlding Public Cultures project.