Para/Site 1996 – 2008

Para/Site 1996 – 2008 reflects Para/Site Art Space’s 12-year history and the environment that affected Para/Site through a collection of essays. The editor of the book Phoebe Man said, “It reveals the survival tactics of a non-government art space. How does Para/Site Art Space deal with crisis and opening up new opportunities? What did a local art organization do when facing local and international challenges? This book is a clue to understand the visual art ecology in Hong Kong and provide reference for the new comers to start their own art spaces.”

Phoebe Man, also the member of the Broad Directors said Para/Site Art Space has experienced a lot in the past 12 years. It is time to publish this book to reflect and share the experience with others. Para/Site Art Space is the first artist run art space supported by the Arts Development Council. (It is now a curator run art space.) They grasped the chance of the birth of Hong Kong Arts Development Council, suggested new thinking to the Council and were set up. They found the resource from the society to support the development of Hong Kong Contemporary Art and to meet the needs of the Hong Kong art ecology. There is no precedent for this kind of organization under this special circumstance. They are moving steadily forward and exploring new paths at the same time.

How did they talk about their history? Phoebe believes that neither monotone, linear nor authoritative style is suitable for commenting an open and organic organization like Para/Site Art Space. This book has adapted a one- people- one- story style. We are open to different versions and different perspectives. Tim Li and Kith Tsang talked about the core value of Para/Site Art Space. Jeff Leung, Tobias Berger and I discussed the modification of working direction and shared experiences on managing issues. We also invited authors like Jaspar Lau and Kacey Wong to send in reflections on exhibitions that Para/Site Art Space has mostly held. Experts from both local and aboard like Oscar Ho, Jonathan Thomson and Brett Jones, are invited to analysis the international and local environment that affected Para/Site Art Space.