Monthly Highlights
On “learning” and “becoming” a curator
Sunnie Chan
I could still remember how excited I was being admitted to join the 10-week Learning Programme of M+ last Christmas. Through working with a team of professionally-trained curators with wide international exposure and experience, it was a valuable opportunity for people ‘in the scene’ like myself, who has been working in the art-related field without proper curatorial training. Finding the way to curatorship has never been easy especially in Hong Kong where it has been lacking of academic research as well as discussions on the field.

Sunnie Chan (front, middle), Mia Fong (right) and Solomon Yu (2nd, right) in their first Bamboo Theatre project.
Time is clicking. Being one of the three “learners”, I immediately started working with the M+ curatorial team at the beginning of the Learning Programme. Our first project was “Bamboo Theatre” exhibition and cinema during the Chinese New Year holiday, followed by a task to hunt for the sites of Mobile M+ exhibition in May. As such “nomadic” format of exhibition -especially organised by public institutions- rarely happened in Hong Kong, we met different challenges in looking for commercial and public spaces that could potentially turn into temporary exhibition sites. In the process of negotiating with various government departments for licensing approval, and the district council for their support, we went through the ‘learning through working’ process with the curators, meeting different challenges, and witnessing first-hand the limits and opportunities of curating contemporary art in Hong Kong.

Aside from work, the most fruitful side of being in the M+ team was surely the ‘learning’ side of it. We learnt from an international group of members who possess very different academic background, professional expertise and insights, which all shaped the multi-disciplinary nature of M+ with global vision at this embryonic stage. From an initial 10-week programme extended to almost 6 months, we were astonished how quickly time had passed in M+.

Through workshops and sharings by Lars and his curatorial team we were encouraged to envision the broadness of curating, and to thrive for the field we love most for future career development. I am especially grateful for the immense pleasure working and learning together with my fellow “learners” - Mia and Solomon, whom we all have different backgrounds and trainings. The time we shared, and complimented each other on a professional and personal level, made my time in M+ most memorable in my young career.
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