Guest Talk “一歩前へ take a step forward 行前一步”

Observing self-organization practices in the case of Guangzhou.

We will host a talk with artist/director Liang Jianhua (梁健华), based in Guangzhou, China. He will discuss the vibrant self-organized cultural practices in Guangzhou since the late 2010s, as well as his own space “HB Station.” He will also talk about the genealogy of self-organization in the context of contemporary Chinese art since the 1980s.

In 2022, friends from Wuhan hosted a market in the “前台osf” of Guangzhou’s Autonomous Space.


In the art practice scene in Guangzhou, since 2016, young artists, curators, and activists have started to found independent spaces and self-organized practices, and have formed a mutual support network with practitioners in different cities in China. After the epidemic, the social atmosphere in China has become more austere, and at this time, as a practice strategy for this specific context, self-organized spaces accommodate the need for more public life, with the accompanying risks.

While it is easy to corroborate these practices today with Anarchic activities, social intervention art, and community practices in East Asian countries, if one looks at China’s Art Nouveau movement since the 1980s, one can see an intermittent vein. It encompasses the action strategies chosen by art practitioners in the two different phases of the Art Nouveau movement, and by comparing these strategies, I hope to provide us with a clearer understanding of the semi-legitimate identity of Chinese contemporary art in today’s public life, as well as the resulting special situation and self-organized practice as a coping strategy.



Liang Jianhua, artist and director of Guangzhou’s nonprofit space HB Station

Date: October 3, 2023 (Tuesday) 18:00-20:00
Venue: Ueno Campus, University Hall 2nd Floor, GSC Lecture Room
Language: English
Speaker: Liang Jianhua (Artist, Director of HB Station)
Moderator: Yoshitaka Mouri (Professor, Graduate School of Global Arts)
Host: Kenichiro Egami (Project Assistant Professor, Global Support Center)