Aug 13 2012

Curator Qinyi Lim Joins Hong Kong’s Para/Site

by Hillary Luong

Qinyi Lim, Para/Site art space’s first dedicated curator. Courtesy Para/Site art space, Hong Kong.

Hong Kong’s leading nonprofit art center, Para/Site art space, has announced the appointment of Qinyi Lim to the newly created position of curator.

Previously acting as dual director and curator, Cosmin Costinas will continue at Para/Site as the director, expanding Para/Site’s role as Hong Kong’s “critical platform” for art through an ambitious program of exhibitions and events, publications and residencies.

In an email to ArtAsiaPacific, Costinas commented regarding the new position: “As Para/Site is engaged in a process of growth and of re-assessing its institutional role within Hong Kong and the international art public sphere, we considered the need to expand the scope of our team and allow for a more pluralistic manner of positioning our institution’s voice. Qinyi has proved herself in recent years to be an outstanding professional and a critical agent in curating, and thinking about the role of our profession in society. We are very much looking forward to the perspectives, ideas and projects she will contribute to Para/Site and the wider art scene."

A Singapore native, Qinyi Lim has previously held curatorial positions at the National University of Singapore Museum and the Singapore Art Museum. Lim, who recently graduated from the De Appel Curatorial Programme in the Netherlands, completed an MA in Southeast Asian studies from the National University of Singapore, and a BA in art history from the University of Queensland, Australia.

Para/Site was founded by a group of artists in 1996, as an alternative place to exhibit creative pieces that otherwise couldn’t find a space in Hong Kong, always with a mind towards the community and art world context in which it is situated. In recent years, some local artists and curators have been critical of the art space’s move to becoming a more global platform, with a series of overseas directors and curators, the most prominent being Tobias Berger (director from 2005 to 2008). In 2009 Berger also curated the Hong Kong pavilion, with a solo show by Pak Sheung Chuen. Moreover, both Costinas and Berger are involved in the huge West Kowloon Cultural District’s M+ Museum; Berger is the new museum’s chief curator, while Costinas represent’s Para/Site on board of “stakeholders,” alongside representatives from other key local art spaces and creative centers. 

However, perhaps the appointment of a fresh, young curator indicates a rekindling of Para/Site’s founding ideals, allowing more room for research and development at the local level. Lim commented to AAP, “Given Para/Site’s longstanding history within the Hong Kong art community, I feel it is necessary to be cognizant of the shifts in the local, regional and international art ecologies over the last few years and reflect on the positioning of Para/Site as an independent art space. It is my interest to cultivate a more pluralistic vocabulary through meaningful encounters between stakeholders of different interests. At the same time, I hope to develop a platform where experimental contemporary art practices and curatorial strategies can be manifested. I look forward to contributing to the local art ecology by working with and learning from the community.”

Although she is no stranger to the city, having completed part of her art historical BA on exchange at the University of Hong Kong, Lim’s priority thus far has been to do the rounds of art spaces, studios and even art schools, getting up to speed on shifts in the local scene. She has suggested her first curatorial undertaking may be in November this year.