Lumens Festival: Curating the Ancient City (2012)

Curated by Tammy Wong Hulbert, Shane Hulbert, Geoff Hogg & Clare Leporati
in collaboration with the Suzhou Institute of Art, Design and Technology, Jiangsu, China, May 2012, Federation Square, Melbourne, Victoria, December 2012

Artists included Hu Bing, Hua Qian, Li Weilin, Li Xiaosong, Wang Gang, Wu Zhongwen, Yang Haitao, Zhang Mingxing, Zhou Wei, John Billan, Martine Corompt, Mark Galer, Ian Haig, Shane Hulbert, Bronek Kozka, Harry Nankin, Nikos Pantazoplous, Craig Shell, Matthew Sleeth, Darren Sylvester, Dominic Redfern and Lyndal Walker. Lumens Festival: Curating the Ancient City was a public projection festival of Australian and Chinese photographers and video artists works in the Ping Jiang Road canal site of Suzhou, China, a busy local night time precinct. The project originated from my doctoral research on The City as a Curated Space (2011) and investigated the potential of contemporary art projection to activate heritage sites and bring together local communities over a dialogue between Melbourne and Suzhou based artists. The city of Suzhou is famed for it's white lime washed network of canals, a legacy of the silk trade of the region from two thousand five hundred years ago. These amazing canal structures were the point of inspiration for developing a project working with media based contemporary artists. 

Victorian Premier and Minister for the Arts Ted Baillieu (in 2012) said the festival’s Jiangsu run strengthens Australian-Chinese ties and shows how public art can transform everyday spaces into something extraordinary “In addition to creating dynamic art and establishing a festival that had a widespread community impact, the project reinforced the value of our cultural ties with our sister state and with China more broadly”.

The works selected were divided into themes of landscape, memory and identity. A screening of the works was also held at Federation Square, Melbourne, December, 2012 over the summer months of 2012-3. 

This project was supported by Arts Victoria, through the Sister State relationship between Jiangsu and Victoria in partnership with the Suzhou Institute of Art and Design and was a project of the RMIT Centre for Art, Society and Transformation