Excessive Enthusiasm: Ha Bik Chuen and the Archive as Practice

Asia Art Archive
Mar 4, 2015 1:14AM

Ha Bik Chuen (1925–2009), a Hong Kong-based artist known mostly as a sculptor and printmaker, held parallel practices: from photographing exhibitions he attended, to collecting materials such as illustrated magazines and artist portraits, and using these to construct book collages. These materials, self-organised using an idiosyncratic system, date back to the 1960s through to the late 2000s. Also included are Ha’s artist books, as well as related reference materials and ephemera that fuelled his art and research—all of which remain in his To Kua Wan studio in Hong Kong.

According to his family’s wish that these materials be made available for public use and research, Asia Art Archive has initiated a pilot project stretching over the next two years, including select materials from Ha’s personal archive that will be shared, and in various manifestations both physically and digitally.

Excessive Enthusiasm: the Archive as Practice by Ha Bik Chuen is the first such manifestation – the exhibition in the Asia Art Archive library invites the public to engage with the various lines of inquiry stemming from our ongoing research into Ha.


Hong Kong Art History Research Project

Asia Art Archive continues to collaborate with Hong Kong Museum of Art on the Hong Kong Art History Research Project, which aims to develop a publicly available resource platform to support art historical research on recent art in Hong Kong. The Project will deepen existing line of inquiry that began in the Pilot Project in 2013; they include exhibition history, pedagogy, art writing in Chinese and English, and artistic exchange between Hong Kong and other geographies. Through 2015 the project will conduct new video interviews based on ongoing research, and digitise a selection of archival materials from Asia Art Archive, the Hong Kong Museum of Art, and the personal collections of leading arts professionals. 

Image credit: Detail from the studio of Ha Bik Chuen, 2015. Photo: Jack Cheung of NOTRICH MEDIA, Hong Kong. Courtesy of Asia Art Archive and the Ha family. 

Asia Art Archive