Curatorial Practice

Myc3lium: Curatorial Research Network


The process of a growing mycelium network.
Diagram found on the World Wide Web:
︎ Collaborations and networks
︎ New monetization strategy for artists
︎ Knowledge sharing

Myc3lium's aim is to grow a research network for artists and cultural practitioners to engage, communicate, and learn to monetise their work in the digital context.  Creating art as an NFT allows artists to maintain direct and ongoing interactive relationships with their audiences rather than relying on centralised institutional funding and resources.

Myc3lium conducts research on creative NFT developments, strategies, and curatorial frameworks, while developing a community-led online network of innovators for discoverable and accessible modes of communication and knowledge-sharing, emphasising its peer-to-peer nature in order to create new value structures.

The Canada Council for the Arts has awarded Myc3lium: Curatorial Research Network the Digital Greenhouse Strategic Innovation Fund.

Haroon Mirza, Solstice Star, Audiovisual, 3D object and animation, developed in collaboration with Scott Utting, 2021

︎ Community-led approach 
︎Mutualistic value
︎ An ecosystem of collective activities

Existing as a Gif(t), Solstice Star invites people to seed a decentralized co-creating and co-learning ecosystem on the blockchain. In doing so, Solstice Star empowers its collectors to collectively explore the endless possibilities of ownership in Web3, decentralized collaboration, and heightened awareness of the environmental impacts of technology.

Solstice Star can grow into a network of NFTs through a community-led strategy, delivering immediate and mutually shared value to its collectors. All contributions to the community are valued equally and interconnected, forming a creative ecosystem capable of fostering organic collaborations while highlighting the uniqueness of each community member. Aside from their artistic value, all NFTs are community investments that provide people with new experiences through an ever-expanding array of creations, exclusive activities and programs, and knowledge sharing.

Exhibited in Exhibition |||, Solstice Star exists in various forms: a gif, an AR sculpture, a QR code, and now as an NFT. It is a spiritual symbol that connects all the exhibited elements, including a portal to another world, a self-sustained system powered by sacred geometry and sustainable energy, and ancient human wisdom and representations. Embedding Solstice Star with the healing frequency of 111 Hz, a prominent feature in the exhibition, aims to inspire the audience to find their own frequency.

By minting the Solstice Star, token holders can claim ownership of the work and enhance the exhibition experience by incorporating their own frequency later on, resulting in a co-created piece. Solstice Star is a gift for those intrigued by non-hierarchical digital interactions involving art, nature, science, technology, sustainability, and spirituality.

Solstice Star Gif(t) is led by Haroon Mirza,  Sha Li, in collaboration with Greg Hilty and colleagues at Lisson Gallery, and Verse.

07–02–2020 / 31–03–2020

Lu Shan, The Great Plague 2020, screenshot from the unfinished video animation.
︎ Community-led project
︎ Establish Partnership
︎ Digital archive 

Post from the First Lockdown is an archive of artists' responses to the initial outbreak of Covid-19 in the Hubei region, spanning from the 7th of February to the end of March 2020. The project, led by Gaia Fugazza, Luigi Galimberti, and Sha Li, served as a self-organized community blog post with the intention of igniting further discussions among the public and fostering community solidarity. Its main objective was to establish direct contact with artists in China who were creating art while under quarantine. We sought to listen to their voices in order to gain a better understanding of a story that had been narrated in numerous contradictory ways by various countries' media, with each accusing the other of cover-ups and propaganda.

Given that the artists personally witnessed the Covid-19 epidemic at a time when its origins and unprecedented impact on society were still unknown, this collection of works has been organized chronologically in retrospect.

Furthermore, the MA programme at the Courtauld Institute of Art, led by Dr. Wenny Teo, invited her class to respond to each participating artist. In the following year, the project hosted an online public event at the Courtauld Institute of Art, featuring updated artists' responses as part of the Frank Davis Memorial Lecture of 2021.

16–06–2020 / 21–06–2020

Thuy-Han Nguyen-Chi, SETS AND SCENARIOS ACT II, Image List: Actions to Relate to Oneself and The World, 2020.

︎ Digital play
︎ Online public programme
︎ Collective experiences

In recent years, the development of media has transformed how we experience moving images. Stuck in an endless loop of image production and consumption, images haunt us, invade us and produce us. In this post-cinematic regime, our inherited cultural identities, established forms of subjectivity and embodied sensibilities are constantly reshaped.

Sets and Scenarios explores the heightened proximity to images and what it means to live under their influence. The programme was originally devised to occupy Nottingham Contemporary’s private and public spaces with sculptural installations, sound works, video and live performances by Adam Christensen, Eva Gold, Thuy-Han Nguyen-Chi, and Aaron Ratajczyk, evolving over the course of an afternoon and evening. Conceived around a mobile viewer, the visitor would enter a series of different atmospheric environments. Central to the project was experimenting with the ephemerality of the encounter between viewers and works–liveness–understood in relation to its contingency, resolute to the physical space and the collectivity of the experience.

In response to the pandemic lockdown, Sets and Scenarios was reimagined as a digital play as part of Nottingham Contemporary's public programme.

Film & Performance Night on 8 Feb 2

︎ Fluid Identities
︎ Multi-sensory
︎ Collective experiences

"Queering Now was a night jam-packed with bold, avant-garde, and dazzling artwork and performances, all of which were Chinese and queer-related. This was a visual, aural, and multi-sensory extravaganza, mixing artistic genres, styles, and even media forms: from poetry to contemporary art, digital video films to experimental sound pieces, performance art to dystopian opera." - Reviewed by Dr. Hongwei Bao, Queer Asian writer, researcher, and associate professor at the University of Nottingham, UK, who is also the author of Queer Comrades: Gay Identity and Tongzhi Activism in Postsocialist China (Nordic Institute of Asian Studies Press, 2018) and Queer China: Lesbian and Gay Literature and Visual Culture under Postsocialism (Routledge, 2020).

Held over three floors at Rich Mix, a dynamic arts center and creative hub in the heart of East London, Queering Now, curated by Whiskey Chow and Sha Li, brought the spotlight to marginalized diaspora queer Chinese artists collectively for the first time in London, UK.

Queering Now is a curatorial programme that amplifies marginalized voices of the Chinese Queer community in diverse social contexts. Audiences can explore different media and narratives related to queerness and in-bewteenness. The film programme includes Wang Haiyang's surreal stop-motion animations, Fan Popo's short film "Beer! Beer!", and Andrew Thomas Huang's captivating film about an extraordinary sexual awakening. Young artists April Lin and Jasmine Lin present a refreshing queer love story called "Reality Fragment 160921" that merges physical and digital worlds.

The live performances feature Whiskey Chow's exploration of power and queer longing in "The Moon is Warmer Than the Sun," followed by Sin單 Wai慧 Kin乾 (formerly Victoria Sin) 's reading that blends speculative fiction and personal histories in "Steamed Three Eggs," and LI YILEI's experimental sound work titled "Your Figures are Muted."

The finale commences with Ayesha Tan Jones, who presents the first act of "Parasites of Pangu," a dystopian opera based on a Chinese creation myth, exploring the world through the eyes of a future archaeologist. The performance is then continued by a post-midnight dance party featuring DJ CHOOC LY.

The programme is kindly supported by Arts Council England, Live Art UK, and the CAN festival.