Hera Chan will write a series of essays about artistic practices that are significant to our understanding of the global uprisings of 2019, with a focus on the Milk Tea Alliance—movements for freedom initiated primarily by people from Hong Kong, Taiwan, Thailand, and Myanmar. During this time, artistic labor shifted toward mutual aid and first aid, opening up the space for anonymously distributed artistic actions. Older artworks can be read as premonitions and censorship by way of bureaucracy read as curatorial practice. Following the movements’ ethos against facial recognition and photographic representation, Chan will unpack the “hidden scripts” and encoded meanings embedded in the distribution and circulation strategies of artists working across this moment.

Hera Chan is a cultural worker living in Amsterdam by way of Kowloon. With Alvin Li, she is Adjunct Curator of Greater China Supported by the Robert H. N. Ho Family Foundation, Tate, London. Formerly, she was a participant in De Appel’s Curatorial Programme and co-producer of KomBIJ1 TV leading up to the Dutch Parliament elections of 2021. In Hong Kong, she was Associate Curator of public programs at Tai Kwun Contemporary; Director/Curator of Videotage; and Researcher at the SEACHINA Institute, where she focused on socially engaged art practices in contemporary China. She has written for ArtAsiaPacific, Artforum, ArtReview Asia, Contact Sheet, Di’van: A Journal of Accounts, Esperanto, frieze, Leap, MICE Magazine, Mousse, Ocula, Real Review, Spike, and TAKE on Art. She was editor-in-chief of Theoretically in the Gutter: A Manga Essay Collection (McGill University, 2017) and editor of the Cantonese gossip magazine Ruthless Lantern.