October Contemporary 2009 - Now, or Never

October Contemporary (hereinafter OC) is a non-profit initiative devoted to the contemporary arts since 2007, and the only event of its kind in Hong Kong. In its third year, OC 2009 takes Now, or Never to be its slogan, to imbue a sense of urgency among both art practitioners and the wider public to think critically, creatively, and persistently about the contemporary arts and care for its value to our society.

OC 2009 aspires to a better environment for the appreciation and critical reception of contemporary arts. To achieve this, not only are quality artworks and organization of art programmes essential; it is also important that the contemporary arts concerns itself with and remains inquisitive and sensitive to the larger socio-cultural ecology and economy in which it is embedded.

Featuring works by some one hundred artists (80% from Hong Kong, 20% from overseas), OC 2009s programmes straddle multiple art forms (new media of I/O, contemporary Western painting of White Tube, ink painting of Artist Commune, sound installations of Osage Gallery, dance of 1a Space, etc.). They address issues from the ecological (1a space, Scratch), socio-cultural (AAA, MOST, MIA, YY9, White Tube, C&G Artpartment), to art as action and advocacy. There is also a commitment to build art as knowledge (art at all, soundpocket) and nurture art via cultural exchange (Para/Site Art Space, C&G Artpartment).

In addition, OC 2009 invites the public to think, make and act on the arts. We believe asking questions is the first step anyone can take to engage with the contemporary arts V from such simple questions as"Can I wear flip-flops in galleries?"to such questions as"How much does a taxpayer spend on the contemporary arts every year?"or even, "Is contemporary art art?"We invite the public to join us on this quest: find an OC 2009 street banner that raises an issue about the arts and tell us what you think; register to become a"concerned outsider"of contemporary arts. All respondents will receive such prizes as art books, a date with an art practitioner, etc. as an encouragement for their participation and concern.

OC 2009 has an expanded structure of five organizers, two co-organizers, and eleven partners (and more to come), to reflect a wider spectrum of art practices that have tirelessly contributed to and critically engaged with the contemporary arts in Hong Kong over the years.

We believe art makes life inhabitable. We believe contemporary art makes art debatable.

For OC 2009, we have been collecting views on what art practitioners think should be changed about contemporary art in our society. Here are some excerpts:

"a wider scope of audience expressing an extended interest in contemporary art";
"ensure enough space for the development of emerging artists and local art";
"our knowledge based society should be open minded and ready to act as a platform for meaningful critical discussion";
"more teaching of art and contemporary art in school";
"sizable space for exhibition programme of contemporary art";
"encourage deeper discussion on social issues buy art".

REMINDER | Important Dates
August 8, 2009 V
All press materials (programme details, images, contact points) ready to be downloaded from www.oc.org.hk.
August 15, 2009
OC 2009 website launch
September 1, 2009
first banner on the streets

YEUNG Yang | 852-90403877 | yangy817@gmail.com
Susie Law | 852- 96021229 | lawai3@gmail.com