Let’s Twist Again


In 2010, Centre A, the Vancouver International Centre for Contemporary Asian Art, celebrated its tenth anniversary with a retrospective exhibition to explore the history of the gallery, and a symposium to explore the future of Centre A and the future of Vancouver in the changing world of contemporary art.

The exhibition was co-curated by Makiko Hara, Debra Zhou and Hank Bull and held in conjunction with the Powell Street Festival.

The symposium was held at the Wosk Centre for Dialogue at Simon Fraser University and celebrated the opening of the School for the Contemporary Arts at Simon Fraser University in the nearby Woodward’s Building.

Let’s Twist Again was an exploration of questions on how the world, art, and Vancouver have evolved in the last decade and where we could go from here.

The Symposium Questions

World maps of contemporary art have shifted dramatically since Tiananmen and the fall of the Berlin Wall. How does Vancouver situate itself amid these changes? What are the implications for the making of art and the production of artists?

Global networks and social media are transforming the art world. What is their impact on the design of museums, cultural policy, education and arts funding? How are Vancouver artists responding to global issues and local pressures?

Vancouver is in the grips of a city-wide debate about the place of arts and culture in the city’s vision of its future. What kind of spaces are we building for art? What does Vancouver have to say to the world?

Contributors to the Symposium
Video recordings of the symposium

My contribution to the Symposium conversation

There have been a lot of observations about the state of affairs we find ourselves in today which raise a lot of imponderable questions that require a great deal of complex analysis. We could instead turn our attention to the kind of questions we might explore as a group going forward and the kind of questions we might excite our community in exploring.

I think the conversation is not so much a question of how Vancouver situates itself in the world of contemporary art but more a question of how Vancouver is situated in the world of contemporary art.

What does Vancouver say to the world as a centre of culture and creative expression? How do we excite interest in creating spaces and investing resources, and making better use of our resources to increase our contribution to our cultural development, to the cultural development of our world, and to our common human interests? And how do we use the communication technology we have to do that?

These are the kind of questions that community leaders, creative contributors, and creative entrepreneurs in Vancouver could all become engaged in exploring because they have tangible answers, and points of view, and ideas we could pursue to move forward.

We could begin exploring ideas and opportunities by curating our creative resources and the contribution of our creative community to our cultural development, to our community development, and to the world, and see where that takes us.

Source recording

My contribution to exploring the possibilities

We have the questions, observations, and ideas contributed by those who spoke to the symposium.

We have the resources of the people and enterprises who contributed to making the symposium possible invested in those ideas and possibilities.

We have Centre A as a community resource and creative contributor.

We have communication technology.

We have the opportunity to use our community resources to continue the conversation to explore where we are, where we could go, and how we could get there.

We could begin by exploring our creative resources, our creative contributions to the world, our connections and relationships, our community interests, and our opportunities, possibilities, and ideas for creating a Contemporary Art Centre as our contribution to our future.

Questions for creative conversation

We could begin by exploring these questions

How is Vancouver situated in the world of contemporary art?

What does Vancouver say to the world as a centre of cultural and creative expression?

How do we excite interest in creating spaces, investing resources, and increasing our contribution to our cultural, creative, and community development?

How can we use the communication technology available?

Opportunities for creative community enterprise

We could explore the contribution of contemporary art, Vancouver’s contribution to the contemporary arts, and opportunities we create and contribute for people to experience, appreciate, and understand the contribution of contemporary art to our cultural and creative development.

We could use our communication technology to connect our different communities of interest in exploring where we are now, what we are doing, what is working, and what we could do, and identify opportunities, possibilities, and ideas for creative community enterprise.

We could explore how we communicate with art and how art communicates to us.

We could explore the possibilities for Centre A – our International Centre of Contemporary Asian Art, – and how we can increase the contribution of our creative community resource and contributor to our community, to our creative and cultural development, and to our common human interests as a global community.

We could curate our arts, our creative resources, our creative contributors, and the opportunities we offer for people to experience, learn, create, and excite contribution to creative community enterprise.

What we could do

We could learn who is contributing to our common interests in contemporary art by introducing ourselves and telling our story so everyone in our community could learn what we do, what we contribute, what our interests are, and what opportunities we are contributing.

We could invite communities of interest who are involved, contribute to, or benefit from our contributions to contribute ideas and explore opportunities and possibilities we could pursue

We could identify ideas and opportunities that could attract interest, resources and creative contributors and invite our community to engage in creative conversation around ideas and initiatives that could contribute to our community interests

Creative contributors

Centre A
Contemporary Art Society of Vancouver

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