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Making New Worlds

Making New Worlds

Li Yuan Chia & Friends

By (author) Hammad Nasar
By (author) Amy Tobin
By (author) Sarah Victoria Turner


Publishing 9th Oct 2023
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    • The first book to focus on the LYC Museum & Art Gallery, rather than Li Yuan-chia's practice as a whole
    • A fresh account of 20th century British art centering diverse artists and cultural figures including Li, as well as Audrey Barker, Thetis Blacker, Lygia Clark, Delia Derbyshire, Andy Goldsworthy, Madelon Hookyaas and Elsa Stansfield, dom sylvester houédard, Claire Langdown, Liliane Lijn, David Medalla, David Nash, Winifred Nicholson, Mira Schendel, Takis and Shelagh Wakely
    • A standalone history of the LYC that accompanies an exhibition of the same name at Kettle's Yard, Cambridge (11 November 2023–18 February 2024)
    • This book traces the impact of Li's practice at the LYC, and beyond, on the contemporary moment and in relation to contemporary artistic and curatorial work
    • Richy illustrated with reproductions of works in the exhibition and beyond, as well as rarely seen archival material
    • A new approach to an artist who is quickly becoming recognised as a major figure and whose work is in the collections of major international collections including Tate and M+, Taipei 
    Full Description

    Making New Worlds: Li Yuan-chia & Friends is the first book to document the extraordinary activity at the LYC Museum & Art Gallery in Banks, Cumbria between 1972 and 1983. The LYC was the singleminded effort of the artist Li Yuan-chia, who moved to the rural North of England by way of London, Bologna, Taipei and Guangxi, China. At the LYC, Li organised exhibitions, published books, exhibited archealogical artefacts, arranged workshops and welcomed an array of visitors from local and international artists and art workers to nearby residents and travellers, many of whom became friends. In this book, which accompanies an exhibition of the same name at Kettle’s Yard, the curators Hammad Nasar, Amy Tobin and Sarah Victoria Turner, establish Li’s work at the LYC as a form of worldmaking, connecting his cosmic conceptual art practice, to his interest in participation and friendship as well as his engagement with nature and the landscape. Nasar, Tobin and Turner’s account is accompanied by nine short texts – by Elizabeth Fisher, Ysanne Holt, Annie Jael Kwan, Lesley Ma, Gustavo Grandal Montero, Luke Roberts, Nick Sawyer & Harriet Aspin, Nicola Simpson and Diana Yeh – that trace the diverse threads and ramifications of Li’s practice historically and in the present. Richly illustrated, Making New Worlds offers a provocative new way of thinking the history of British art in the 20th century. 

    About the Author

    Hammad Nasar is a curator, writer, researcher and strategic advisor. He is presently Senior Research Fellow, Paul Mellon Centre (London). Earlier he was Lead Curator, Herbert Art Gallery & Museum (Coventry); Executive Director of the Stuart Hall Foundation, London; Head of Research & Programmes at Asia Art Archive, Hong Kong; Principal Research Fellow, UAL Decolonising Arts Institute, and co-founded Green Cardamom, London. His most recent exhibitions include British Art Show 9, Turner Prize (2021), Speech Acts: Reflection-Imagination-Repetition (2018-19) and Rock, Paper, Scissors: Positions in Play – the UAE’s pavilion at the 57th Venice Biennale (2017). He was awarded an MBE for services to the arts in 2023. Sarah Victoria Turner is an art historian, curator and writer. She is Acting Director at the Paul Mellon Centre for Studies in British Art in London, which is part of Yale University, and has taught art history at the University of York and the Courtauld Institute of Art in London. Sarah is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts. She is the founding co-editor of British Art Studies, an award-winning digital arts publication. Amy Tobin is associate professor in the Department of History of Art, University of Cambridge and curator, contemporary programmes at Kettle’s Yard. Her research addresses histories of collaboration and collectivity in modern and contemporary art. She has published widely, her book on the women’s art movement is published by Yale University Press.

    Kettle's Yard, University of Cambridge
    Publish date
    9th Oct 2023
    Paperback / softback
    240 mm x 175 mm
    208 Pages
    120 color, 60 b&w
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