A leading practitioner of socially engaged art in rural areas, the keynote lecture for the conference is delivered by Taiwanese artist and curator Wu Mali. For over thirty years she has developed a distinctive approach to working with communities across Taiwan, in projects that consider rural culture, land use, environmental concerns, and the shifting relationship between the rural and urban in Asia.
The Rural Assembly draws on a series of public programmes and research that developed throughout 2018. It looks at contemporary artists and creative practitioners who are challenging the assumptions made about rural life and culture, providing a new vision of the countryside grounded in everyday experience and a critique of the rural-urban binary.
This culminating assembly considers how artists respond to the established and imposed divides between the rural and the urban. From re-imagined farming practices and food systems to architecture, community projects and transnational local networks, this three-day assembly brings together artists, curators, historians and critics to discuss the role of art in a rural context, inviting a critical outlook at our relationships with the rural today.