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|KISSFEST II (excerpt)|
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In our first café with guests from Asia, Luofei and Vera van de Nieuwenhof will share and discuss their knowledge and personal experiences of performance art, Situationism and other artistic walking practices in Kunming, China.
Kunming, the capital of China’s southwest Yunnan province, is affectionately known as the Spring City, in reference to its temperate climate. The province has a reputation for biological as well as ethnic and cultural diversity; nearly 40% of Yunnan province’s population is made up of ethnic minorities, and 25 of China’s 56 recognised ethnic groups are found here.
The Spring City’s seven million inhabitants today enjoy a relatively slow pace of life compared with the coastal cities. But, Kunming is also poised to become an important trade and transportation hub for Southeast and South Asia, as the railway lines towards Singapore and Bangladesh are completed as part of China’s Belt and Road initiative.
The Kunming International Situationist Society (KISS) is a small and informal group of Chinese and international artists and theorists who practice Situationist-related art and activities in a Chinese context. KISS was founded in 2018 by Luofei, Sean Duffy and Vera van de Nieuwenhof.
The group’s initial aim was to re-read, discuss and practice ideas inspired by the Situationist canon in the context of contemporary Chinese society, which provides a unique and stimulating backdrop against which to reappraise such ideas.
A few meetings and dérives later, the group organized its first KISS Microfest in the summer of 2019, which included an introduction to Debord’s The Society of the Spectacle and a film screening. A second edition was held in the winter of 2020, which focussed more on practice and participation through psychogeography and performance art.
Luofei has a strong focus on performance art, and spent a whole year walking everywhere in 2004. Amongst other things, in 2018, he participated in the Kunming-Zürich artist residency program.
Vera started off producing cultural events in The Netherlands, and after cycling from Amsterdam to Japan, eventually settled close to Kunming.
Join us for a fascinating discussion on situationist practices and walking art in China.