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Dr. Denise Kwan is an artist, researcher and writer. With a background in sculpture and curating, her practice explores the interdisciplinary crossovers between migration, material culture, social practice and ethnography. The creation of alternative spaces and communities through making is a reoccurring theme.
Working with ideas of embodiment in context of the Chinese diaspora, her PhD research at the University of Westminster explored the use social practice and material culture with 2 generations of British Chinese women (2019) to create a bi-lingual Cantonese English art school at Haringey Chinese Community Centre. This project curated into a digital platform on objectstories.co.uk funded by the Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC), Language Acts and Worldmaking. Subsequently this research project was recognised by the Early Careers’ researcher award from British Journal of Chinese Studies.
Kwan has been particularly interested in the potential of community building through art making where the work typically arises in domestic, community and digital spaces. In response to the anti-asian racism incited by Covid-19, she facilitated a series of digital zine making workshops entitled ‘A Zine of Collective Care’.
She co-organised the first academic workshop exploring the experiences of British Chinese women at Kings College (2018). She has presented her research at Wuyi University Guangdong (China) and at the Association of Critical Heritage Studies Conference (UK). Her writing and research has been featured on arts platform including ArtReview and was selected for the inaugural Art Criticism Prize by Breese Little London and Harmonious Society Award for Art Criticism, Manchester.
Working with a communal sensibility, she is co-founder of the Rising Bun collective.
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