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Renowned Curator Sean C. S. Hu to Take Helm of Taipei’s 2018 Nuit Blanche

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Renowned Curator Sean C. S. Hu to Take Helm of Taipei’s 2018 Nuit Blanche

(Press Release)   
In 2016, at the invitation of the French Office in Taipei, Taipei City joined the long line of cities around the world celebrating the Nuit Blanche. In its first year, the Taipei version of the all-night arts festival brought 200,000 people onto the streets, and the 2017 festival, which moved to Taipei’s south districts, saw 300,000 people of all ages enjoy the arts festivities. This enthusiastic public response showed the strong demand for a large-scale night-time arts event.

Various art forms were used to create the Taiwanese incarnation of this international festival, which also demonstrated the difficulties involved in mounting a nocturnal arts festival amidst the noise and traffic of the city and its complex historical context. In addition to setting up a Nuit Blanche review board, a series of creative workshop and consultative meetings called Idea Taipei were held to canvas the ideas and opinions of the wider public and to provide an opportunity for consultation with experts and scholars.

The Taipei Nuit Blanche was in part based on the organizational system used for the Paris Nuit Blanche (e.g. exhibitions by different curators every year, general coordination and collaboration teams, public relations teams and on-site installation teams). But the organizational structure of the Taipei Nuit Blanche also departed from its predecessor, which outsourced all management to a single company. At the Idea Taipei creative workshops, participants considered concrete ways to give the Nuit Blanche a specifically Taiwanese sensibility; for example, creative ideas were raised for the development of a space that would tell our city’s history, and consultants discussed how to organize the night’s events and give them a consistent local feel.

The art director’s role and administrative experience was of particular importance in terms of his skill at planning major international arts events, the effect on the local community, the exhibition’s spatial organization, and imbuing the event with the spirit of Taiwanese art. It was crucial that the artistic director make his overall planning and the narrative of the night consistent with the general policy direction of city government and also take into account city residents’ strong demand for such an event, as well as the views of local artists and creative bodies.

The consultants made many recommendations for the appointment of an artistic director. Given that the Nuit Blanche would be an opportunity for international exchange and a platform for attracting and exhibiting Taipei talent in art and design, the artistic director had to be someone capable of organizing an outstanding, multi-disciplinary international arts exhibition. After careful deliberation, the renowned curator Sean C. S. Hu was chosen to take the helm of Taipei’s 2018 Nuit Blanche. Currently CEO of Hu’s Art Company, Sean C. S. Hu has long been active in arts circles and in 2016 was awarded a British Council visiting fellowship to Edinburgh, Glasgow and London. It is hoped that his involvement in the Taipei Nuit Blanche will bring new depths, richer potential and greater vitality to the story of our city.

A Nuit Blanche discussion forum will be held on 20 January 2018, with special guests Emmanuel Daydé, head organizer of the Paris Nuit Blanche, and Renaud Barillet, associate executive director of La Bellevilloise, who are coming to Taiwan to share their in-depth experience with exhibition organization. For sign-up information, see the Taipei City Government Department of Cultural Affairs website for the latest updates, or go to the Nuit Blanche Facebook page.
Introduction to Sean C. S. Hu
Sean C. S. Hu was born in Taiwan. He graduated from Fu Jen Catholic University with a degree in Mass Communication (Broadcasting and Television) before going on to study for a master’s in Art Administration at the Fashion Institute of Technology in New York. Hu served as curator at the Fubon Art Foundation, director general of the Taiwan Visual Arts Association, and adjunct lecturer at National Taiwan University of Arts. He currently serves as director at the Jut Foundation for Arts and Architecture and as consultant to the Association of the Visual Arts in Taiwan and the Taipei City Government. He is a co-founder of the VT Artsalon, co-founder and curator of Double Square Gallery, and CEO of Hu’s Art Company.

Hu has won numerous awards and recognitions including a 2016 British Council visiting fellowship to Edinburgh, Glasgow and London, being named one of Vogue’s People 101 in 2009, acting as Asia Arts Curator to the 2008 Shanghai Arts Fair, and serving as Visual Arts Representative for a professional collaborative art project and exchange between Taiwan and France in 2005.

Among the many exhibitions he has curated, a number have won awards:
2017 Artist Magazine’s annual Top Ten Public Exhibitions
2010 9th Taipei Urban Landscape Award
2007 9th Art & Business Award
2005 Artist Magazine’s annual Top Ten Public Exhibitions
2003 First Prize at the 1st Public Art Awards