Expert workshops focusing on the evaluation criteria for art in social contexts with a focus on how to evaluate best practices.

Bringing the end near while keep moving forward — the future of soundpocket

Chair: Yang Yeung

24 November 2018

3pm – 6pm

Boötes Limited, 8/F, Si Toi Commercial Building, 62-63 Connaught Road West, Sheung Wan Hong Kong

Workshop Aims

1)   To identify the current needs of soundpocket (or equivalent organizations) that highlight its dependence on the larger social and cultural conditions;

2)   To identify and propose existing and new tools to articulate the well-being of soundpocket (or equivalent organizations);

3)   To project what the future may look like for soundpocket (or equivalent organizations) 

As a non-profit for art set up in 2008, soundpocket remains a microbe in the art food chain. As we keep moving (forward in time but in varying directions in space), we inevitably also reflect on questions about how far into the future we should think. In this talk, I will facilitate discussions pertinent to the future role of very small civil society organizations with soundpocket as case.

Prompting Questions

1)   Where we are now: How do we know if we are flourishing?

·       We know what we are doing – artists incubation, inter-generational artists exchange locally and trans-locally, and citizens engagement. These are value-formation processes. We need information pertaining to knowledge formation that can become feedback into evaluating our work and the needs of the art community. This is something between Arts Development Council ‘assessment’ of our work and academic research. We cannot do this alone.

·       We contribute to cultural development. How so, and how well, we need information on. Currently, we are not assessed and addressed this way. We need the equivalent of such reports as Report on the Capacity of Civil Society Organizations in Hong Kong 2015-16 (HKU Centre for Civil Society and Governance) on how artists are striving and relating to cultural development.


2)   Where we are going: Is it good practice or not to think of an exit plan?

·       For more than one time now, my mentioning of the possibility of exiting to peers in the art community is close to touching upon taboo. There are expectations in the art community that thriving and striving on is always a better option than exiting. Emotions are attached – it’s pessimistic to think of exiting. There is still so much to do in terms of the larger environment, so exiting should not be an option. Are these ideas not clothed with the narrative of incessant production, the imperative to preserve oneself as part of the trade, in contrast to more ecological thinking (eg. extinction is necessary for the survival of all)?

·       The ideal “Exit” for soundpocket is when there is a substantial community of artists connecting to each other for their curiosity and work around active listening, who are sonically-inspired, sonically-concerned, and sonically-aspired. If this project can never be complete, there can be no Exit Plan.

Yang Yeung

YEUNG Yang is an independent curator, writer and university lecturer. Her most recent curation was Soundpocket’s artist residency in Tsunan. Her recent publications include STAMPED - Project Glocal (digital, 2015) and Attending to the immanence of hope in the core texts classroom (2018). She is the editor of Away from the Crowd – the art of Jaffa Lam (2013) and Pocket 2: say, Listen (2013). She founded Soundpocket in 2008 ( She currently teaches classics at the Chinese University of Hong Kong and was awarded the ACC Fellowship in 2013.


soundpocket is a promoter, educator, facilitator, and gatherer. soundpocket works in the fields of sound, art and culture, finds sound in diverse and dynamic relations with many different art forms (visual art, installation art, music, theatre, dance etc.), and with a variety of cultural contexts that give meanings to our lives.