Making New Worlds: Li Yuan-chia & Friends

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Making New Worlds: Li Yuan-chia & Friends is the first book to document the extraordinary activity at the LYC Museum & Art Gallery in Banks, Cumbria between 1972 and 1983. The LYC was singleminded effort of the artist Li Yuan-chia, who moved to the rural North of England by way of London, Bologna, Taipei and Guangxi, China. At the LYC, Li organised exhibitions, published books, exhibited archealogical artefacts, arranged workshops and welcomed an array of visitors from local and international artists and art workers to nearby residents and travellers, many of whom became friends.

In this book, which accompanies an exhibition of the same name at Kettle's Yard, the curators Hammad Nasar, Amy Tobin and Sarah Victoria Turner, establish Li's work at the LYC as a form of worldmaking, connecting  his cosmic conceptual art practice, to his interest in participation and friendship as well as his engagement with nature and the landscape. Nasar, Tobin and Turner's account is accompanied by nine short texts – by Elizabeth Fisher, Ysanne Holt, Annie Jael Kwan, Lesley Ma, Gustavo Grandal Montero, Luke Roberts, Nick Sawyer & Harriet Aspin, Nicola Simpson and Diana Yeh – that trace the diverse threads and ramifications of Li's practice historically and in the present. Richly illustrated, Making New Worlds offers a provocative new way of thinking the history of British art in the twentieth century. 

208 pages
120 colour and 60 B&W illustrations
Dimensions: 240 x 175mm
ISBN: 9781904561781


About the authors

Hammad Nasar is a curator, writer, researcher and strategic advisor. He is presently Senior Research Fellow, Paul Mellon Centre (London). Earlier he was Lead Curator, Herbert Art Gallery & Museum (Coventry); Executive Director of the Stuart Hall Foundation, London; Head of Research & Programmes at Asia Art Archive, Hong Kong; Principal Research Fellow, UAL Decolonising Arts Institute, and  co-founded Green Cardamom, London. His most recent exhibitions include British Art Show 9, Turner Prize (2021), Speech Acts: Reflection-Imagination-Repetition (2018-19) and Rock, Paper, Scissors: Positions in Play – the UAE’s pavilion at the 57th Venice Biennale (2017). He was awarded an MBE for services to the arts in 2023.

Sarah Victoria Turner is an art historian, curator and writer. She is Director at the Paul Mellon Centre for Studies in British Art in London, which is part of Yale University, and has taught art history at the University of York and the Courtauld Institute of Art in London. Sarah is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts. She is the founding co-editor of British Art Studies, an award-winning digital arts publication.                                                                          

Amy Tobin is associate professor in the Department of History of Art, University of Cambridge and curator, contemporary programmes at Kettle’s Yard. Her research addresses histories of collaboration and collectivity in modern and contemporary art. She has published widely, her book on the women’s art movement is published by Yale University Press.

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