Robin Peckham is a writer based between Shanghai and Hong Kong whose critical interests lie in the development of a vocabulary to discuss art and culture in greater China without resorting to the typical discussions around lack of independent criticism and market relationships. His work concentrates on infrastructural histories, tracing the development of galleries, curators, exhibitions, artist studios, record labels, music venues, publishers, and other conceptual poles as a way to understand the cultural production of this system. Ultimately, this project links contemporary art and culture in China with similar and occasionally coextensive international networks, leading to a more coherent, organic, and complex picture of contemporary history less closely linked with the dominant narratives otherwise visible in English-language writing on Chinese art. Current topics of this research include the Post-Sense Sensibility generation, Big Tail Elephant and its influences in the Pearl River Delta, and the creation of the New Media Department at the China Academy in Hangzhou.
Peckham studied Modern Culture and Media at Brown University and is currently pursuing an advanced degree in Media Art Histories at Danube University Krems. In 2008 he founded the Hong Kong-based Society for Experimental Cultural Production, a curatorial office and production team that organizes interdisciplinary exhibitions based on the exploration of connections between experimental artists, musicians, curators, and critics across greater China. Prior to that effort he directed Boers-Li Gallery in Beijing, a premier international commercial gallery space; contributed to early curatorial efforts at Long March Space, one of Beijing’s first nonprofit art entities; coordinated international programs at live art venue Hart Salon; and curated the musical program at pioneering live sound art and underground music venue What?!. His writing is published in Yishu, Leap, Artforum.com and Artforum.com.cn, Redbox Review, Arttime, and in a range of catalogs for galleries and alternative spaces in Beijing and Hong Kong.