Panel discussion moderated by David Plouffe.
Chumpon Apisuk (Thailand) was born on 7 November 1948 in Nan, a northern province in Thailand.
He studied Art At Changsilpa School, Silapakorn University / Bangkok and at the Museum School of Fine Arts / Boston, Massachusetts, USA. He also studied with Tang Chang a famous Thai contemporary poet/painter during 1968–70.
He is known for his activism in AIDS, Human Rights, and democracy. He also works with EMPOWER Foundation, which was founded by his partner Chantawipa Apisuk, an organization that advocates for the rights of sex workers in Thailand. He has continuously promoted performance art in Thailand since 80s and is a well-known performance artist in Asia. Since 1996, he has performed in Germany, England, Quebec, Japan, Philippines, Indonesia, Vietnam, Korea, Hong Kong, Singapore, Switzerland, Australia and the USA.
He founded Concrete House in 1993, an art and community space, and the only performance art venue in Thailand. He is also a founder and director of “Asiatopia — an International Performance Art Festival in Thailand”, since 1998. He is currently a member of the board of Bangkok Art & Culture Centre, in Bangkok.
His current project The Journey of Kumjing collaborates with his wife Chantawipa Noi Apisuk. It won the international art award “Freedom to Create Prize”. The project engages the migrant women community in the northern borders of Thailand and Myanmar.
Artist and writer Dick Averns (Canada) has exhibited, performed and presented across Canada and in the US, Australia, the UK and Egypt. As one of only five artists selected nationally for the 2008–2009 Canadian Forces Artists Program — a federally supported initiative enabling artists to work alongside Canadian military — he was deployed to the Middle East, culminating in a 2011 solo show War Art Now in the Founders’ Gallery at The Military Museums. Currently he is artist in residence at The Pembina Institute, supported by Calgary 2012 — Cultural Capital of Canada, working on a sustainable transportation public art project The 90kmh Economy Drive. Significant exhibitions include Ambivalence Blvd at the Vernon Public Art Gallery, and Art & Activism at YYZ. Born in London, UK, Dick is based in Calgary where he teaches Sculpture, Liberal Studies, First Year Studies and Drawing at the Alberta College of Art + Design. He is also a committed community activist, family guy and gardener.
Mary Babcock (USA) is a visual and performance artist, and Associate Professor and Chair of the Fibers and Graduate Programs in the Department of Art and Art History at the University of Hawaii at Manoa. Her installation and mixed media work has been exhibited regionally, nationally and internationally (including Canada, France, Korea, Japan, Hungary and the Ukraine). She has performed across the USA in individual and collaborative contexts, as well as throughout Japan, in Italy, the United Kingdom, Poland and the Philippines. She has lectured at numerous conferences on her work linking fiber, performance and peace and justice studies.
Chun Hua Catherine Dong is a Chinese-born artist working with performance art, photography, and video. She received a B.F.A from Emily Carr University Art & Design and a M.F.A. from Concordia University. She has performed and exhibited her work in multiple national and international performance art festivals and venues. Among many other awards, she is the recipient of Franklin Furnace Award for avant-garde art in New York in 2014. Her performance is listed amongst the ‘‘Top Nine Political Art Projects of 2010’’ by Art and Threat Canadian magazine.