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CITYA is an alternative type of international art exchange programme and exhibition between six global cities: Beijing, Hong Kong, Macao, Tallinn, Rome and San Francisco. It is a long-term project that will be held every three years to build collaborations among cities, international art institutions and organisations. The project is based on the theme of “City as a Medium”, concerning the complex relationships between cities and the artists who live and work within them. Indeed, the city-based Art education institutions’ frameworks also allow for art production and display.


City as a Medium

Four years ago, a group of curators began a discussion on the concept of “City as a Medium”. The idea was inspired by social theorist Henri Lefebvre, who wrote about “the art of living in the city as a work of art” in his collection of essays Right to the City.[1] The exploration led to a new notion in the curators’ minds; the purpose of art is not simply to beautify the city or serve as a memento—the city in itself is a “work” of art, or an oeuvre, that involves a citizen’s right of participation as play. 

Under the influence of the pandemic, people have carried on living as “global citizens”, relying much more on the means of the internet. Meanwhile, they still continue to live within real physical spaces in their own cities. So how do artists reinterpret the art of living in both physical cities and expanding virtual cities? What could the future of art entail when the very meaning of “city” has been transformed after this change? The exhibition invites artists to express their thoughts through their practices within the theme “City as a Medium”. Artists are encouraged to interpret the same theme for post-pandemic times and relate this to confronting social injustice. CITYA explores the interrelationship of spatiality between physical and digital spaces by considering the display methodologies and their effects on artistic responses.


[1] Whybrow Nicolas, Art and the City (I.B. Taurius - London, New York, 2011, p.15)


Beijing, Hong Kong, Macao, Tallinn, Rome, San Francisco

Implementing the idea of working together via humanity as a connection between cities, CITYA features works from eight art organisations from six cities. Works of digital-friendly mediums, including new media art, painting, photography and video art, are showcased alongside traditional onsite displayed art forms, such as sculpture and installation.

The exhibition aims to create an alternative horizon of digital curation as a way of broadening awareness of the cultural landscape of these cities through the making of contemporary art and resulting exhibitions in the virtual art scene.


LIST OF ARTISTS (In GMT time order of the cities)

Beijing: Ye Funa

Hong Kong: Nadim ABBAS, Ekkehard ALTENBURGER, LEE Wing Ki Kalen, LEUNG Mee Ping, MAK Hoi Shan Anson, Cédric MARIDET, Peter NELSON, NG Siu King Kingsley, Louis NIXON, Tom O'DEA, Daniel SHANKEN, WAN Lai Kuen Annie, Michael WHITTLE

Macao: GUO Mengyao, LEI Kaleng, LEONG Lampo, LIN Li, YANG Chao

Tallinn: Laura DE JAEGER, Ulvi HAAGENSEN, Madli KALJUSTE, Johannes LUIK, Liina SIIB

Rome: Sara BASTA, Elena BELLANTONI, Gianfranco D'ALONZO, Donatella LANDI, Piero MOTTOLA, Chiara PASSA, Maria Giovanna SODERO, Mat TOAN

San Francisco: Jenny BALISLE, Manjula DEAN, Eden KNUTILLA, Robin LÓPEZ, Kevin TRACY



Academy of Visual Arts, Hong Kong Baptist University, Hong Kong



  • Virtual Lab for Art Museum, School of Arts Administration and Education, Central Academy of Fine Arts, Beijing

  • Academy of Visual Arts, Hong Kong Baptist University, Hong Kong

  • Centre for Arts and Design, University of Macau, Macao

  • Estonian Academy of Arts, Tallinn

  • Fine Arts Academy of Rome, Rome

  • Art and Design Department, University of California, Berkeley Extension, San Francisco

  • 1a space, Hong Kong

  • Videotage, Hong Kong



Jenny BALISLE (San Francisco) | Cecilia CASORATI, Miriam MIROLLA, Laura SCARINGELLA (Rome) | Juliana CHAN (Macao) | Kyle CHUNG (Online Residency) | Janet FONG (Hong Kong) | KANG Li (Beijing) | Kati OTS (Tallinn) | Reds CHEUNG (Assistant curator, Tallinn)



Madis LUIK (Tallinn)

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