Museum PR Announcements News and Information

Asia Art Archive announces Open Edit: Mobile Library

Asia Art Archive (AAA) and Raking Leaves present Open Edit: Mobile Library in Sri Lanka. A traveling archive of contemporary art books from AAA in Hong Kong, the Mobile Library brings a selection of the Archive’s collection to different cities in Asia, allowing more audiences to access and interact with this unique learning resource. Sri Lanka is the Library’s first South Asian destination, where the project is presented in partnership with Raking Leaves, an award-winning Sri Lanka-based publisher of artists’ book projects.

Open Edit Mobile Library Photo courtesy Raking Leaves.
Open Edit Mobile Library Photo courtesy Raking Leaves.

Beginning in Jaffna, the Mobile Library was installed at the Christa Seva Ashram, which was transformed to house the collection during its three-month stay. Throughout this time, the University of Jaffna’s Fine Arts (Art History) and Art and Design Departments integrated the library into their day-to-day curricula.

A number of special projects with local partners accompany the Mobile Library’s presentation in Sri Lanka:

Open Call
5–7 July
During its stay in Jaffna, the Mobile Library was the subject of the project Open Call, which invited professional artists and students to make artworks in response to the library. A total of 16 proposals were selected and will be exhibited as part of the project in Colombo. The artists include Muhanned Cader, Marisa Gnanaraj, Sharni Jayawardena & Malathi de Alwis, T. Krishnapriya, Abiramie Jerad Mariyaseelan,Sivalingam Puranthara, P. Pushpakanthan, G. Samvarthini, Nalliah Savesan, Hanusha Somasuntharam, Konesh Suresh, Thavarasa Thajendran, Pradeep Thalawatta, Chandraguptha Thenuwara, Thisath Thoradeniya, and Mariyathevathas Vijitharan.

Open Talk
5–7 July
Open Talk considers a spectrum of archival activity, looking at the work of researchers, digital archivists, and archive-based organisations as well as personal archivists and relatives who have inherited the archives of major Sri Lankan artists. Selected speakers include the celebrated filmmaker Anomaa Rajakuruna; TED Fellow and founder of Groundviews Sanjana Hattotuwa; curator and Raking Leaves’ Publisher Sharmini Pereira; Director of the Noolaham Foundation S Seran; art historian and curator P. Ahilan; and AAA Senior Researcher Sabih Ahmed.

On 6 July, the premiere of Celluloid Man about the life and work of the legendary film archivist P. K. Nair by Shivendra Singh Dungarpur will be screened.

Sri Lanka Archive of Contemporary Art, Architecture, and Design
Launched by AAA and Raking Leaves, the Sri Lanka Archive of Contemporary Art, Architecture, and Design will be presented alongside the Mobile Library in Colombo. The first of its kind in the country, the Sri Lanka Archive will continue independently after the Mobile Library closes in Sri Lanka. Second copies of many materials collected by the Sri Lanka Archive will be donated to AAA, enriching its representation of Sri Lanka for international audiences.

For a full schedule of programmes, please visit

Mobile Library is a collaboration between Asia Art Archive and Raking Leaves in partnership with the Goethe Institut, Groundviews, and the University of Jaffna’s Fine Arts (Art History) and Art and Design Departments. The project is funded by Burger Collection and the Foundation for Arts Initiatives.

About Asia Art Archive
AAA is an independent non-profit organisation in Hong Kong dedicated to documenting the recent history of art in Asia within an international context. AAA’s collection is accessible free of charge from AAA’s physical space, the online catalogue, and the Collection Online. Through public programmes, AAA instigates critical thinking and dialogue that generate new ideas that continually reshape the Archive itself. Open Edit: Mobile Library is an outreach initiative that connects the material in AAA’s collection to other knowledge networks, creating platforms for exchange. The project’s first edition was in Ho Chi Minh City in collaboration with Sàn Art in 2011.

About Raking Leaves
Raking Leaves is an award-winning independent publisher of artists’ book projects and special editions. Launched in 2008, the organisation commissions, publishes, and internationally platforms two artists annually to create independent artworks that utilise the popular format of the book. The organisation initiates and produces exhibitions, talks, writings, short films, and public events that raise greater awareness and debate about its publishing and distribution activities. Raking Leaves is a non-profit organisation based in Sri Lanka.

5–7 July 2013
Opening: Friday 5 July 7–9pm

Park Street Mews, Warehouse D
Colombo, Sri Lanka
Hours: Saturday 6 July, 10am–9pm;
Sunday 7 July, 10am–6pm