Librarians-in-Residence: Open Library

Initiated by Ye Funa, in collaboration with artist Zijie
1PM-5.30PM, 16.05.2024

102a Albion Drive, London E8 4LY

We are pleased to announce ‘Open-Lib, Open-Co’, a series of workshops initiated by our Librarian-in-Resident Ye Funa that conceives of the library space not only as a place for the circulation and reading of books, but also as a space of community and social production. The workshop will simulate a co-working scene or a study room in a library, along with the display of newly acquired books and zine titles for participants to peruse.

In collaboration with Zijie, the Librarians will address the theme of ‘word processors: writing, power, capital, and technology’ in a recurring series of ‘co-working’ open library workshops. Participants will get a sense of the co-temporal space by experiencing a 9 to 5 working day. Whether they are reading, chatting online, coding, or writing essays and poems, the workshop wishes to prompt participants to think about the following: How do we experience more-than-verbal communication while sharing space with others? Mediated by screens and keyboards, what is the relationship between humans and machines, and between human and human under the same roof? How do labour and creativity coexist in this shared time and space?


Thursday, 16 May 2024, 1-5.30PM
1-2PM Quiet reading/working*
2-2.30PM Free period^
2.30-3.30PM Quiet reading/working
3.30-4PM Free period
4-5PM Quiet reading/working
5-5.30PM Free period

*Participants are asked to remain quiet during designated reading/working hours, when they are free to peruse publications on display or work on their laptops as they please.

^Free period is organised by librarians for themed discussion, stretching and social activities. Light refreshments will be provided.


Capacity: 15

Please include a one-sentence introduction of yourself and your reason for participating in this event when signing up. Kindly arrive on time for your slot to respect other co-workers. More Open Library dates will be announced.

Ye Funa, born in Kunming, Yunnan, is an artist and researcher who lives and works in London and Beijing. Her practice critically engages with the realities of daily life and the perceived nexus between authority and various societal domains, such as differing power structures and marginalised groups. Her politically charged art uses pastiche to critique and satirise cultural uniformity. Ye’s recent work incorporates new technologies and engages with various ethnic communities, developing participatory, internet-based projects like ‘Exhibitionist: Curated Nail’ and ‘Smart Master’, probing the integration of art systems into personal and communal spaces. As a passionate advocate for self-publishing, Ye co-founded the independent publishing brand ‘MondayOFF’, editing and authoring artist books like ‘Shamate zine’ and ‘Fire Golden Flowers’.

Ye has had solo exhibitions at the 4A Centre for Contemporary Asian Art and Nottingham Contemporary, as well as participating in group exhibitions in institutions such as the Museum für Fotografie, Berlin; National Taiwan Museum of Fine Arts, Taipei; esea contemporary, Manchester; Power Station of Art, Shanghai; Chronus Art Center, Shanghai; Art Center Nabi, Seoul; and Rhizome of the New Museum, NYC. Ye is a teacher in the Experimental Art and Sci-Tech Art Department, Beijing's Central Academy of Fine Arts, and the Slade School of Fine Art, University College London.

June Lee (Zijie) was born in Yulin, Guangxi Province and currently lives and works in Wuhan. He is an alternative comics maker, writer and activist who focuses on illustration and manga culture as an artistic tool within anti-gentrification movements, revolving especially around marginalised characters involved with issues of urbanisation and spatial justice. From 2010-2014, Lee co-organised Womenjia Youth Autonomy Lab, an open house and social experiment located near the historic East Lake on the urban fringes of Wuhan.