Over the past four weeks, Handshake 302 has participated in as many academic conversations about how art, society, and anthropology might inform each other. At Sun Yat-sen University, we discussed how the ethnographic method informs new kinds of art practices. At the Sichuan Academy of art, we encountered ideas about art as an expression of universal creativity, while at the Second International Modern Art Festival, we debated “human response.” Finally, at the National Academy of Art, we debated the sociality of diverse art practices.
These conversations have helped us conceptualize our practice more clearly because they reveal how important collaboration is. Handshake 302’s practice emerges at the intersection of art, society, and anthropology not because this is a great idea, but because each of our members brings a different skill set to the table; an ability to learn from each other is basic relationship that informs Handshake’s practice. We made a Venn diagram to show how we work and what it reveals is that the hand that reaches out to shake your hand is also the hand that continues traditions, that creates art, and that writes history. In other words, the creativity that each of us offers makes society, its art, and its knowledge about itself possible.