Call for participation in "Stories from the Room"


Sep 28, 2020


Although we enjoy relative freedom of mobility within restricted areas, to this day, we are often reminded of places that are still under isolation. It is in the face of this unexpected moment that we look to ask whether we can continue to mobilize, experiment, reflect, empathize, and even generate new relationships through art during these times? Therefore, this is an open invitation to everyone out there.


Rockbund Art Museum announces an open call for participation in a unique archival intervention at the museum initiated by artist Jasphy Zheng. "Stories from the Room" is a participatory long-term project that collects personal writings about the shared experience of living through this “new normal”. Unconstrained in terms of its language, form, or geographic location, submissions are welcomed from all across the world. Contributing to the construction of a collective “sculptural monument”, every submission we receive will be periodically organized into a living archive and exhibited at RAM. Through this collective collaborative effort, we hope to develop together a diverse and precious collection of writing to be stored safely within the physical space of the museum.


Installation view of “Stories from the Room”, 2020, CCA Kitakyushu

A Letter from RAM Team:

Rockbund Art Museum is delighted to introduce the first iteration of "Stories from the Room" in Shanghai. Occurring during the museum’s temporary closure due to renovation work, the project is intended as a gesture to continue a multi-layered dialogue that extends the possibilities of an exhibition beyond physical limitations. It is in this unique situation of closure that the collaboration between artist and institution will be able to acquire new layers and new methods of engagement between the artist, institution, and the audience.

As a long-term project, "Stories from the Room" will span multiple countries including Japan, Australia, China, Kazakhstan, Serbia and Ethiopia. While maintaining its basic archival structure throughout, the project will continuously adapt its form according to the local context and audience. This process of connecting various places and people together through the collection of shared memories and stories is a vital concept for the project, as well as the ability to circulate these contributions freely between different localities during this period. The archive is intended to develop organically in many unpredictable ways. Through its reproducible form, the project has the ability to grow simultaneously in many places at once to reflect the divergent realities and experiences of the people contributing to the project.

Connected to the artist’s previous projects, it is an experiment that explores the limits of language and writings that divide or connect us. Through each iteration around the world, the archive will raise different questions and attain new meanings and connections along the way. We sincerely welcome you to join this journey, exploring questions related to the boundaries between public and privacy, distance and intimacy during these uncertain times. May we embrace the uncertainties and challenges together.

Installation view of “Stories from the Room”, 2020, CCA Kitakyushu


Submission Information


If you would like to participate in this ongoing project, please simply:


  • Write about your days, thoughts or feelings, at any length and in any language you prefer

  • Ensure your submission includes a name, location and date

  • Send your writings to:

  • Each contributor will have a dedicated folder in the archive and multiple submissions over time are welcomed

This open call in collaboration with RAM is a two-year project with the deadline of December 30th, 2022.

Visiting Information

"Stories from the Room" will be presented in the Rockbund Art Museum in early November 2020. The general public is welcomed to visit the archive in person, however access is limited to booking appointment only. Contributors will be able to receive priority access or enjoy the ability to transfer the invitation to another person. For specific appointment rules, we will communicate directly with the contributors through


Contribution Terms


Contributors volunteer free of charge to contribute to this project with the understanding their writing will be visible to different public displays as an on-going project by the artist Jasphy Zheng. Therefore, participants confirm their consent for the reproduction and usage of the content submitted for the display at Rockbund Art Museum, but also including future usages elsewhere as part of a continuous archival project initiated by the artist. Contributors must ensure to avoid the disclosure of private information in the submission. Submissions will not be returned to the contributor and will remain as part of the artwork. Submitted writings will be organized into the archive at Rockbund Art Museum weekly.


Installation view of “Stories from the Room”, 2020, CCA Kitakyushu


Project Plan


Center for Contemporary Art Kitakyushu, Japan, 2020.05.18 - 2020.09.25

Rockbund Art Museum, China, 2020.11.07 - 2021.01.03

TarraWarra Museum of Art, Australia, 2020.08.30 - 2021.07.11

Ethiopia, October 2020 - ongoing

Kazakhstan, End of 2020 - ongoing

Serbia, End of 2020 - ongoing

About the Artist

Living between the US and China, Jasphy Zheng is an interdisciplinary artist whose practice most recently explores the inevitable failure of communication, both on a interpersonal and collective level. Using social installations, unannounced performances, sculptural objects, and artist’s books, Zheng constructs situations as public interventions that aim to raise awareness of our social and cultural environment, both in and out of the context of contemporary art. Zheng graduated with a BFA from the Rhode Island School of Design.

About "Stories from the Room"

Initiated as an ongoing work conceived by Jasphy Zheng, "Stories from the Room" was first realized as a response to the isolation felt during the outbreak of the pandemic. In collaboration with the institution CCA Kitakyushu, Japan, this gesture to create a sculptural monumental within this period was envisaged as a bridge to go beyond the concepts of closure and exclusion, exploring the capacities of participants to transcend these barriers through the imagination.

Invited by independent curator Biljana Ciric and Larys Frogier, the director of Rockbund Art Museum in participating in the long-term research project "As you go....roads under your feet towards the new future" and as part of the "CURTAIN" project, "Stories from the Room" can be considered by participants as a conduit for different voices to convene anonymously to share, transcend, vent, extend, activate, emphasize, release, express, disrupt, contemplate, and reflect on changes and new processes that influence our collective life and experiences during this unpredictable period. Starting from Rockbund Art Museum, "Stories from the Room" will be implemented across different locals contexts that project is situated working with local institutional partners and peers.


With the support of Longlati Foundation


About "As You Go… the roads under your feet towards the new future"


"As you go…. the roads under your feet towards the new future" at Rockbund Art Museum is developed in the framework of the long term-project "CURTAIN". It is a research project conceived by and in collaboration with Biljana Ciric.


This long-term research project is structured through research cells of organizations, institutions, and individuals that Rockbund Art Museum is part of. Other partner cells are What Could Should Curating Do (Belgrade), Moderna Galerija (Ljubljana),  Times Museum (Guangzhou), Artcom (Astana), Robel Temesgen and Sinkneh Eshetu (Addis Ababa), and The Public Library (Bor).


The first stage of the project has been supported by the Foundation for Arts Initiatives, CURTAIN (Rockbund Art Museum), Austrian Cultural Forum, Curatorial Practice (Monash University Art, Design and Architecture), and the Australian Government Research Training Program Scholarship.


*Photo courtesy to the artist

Poster design: xoesan

Photo: Ken’ichi Miura


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