30 September–11 October 2020

HKU MA Fine Art Graduation Show: If Not Now

Graduation exhibition of the 2018−2020 MA Fine Art class at HKU University of the Arts Utrecht

From 30 September–11 October 2020, BAK, basis voor actuele kunst, Utrecht hosts If Not Now, the graduation exhibition of the 2018−2020 MA Fine Art class of HKU University of the Arts Utrecht, which is curated by Katia Krupennikova. The preview takes place on Wednesday, 30 September 2020, from 13.00–17.00 hrs.

If Not Now features works by the graduates of the 2018−2020 MA Fine Art class of HKU University of the Arts Utrecht: Isshaq Al-Barbary, Charli Herrington, Carina Jansen, Bennet Edwin Kruit, Sinwah Lai, Sol Enae Lee, Winston Nanlohy, Gerardo Gomez Tonda, Gizem Üstüner, M.C. Julie Yu, and Jinxiao Zhou.

The Covid-19 lockdown caught the graduates in the final semester of their studies, and forcefully relocated everyone from classrooms, workshops, and studios to their homes. Characterized by a radical disruption of life caused by the pandemic, the exhibition If Not Now addresses the urgent need for structural revisions of the paradigms—geographical, political, institutional, social, linguistic, humanistic—that form the foundations of the contemporary world.

An abrupt confrontation with increasing precarity, growing uncertainty, and technologically mediated education has sharpened a sense of urgency to rearticulate the role of art in the face of such crises—in particular art’s promise of the future. Refusing to partake in the modern utopia and illusion of “outsourcing” solutions for current problems into an unknown future, the artists in this exhibition pave the way for inquiring how to act in the now. If Not Now starts from the multitude of challenges that confront the present and that affect the very possibility of survival—as artists, as students, as humans: from inflexible institutional and legal infrastructures that underpin contemporary education, to housing struggles, to financial and job insecurity, to the seemingly immovable power of the academy, and to inapt curricula that struggle to find connection to what is happening in the world. 

Coming from a strong awareness of their positions—simultaneously precarious and privileged, and humbled by the current situation, the artists in this show are determined to make an impact, to insist on a redefinition of norms. Without delay, they struggle to actualize the world they want to live in, not putting up with rules and relations that are imposed on them by institutions and the logic of capital. The works in this exhibition call for urgent structural, social transformation. If not now, then when?

As part of If Not Now, students and graduates of the HKU MA Fine Art program organize a live radio program, hosted by Stranded FM, that includes audio tours of the exhibition, as well as conversations with, and contributions by the artists and guests. Tune in and listen to personal stories and experiences of struggle, artistic production processes, dreams and nightmares, and to catch a glimpse of experiences and sound bites from the semester-long program Sonic Archival Practices (part of HKU MA Fine Art, year 1).

Pre-registration for the exhibition, the preview day, and the performance program is required. Booking a ticket is free, yet mandatory.

Update 28-9-2020: In line with new Covid-19 regulations, it is now also required to book if you only want to visit the exhibition itself. You can do so via this separate Eventbrite page. If you book a spot for the performance program, it is not necessary to book an additional ticket for the exhibition! If you come to see a performance, we are also counting you as a visitor for the time slot in which the performance takes place.

Time slots exhibition
1–11 October 2020, Wednesdays–Sundays 13–19 hrs
13.00-14.30 hrs
14.30-16.00 hrs
16.00-17.30 hrs
17.30-19.00 hrs

Note that on 7 October 17–19 hrs, the exhibition space is closed for visitors, with the exception of those who booked for the performance by Gerardo Gomez Tonda. 

The exhibition includes a preview day on 30 September, and is also accompanied by a performance program. Pre-registration (via Eventbrite) is required: please register via “BOOK TICKETS” above.

Program preview day, Wednesday 30 September 2020:
13.00–14.45 Exhibition preview, with word of welcome by Maria Hlavajova and introduction by Annette Krauss and Katia Krupennikova (doors open 12.45) (register here)
15.15–17.00 Exhibition preview, with word of welcome by Maria Hlavajova and introduction by Annette Krauss and Falke Pisano (register here)

Schedule daily performances: click here. Book your tickets for performances here.
For more information, you can also visit the Instagram and Facebook page of the HKU MA Fine Art program.

Prior to your visit, please keep an eye on the website for changes for any Covid-19 developments.

BAK’s main partner in the field of education and research is HKU University of the Arts Utrecht. As part of the long-term collaboration with the MA HKU Fine Art program, BAK has hosted the graduation exhibitions since the beginning of the program.

Covid-19 regulations (please read before visiting BAK)
To ensure the safety of our visitors and staff on location, BAK has prepared a number of Covid-19 guidelines, including hygiene, keeping 1.5 meters distance at all times, sticking to your allocated seating, following staff instructions, and more. You can find a general overview of the guidelines here.

If you book a ticket for an event at BAK, these guidelines (and possible specifics for the event in question) will also be sent to you via e-mail in advance. By joining our programs you agree to respect these guidelines, and we hope you join our effort in creating a safe environment for yourself and all those present!

In collaboration with

Made possible by

Suggestions from the archive


10 May, 12.00–12 May, 18.00 2023

Complaint Making: Setting Up Conflict-Positive Spaces for Community Building Praxis

Vishnu would like to share feminist governance tools (FGT) focused on three of many tiers in community building praxis. FGT is based on the values of equity with an emphasis on creating psychologically safe environments, drawing on the use of consent. Decision-making processes, setting up conflict-positive spaces, and complaint-making as diversity work will form the body of this three-day training. Rooted in Vishnu’s autho-ethnographic practice, this work will explore the power dynamics that impact decision-making processes.


10 May, 12.00–12 May, 18.00 2023

The Diamond Mind II

In this dance training, the people will use a one-minute film of their own movement as material for a booklet—a sixteen page signature—that distributes their presence, their gesture, as an act of EQ. 


3 May, 12.00–4 May, 18.00 2023

Too Late To Say Sorry? 

A bad apology can ruin a friendship, destroy a community, or end a career. In this workshop, we will investigate the impact of apologies on our relationships and our worlds. Why and how do we make apologies? What can giving and receiving apologies teach us about values and integrity? Should you apologize for something you don’t really feel sorry for? We will explore conflict and how we like to be in conflict with others. We will dive into our own boundaries. We will seek to understand how honoring limits becomes an act of building (or freeing) better worlds capable of holding so many, many more of us.


28 April, 12.00–29 April, 18.00 2023

Huisje, Boompje, Beestje (D.A.F.O.N.T.)

In this rare masterclass, retired teacher and artist Glenda Martinus teaches participants a thing or two about painting with Microsoft Word. Martinus shares tips, tricks, and secrets on how to use this software to its unexpected potential as a drawing tool. Participants learn how to draw three basic objects—a house, a tree, and an animal—in a seemingly innocent exercise that perhaps contains more layered social commentary. Drawing the worlds we desire does not require expensive tools or education, simply a curiosity to understand how the monster’s tools can topple the house of the master.