Coffee Morning: How on earth is this pink Asian elephant still here?

Coffee Morning:
How on earth is this pink Asian elephant still here?
Hosted by Ghost and John

Tuesday 16th June | 11am – 2pm(ish)
Chisenhale Studios Education Room (Wheelchair Accessible)
Always Free
Rant. Chat. Eat.


What do you think of when you hear the term East Asian art? Geisha? Tai chi? Cantonese Opera? Fan dancing?

Then what does it mean when a body from East Asia is brought into the Western world of contemporary dance and performance? As artists from Hong Kong, Ghost and John cannot help but view everything with their value judgements and understandings of the world. Cultural difference and translation happen in the encoding of their works and as they decode other’s work. How can we challenge the ways in which Asian art is often misunderstood, exoticised, other-ed, or fetishised?

It is not about fitting in, skin colour, accent, or sexuality. It is about the complex and deep-rooted question of how we as artists can encourage more nuanced readings, discussions and translations of art practices that traverse cultures. Shall we start talking about it?


Ghost and John are a Hongkongese contemporary art duo, currently based in London. From Computer Science and Biology backgrounds, their works span through a wide range of topics, from algorithms to symbiosis. They investigate the reception of art and the involvement of digital interactivity as a discourse into the social and political implication in art. They are part of ShumGhostJohn. Ghost and John are a danceWEB scholarship recipient and a young choreographer in ATLAS at ImPulsTanz – Vienna International Dance Festival 2019 respectively. Ghost and John’s works around liminalities, questioning the cultural identity of being a Hongkongese and challenging new forms of arts, presented in theatres, studios, bars and clubs across London, Vienna and Hong Kong.

Photo by Enid Chan at “RLDU” by ShumGhostJohn and Friends. Edited by Ghost and John.


This season’s Coffee Mornings will be hosted in the Education Room on the ground floor at Chisenhale Studios, and therefore are accessible by wheelchair. A range of seating arrangements are provided.  If you have other questions about access, please call us on 020 8981 6617 or email


About Coffee Mornings

Coffee Mornings are a way in which dance/performance makers and doers can talk about the relationships between issues of production, public policy and the politics of the artwork that they are making and doing. Each Coffee Morning has a different theme, and is led by a different artist or group. The events are free and open to all artists. We sit around the kitchen table and eat and talk. Snacks and hot drinks will be provided by CDS but please feel free to bring something.

Coffee Mornings at Chisenhale Dance Space were initiated in 2011 by Gillie Kleiman, and taken over in 2015 by Hamish MacPherson, both independent dance artists and members of the artistic community around the organisation. They are now facilitated by Es Morgan, CDS staff and artist Member. If you would like to host one, find out more here.