Arts and Culture
We are currently witnessing profound shifts in how art is understood, discussed, and practiced. One of the most significant tendencies is “artists working reality.” While this phenomenon is global, it is especially evident in Hong Kong’s public sphere. Given the problematic art discourse, alternative ways of thinking about art in public life are needed. This paper explores how the Capability Approach, a framework proposed among others by philosophers Amartya Sen and Martha Nussbaum, could be used to address the motivations of “artists working reality” and the processes associated therewith. To establish the adaptability of the Capability Approach, the paper considers concrete examples of Hong Kong-based artists seeking to increase public well-being through art and context-based considerations of its social conditions and material. Which aspects emerge for discussion if this framework is used to describe how the impermanence of art in the city actually takes place? How do art-based methods contribute to making the public happen? How are art-based methods used to activate (possibilities of) well-being?