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Featuring 17 newly commissioned artworks created by established artists working across Asia, this exhibition aims to give visibility to the many untold stories about Asian cocoa and chocolate through an array of embodied, emotional, imaginative, and conceptual artistic expressions. Conceived as a collective and creative research project, it attempts to highlight the complexities and challenges at stake behind chocolate bars.


Titled "In Stranger Lands: Cocoa's Journeys to Asia," the exhibition is an invitation to delve into the multiple narratives and aspects of Asian cocoa and chocolate.

The title of the exhibition alludes to the exotic feature of cocoa, originally native to Central and South America, and to the myriad of narratives that have emerged progressively since its introduction and subsequent adoption in Asian countries since the 16th century. 


Renowned artists from Asia have created a series of artworks related to Asian cocoa, addressed from their own artistic perspective.


From the cocoa colonial history to the ecological impact of its production, the sculptural shape of the pods and its route trades, the extraordinary diversity of these approaches reveal the complexity and scope of what is often only perceived as a delicacy.

Ultimately, these artworks not only push further the frontier of artistic expression, by themselves and as self-standing works of art, but also demonstrate that contemporary art can contribute to current issues of social concern.



The exhibition features maps, archives and scholarly research elements about the history and the contemporary socio-political reality of the Asian cocoa.


Additionally, the exhibition displays a series of photographs, videos and oral stories collected from various cocoa plantations in Asia as part of the artists and curator’s research fieldwork.


This part aims at shedding light on the hidden stories of chocolate beyond its mere gastronomic features, and to produce knowledge about Asian cacao, yet in an open and non-dogmatic format.


Finally, a video documenting various processes of transforming the beans into chocolate reveals the stories behind chocolate making.


We aim at valorizing the diversity and the sustainability of the local modes of production.



The exhibition will allow the general public to physically engage with the artists’ research findings and documentation by taking part in talks featuring researchers, historians, local farmers but also food specialists who will contribute to make this exhibition accessible and alive.


Discussions about sustainability will also take place, in collaboration with local NGO and our partners such as the French Agency of Development (AFD) and the CIRAD (the French agricultural research and cooperation organization working for the sustainable development of tropical and Mediterranean regions).


In partnership with local chocolate makers, some chocolate tasting will be organized for visitors to understand the different varieties of chocolate and transformation processes.





The project aims at emphasizing the diversity of small local bean-to-bar chocolate makers and at valorizing their sustainable modes of production


In Vietnam, the Cocoa Project Vietnam will propose some workshops, highlighting the whole process of production and their engagement with the local family-run farms.

We met several growers who shared their experience and research as well.

In the Philippines, we work closely with local farms such as Kablon Farms in Mindanao in order to give a voice to the growers.Knowledge-sharing will also be emphasised in Indonesia with local chocolate makers like Jika. 

From Thailand, Kad Kokoa will present their collaboration with the School of Agricultural Resources and the Faculty of Law, both of Chulalongkorn University. Together, they aim to bring more in-depth knowledge about cacao through developing quality local cacao and related products in a sustainable, traceable, and quality-focused approach for the local and international markets.


Dr. Caroline Ha Thuc


Caroline Ha Thuc is a French Hong Kong based art writer, researcher and curator. Specialized in Asian contemporary art, Ha Thuc contributes regularly to different academic journals and magazines such as South East Asia Research in London, ArtPress in France and Cobo Social in Hong Kong. She holds a Ph.D. from the School of Creative Media, City University HK.


Ha Thuc’s field of research focuses on research-based art practices and the emergence of alternative modes of knowledge production in Asia. She is a part-time lecturer at the Lingnan University, Hong Kong, as well as a researcher at the Guangzhou Academy of Fine Arts where she is developing a website gathering research-based case studies from the region.


Ha Thuc notably published Nouvel Art Contemporain Japonais (Nouvelles Editions Scala, 2012), Contemporary Art in Hong Kong (Asia One and Nouvelles Editions Scala, 2013), After 2000: Contemporary Art in China, (2015). Her book Research-based Art Practices: the artist as producer of knowledge (Palgrave Macmillan, 2022), focuses on research-based art practices in Southeast Asia.


As a curator, she focuses on promoting dialogue between artists from different cultures, while reflecting on social and political contemporary issues. Her main exhibitions include 31 Women Artists Hong Kong (10 Chancery Lane Gallery, HK 2022), Boundless Sea: the artist becoming researcher at the Art Museum of Guangzhou Academy of Fine Arts (Guangzhou, 2021-2022), Constructing Mythologies (Edouard Malingue Gallery, Hong Kong 2018), Documenting Myanmar (Charbon Art Space, Hong Kong 2018), Carnival (Amnesty International Hong Kong, 2017), Human Vibrations (5th Large-scale Urban Media Arts Festival, 2016), The Human Body: Measure and Norms (Blindspot Gallery, Hong Kong, 2015), Shelters of Resistance (YIA Art Fair Paris, 2015), Hong Kong Bestiary (Platform China, Hong Kong, 2014), Radiance (French May, Hong Kong, 2014)

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