The decision to establish the Tate Research Centre: Asia (TRC: Asia) reflects Tate’s commitment to deepening knowledge of the collection it is building and to supporting our curators in presenting global contemporary art to our audiences. The Research Centre, which has been generously supported by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, focuses on modern and contemporary art from the region and will address the very significant cultural and intellectual challenge that Asian art represents in terms of access, public understanding, and critical and scholarly interpretation.

To lead Tate’s research in this complex region, we have created a new role, Research Curator. Dr Sook-Kyung Lee, previously the Exhibition and Displays Curator at Tate Liverpool is the Centre’s Research Curator. She curated the Nam June Paik exhibition in Liverpool in 2010–11 and is currently engaged in research on late twentieth-century Korean and Japanese art. She has also served as the Commissioner and Curator of the Korean Pavilion for the 56th Venice Biennale in 2015.

There is a programme of discussion, research and dissemination to promulgate new interchanges between external researchers – particularly internationally based researchers from Asia – and Tate’s own curatorial and research staff, in the form of seminars and conferences and through the writing and publishing of peer-reviewed papers.  

The Centre’s objectives are to:

  • Further the research, documentation, publication, acquisition and exhibition of works of modern and contemporary Asian art;
  • Support Visiting Fellowships, scholarly exchanges and other developmental research opportunities in the field of modern and contemporary Asian art;
  • Establish partnerships and alliances with similar organisations in the UK and internationally and to further attract funding to support Tate’s research programme on Asian art.


The Research Centre offers a portfolio of research opportunities to scholars interested in working on topics relating to the recent art of the Asia-Pacific region. Individuals engaged in the programme are able to access information relating to works in Tate’s collection as well as draw on the resources of the Tate Library and Archive.

Exhibitions and gallery displays

In addition, the Research Centre actively supports the scholarly production of knowledge about modern and contemporary Asia-Pacific art, particularly in relation to Tate’s gallery display and exhibition programmes, especially those at Tate Modern and Tate Liverpool.

Past events

Dislocations: Remapping Art Histories
3 & 4 December 2015
Keynote: Do Ho Suh. Speakers: Ignacio Adriasola, Lee Ambrozy, Pamela N. Corey, Sonal Khullar, Tina Le, Lu PeiYi, Su Wei, Ming Tiampo and Zheng Bo
Convenors: Marko Daniel, Joan Kee, Sook-Kyung Lee, Ming Tiampo and Zheng Bo


Advance through Retreat by TRC: A-P Visiting Fellow, Dr Martina Köppel-Yang, an independent scholar and curator, chaired by Dr Yuko Kikuchi, Reader at TrAIN (Transnational Art Identity and Nation) at Chelsea College of Art, on 17 February 2015.

When Anxiety Becomes Attitude: What Constitutes Contemporary Chinese Art? by TRC: A-P Visiting Fellow, Dr Wang Chunchen, Head of the Department of Curatorial Research of CAFA Art Museum at the Central Academy of Fine Arts China, in conversation with Dr Shane McCausland, Reader in the History of Art in China, School of Oriental and African Studies London (SOAS), at The Courtauld Institute of Art on 5 February 2015. 

Why Performance in Authoritarian Korea?  by TRC: A-P Visiting Fellow, Joan Kee, organized jointly with the SOAS East Asian Art Research Seminar, at SOAS, supported by the Korean Cultural Centre and the SOAS Centre of Korean Studies, on 5 December 2014.

Close to Nature? Japanese Artists from Hiroshima to Fukushima by Majella Munro, TRC: A-P researcher, at Tate Modern, on 9 December 2014.

Reclaiming Women Artists in Contemporary China by Monica Merlin, researcher at Tate Research Centre: Asia-Pacific, at Tate Modern, on 16 December 2014.

Curatorial Workshop: The Contexts and Pragmatics of Curating organised jointly with Korea Arts Management Service, at the National Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art, Korea, Seoul, on 6–7 October 2014.

Interactions in Post-War and Contemporary Art in Asia international symposium organised jointly with the Mori Art Museum, Tokyo, on 9–10 October 2014, with additional support provided by Vicky Hughes and John Smith.

How to Draw New Cultural Cartography?: 11th Sharjah Biennale and the Emerging Artists from the Global South by TRC: AP Visiting Fellow, Yuko Hasegawa, at Tate Britain, on 19 June 2014.

Of Gaps, Seismographs and Islands. Contemporary Chinese Art between Directives and Strategies by TRC: AP Visiting Fellow Martina Koeppel-Yang, held jointly with the East Asian Art and Archaeology Research Seminar, SOAS, at SOAS, on 13 June 2014.

Confronting the Past: Some Modern and Contemporary Art Displays and Collecting Strategies by Clarissa von Spee, Curator at British Museum, at Tate Britain, on 13 March 2014.

Shadows: Attempts at re-examination and re-evaluation of Socialist Realism in the practice and discourse of art in China from 1950 to the present by TRC: AP Visiting Fellow, Carol Yinghua Lu, at Tate Modern, on 4 December 2013.

Curatorial Workshop in collaboration with the Korea Arts Management Service, at Tate Britain, on 23 October 2013.

Tansaekhwa and the Case for Abstraction in Postwar Korea by Joan Kee, Assistant Professor at the University of Michigan’s History of Art department, at Tate Britain, on 27 September 2013.

Modern Chinese Painting and the Mass Audience by Professor Craig Clunas FBA (University of Oxford), at the launch of the Centre, at Tate Modern, on 17 October 2012.

Visiting Fellowship Scheme (2013–2015)

  • Jung-Ah Woo, 2015
  • Wang Chunchen, January – February 2015  
  • Joan Kee, 24 September – 15 December 2014
  • Martina Koppel-Yang, March – December 2014
  • Yuko Hasegawa, 16 May – 6 July 2014
  • Carol Lu Yinghwa, October – December 2013

Contact us

Dr Sook-Kyung Lee, Lead Research Curator

Chloe Julius, Research Assistant

For general enquiries please contact  

Tate Research Centre: Asia has been generously supported by the Andrew W Mellon Foundation