Tate Research Centre: Asia was established in 2012 following a generous grant from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation. By advancing the documentation, acquisition and display of modern and contemporary Asian art, the centre aims to both deepen awareness and understanding of Tate’s growing international collection and address the significant challenge that Asian art represents in the UK in terms of access, public understanding and critical interpretation.

The rigorous programme of research managed by Tate Research Centre: Asia is divided into three strands:

  • the dissemination of new research through seminars, symposia and publications
  • the promotion of scholarly exchange through the Visiting Fellowship programme and other developmental research opportunities
  • the development of partnerships with related institutions both in the UK and in Asia.

The centre is managed by Senior Research Curator Sook-Kyung Lee. Previously the Exhibition and Displays Curator at Tate Liverpool, Lee curated the Nam June Paik exhibition at Tate Liverpool in 2010–11 and is currently engaged in research on the rethinking of global modernisms with a focus on Asian art. Lee also served as the Commissioner and Curator of the Korean Pavilion for the 56th Venice Biennale in 2015.

Nada Raza is the centre’s Research Curator, with a particular focus on South Asian art. Previously the Assistant Curator at Tate Modern, Raza contributed to Meschac Gaba: Museum of Contemporary African Art in 2013 and Bhupen Khakhar in 2016, and curated the collection displays Monir Shahroudy Farmanfarmaian and Zarina Hashmi and Sheela Gowda. Raza also curated a thematic exhibition for the Dhaka Art Summit in Bangladesh in 2016 and was selected to be the curator of the Abraaj Prize Capital Art Prize 2014.

Tate Research Centre: Asia has been generously supported by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation. Additional support provided by Vicky Hughes and John Smith.

Contact us

Tate Research Centre: Asia
20 John Islip Street
London, SW1P 4RG 
+44 (0)20 7821 2985

Chloe Julius, Research Assistant

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For general enquiries or to join the Tate Research Centre: Asia mailing list please contact trc.asia@tate.org.uk


Tate Research Centre: Asia programmes an ongoing series of seminars, lectures, and national and international symposia. Located both at Tate sites and partner institutions, these events provide a forum for new research material from leading scholars and curators to be shared with a dedicated audience.


There are currently no upcoming events. Please check back for regular updates.

Past events


Nora A. Taylor, Alsdorf Professor of South and Southeast Asian Art, School of the Art Institute of Chicago
Nora A. Taylor, Alsdorf Professor of South and Southeast Asian Art, School of the Art Institute of Chicago

Performance as Site of Memory: Performing Art History in Vietnam and Singapore
6 May 2016, Tate Britain
Nora A. Taylor, Alsdorf Professor of South and Southeast Asian Art, School of the Art Institute of Chicago


Dislocations: Remapping Art Histories
3–4 December, Tate Modern 
Keynote lecture by Do Ho Suh
Speakers: Ignacio Adriasola (Assistant Professor, The University of British Columbia), Lee Ambrozy (PhD Candidate, New York University), Pamela N. Corey (Lecturer, SOAS), Sonal Khullar (Associate Professor, University of Washington), Tina Le (PhD Candidate, University of Michigan), Lu PeiYi (Independent curator, researcher and art critic), Su Wei (Independent art critic and curator), Ming Tiampo (Associate Professor, Carleton University) and Zheng Bo (Lecturer, School of Creative Media, City University of Hong Kong)

Advance through Retreat
17 February, Chelsea College of Art 
Dr Martina Köppel-Yang, TRC: Asia Visiting Fellow (Independent art historian)
Chaired by Dr Yuko Kikuchi (Reader at TrAIN, Transnational Art Identity and Nation)

When Anxiety Becomes Attitude: What Constitutes Contemporary Chinese Art?
5 February, The Courtauld Institute of Art
Dr Wang Chunchen, TRC: Asia Visiting Fellow (Director, Central Fine Art Academy, Beijing) in conversation with Dr Shane McCausland, (Reader in the History of Art in China, SOAS)


Reclaiming Women Artists in Contemporary China
16 December, Tate Modern
Monica Merlin, TRC: Asia Researcher (Lecturer, Christie’s Education)

Close to Nature? Japanese Artists from Hiroshima to Fukushima
9 December, Tate Modern
Majella Munro, TRC: AP Researcher 

Why Performance in Authoritarian Korea?
5 December, SOAS
Joan Kee, TRC: Asia Visiting Fellow (Associate Professor, University of Michigan)

Trauma and Utopia: Interactions in Post-War and Contemporary Art in Asia
9–10 October, Mori Art Museum
Speakers:  Fumio Nanjo (Director, Mori Art Museum), Nigel Llewellyn (Tate Research), Hajime Yatsuka (Architect and critic), Nina Hirosaki-Christens (PhD in Art History and Archaeology, University of Columbia), Yasufumi Nakamori (Associate Curator, Museum of Fine Arts, Houston), Michio Hayashi (Professor, Faculty of Liberal Arts, Sophia University), Lucy Weir (Associate Tutor, University of Glasgow), Rakhee Bakaranm (Assistant Professor, University at Albany, The State University of New York), Stephen Barber (Professor, Visual Culture, Kingston University, London, Research Fellow)

Towards a New Cultural Cartography?: 11th Sharjah Biennale and Emerging Artists from the Global South
19 June, Tate Britain
Yuko Hasegawa (Chief Curator, Museum of Modern Art, Tokyo)

Of Gaps, Seismographs and Islands. Contemporary Chinese Art between Directives and Strategies
13 June, SOAS
Martina Koeppel-Yang, TRC: Asia Visiting Fellow (Independent art historian)

Confronting the Past: Some Modern and Contemporary Art Displays and Collecting Strategies
13 March, Tate Britain
Clarissa von Spee (Curator, British Museum)


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
4 December, Tate Modern
Carol Yinghua Lu (Independent critic)

Negotiating Histories: Traditions in Modern and Contemporary Asia-Pacific Art
21 October, Tate Modern
Speakers: Kenji Kajiya (Associate Professor, Faculty of Arts, Hiroshima City University), Wang Chunchen (Director, CAFA Museum, Central Academy of Fine Art), Birgit Hopfener (Post-doctoral Researcher, Freie Universität Berlin), Wenny Teo (Manuela and Iwan Wirth Lecturer in Modern and Contemporary Asian Art, The Courtauld Institute of Art), Ann Adachi (CMAP Program Coordinator in the International Program, The Museum of Modern Art), Jung-Ah Woo (Assistant Professor, Division of Humanities and Social Sciences, Pohang University of Science and Technology), Yuko Kikuchi (Reader at TrAIN and CCW Graduate School, University of the Arts London), Nixi Cura (Course Director, Arts of China, Christie’s Education), Adele Tan (Curator, National Art Gallery, Singapore), Carol Yinghua Lu (Independent curator), Paul Gladston (Associate Professor and Director of the Centre for Contemporary East-Asian Cultural Studies at the University of Nottingham), Koki Tanaka (Artist, Japanese Pavilion, 55th Venice Biennale, 2013), Ming Tiampo (Associate Professor of Art History, Carleton University) and Craig Clunas (Professor of the History of Art, University of Oxford)

The Contexts and Pragmatics of Curating
6–7 October, National Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art Korea & 23 October, Tate Britain
Both workshops were convened by Dr Sook-Kyung Lee and Nigel Llewellyn of Tate, and were jointly organised with Korea Arts Management Service

Tansaekhwa and the Case for Abstraction in Postwar Korea
27 September, Tate Britain
Joan Kee TRC: Asia Visiting Fellow (Associate Professor, University of Michigan)


Modern Chinese Painting and the Mass Audience
17 October, Tate Modern
Craig Clunas (Professor of the History of Art, University of Oxford)

Visiting Fellowships

The Visiting Fellowship programme at Tate Research Centre: Asia provides researchers the opportunity to develop their independent research whilst drawing on the wealth of resources available at Tate. In addition to furthering their own research, Visiting Fellows also make a valuable contribution to the centre’s own research programme by publishing their findings, conducting seminars and convening events.


Applications for the 2016 Visiting Fellowship scheme have closed.

Current Visiting Fellows

Yohko Watanabe, Professor and Curator, Keio University, Tokyo
Eva Bentcheva, independent curator and art historian

Past Visiting Fellows

Jung-Ah Woo, Assistant Professor, Art History, Pohang University of Science and Technology
Wang Chunchen, Director, Central Fine Art Academy, Beijing

Joan Kee, Associate Professor of History of Art, University of Michigan
Martina Koppel-Yang, Independent art historian
Yuko Hasegawa, Director, Museum of Contemporary Art, Tokyo

Carol Yinghua Lu, independent art critic and curator


There are currently no opportunities at Tate Research Centre: Asia. Please sign up to our newsletter for regular updates.

Displays and Exhibitions

The research programme at Tate Research Centre: Asia actively contributes to the acquisition, collection and display of Asian art at Tate. 

Currently on display



Painting called 'American Survey Officer' consiting of three men standing and chatting at the bottom of a tropical jungle scene
Bhupen Khakhar
American Survey Officer 1969

Bhupen Khakhar
Until 6 November

Renowned for his unique figurative style and incisive observations of class and sexuality, Bhupen Khakhar (1934–2003) played a central role in modern Indian art and was a key international figure in 20th-century painting. Bringing together Khakhar’s work from across five decades and collections around the world for the first time since his death, this is a unique opportunity to discover his extraordinary work and inspirational story. This exhibition was curated by Nada Raza, Research Curator, Tate Research Centre: Asia.

Displays at the Tate Modern Switch House:

Between Object and Architecture

The works in this display create a dialogue with the materials and spaces of contemporary architecture. The titular room includes works by Rasheed Araeen, Yayoi Kusama, Liu Jianhua, David Medalla and Li Yuan-chia.

Yayoi Kusama The Passing Winter 2005 © Yayo Kusama courtesy Victoria Miro Gallery, London
Yayoi Kusama
The Passing Winter

Performer and Participant

Discover how artists working between the 1960s and the 1990s opened up new spaces for participation. Rooms include Charles Atlas and Shunk-Kender Archive – which displays photographs of Yayoi Kusama’s naked ‘happenings’ of the 1960s – and Song Dong/Daria Martin.

Displays at the Tate Modern Boiler House:

Start Gallery

This display provides an introduction to some of the best-loved artworks in the Tate collection, in addition to some new acquisitions, including collages by the Indian artist Benode Behari Mukherjee.

In the Studio

This display investigates the processes artists use to make artworks, and how audience responses shape them. Rooms include: Composing for the Camera, which displays photographs by Shikanosuke Yagaki and Iwao Yamawaki; International Surrealism, which presents photographs by Lionel Wendt alongside surrealist artworks made by the Paris-based group; The Disappearing Figure: Art after Catastrophe, which features paintings by Kim Ku-lim and Tsuyoshi Maekawa; and Painting with White, which showcases work by Li Yuan-chia and Shozo Shimamoto.

Bakelite Robot, Nam June Paik
Nam June Paik
Bakelite Robot 2002

Media Networks

Including a diverse range of techniques and materials – from posters and paint to analogue and digital technology – this display raises questions around feminism, consumerism and the cult of celebrity. Media Networks includes rooms dedicated to monographic displays of both Nam June Paik and Yutaka Takanashi.

Materials and Objects

The Materials and Objects display looks at the inventive ways in which artists around the world use diverse materials. Taking its title from the 1970 Tokyo Biennale, the room A View from Tokyo: Between Man and Matter, brings together works by artists who featured in the original exhibition, including sculptures by Jiro Takamatsu, Noriyuki Haraguchi, Lee Ufan and Susumu Koshimizu. The display also features Sheela Gowda’s large-scale installation Behold 2009, which consists of two contrasting materials, steel car bumpers and knotted human hair.

Installation shot showing strings of black human hair draping from the walls and ceiling in a gallery space at Tate Modern
Sheela Gowda
Behold 2009
Installation shot at Tate Modern


BP Spotlight: Anwar Shemza

This is a display of works by pioneering painter Anwar Jalal Shemza, which were created after Shemza moved to London from Lahore in 1956. Shemza’s arrival in Britain marks a turning point in his practice; these paintings fuse calligraphy and aspects of Islamic architecture with Western abstraction.

Past displays and exhibitions

Nam June Paik
Tate Liverpool: Exhibition
17 December 2010 – 13 March 2011
Video artist, performance artist, composer and visionary: Nam June Paik (1932–2006) was one of the most innovative artists of the 20th century. In 2011, Tate Liverpool, in collaboration with FACT (Foundation for Art and Creative Technology) presented the first major retrospective since the artist’s death, and the first exhibition of Paik’s work in the UK since 1988. 

Cao Fei, still from Whose Utopia 2006
Cao Fei
Still from Whose Utopia? 2006
© Cao Fei
Courtesy Vitamin Creative Space, Guangzhou

Cao Fei
1 October 2014 – 27 September 2015
Tate Modern: Display
Cao Fei’s Whose Utopia? 2006 contrasts the humdrum reality of life in a lighting factory with the dreams and aspirations of its younger workers at a time of economic growth and social change in China.