The decision to establish the Tate Research Centre: Asia-Pacific (TRC: A-P) reflects Tates 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 the art of the Asia-Pacific region represents in terms of access, public understanding, and critical and scholarly interpretation.
To lead Tates research in this complex region, we have created two new roles. Dr Sook-Kyung Lee, previously the Exhibition and Displays Curator at Tate Liverpool is the Centres 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. The Centres Project Manager is Dr Voon Pow Bartlett, an academic with a teaching, writing and curating background.
The team will schedule a programme of discussion, research and dissemination to promulgate new interchanges between external, researchers – particularly internationally based researchers from the Asia-Pacific region – and Tates own curatorial and research staff, in the form of seminars and conferences and through the writing and publishing of peer-reviewed papers. We will also be looking to appoint researchers as doctoral students and as post-doctoral and visiting fellows, who will be scholars with the appropriate academic background, linguistic skills and experience to develop their own research projects.
The Centres objectives are to:
- further the research, documentation, publication, acquisition and exhibition of works of modern and contemporary Asia-Pacific art;
- support visiting fellowships, scholarly exchanges and other developmental research opportunities in the field of modern and contemporary Asia-Pacific art;
- establish partnerships and alliances with similar organisations in the UK and internationally and to further attract funding to support Tates Asia-Pacific research programme.
The Research Centre will offer 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 program will be able to access information relating to works in the Tate collection as well as draw on the resources of the Tate Library and Archive.
Exhibitions and Gallery Displays
In addition, the Research Centre will actively support the scholarly production of knowledge about modern and contemporary Asia-Pacific art, particularly in relation to Tates gallery display and exhibition programmes, especially those at Tate Modern and Tate Liverpool.
Programme and events
To launch the Centre, Professor Craig Clunas FBA (University of Oxford) gave a lecture at Tate Modern on 17 October, 2012, titled ‘Modern Chinese Painting and the Mass Audience’.
The Centre will initiate a dynamic series of events to help academics, students and scholarly organisations engage with the most pressing and significant issues that are informing and affecting the development of modern and contemporary art and culture in the Asia-Pacific region. It will seek to stimulate debate and exchanges across the field. It welcomes proposals for new projects and events.
The initial areas of regional focus have been identified as China, Japan and Korea, to be studied from a number of different standpoints. Themes under consideration include art historical subject matter, monographic studies of key artists and thematic and culturally related topics.
Activities will include:
- An annual, themed seminar series, involving staff and external speakers, currently being planned for 2013 onwards
- An international conference in 2014–15 (more details to be announced in due course)
- Public events in collaboration with Tates international partners, individual scholars, scholarly societies and universities
- Post-Doctoral research and Fellowship Scheme
- Research Centre publication programme, including the dissemination of research outcomes on Tate’s website in English, Chinese, Korean and Japanese, making them available to the website’s 20 million users (including readers of our flagship research journal Tate Papers) and via other academic channels
Tate Research Centre: Asia-Pacific has been generously supported by the Andrew W Mellon Foundation