An installation by the Korean artist Sung Hwan Kim, part of The Tanks: Art in Action at Tate Modern in 2012

The decision to establish the Tate Research Centre: Asia-Pacific (TRC: A–P) 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 the art of the Asia-Pacific region represents in terms of access, public understanding, and critical and scholarly interpretation.

To lead Tate’s 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 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. The Centre’s Project Manager is Dr Voon Pow Bartlett, an academic with a teaching, writing and curating background.

There is a programme of discussion, research and dissemination to promulgate new interchanges between external researchers – particularly internationally based researchers from the Asia-Pacific region – 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. We have also appointed two researchers, Dr. Monica Merlin and Dr. Majella Munro, to develop appropriate research projects.

The Centre’s 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 Tate’s Asia-Pacific research programme.


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 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 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.


Sook-Kyung Lee appointed as the Commissioner/ Curator of the Korean Pavilion, Venice Biennale 2015

Tate Research Centre: Asia-Pacific would like to congratulate Sook-Kyung, our Research Curator, on her prestigious appointment.

Forthcoming events

As space is limited, advance booking is necessary for events. Please email to reserve a place. There is no need to book for the event at SOAS. Places are allocated on a first-come, first-served basis.


Why Performance in Authoritarian Korea?

Joan Kee, Visiting Fellow at Tate Research Centre: Asia-Pacific
Friday 5 December 2014, 3.15–5pm
Room B111, SOAS (First Floor Brunei Building)

Joint Seminar organised by the SOAS East Asian Art Research Seminar, SOAS Contemporary Art Research Seminar, and the Tate Research Centre: Asia-Pacific, London

Supported by the Korean Cultural Centre and the SOAS Centre of Korean Studies

Close to Nature? Japanese Artists from Hiroshima to Fukushima

Majella Munro, Researcher at Tate Research Centre: Asia-Pacific
Tuesday 9 December 2014, 4–5.30 pm

McAulay Seminar Room, Tate Modern

Please email reserve a place.

Reclaiming Women Artists in Contemporary China

Monica Merlin, Researcher at Tate Research Centre: Asia-Pacific, London
Tuesday 16 December 2014, 4-5.30 pm
McAulay Seminar Room, Tate Modern

Please reserve a place.

Past events

Curatorial Workshop: The Contexts and Pragmatics of Curating

6–7 October

National Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art Korea, Seoul

Organised by Korea Arts Management Service, The National Museum of  Modern and Contemporary Art Korea and Tate Research Centre: Asia-Pacific.

Interactions in Post-War and Contemporary Art in Asia

9–10 October 

International symposium organised by Tate Research Centre: Asia-Pacific, London and the Mori Art Museum, Tokyo, Japan

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

19 June 2014, 3–5pm
Yuko Hasegawa
Manton seminar room, Tate Britain

‘Of Gaps, Seismographs and Islands. Contemporary Chinese Art between Directives and Strategies’

13 June 2014
Martina Koeppel-Yang

Joint seminar organised by Tate Research Centre: Asia-Pacific, London, and the East Asian Art and Archaeology Research Seminar, SOAS, University of London

Confronting the Past: Some Modern and Contemporary Art Displays and Collecting Strategies

13 March 2014
Clarissa von Spee
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 2013, 14:00–16:00
Carol Yinghua Lu
Tate Modern
McAulay Seminar Room on L0.

Curatorial Workshop

23 October 2013
In collaboration with ‘Asia-Pacific and Korea Arts Management Service.

Tansaekhwa and the Case for Abstraction in Postwar Korea

27 September 2013
A seminar held with the eminent Korean scholar, Joan Kee, Assistant Professor at the University of Michigan’s History of Art department, and a specialist in modern and contemporary art.

Modern Chinese Painting and the Mass Audience

17 October 2012
Professor Craig Clunas FBA (University of Oxford) helped launch the Centre with a lecture at Tate Modern.

Visiting Fellowship scheme

  • Jung-Ah Woo, tbc
  • Wang Chunchen, 15 January – 13 February 2015  
  • Joan Kee, 24 September – 15 December 2014
  • Dana Arnold, September 2014 – December 2015
  • Martina Koppel-Yang, March – December 2014
  • Yuko Hasegawa, 16 May – 6 July 2014
  • Carol Lu Yinghwa, October – December 2013

Contact us

For further information, please contact Dr Sook-Kyung Lee, Research Curator (, the Centre’s Manager, Dr Voon Pow Bartlett (, or email

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