Tate Research Centre: Asia – Events

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.


For updates on future events, join the Tate Research Centre: Asia monthly mailing list by contacting trc.asia@tate.org.uk.



Chelsea College of Art and Tate Britain
29–30 September 2017

This international symposium, hosted by Tate Research Centre: Asia together with TrAIN Research Centre, UAL, examined the historical interconnectedness of cultures in Tokyo and London. The first day took place at Chelsea College of Art, exploring Tokyo’s transnational histories and futures. The second day was held at Tate Britain and looked at the intersections and points of contact among multiple cultures and diverse artistic legacies in London.

Transnationalism and its Limits: Mobility and Contemporaneity in Thai Art
22 June, Tate Modern

In this seminar, David Teh gives artistic mobility a discrete history with reference to the contemporary art of Thailand, a nation on edge after decades of sovereign insecurity, economic boom and bust, and constitutional meltdown. While Thai artists reflect these tribulations in their work, since the 1990s many have downplayed their identity and become conspicuously mobile. What can their excursions tell us about the transnationalism of contemporary art? Their mobility allows them to dodge local limitations, but it also recalls a much older spatial imaginary, a worldliness that is no symptom of art’s globalisation but a condition of its possibility.

Teh’s paper is followed by a response from May Adadol Ingawanij. The subsequent panel discussion is chaired by Lucy Steeds.

Territories Disrupted: Asian Art after 1989
4–5 April, National Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art, Korea

The National Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art Korea (MMCA) and Tate Research Centre: Asia (TRC: Asia) are presenting a two-day international symposium in Seoul on 4–5 April. Held at the MMCA in Seoul, this symposium explored Asian art after 1989, with a focus on how political and economic changes corresponded with the changes in artistic practice and its reception. Among the issues the symposium wishes to address are: democratic movements and their challenges, the questioning of the binary of cold war ideologies, and the impact of globalisation arising from the increased economic prosperity of the period. It also explored the proliferation of the representation of non-Western art in exhibition making on global platforms and the emergence of a new generation of artists as well as feminist practice in Asia.

Keynotes: Lee Bul (artist) and Trinh T. Minh Ha (filmmaker, artist)

Panel One: Exhibitions and Other Stores
Convener: Ute Meta Bauer (Professor, Nanyang Technological University)
Speakers: Igarashi Rina (Curator, Fukuoka Asian Art Museum), Mark Francis (curator, writer), Russell Storer (Senior Curator, National Gallery Singapore)

Panel Two: The Emergence of the New Generation
Convener: Nada Raza (Research Curator, Tate Research Centre: Asia)
Speakers: Jung-Ah Woo (Associate Professor, POSTECH), Michio Hayashi (Professor, Sophia University), Karin Zitzewitz (Assistant Professor, Michigan State University), Iftikhar Dadi (Associate Professor, Cornell University)

Panel Three: Decolonial Conditions
Convener: Whui-Yeon Jin (Professor, Korea National University of Arts)
Speakers: Patrick D. Flores (Professor, University of the Phillipines), FX Harsono (artist) and Jitish Kallat (artist)

The Question of Globalisation and Asia in Contemporary Chinese Art of the 1990s
26 April, Tate Modern

This lecture by Pauline J. Yao looks to revisit and potentially revise existing narratives of contemporary Chinese art during the 1990s by situating events within a broader context of Asia. Often presented as the moment of globalisation for Chinese art, the decade of the 1990s is well known for its major survey exhibitions of avant-garde art in Western museum institutions, the meteoric rise of the art market and attention for diasporic transcultural Chinese artists. However, this narrative has been largely predicated upon understandings of China vis-à-vis the West, and there have been few considerations of how this formative moment of globalisation may have been shaped by events occurring around Asia, namely in Japan, and concurrent discussions there around pan-Asianism and the emergence of an Asian modernism. By reviewing activities such as the exhibition Exceptional Passage in Fukuoka in 1991, which featured site-specific works by Cai Guo-Qiang, Gu Wenda, Huang Yong Ping, Wang Luyan, and Yang Jiechang, this lecture will explore the new artistic languages put forward by these artists, as well as the the ways in which these activities contributed to a growing awareness of national, and therefore international identity. This body of research is part of a larger project concerning spatial histories of contemporary Chinese art.


Contact Points: A Seminar Organised by Tate Research Centre: Asia
21 November, Tate Modern

Susumu Koshimizu, From Surface to Surface 1971

Susumu Koshimizu
From Surface to Surface 1971
© Susumu Koshimzu 

This seminar examined two international ‘contact points’ between artists in the twentieth century: the 1970 Tokyo Biennale and David Medalla’s performance practice in London and the Philippines.

Contact Points represents the culmination of Tate Research Centre: Asia’s Visiting Fellowship Programme in 2016; both ​Eva Bentcheva and Yohko Watanabe conducted their research as the Centre’s Visiting Fellows.

Panel One: A Stitch in Time? Situating David Medalla’s ‘Participation-Performance’ between British and Philippine Performance Art History

​Chair: Eva Bentcheva
Speakers: David Medalla and Adam Nankervis

Panel Two: Tokyo Biennale 1970 as Contact Point

Chair: Yohko Watanabe
Speakers: Toshiaki Minemura and Susumu Koshimizu

Transnationalism in Practice: Strategies of Affect
7 December, Tate Britain

This seminar examines two approaches to transnational artistic and curatorial production in London, and will invite Sunil Gupta and Grant Watson to revisit key projects with an emphasis on research and practice in South Asia.

Leela Gandhi’s book Affective Communities (2006) recuperated micro-narratives, moments of anti-imperial resistance and political strategies that created a shared solidarity between queer and postcolonial communities. As curators negotiate unprecedented access to international art, this seminar will reconsider recent exhibition histories through alternative curatorial models that deploy international networks of shared knowledge, radical practice, resistance or refusal.

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
© Nora A. Taylor

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)