What is Transnational?

Transnational is a way of understanding, researching and curating that encourages the idea that art, artists and art histories are connected beyond their countries of origin. The word ‘transnational’ encourages us all to challenge and revise dominant art histories by highlighting the global exchanges and flow of artists and ideas.

What do we do?

The Centre’s vision is to redefine Tate’s existing collection of art and offer new perspectives on global art histories. We will expand Tate’s existing commitment to developing its collections and programmes beyond Western Europe and North America.

In this film, hear about the Centre’s engagement with Tate’s collection, displays, exhibitions and public programmes, and how research is integrated into the workings of the museum.


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What are our priorities?

Our research priorities are guided by Tate’s curatorial teams and the Centre’s adjunct curators working in the fields of indigeneity, Africa and the diaspora, and the Caribbean diaspora.

Some of the grounding questions shaping the Centre’s first phase from 2019 to 2021 include:

  • How does the idea of transnational help us rethink multiple art histories and move beyond established narratives?

  • How does the idea of transnational relate to our understandings of British art, history and identity?

  • What are the creative contributions enabled by migration and diaspora?

  • What can we learn from First Nation and indigenous artists when rethinking the role of nation states in relation to art?

Integrated within Tate Modern’s Curatorial team, the Centre’s core team work with the wider Curatorial team to lead or contribute to exhibitions, collection displays, acquisitions and public events. The Centre’s core team also work closely with the Learning & Research and Digital departments as well as other colleagues at Tate Britain, Tate Liverpool and Tate St Ives, to connect Tate with a wide network of peers and academic partners.

The Centre is led by Dr Sook-Kyung Lee, Senior Curator, International Art (Hyundai Tate Research Centre: Transnational). Lee has had responsibilities for the research and acquisition of art from the Asia-Pacific region for the Tate collection and previously headed Tate Research Centre: Asia (2012–16). As Exhibitions & Displays Curator at Tate Liverpool she curated several exhibitions and collection displays such as Doug Aitken: The Source and Thresholds. Lee also served as the Commissioner & Curator of the Korean Pavilion for the 56th Venice Biennale. She recently curated Nam June Paik, which opened at Tate Modern in October 2019 and will tour in Europe, USA and Asia, co-organised by Tate Modern and the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art.

Curators Nabila Abdel Nabi and Devika Singh are embedded in Tate Modern’s Curatorial team to carry out acquisition and programme related curatorial work, with a focus on the Centre’s aim of contributing to the development of the ‘transnational’ framework.

Nabila Abdel Nabi is an art historian and curator based in London. She is currently Curator, International Art at Tate. She was previously Associate Curator at The Power Plant, Toronto and prior to that she was Gallery Manager at The Third Line, Dubai. She has worked on solo exhibitions and facilitated new commissions by artists including Hajra Waheed, Vivian Suter, Omar Ba, Emeka Ogboh, Abbas Akhavan, Kapwani Kiwanga, Karla Black, Michael Landy, Kader Attia, Amalia Pica and Jonathas de Andrade, among others. She recently curated the exhibition Hold Everything Dear at The Power Plant, Toronto. She holds an MA from the Courtauld Institute of Art and a BA from the University of Chicago.

Devika Singh is currently Curator, International Art at Tate. Her work focuses on modern and contemporary art and architecture in South Asia and the global history of modernism. Singh was Smuts Research Fellow at the Centre of South Asian Studies of the University of Cambridge and a fellow at the Centre allemand d’histoire de l’art in Paris. She holds a PhD from Cambridge and was a visiting fellow at the French Academy at Rome, the Freie Universität and the Kluge Center of the Library of Congress. She has published widely in journals and exhibition catalogues. Recent exhibitions curated by Singh include Planetary Planning at Dhaka Art Summit (2018); Gedney in India at CSMVS, Mumbai (2017) and Duke University (2018); and Homelands: Art from Bangladesh, India and Pakistan at Kettle’s Yard, Cambridge (2019).

The Centre’s activities are devised and managed by Emma Jones, Research Manager. Organisational and research support is provided by Odessa Warren, Research Coordinator.

Steering Committee

The Centre is guided by Tate’s internal Steering Committee, which consists of Tate-wide directors and senior members of staff with expertise in Tate’s core activities including the collection, displays and exhibitions, research and national and international partnerships. The Steering Committee members input into and steer the Centre’s strategy and output and align our events with Tate’s programmes at all Tate sites: Tate Modern, Tate Britain, Tate Liverpool and Tate St Ives.


Clara Kim, The Daskalopoulos Senior Curator, International Art (Africa, Asia & Middle East)
Sook-Kyung Lee, Senior Curator, International Art (Hyundai Tate Research Centre: Transnational)
Neil McConnon, Director International Partnerships
Gregor Muir, Director of Collection, International Art, Tate Modern
Yasufumi Nakamori, Senior Curator, International Art (Photography)
Emily Pringle, Head of Research
Charlotte Reeves, Head of Corporate Partnerships
Catherine Wood, Senior Curator, International Art (Performance)

Advisory Board

The Centre is also supported by an Advisory Board, which consists of external academics working in the field of transnational art history. The role of the Board is to advise and steer the Centre’s strategic direction and to help develop a wider network in academia and artistic communities across the world.


Frances Morris, Director, Tate Modern


Professor Oriana Baddeley (University of the Arts London)
Professor Monica Juneja (Heidelberg University)
Professor Christian Kravagna (Academy of Fine Arts Vienna)
Professor Chika Okeke-Agulu (Princeton University)
Professor Ming Tiampo (Carleton University)


The Centre offers a variety of short-term posts that are designed specifically to offer developmental opportunities to researchers and curators from around the world. These are tiered to support people at all stages of their careers. Opportunities, open calls and grant applications will be listed here when they arise.

Follow @TateResearch on Twitter for all updates, news and opportunities.


This programme provides academics and curators with the opportunity to develop their independent research that aligns with Tate’s research interests.

Updates will be posted here when new Fellows are in place.

These posts provide curators and researchers with the opportunity to remain within the region they are working in and carry out field research in relevant areas for Tate.

The current Hyundai Tate Research Centre: Transnational Adjunct Curators are Daniella Rose King, Portia Malatjie and Pablo José Ramirez.

Daniella Rose King is Adjunct Curator, Caribbean Diasporic Art

Daniella Rose King is a curator and writer concerned with artistic practices of the Caribbean and black diaspora with a particular emphasis on feminisms, the capitalocene and black geographic thought. Between 2017 and 2020 she was the Whitney-Lauder Curatorial Fellow at the Institute of Contemporary Art, University of Pennsylvania where she curated two interrelated exhibition and publication projects that addressed concerns at the intersection of black feminism, environmental racism and contemporary visual art practices: The Last Place They Thought Of (2018) and Deborah Anzinger: An Unlikely Birth (2019). Prior to this she was the 2015/16 Whitney Independent Study Program Helena Rubinstein Curatorial Fellow. She has held institutional positions at Nottingham Contemporary, Iniva in London, Cornerhouse (now HOME) in Manchester and MASS Alexandria. She holds an MA in Curating Contemporary Art from the Royal College of Art, London.

Portia Malatjie is Adjunct Curator, Africa and African Diaspora

Portia Malatjie’s research focuses on expressions of African conceptions of blackness – with an emphasis on the sonic and the temporal – in contemporary African artistic practice. At the core of her research is how African spiritual practices, fugitivity, spectrality, and technology are mobilised as modes of black refusal. Portia has curated work by Helen Sebidi, Dineo Seshee Bopape, Yinka Shonibare CBE and Kemang Wa Lehulere. She is working towards a co-curated extensive research and exhibition project that instrumentalises black feminist theory to correct the exclusion of black South African women artists from a broader art history. Portia will soon be taking up a position as Lecturer in Art History and Discourse of Art at the University of Cape Town, where she will be based. She will work closely with the curatorial team at Tate Modern, including Osei Bonsu, Curator, International Art, and with the Africa Acquisitions Committee. Portia has an MA and BA from the University of Witwatersrand in Johannesburg and is completing her PhD in Visual Cultures at Goldsmiths, University of London.

Pablo José Ramirez is Adjunct Curator, First Nation and Indigenous Art

Pablo José Ramirez is a researcher and curator in the field of indigenous contemporary art practices and is based in Guatemala. His work revisits Latin American post-war societies to consider non-western epistemologies, indigeneity and transnationalism. In 2014 he worked alongside Cecilia Fajardo-Hill curating the 19th Bienal de Arte Paiz: Transvisible. He was the recipient of the Colección Patricia Phelps de Cisneros and Independent Curators International 2019 Research Award for Central America and the Caribbean. Among his exhibitions are: The Shores of the World: on communality and interlingual politics, Display, Prague (2018); Guatemala Después, co-curator Sheila C. Johnson Design Center, Parsons School of Design, New York (2016); This Might be a Place for Hummingbirds, co-curator, Centre for Contemporary Arts, Glasgow (2015). Pablo will work closely with colleagues across the curatorial team at Tate Modern, including Michael Wellen, Curator, International Art and with the Latin America Acquisitions Committee and the North America Acquisitions Committee. He holds an MA in Contemporary Art Theory from Goldsmiths, University of London.

Hyundai Tate Research Centre: Transnational
Tate Modern
London SE1 9TG
+44 (0)20 7401 5038

Odessa Warren, Research Coordinator

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