Anupama Kundoo | Aric Chen | Eko Prawoto | Shirley Surya | Rirkrit Tiravanija | Pauline J. Yao | Sheela Gowda | Doryun Chong | Cosmin Costinas | Ashish Rajadhyaksha | Chuong-Dai Vo | Stella Fong | Diana Campbell Betancourt | Zoe Butt | Roobina Karode | Ignatius Hermawan Tanzil | Sean Anderson | José Da Silva | Judith Greer | Shabbir Hussain Mustafa | Suhanya Raffel
Anupama Kundoo is Founding Principal of Anupama Kundoo Architect established in Auroville, Tamil Nadu, India, in 1990. Kundoo’s architectural practice focuses on material research to achieve an architecture of low environmental impact, and development of building technologies that are socio-economically beneficial. This has been demonstrated in projects such as the Wall House (2000), which was built by low-skilled workers and craftsmen with everyday materials and inventive techniques, and Full Fill Homes (2015), an affordable housing prototype built with ferro-cement boxes that functioned as the building’s structural foundation and furniture. A passionate advocate for sustainable architecture and building methods, Kundoo was awarded an honourable mention by the jury of the 2013 ArcVision International Prize for Women and Architecture for ‘her dedication when approaching the problem of affordability of construction and sustainability in all aspects’. Having built extensively in India, Kundoo has also worked and taught in various cultural contexts, including the Architectural Association School of Architecture, Cornell University, Escola Tècnica Superior d'Arquitectura de Barcelona, Barcelona, and Universidad Camilo José Cela, Madrid where she serves Chair of ‘Affordable Habitat’. Her works and writings have been widely featured in publications, including Phaidon World Atlas of Contemporary Architecture and AD Architectural Design, as well as exhibited in platforms such as the Venice Architecture Biennale (2012, 2016) and Architecture Biennale Chile (2017). Kundoo is currently working on a solo show at the Louisiana Museum of Modern Art, Humlebaek, Denmark scheduled for 2020. She received her Bachelor of Architecture from Sir J.J. College of Architecture, University of Bombay, India and her PhD from the Technische Universitaet Berlin, Germany.
Aric Chen is Lead Curator, Design and Architecture at M+. Previously, he served as Creative Director of Beijing Design Week, helping to oversee the successful launch of that event in 2011 and 2012. Prior to moving to Beijing, Chen was an independent curator, critic, and journalist based in New York, organising exhibitions and projects at the Design Museum Holon, Design Miami/Basel, the Saint-Étienne International Design Biennale, Center for Architecture (New York), and ExperimentaDesign Amsterdam. He is the author of Brazil Modern (The Monacelli Press, 2016), and has been a frequent contributor to publications, including The New York Times, Metropolis, Architectural Record, and PIN-UP. Chen received his BA in Architecture and BA in Anthropology from the University of California at Berkeley, and an MA in the History of Design, jointly offered by the Cooper-Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum and Parsons School of Design in New York.
Eko Prawoto is an architect and educator based in Yogyakarta, Indonesia. Characterised by contextualism, communality, craftsmanship, and social activism, his practice has made him an influential figure in Indonesian architecture. Prawoto’s conviction of enhancing locality as design strategy to integrate architecture with the social, cultural and environmental contexts often runs counter to the modernising ethos of contemporary architectural production. It is, however, pertinent to the peri-urban desa-kota (village-city) context of Indonesia. Prawoto was trained in architecture at Gadjah Mada University, Yogyakarta, Indonesia and Berlage Institute, Amsterdam, the Netherlands, under the mentorship of architects such as Y.B. Mangunwijaya, Herman Hertzberger, and Balkrishna Vithaldas Doshi. Prawoto has pursued teaching and practice of architecture as a lecturer at the Faculty of Architecture and Design in Duta Wacana Christian University, Yogyakarta, Indonesia since 1985, while practicing on his own and establishing Eko Prawoto Architecture Workshop in 2000. His practice is largely centred on the design of houses for his artists-friends, like Mella Jaarsma and Eko Nugroho, and cultural spaces, including Cemeti Art House and Langgeng Gallery. These buildings, built with reappropriated materials from abandoned structures and in collaboration with carpenters and stonemasons whom he nurtured over the years, are known for their open-ended designs that embrace future adaptations and the tropical climate. Prawoto has also actively designed for community development and post-disaster reconstruction, including the post-earthquake rebuilding of homes in Yogyakarta’s Ngibikan Village (2006), which was shortlisted for the 2010 Aga Khan Award for Architecture. Prawoto’s works and installations have been widely exhibited on various platforms, including Venice Biennale, Venice, Italy (2000), Echigo Tsumari Art Triennial, Niigata prefecture, Japan (2003), Anyang Public Art Project, Seoul, Korea (2005), Singapore Biennale, Singapore (2013) and Sonsbeek, Arnhem, the Netherlands (2016).
Shirley Surya is Associate Curator, Design and Architecture at M+. As part of the effort of building the museum’s collection, Surya has researched and acquired works representing post-war design and architectural developments in greater China and Southeast Asia. She co-curated Building M+: The Museum & Architecture Collection and Mobile M+: NEONSIGNS.HK. Surya has made curatorial contributions to various exhibitions, including Incomplete Urbanism: Attempts of Critical Spatial Practice (NTU Centre for Contemporary Art, 2016) on the practice of Singapore architect William S. W. Lim, and Yung Ho Chang & FCJZ: Material-ism (Ullens Center for Contemporary Art, 2012), a retrospective of China’s earliest independent architectural practice. She has contributed writings on graphic design and architecture to Yung Ho Chang Draws (Joint Publishing, 2015), Design and Culture, Singapore Architect, and The Design Society Journal. She received her BA in Media Studies at the University of California, Berkeley, USA and MA in History of Design from the Royal College of Art in London, UK.
Rirkrit Tiravanija is a Thai conceptual artist and one of the most influential voices of his generation. His artistic practice defies media-based description as his work integrates traditional object making, public and private performances, teaching, and other forms of public service and social action. A seminal figure in the history of relational art, Tiravanija is an itinerant practitioner whose work straddles global and local registers, and combines art making, curating, cooking, and arts management. Together with Kamin Lertchaiprasert, Tiravanija initiated the Land Foundation, a multi-disciplinary educational-ecological project located in Chiang Mai, Thailand. Tiravanija sits on the faculty of the School of the Arts at Columbia University, and is a co-curator of Utopia Station, a collective exhibition project of artists, art historians, and curators mounted at the 50th Venice Biennale in 2003. Tiravanija's work has been featured prominently in venues around the globe, including solo presentations Tomorrow Is The Question at Garage Museum of Contemporary Art, Moscow, Russia (2015); Focus: Rirkrit Tiravanija at the Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth, Texas, USA (2014); A Special Curatorial Project with Rirkrit Tiravanija: The Way Things Go at Yerba Buena Center for the Arts, San Francisco, USA (2013); film screening at Tate Modern, London, UK (2013); and group exhibitions such as the Sharjah Biennial, Sharjah, UAE (2015); Venice Biennale, Venice, Italy (2015); Take It or Leave It: Institution, Image, Ideology at Hammer Museum, Los Angeles, USA (2014); Take Liberty!, National Museum of Norway, Oslo, Norway (2014); NYC 1993: Experimental Jet Set, Trash and No Star at New Museum, New York, USA (2013); Thai Transience, Singapore Art Museum, Singapore (2012); La Collection Thea Westreich Wagner et Ethan Wagner at Centre Pompidou, Paris, France, (2012); and Ecstatic Alphabets/Heaps of Language at Museum of Modern Art, New York, USA (2012); and La Triennale 2012: Intense Proximity at Palais de Tokyo, Paris, France (2012).
Pauline J. Yao is Lead Curator, Visual Art at M+. She has held curatorial positions at the Asian Art Museum of San Francisco, USA and worked as an independent curator and writer in Beijing for six years, during which time she helped co-found the storefront art space Arrow Factory. Since joining M+ in 2012, Yao has played an active role in building the visual art collection by overseeing and acquiring works from around Asia and internationally. A co-curator of the 2009 Shenzhen Hong Kong Bi-City Biennale of Architecture and Urbanism, Yao is a regular contributor to Artforum, e-flux Journal, and Yishu Journal of Contemporary Chinese Art and her writings on contemporary Asian art have appeared in numerous catalogues, online publications and edited volumes. She is the author of In Production Mode: Contemporary Art in China (Timezone 8 Books, 2008) and co-editor of 3 Years: Arrow Factory (Sternberg Press, 2011).
Sheela Gowda is an internationally celebrated artist based in Bangalore in Southern India. Her large-scale installations frequently make use of commonly found media and materials such as cow dung, metal barrels, wood, car bumpers, incense, and human hair and are imbued with subtle beauty and a handcrafted process. In her evocative expressions, Gowda speaks to her particular cultural context as well as the universality of human experience, be it gender, labor, or economic disparities. Although trained as a painter early on, Gowda was drawn to the meditative process of working with the associative power of certain materials. Her recent monumentally sized installations – featured in venues such as Tate Modern, UK; Kochi Biennale, India; and Perez Museum, USA—reveal her talents at merging a formal sculptural language with a process-oriented approach. Gowda's work has been exhibited extensively and prominently in many global venues and biennials around the world. Solo presentations of her work have been mounted at Ikon Gallery, UK (2017); Para Site, Hong Kong (2015); Perez Art Museum, USA (2015); Irish Museum of Modern Art, UK (2014); Van Abbemuseum, the Netherlands (2013); and INIVA, UK (2011). Selected group exhibitions include Soil and Stones, Souls and Songs at Para Site, Hong Kong and Museum of Contemporary Art and Design, Philippines (2016); Kochi Muziris Biennale (2012); Paris-Delhi-Bombay at Centre Pompidou, France (2011); Singapore Biennial, Singapore (2011); 53rd Venice Biennale, Venice, Italy (2009); Sharjah Biennale, Sharjah, UAE (2008); and Documenta 12, Kassel, Germany (2007). In 2014, Gowda was a finalist of the Hugo Boss Prize.
Doryun Chong is Deputy Director and Chief Curator, M+. He oversees all curatorial activities and programmes, including acquisitions, exhibitions, learning and public programmes, and digital initiatives encompassing the three main disciplinary areas of design and architecture, moving image, and visual art. The most recent exhibitions he co-curated include Mobile M+: Live Art, Tsang Kin-Wah: The Infinite Nothing and Samson Young: Songs for Disaster Relief (Consulting Curator), Hong Kong’s participations in the Venice Biennale in 2015 and 2017 respectively. Prior to joining M+, Chong was Associate Curator of Painting and Sculpture at MoMA, where he organised projects including the critically acclaimed exhibition, Tokyo 1955–1970: A New Avant-Garde (2012) and acquired a diverse range of works, many of them non-western, for the museum’s collection. From 2003 to 2009, Chong held various positions as curator in the Visual Arts department at the Walker Art Center in Minneapolis.
Cosmin Costinas is a curator and writer and Executive Director/Curator of Para Site, one of Hong Kong's most internationally recognised and longest running not-for-profit spaces for contemporary art. Costinas joined Para Site in 2012 and in 2015 saw the organisation through a major transition from a small storefront space in Sheung Wan to its expansive new home in Quarry Bay. During his tenure at Para Site, Costinas has organised several exhibitions of contemporary global art, including A Journal of the Plague Year. Fear, ghosts, rebels. SARS, Leslie and the Hong Kong story (2013); Great Crescent: Art and Agitation in the 1960s—Japan, South Korea, and Taiwan traveled to Mori Art Museum, Tokyo, Japan (2013–15), and Museo Universitario Arte Contemporáneo (MUAC), Mexico (2016); Taiping Tianguo, A History of Possible Encounters: Ai Weiwei, Frog King Kwok, Tehching Hsieh, and Martin Wong in New York, SALT, Istanbul, Turkey, National University of Singapore Museum, Singapore, and e-flux, New York, USA (2012–14). Selected solo exhibition projects include artists Sheela Gowda, Kwan Sheung Chi, and Apichatpong Weerasethakul. Costinas is currently working on an exhibition that interweaves South and Southeast Asia, contemporary art, and textiles for the upcoming 2018 Dhaka Art Summit.
Ashish Rajadhyaksha is an independent cultural theorist, and currently a Professor of Practice in the Department of Cultural Studies and Department of Visual Studies, Lingnan University, Hong Kong. He has written and published widely on the area of Indian cinema, India’s cultural policy, and was a participant in West Heavens, a curatorial and publication project in India and China. Rajadhyaksha is the co-editor (with Paul Willemen) of the Encyclopaedia of Indian Cinema (British Film Institute, 1999 and 2001) and the author of Indian Cinema in the Time of Celluloid: From Bollywood to the Emergency (Indiana University Press, 2009). He has curated a number of film and art events, including (with Geeta Kapur) Bombay/Mumbai 1991–2001 for the exhibition Century City: Art and Culture in the Modern Metropolis at Tate Modern, London, UK (2002) and You Don’t Belong , A West Heavens Project held at Iberia Center for Contemporary Art, Beijing, China (2011) and Fotanian, Hong Kong (2012).
Chuong-Dai Vo is Researcher at Asia Art Archive, Hong Kong, where she specialises in researching modern and contemporary art related to Southeast Asia. Vo is also an independent curator and her curatorial work has been supported by apexart, Dorsky Gallery Curatorial Programs, and the Boston-area New Art Center. Vo’s publications can be found in Taipei Fine Arts Museum’s MODERN ART Quarterly (2014 to present), the anthology Film in Contemporary Southeast Asia (2012), Journal of Vietnamese Studies (2006 to present), and the anthology Political Regimes and the Media in Asia (2007). Vo was a Mellon Postdoctoral Fellow at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, USA (2010–2012) and has received fellowships and grants from Asian Cultural Council (USA), Fulbright Program (USA), National Endowment for the Humanities (USA), and the University of California Pacific Rim Research Program (USA). She received her PhD from the University of California, San Diego, USA.
Stella Fong is Lead Curator of Learning and Interpretation at M+. Previously, she worked as Senior Assistant Curator at Hong Kong Museum of Art (2010–11) and Hong Kong Heritage Museum (1997–2009), and curated numerous exhibitions, including megARTstore (2006), which featured over 300 works from the museum collection along with 10 commissioned projects by architects, artists and designers. Her other professional experiences include: curatorial internship at Liverpool Biennial in 2004; Asian Cultural Council Fellowship in 2007; and participation in the International Studio & Curatorial Program in New York (2007) and the International Curators’ Exchange Programme at Tate Modern (2010). Parallel to her full-time museum work, in 2008 she founded ‘wrongplace’, a research collective focusing on exhibition practices, and in 2010 instigated the one-year project ‘Exhibiting Experiments × Experimenting Exhibitions’, which questioned the exhibition itself as a form and process. She holds a M.A. in Curating Contemporary Art from the Royal College of Art in London, a graduate diploma in Museum Studies from the University of Sydney and a B.A. in Fine Art from The Chinese University of Hong Kong.
Diana Campbell Betancourt is the Artistic Director of Dhaka-based Samdani Art Foundation, Bangladesh and Bellas Artes Projects, Bagac, Philippines, and the Chief Curator of the Dhaka Art Summit. Betancourt has developed the Dhaka Art Summit into a leading research and exhibitions platform for art from South Asia, bringing together artists, architects, curators, and writers from across South Asia through a largely commission based model where new work and exhibitions are born in Bangladesh. Concurrent to her work in Bangladesh, Betancourt is also the Artistic Director of Bellas Artes Projects in the Philippines, a non-profit international residency and exhibition programme with sites in Manila and Bataan. In 2016 she was nominated for the biannual Independent Curators International Independent Vision Curatorial Award and was a part of MoMA’s International Curatorial Institute. She is currently advising the Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago, the FRONT Triennial in Cleveland, and Queensland Art Gallery and Gallery of Modern Art in Brisbane on upcoming exhibitions and was an advisor to the 2015 New Museum Triennial Surround Audience. She chairs the board of the Mumbai Art Room and serves on the editorial board of The Exhibitionist. In addition to her exhibitions making practice, Betancourt is responsible for developing the Samdani Art Foundation collection ahead of opening the foundation’s permanent home, Srihatta, opening in Sylhet at the end of 2018.
Zoe Butt is an Australian curator and writer based in Vietnam. Butt's curatorial practice centres on building critically thinking and culturally conscious artistic communities and fostering dialogue among countries of South and Southeast Asia. She is currently Artistic Director of the Factory Contemporary Arts Centre, Vietnam’s first purpose-built space for contemporary art. She formerly served as Executive Director and Curator of Sàn Art, an independent contemporary art space in Ho Chi Minh City. Her curatorial projects include interdisciplinary dialogue platforms such as Conscious Realities, the online exhibition Embedded South(s), and group exhibitions of Vietnamese and international artists at various venues such as the Factory Contemporary Arts Centre and San Art, Vietnam; Carre d'art-Musee d'art Contemporain de Nimes, France; Kadist Art Foundation, USA; and Sherman Art Foundation, Australia. Butt is also a member of the Asian Art Council for the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum in New York and a Young Global Leader of the World Economic Forum since 2015. She is one of the appointed curators of the next Sharjah Biennial in 2019.
Roobina Karode is Director and Chief Curator at the Kiran Nadar Museum of Art, the first private modern and contemporary art museum in India focusing on art from India and the sub-continent. During her tenure at the museum, Karode has overseen major solo presentations of contemporary artists including Nasreen Mohamedi, Amrita Sher-Gil, Nalini Malani, Himmat Shah, Dayanita Singh and Jeram Patel. Karode has worked as an art historian, curator and critic since the 1990s. She served as co-curator of the first Asian Art Triennale in Fukuoka, Japan in 1999, and has taught art history courses at various institutions, including Jawaharlal Nehru University, Jamia Millia Islamia University, and the National Museum Institute in New Delhi. In 2000 Karode was awarded a Fulbright Fellowship and was placed as a visiting scholar at Mills College in California. Karode’s contributions in thematic essays and reviews have been extensively published in art journals and monographs on contemporary Indian artists across multiple generations.
Ignatius Hermawan Tanzil is founder of Indonesia’s leading graphic design firm LeBoYe and art space Dia.Lo.Gue. After his training at the California College of the Arts and practice at design firms, including Paul Curtin Design, Tanzil returned to Jakarta to establish LeBoYe in 1990, through which he sought to integrate Indonesia’s visual cultural heritage into his practice. Tanzil is also a major patron of emerging architectural practices, having commissioned the architect Andra Matin to design LeBoYe’s office in 1999. In 2010, Tanzil founded the café-cum-gallery Dia.Lo.Gue underneath LeBoYe’s office, which has become a key platform for the display and discussions of works by artists, designers and architects in Indonesia. In 2011, Tanzil collaborated with artist FX Harsono to establish EXI(S)T, a mentoring and incubator programme under Dia.Lo.Gue that has since developed the artistic potential of a generation of young creative practitioners across the disciplines in Jakarta.
Sean Anderson is Associate Curator in the Department of Architecture and Design at The Museum of Modern Art (MoMA), New York, USA. A Fellow of the American Academy in Rome and the Scuola Normale Superiore di Pisa, he has degrees in architectural design and history from Cornell and Princeton Universities and a PhD in art history from UCLA, USA. He has practiced as an architect and taught in Afghanistan, Australia, India, Italy, Morocco, Sri Lanka and the UAE. Published widely, his book, Modern Architecture and its Representation in Colonial Eritrea (Routledge, 2015) was nominated for the AIFC Bridge Book Award for Non-Fiction. He currently co-organises C-MAP-Asia, MoMA's international research team, and is a member of the Editorial Board for post, the publishing arm of C-MAP, Contemporary and Modern Art Perspectives. Anderson has worked throughout South Asia as an architect, historian, and curator focusing on modern and contemporary architecture as well as Himalayan and Indian art from all periods.
José Da Silva
José Da Silva is Curatorial Manager, Australian Cinémathèque at the Queensland Art Gallery and Gallery of Modern Art (QAGOMA), Brisbane, Australia. He has contributed to curatoriums for the Asia Pacific Triennial of Contemporary Art in 2006, 2009, 2012, 2015 and 2018. He was curator of the QAGOMA exhibitions David Lynch: Between Two Worlds (2015), Earth and Elsewhere (2013) and has developed projects around screen culture in the Philippines and Sri Lanka, as well as programmes exploring cinematic and geopolitical relationships throughout the Indian subcontinent and across to West Asia and the Middle East. He is currently developing a project for APT9 documenting experimental music culture from the Islamic Republic of Iran.
Judith Greer is Director of International Programmes for the Sharjah Art Foundation, Sharjah, UAE and a leading force in the efforts to broaden the scope of the foundation’s work by establishing more international collaborations and partnerships. Alongside Sheika Hoor Al Qasimi, Greer co-curated March Meeting 2016— an annual conference-like gathering of curators, artists, producers and arts professionals taking place in Sharjah. Greer worked previously as International Director at the Hara Museum of Contemporary Art, Tokyo and has been involved in major curatorial projects of Japanese art happening in the United States such as Tokyo Form and Spirit, Walker Art Center (1986) and A Primal Spirit: Ten Contemporary Japanese Sculptors’, Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA) (1990). She has recently been involved in spearheading the regional tour of do it بالعربي [in Arabic] and acted as project editor of its publications. The event, which has toured from Sharjah to Jordan, Bahrain, Egypt and Palestine, was curated by Sheika Hoor Al Qasimi and Hans Ulrich Obrist.
Shabbir Hussain Mustafa is currently Senior Curator at the National Gallery Singapore (NGS) and was formerly Curator (South-Southeast Asia) at the National University of Singapore Museum. In 2015, Mustafa curated SEA STATE featuring artist Charles Lim Yi Yong for the Singapore Pavilion at the 56th Venice Biennale. At the National Gallery Singapore, he heads the curatorial team overseeing Between Declarations and Dreams, a long-term exhibition that surveys art about the region from the nineteenth century to present. In 2017, Mustafa was awarded the DAAD Scholarship in Berlin for his curatorial work and is currently developing two multi-modal projects on the philosopher-curator Ananda Kentish Coomaraswamy and artist-poet Latiff Mohidin.
Suhanya Raffel was appointed the Executive Director of M+ in November 2016. Her curatorial career began in 1984 and has over 30 years of experience as a museum manager and curator. From 1994 to 2013, Raffel worked with Queensland Art Gallery/Gallery of Modern Art where her passion for art and culture helped her excel in many senior curatorial positions and reach the position as Acting Director. Raffel has led the Gallery's flagship project 'The Asia Pacific Triennial of Contemporary Art' (APT) since 2002, and worked as a curator since 1994. As Deputy Director of Curatorial and Collection Development, she was responsible for building up the Gallery's contemporary Asia Pacific collection, and took part in major curatorial projects such as the Andy Warhol exhibition in 2007-2008 and the China Project in 2009.
Raffel was appointed as the Deputy Director and Director of Collections with Australia's Art Gallery of New South Wales in 2013, where she participated in the 'Sydney Modern Project', and established a collection based exhibition development direction which subsequently helped transform the Gallery into a 21st century art museum. Raffel is currently an advisor for the Yokohama Triennial 2017 in Japan. She is also a trustee of the Geoffrey Bawa Trust and the Lunuganga Trust, Sri Lanka as well as a member of the Board of the International Committee for Museums and Collections of Modern Art (CIMAM).