Faculty of Arts, Humanities and Cultures

School of Fine Art, History of Art and Cultural Studies

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Pauline Yao


Pauline J. Yao is Lead Curator, Visual Art at M+, the new museum for twentieth and twenty-first century visual culture being built in Hong Kong. She has held curatorial positions at the Asian Art Museum of San Francisco 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. 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). She holds an M.A. in East Asian Languages and Civilizations from the University of Chicago. 

Research Interests

This Leverhulme Visiting Professorship has the ambitious aim of developing, for the first time in the UK, an extended critical dialogue around the profound recent changes to the cultural landscape of contemporary Asian art. It will accomplish this through two interrelated initiatives: to nurture an intellectual environment for critical discussions on contemporary Asian art and gender; and to build collaborative relationships with institutions in the UK through dialogue and exchanges. Yao’s Visiting Professorship is designed around three interconnected modules: 1) an intensive two-week seminar on contemporary Asian art and gender in Leeds with graduate students from around the UK; 2) a series of discussion forums at small to medium-sized arts organizations around the UK and 3) three public lectures by Pauline J. Yao on topics related to her research on contemporary Chinese art, to be delivered at major arts institutions in the UK. As a whole, the program has been designed to benefit from Yao’s unique critical and professional knowledge of contemporary art in Asia and to respond to the need for sustained engagement with contemporary Asian art at UK cultural institutions. Additional details can be found here: https://engenderingeastasia.org/

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