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Cross Currents: Contemporary Art from New Delhi to Beijing

A wave-like sculpture made from thousands of sheets of crumpled paper, bamboo rods, strings, and rocks.

February 17, 2021
6:30 AM


How does contemporary art intersect with South, Southeast, and East Asia? How is it defined and contested across these regions? How do new geographic formations and constellations—global to region to state—provide alternative methodologies for studying contemporary art?

Cross Currents: Contemporary Art from New Delhi to Beijing brings together scholars throughout Asia to discuss pressing contemporary issues. It is the first in a new series of events organized by the University of Chicago’s Smart Museum of Art for the UChicago Centers in Beijing and New Delhi, and Yuen Campus in Hong Kong. This session assembles curators from East, Southeast, and South Asia to deliberate on how the art scenes from each region inform new understandings of the global and the contemporary in light of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic and our post-COVID futures.  

The Smart Museum’s Global Asia Initiative builds upon the Museum’s history as a leader in theorizing and presenting Contemporary Chinese Art in the United States over the last two decades, particularly the pioneering work of Professor and Curator, Wu Hung. Expanding from this foundation, Global Asia seeks to position Asian contemporary art within the complex networks, entanglements, and mobilities that structure the universality of our world.

FREE, please register for the webinar link.

Please note this event takes place at 6:00 pm IST/8:30 pm HKT/6:30 am CST

Organized by the University of Chicago’s Smart Museum of Art for the UChicago Centers in Beijing and New Delhi, and Yuen Campus in Hong Kong.


Video Recording


About the speakers 

Carol Yinghua Lu is an art critic and curator, as well as a PhD candidate in art history at the University of Melbourne. In collaboration with artist Liu Ding, she is in the process of researching the legacy of Socialist Realism in the practice and historical narrative of contemporary art in China. Lu is a contributing editor at Frieze, on the advisory board of The Exhibitionist, and was on the jury for the Golden Lion Award at the 2011 Venice Biennale. She also served as co-artistic director of the 2012 Gwangju Biennale and co-curator of the 7th Shenzhen Sculpture Biennale in 2012. From 2012 to 2015, she was the artistic director and chief curator of OCAT Shenzhen, and in 2013 was the first visiting fellow in the Asia-Pacific Fellowship program at the Tate Research Centre. Carol Yinghua Lu is currently the director of the Inside-Out Art Museum in Beijing.

Adele Tan received her PhD in art history from The Courtauld Institute of Art, University of London and is currently Senior Curator at National Gallery, Singapore. Her research focuses on contemporary art in Southeast Asia and China, with a special interest in performative practices, photography, and new media. Her recent projects include the exhibition “Awakenings: Art in Society in Asia, 1960s to 1990s,” the 2019 annual Ng Teng Fong Roof Garden Commission, and OUTBOUND, a series of large-scale site-specific artwork commissions at the Gallery. Previous exhibitions she has curated at the Gallery include “A Fact Has No Appearance: Art beyond the Object” (2016) and “Yayoi Kusama: Life is the Heart of a Rainbow” (2017). Adele Tan was formerly Assistant Editor at the British art journal Third Text and her articles have appeared in numerous publications, exhibition catalogues, and journals, including PAJ, Broadsheet, Yishu, Eyeline and Third Text

Veeranganakumari Solanki is an independent curator and writer. Her research interest lies in the manner in which: interdisciplinary forms and art merge to create dialogues that travel from public spaces into private ones, the dissemination and varied interpretations of images across disciplines, and the structuring of curatorial research around artistic practices that expand the ideas of medium specificity through narrative and story-telling. Her curatorial discourse has primarily focused on art practices within the extended South-Asian context. She was the 2019 Brooks International Research Fellow at Tate Modern in the curatorial and photography department and a resident at the Delfina Foundation. Veerangana is currently based in India.

Orianna Cacchione is Curator of Global Contemporary Art at the Smart Museum of Art, University of Chicago. Her curatorial practice is committed to expanding the canon of contemporary art to respond to the global circulations of art and ideas.At the Smart Museum, Cacchione curated the exhibitions, The Allure of Matter: Material Art in China (with the esteemed art historian, Wu Hung); Samson Young: Silver moon or golden star, which will you buy of me?; and Tang Chang: The Painting that Is Painted with Poetry Is Profoundly Beautiful, the first solo presentation of the pioneering abstract artist’s work outside of Thailand. At the Art Art Institute of Chicago, she organized Zhang Peili: Record. Repeat., the first major presentation of the Chinese video artist at an American museum. She is currently conducting new research for an exhibition that explores major transnational shifts in art making since the 1970s. A specialist in contemporary Chinese art, Cacchione holds a Ph.D in Art History, Theory and Criticism from the University of California, San Diego.


Image: Zhu Jinshi, Wave of Materials, 2007/2020, Xuan paper, cotton thread, bamboo, and stones, Installation view, The Allure of Matter: Material Art from China, Wrightwood 659. Gift of Zhu Jinshi and Pearl Lam Gallery in honor of Wu Hung, jointly acquired by the Los Angeles County Museum of Art and the Smart Museum of Art, The University of Chicago.