Curating for/in/outside an Institution

Aug 28, 2006

Speaker: Doryun Chong, Assistant curator of visual arts, Walker Art Center

In his talk, Doryun Chong will discuss the challenges and strategies of defining, identifying, and presenting Asian art within the discourse of contemporary artistic internationalism and alternative modernisms in a widely-recognized western institution of arts. Walker Art Center, established in 1927, is the first public art gallery in the Upper Midwest of the United States; focusing on modern art since the 1940s and now encompassing visual arts, performing arts, film/video, design, and new media under one roof, the Walker is now considered one of the premier institutions of contemporary art in the world and is known for unique, risk-taking, and edgy programming. Chong will also address powers and vulnerabilities inherent in an institutional context, and how he is attempting to conceive of ways in which anti-institutionalism can be brought into a fruitful dialogue with the requirements of that very context.

Doryun Chong studied art history, anthropology, and comparative literature at the University of California at Berkeley, where he earned his B.A. and M.A. and completed doctoral studies in art history. He began his curatorial career at the Asian Art Museum of San Francisco and has also worked for the Berkeley Art Museum and Korean Pavilion at the Venice Biennale (exhibition coordinator, 2001). In 2003, he co-curated Time After Time: Asia and Our Moment, an exhibition 14 artists from 5 Asian countries, with Eungie Joo and Rene de Guzman for the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts, San Francisco.

He has been with the Walker Art Center in Minneapolis since September 2003, where he currently holds the title of assistant curator of visual arts. At the Walker, he has contributed to several exhibition catalogues and has developed residency and exhibition projects with a range of artists, including Jennifer Allora and Guillermo Calzadilla and Rikrkit Tiravanija. With Philippe Vergne, he curated House of Oracles: A Huang Yong Ping Retrospective, the first mid-career survey of the Paris-based Chinese artist and co-edited the first comprehensive monograph. The exhibition is currently touring in North America and will be traveling to China and Japan. He is currently working on two exhibitions for the Walker: a group exhibition tentatively titled Faultlines and the first Western retrospective of Japanese artist Tetsumi Kudo. He is also co-curating, with Tobias Berger et al., the Busan Biennale 2006.

His writings have also appeared in Art AsiaPacific, Wolgan Misool (Korea), Afterall, and in the forthcoming exhibition catalogue, One Way or Another: Asian American Art Now (Asia Society Gallery, New York).