New York Times chief art critic Holland Cotter and Asia Society President Emerita Vishakha Desai reflect on the last two decades of contemporary Asian art and consider potential next directions. Asia Society Museum's Melissa Chiu moderates the conversation.
Dr. Melissa Chiu
Dr. Melissa Chiu is Museum Director and Senior Vice President, Global Arts and Cultural Programs, Asia Society in New York responsible for overseeing the programming for museums in New York, Houston and Hong Kong. She was previously Founding Director of the Asia-Australia Arts Centre in Sydney (1996-2001).
As a leading authority on Asian contemporary art, she has organized nearly 30 exhibitions of artists from across Asia including a retrospective by Zhang Huan, a survey of Yoshitomo Nara, and an exhibition of art from China’s Cultural Revolution.
She earned a M.A. in Arts Administration (1994) and a PhD (2005) in Art History and is the author of numerous articles and books including Breakout: Chinese Art Outside China (2007), Chinese Contemporary Art: 7 Things You Should Know (2008), Asian Art Now (Monacelli Press, 2010, co-authored with Benjamin Genocchio) and an anthology Contemporary Art in Asia: A Critical Reader (MIT Press, 2011, co-edited with Benjamin Genocchio). She has served on numerous panels including Pew, Institute of Museum and Library Services and New York State Council on the Arts and currently serves on the board American Association of Museums, and Museums Association of New York.
Holland Cotter has been a staff art critic at The New York Times since 1998. He won the Pulitzer Prize in 2009 for Criticism. His coverage included articles on art in China.
Vishakha N. Desai
Vishakha Desai is president and CEO of Asia Society, a leading global organization committed to strengthening partnerships among the people, leaders, and institutions of Asia and the US. Desai sets the direction for the society’s diverse sets of programs, ranging from major US–Asia policy initiatives and national educational partnerships for global learning to groundbreaking art exhibitions and innovative Asian American performances. She has an international reputation for introducing contemporary Asian art in the US through critically acclaimed exhibitions and scholarly catalogues. Under her leadership, Asia Society has expanded the scope and scale of its activities, including opening new offices in India and Korea, the inauguration of a new center on US-China relations, and the development of new initiatives focusing on the environment, on Asian women leaders, and on partnerships among the next generation of exceptional leaders in Asia and the US.