Running head: HOW DOES THE CULTURAL GLOBALIZATION INFLUENCE THE CHINESE CURATOR?

How does the cultural globalization influence the Chinese curator?
Lin Zhu
Eastern Michigan University

Abstract
Curator as an important part of art development originating from 16 th century; then as time goes
by, curatorial industry developed more and more mature, and started to afferent eastern countries
with globalization. This study focuses on how the cultural globalization influences the Chinese
curatorial industry and how do these emerging curators use these influences to do something

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different in China. The study will illustrate the history of curatorial industry both in west and
China, analyzes the current situation in China via collecting famous curators’ interviews and
interviewing 4 emerging curators who are study abroad to elaborate the problems during the
development process and the future of Chinese curatorial industry.
Key words: curator, globalization, China, issues

How does the cultural globalization influence the Chinese curator?
Introduction
Curator is an important part of arts development originating form 16 th century, who have
always attracted people’s attention. As time goes by, the national boundaries of arts and culture
have become fuzzier than before because of the globalizing of the whole world. The issue that
this study addresses is the influence of the curatorial industry from cultural globalization. The
purpose of this study will be to explore the curator’s development and the issues under the
cultural globalization; comparing the difference between the development of curator in western
and China; finding the past, current conditions, and the future of the curator in China.

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The origin of the curator is closely related to the system of museum and arts gallery’s
development in the west from the 16th century. After the World War II, the west started to develop
museums and arts centers to enhance the quality of cities. Since the 1980s, with the wave of
economic globalization, cultural and artistic communications between the east and west become
increasingly frequent, and curator system also began to rise in Asian countries and regions;
China, Japan, and South Korea emerged a number of local curators, and they played an
increasing important role in the local social and cultural life.
Early in the last century, curators started to realize that it is really important to work between
cultures for the curatorial industry. (B. Michael 17) They also found that curators would continue
to play a key role as brokers, translators in the present struggle between global and local
interests. (M. France et al. 14) According to the development of the international exhibitions, like
the Kassel Documenta, The Bienal International de Sao Paulo, and the La Biennale di Venezia,
curators started to understand that cultural interaction, adaption, and change have taken place in
the region for centuries, and the Western influence may come to be seen as insignificant in the
future. (M. France et al. 19) Although the curators had realized their condition, there still have
been some curating issues. Some western scholars thought that it is important for curator to have
ability of self- consciousness and openness to deal with the transparency in curatorial
presentation. “In short, while words and phrases like ‘declaring yourself’ and ‘making yourself
transparency’ can help establish a climate of exchange and engagement.”(B. Michael 22) They
also realized that the curator id a kind of leader of an exhibition who needs to think
imaginatively about the collision and inclusiveness, and then combine with aesthetic, economics,
history, politics, critics, and management immediately to communicate with artists, business
leaders and heads of community. (B. Michael 16)
With the wave of economic globalization, cultural and artistic exchanges between East and
West have become more frequent; but we cannot deny that the curator in Eastern countries
developed slower than the West. After 1980s, Chinese curators started to break the single model
of exhibitions and explored the distinctive style of Chinese Arts Exhibition. After 1990s, the
improvement of the market economy motivated a new understanding of curating; the 90s were a
vital period that economics and arts got a rapid development in China, social underground

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changed from a planning economy to a market economy, and at the same time, the creation and
methods of distribution of arts got an opportunity to transform. (W. Yi 79) After the
establishment of market economy, “Guangzhou· First Art Biennale in the 1990s” exhibition
opened a new model in it own way in 1992, which is completely different from the previous
exhibitions. There are lots of interrelated factors between art and market, including the art of
investment sources and the whole environment, and the legal system of the arts community, the
selection system and operation mechanism and so on. This biennale formed a system of appraisal
which “revolved around the exhibition manager, the judges and discriminators also participate in
it.” It also adopted “exhibition manager” system during this exhibition, which means giving the
manager corresponding rights: the manager could host throughout the assessment, and had final
arbitration powers for awards nominations, and coordinated the relationship between the judges
and discriminators. Actually, this position of exhibition manager is very close to the curator
identity in an enormous international exhibition. (L. Yin 38) But the curatorial industry did not
develop fully, compared to the West; China has yet to improve the accumulation management
and delivery mechanism of social and culture arts foundations. So the economic resource of the
curators and arts and cultural institutions cannot totally rely on the government and fundraising
like the West countries. And the art museums or galleries didn’t put the independent curator as a
choice of the exhibition, there is also no foundation funded those independent curator to curating
their own exhibition for a long time. So the large-scale arts exhibitions in China always held by
government culture departments or Fine Art Association, which leads to the misidentifications to
Chinese curators. In a long term, Chinese museums and arts galleries have no plans about
holding curatorial academic activities. As the development of marketing economics continued,
the exhibition style becomes newer and more diverse; many curators are starting to cooperate
with arts centers and entrepreneurs to hold exhibitions to influence this industry. But this
curating style still belongs to an initiative stage and did not admit by official yet; even it didn’t
have the structural guarantee. So Chinese curatorial industry still need to have an essentiality
break through. (W. Yi 79)
Now the truth is globalization will be the mainstream of the world, not only in economic
area, but also in a cultural aspect. I found that many scholars were focus on illustrating the
cultural globalization from analyzing the biennale of arts in the world. But my question is: how

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are contemporary Chinese curators influenced by Western curatorial industry and how do they
use these influences to do something different in China. In other words, how does globalization
in the curatorial industry affected Chinese curator? To address this problem, this study will
explore and narrow the scope of the past and the current conditions of the Chinese curators.
Methodology
To gather these data, this study will collect some existing interviews from 3 famous East
curators to illustrate the current condition and the development trend in the future. They are
Huang Du, Pi Li, and Hou Hanru.
Huang Du was born in 1965, and he became a famous curator in 1990s, many important
exhibitions curated by him in recent years include “Manufacturing in China”(2002, New York),
“The 50th Venice Biennale – Chinese Pavilion”(2003, Venice), “The 26 th Sao Paulo Biennale –
Chinese Pavilion”(2004, Sao Paul). In 2010, Huang continues to serve as the curator of “Today
Documentary Exhibition” and to have “The second Today Documentary Exhibition” launched.
Meanwhile, He served as the judge of Credit Suisse 2010 Arts Award and participated in the
curatorial work of “Recommended Young Artist Exhibition of Shanghai Art Fair”. Pi Li, one of
the most important curators in contemporary China was born in 1974, and became a curator and
critic during 1990s. He used to be a judge for BMW Art Car Project, a consultant for Tate
Collection Pacific Contemporary Art, and an administrator for Asian Pacific Pension Trust. He
has also been a curator for Seoul Media City Exhibition in 2006, a jury director for 2006 Chinese
Contemporary Art Awards, and a collection advisor for UBS Asian Arts Collection. Hou Hanru is
an international art curator and critic who lives in the United States and France. He has curated
numerous exhibitions including “Cities On the Move”(1997-2000), “Shanghai Biennale”(2000),
and the Venice Biennale (French Pavilion 1999, Z.O.U—Zone of Urgency 2003, Chinese
Pavilion 2007). He has also been a consultant and advisor in so many international institutions
including Walker Art Center in Minneapolis.
The second part of my methodology will involve interviewing 4 emerging curators from
China who were study abroad majors in Arts Administration/Management, and a curator who is a
professor at the University of Chicago. The 4 students are all my friends, and I will interview

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them and the famous professor via email because of the jet lag and distance. About the professor,
he told me he has no time to accept my interview, but he sent me an unpublished draft interview
as reference. The interview includes 10 questions about the theme of this study. All the questions
were strongly connected with the title of this study with certain logic. The following list of
questions is my interview protocol:
1. What do you think of the cultural globalization trend?
2. What do you think the development of Chinese curatorial industry?
3. What do you think the advantages and disadvantages during the development of Chinese
curatorial industry?
4. What do you think are the causes of those disadvantages?
5. How can you overcome them?
6. How will you use your own studies to contribute to the development of Chinese curatorial
industry?
7. What do you think the training or self-development of Chinese curator will improve the
development of Chinese curatorial industry?
8. What do you think will be the future of the Chinese curatorial industry under the current
climate of globalization?
9. What will you do to promote such developments and prospects of Chinese curatorial
industry?
10. Is there anything else you want to say about this theme?
After I collect the data from all my interviewees, I will arrange all the responses and those
existing data, then do analysis of those data according to the order of the questions, compare with
those existing data, and draw a conclusion.
Discussion
Based on several years’ development, many Chinese curators had started to consider the selfdevelopment issues.
Huang Du as a famous Chinese curator, who has more than 20 years practice experience in

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curating, really thought a lot about the development of curator and Chinese curatorial industry. In
his perspective, a good or successful curator should have a basic ability of judgment. This
judgment should build on the curator’s knowledge and experiences: firstly, curator must have an
extensive range of knowledge about Arts and Economics, these scholarship could help a great
curator to think with a certain height; then, a good curator should have wealthy practice
experience, and also should have to follow the news in arts development, the relationship
between arts and social culture background. It is not necessary to ask a curator has a diploma or
specific education about arts management. Huang Du realized it is different between China and
foreign educational system. For western, arts education and arts museum are more popular, they
can attend lectures between different disciplines, so their knowledge is relatively comprehensive.
It is more possibility that non-major in college to become a curator in west. Everyone has an
opportunity to be a curator, as long as you have a certain level on cultural theory study, a high
aesthetic sense, enthusiastic of curatorial industry and working hard. He thinks the most
important responsibility of a Chinese curator is not swayed by utilitarianism, they should hold a
high degree of independent and keen judgment to arts. Chinese contemporary art is based on the
level of whole development, not just individual behavior. Only the overall level of the artists’
development, in order to promote the whole development of Chinese contemporary art, and the
development of artists also necessarily involves improving arts education levels, construction of
art criticism theory and promoting art institutions system. Those problems are more complex. In
short, Chinese curatorial industry and contemporary art are still on a long way. (Men’s Fashion,
(2010, Aug. 23) Huang Du: curator of taste is the same as girl's dress. Retrieved from
http://art.china.cn/voice/2010-08/23/content_3674695.htm) About the influence from cultural
globalization, Huang Du had a sharp view. He thinks the rise of biennales reflected the cultural
strategies of a country, a city, even a region; it actually is a competition of the discourse right or
power discourse. In other words, it is really similar between international relationship and
cultural dominance. Although China is much stronger in economics than before, we still did not
play a dominant role in the cultural aspects, we still are be dominated; because China did not do
a cultural policies with open adjustment, we still in a very conservative state. For example, the
exhibition is very conservative, just exhibit art works from Chinese Artists Association and the
art language is not contemporary and international enough; this is a case of cultural delay today,
although the Chinese Artists Association are doing like Beijing Biennale, it still did not have

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enough sense of international impact. In Huang Du’s opinion, culture and politics always exist
together, and these international art exhibitions are a barometer of the national cultural strategy
and the power discourse. (“Curator's report Huang Du 2: Global curators are looking for ‘virgi’”,
2013)
Not as Huang Du, Pi Li is an independent curator, which is more focus on the international
development of Chinese arts market and independent curator. As a typically outstanding student
cultivate by college art history system, Pi Li owned the academic accomplishment and logical
thinking ability, which belongs to critics. He has both the professional identity and reliable
knowledge background; from undergraduate to PhD in the Central Academy of Fine Arts until
leaving as a professor, he experienced academic knowledge authority period; and is also involved
in upper period of markets and business. Pi Li has been living in the first scene of Chinese
contemporary art. And now he is working as senior curator in M+ contemporary visual culture
museum (Hong Kong).
M+ museum got the generous donation from Swiss collector – Uli Sigg, who is the most
important promoter for Chinese contemporary art. Mr. Sigg donated 1463 pieces contemporary
art works to M+ museum; and he also purchased and collected 47 pieces art works from M+,
which is accounting for about 65% of his entire collection of proportion. So M+ museum owned
the most complete collection of avant-garde art system during 1974-2011, Sigg’s donation
brought a positive signal to Chinese contemporary art that finally broke the “Museum
Skepticism” condition of Chinese contemporary art system, M+ museum quickly established the
important position in Chinese contemporary art system in future. In a long term, if the museum is
worth to trust of donors is the pain point of Chinese contemporary art. The omission in
displaying, storing, and other aspects in country-owned galleries and museums lead to rarely able
to get praise and full trust from donors. Also the unstable survival and unregulated operation of
private museum result in the difficult to get the valuable important precious donation. M+
museum, formed in full compliance with the Western museum mode, is an important project of
West Kowloon Cultural District in Hong Kong Construction. M+, with a new concept of visual
culture museum, based in Hong Kong native, external radiation in Asia and International art
field, which will focus on the collection, display, study of art, design, architecture and imaging in

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20th and 21st century. On the management aspect, M+ built the museum administration
committee, which is responsible for developing and recommending to the Board about the
planning, development, and operation of M+, and strategies and policies of exhibition center.
The operations of Museum Committee entirely oversight from all classes and Hong Kong
taxpayer, and most importantly is financial transparency. It is actually an international art
museum. (“Transition from Gallery Owner to Curator – Pi Li ’s New Work”, 2014)
Pi Li bluntly talked about the issues of Chinese contemporary art in his personal blog: credit
bankruptcy, he (2014) claimed “No one would believe our academic, media, transaction, and
collectors It is ridiculous and hard to believe it. The plight of the way is not ‘particularly hedge
fighting’, but again return to universal values, reshaping a complete ecosystem of art,
complained this harsh environment, when in fact you are part of it.” Pi Li represents the wave of
practitioners who still faith art, they grew up in the East, worked between the West, the identity
transformation and widely vision, they have wealthy practice experiences of working for the
diverse, and still embracing the blueprint as a builder; they experienced idealism shift to a market
economy, still has not lost the introspection and self-regard of original heart. It is a new job for Pi
Li, and also a constant battle. (“Transition from Gallery Owner to Curator – Pi Li ’s New Work”,
2014) After Pi Li worked in Hong Kong, he started to consider international issues. In his
opinion, globalization and economic integration are developing simultaneous. Economic
integration is good news to communication, but not an exciting thing to arts; it will erase the
difficulty in arts. It needs to be vigilant, although the degree of internationalization of arts market
and the internationalization openness are in proportion to the economic growth. This is a really
important point for contemporary curator; globalization is a double- edged sword, curator should
try to take advantage to this unavoidable trend. Pi Li also emphasized how to get our own value
system recognition in the international communication. It is not about the price level, it also
including the identify issue of our contemporary culture creates value; and how to think about it,
this may need be our generation of Chinese art market operators and curators to face carefully.
(Si Shang Art Museum)
Compare to those two curators, Hou Hanru may be best qualified to speak on the
globalization issue. Hou moved to Paris during 1990s, and then started his curator career. Now

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he is a professor of the Royal Academic of Fine Arts in Amsterdam. His famous exhibition was
“Moving city”, which curated with Hans. This exhibition last 3 years, involved 7 countries and
more than 140 artists. His international curation background leads him a higher level to consider
Chinese curatorial industry. Hou has a similar thought as Pi Li on the cultural homogenization
under globalization, but he also has his own view. Hou underline the “Middle Ground” concept,
which is a space beyond the old nation (state order), beyond the separation of East and West, an
overlap between global and local each other, it also can be descried as the “Glocal” space. Self
and others, dominator and people are dominated by, center and edge, etc. All those relationships
will be renegotiated, and eventually super pass. It will develop an enduring tension and
movement between the global and the local in this process, it could be described as a new and
truly global art. Actually, word likes “glocal” or “worldwide- locality” was often appeared in
Hou’s exhibitions, which illustrated the strong concern to the interactive relationship between
global and local. So Hou Hanru mentioned the challenge of Chinese curator is how to curate an
exhibition with reflecting and strengthening the arts and culture significance in the coordination
between global and local, also surpassing the established power relations and legalistic localism
between different regions in politics aspect. It looks like a high level and complex requirement to
curator, but Chinese curator really need to find the balance between globalization and Chinese
culture value. And for curator itself, Hou thinks that curator should actually be a critic, or at least
with a critical perspective. He (2014) mentioned that curator should know well in profession and
arts, “How can a curator have no thoughts with art? How can a curator do curate without critics
thoughts?” Hou thinks Chinese curatorial industry is developing booming, but the key is the lack
of academic depth. He claimed (2014), “Chinese curator knows few of international curatorial
industry and arts, so most of exhibitions are still belongs to domestic exhibition. The main
reasons are the lack of broad international perspective, and depth study.”
Those three curators are all mentioned the cultural homogenization under globalization. It is
hard to deny that cultures or core values in different region will be more similar than before
because of the globalization and closer communication. So it is more important to curator and
artist to find their own characteristics and value about their culture and arts. The world we live
now is dominated and shaped by digital technology: Google, Facebook, YouTube, etc.; but
actually people were always be indoctrinated by the correct and only one “core value”. That is

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the worse thing the artist and curator should be vigilant. There are two models of curator:
independent curator and exhibition curator in museum. Exhibition curator exists in many art
museums and galleries, but this kind of curator just in a simple level; they are relatively a single
role, charge for the traditional individual exhibitions. While an individual curator actually plays a
various role, but also a contradictory role; on the one hand, independent curator will temporary
organized a group of artists, offer those artists convenience to their creation on both technically
ad materially; on the other hand, independent curator also need to work as a critic, they need to
find a balance on theme and creation forms of art works with artists. So, independent curator’s
work not only just curate a exhibition, but also including a big part of art critics. Well, as the
developing of globalization and large-scale international exhibition, traditional exhibition curator
could not take a leading role, so China need more independent curator. So, the development of
independent curator is vital important to Chinese curatorial industry in the future. These three
curators are all realized the current issues and the direction of development of Chinese curatorial
industry. According to the interviews, the emerging Chinese curator and Arts Management
students had have the awareness about how to deal with the cultural globalization.
The interview including 4 emerging curators, and 3 of them were study abroad. Yuping Yu,
Arts Management undergraduate student of Xiamen University in China and got a long-term
internship in local arts gallery. Danqing Xue, Drexel University graduate student, major in Arts
Administration. Yaqi Luo, Arts Management graduate student in Indiana University
Bloomington. And Yingting Xie, second year in graduate, major in Arts Administration of Royal
College of Art in London, and just finished her own exhibition in her school. These four
interviewees all have their own perspective, and have the similar opinions with those 3 famous
curators in general.
Yuping, the one interviewee studied in China. She has more specific perspective from
Chinese college education and curatorial industry. In her opinion, she thinks cultural
globalization is not avoidable. According to the economic globalization and the development of
information technology, the harmonization and diversity of material and spiritual also got an
opportunity to develop. And for culture itself, the standard will appear after enough
communication; it may enrich the cultural diversity of local, but it will lose the distinctive

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features from a global perspective. As Yuping worked in Chinese art gallery, she believe curator
now is popular in China; but most of them were dependent on art museums and galleries, only
few of them were real independent curator. And also there are not too much practice
opportunities for emerging young curator now in galleries and museums. So many emerging
young curators need to find some “insider” to recommend them to the real Chinese curatorial
industry; Yuping suggest galleries and museums offer basic opportunities or selection mechanism
to young curators. Now people, not only Chinese but also people around the world, are expecting
great on Chinese curatorial industry, so everyone is enthusiastic. But the disadvantage of Chinese
curatorial industry is the immature education system and participatory mechanisms. Yuping
compared with the west countries, she thinks although west did not have the professional arts
administration education; they had relatively more practice opportunities, which leaded to
cultivate practical curators. But China does not have enough practice opportunities and mature
education system, like the unreasonable curriculum and experience absent. So Yuping proposed
we need to improve the education system and combine with government’s cooperation to create a
better environment for curator. As Chinese art museums are still dominated by government, and
limited by the senior government officials’ artistic accomplishments. So she thinks China still
need more time to improve it. Curatorial industry would not be treated as a serious problem, till
people realize the importance and necessity of it. Cultural globalization let developing countries
know more the mature development of West, but it still has some drawbacks. The mature art
development of West not only because of the relatively complete social system, but also the rich
cultural atmosphere and the help from public’s consciousness. Blindly learn from Western
system and imitating Western curatorial will lead to Chinese curatorial industry too anxious. Of
course, globalization also helped us to see the various possibility of breakthrough; there will be
progress in the exchange. (Yuping Yu, Personal Communication, April 15,2015)
Yingting Xie, graduate student in Royal College of Art. She is the only interviewee that
studies in Europe, and a real emerging young curator; so she has a more mature perspective than
other interviewees, and also curator was her specific research direction. In her perspective,
globalization is becoming the most striking characteristic in this world now; people generally
tend to hold pessimistic views to this trend. The result of globalization is the trend of
homogenization. It is the trend that strengthened people’s desire in difference, and thinking in

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self-awareness, identifies, and culture aspects. Besides, globalization indeed greatly improved
communication and strengthened the multicultural spread to help us better understand our world
and the future. Therefore, we need to be on the basis of understanding and tolerance to art works
and culture, dialectically to look at the process of globalization. She (2015) told me, “What we
have to do is not other people tell us that we should or not need globalization, but to find the real
problems and cause social concern for the problems and try to intervene through various arts and
culture to resolve them.” As Yingting had finished an exhibition in London, she has a deeper
opinion on the advantages and disadvantages of Chinese curatorial industry, which compared
with European. She believes there are three advantages: firstly, people are increasingly
concerned about Chinese curatorial industry because it just began to rise; secondly, China has
strong financial strength; finally, the good momentum of Chinese art market. Also, she finds five
disadvantages: firstly, the lack of professional and experienced curator staff; secondly, the
unregularly employment standard of Chinese curatorial industry; thirdly, the lack of appropriate
arts sponsorship community, investment institutions, and curatorial development mechanism is
not complete; fourthly, the lack of public awareness for curatorial industry; finally, Chinese
national government did not give the appropriate employment protection. She concludes that the
reason of those disadvantages is time, curatorial industry just developing for 20 years in China,
however, both in theory and practice is not enough to form a perfect development mechanism;
and official ideology determines the scope and status of curatorial industry development, so the
industry have to make some compromises. Although there are several serious issues now,
Yingting still feel optimistic about the future development. She thinks there will exist global
operating mode; in fact, this operating mode has now started. With the development of
globalization, curator will no longer just be a specific job to develop national culture and art, and
also will gradually evolved into a tool for the exchange under globalization. We can understand
and demonstrate more complex, realistic and possible issues by curatorial work in a globalized
world. In addition, Yingting also has her own plan for future. She will put into the curatorial
work of art galleries or related institutions, enhanced personal curatorial theory and practice
experience, understanding and familiarity with the domestic situation; committed to promoting
public art projects to improve social awareness to art and curatorial industry. (Yingyting Xie,
Personal communication, April 16, 2015)

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The other two interviewees are all study in America. Danqing Xue is a student in Drexel
University, and Yaqi Luo studies in Indiana University Bloomington, both of them are major in
Arts Administration. They all admit that cultural integration is inevitable, although China got a
higher position in economics, the culture is still relatively weak, Western-centric will exist. In
Danqing’s opinion, China now absent a system standard recognized by public; only part of the
official institution could plan academic exhibitions. And Yaqi focuses more on economic
element, she thinks economic value behind the art activities still is the main purpose of Chinese
curatorial industry. In other word, market manipulation is the primary means of artistic activities.
It is interesting that these two interviewees hold substantially the same view on the advantages.
Both of them think Chinese curatorial industry has a huge potential in the future, because
everything is just starting; and on the opposite, Danqing thinks Chinese curatorial industry lack
professional curator and communication with international curators, Yaqi thinks Chinese curator
just westernized and emulate the surface art form, excessive touted star artist and curator, which
lead to the different quality level of contemporary curators. When I asked about the reasons, they
all mentioned that China still need more time to complete system and popularization the public
aesthetic. Danqing illustrated now China need the pioneer’s effort, especially the younger
generation curator study abroad, they need to have a sense of mission, absorbing and
internalizing what they learned and promoting the development of Chinese curatorial industry.
She has a future plan for herself, she (2015) said “I will try to get a job in famous American art
museum, learn their history, operational mechanism and their fail experience; then come back to
China to help Chinese curatorial industry developing faster.” After interview, she told me that
although more and more Chinese study curating abroad, Chinese curatorial industry still outside
of the mainstream. How to build our own aesthetic standard rather than depend on western
standard is our highest goal.(Danqing Xue, Yaqi Luo, Personal communication, April 14, 2015)
Conclusion
With the development of cultural globalization, Chinese curatorial industry is facing a great
opportunity and challenge. Although Chinese curatorial industry has developed less than 50
years, many Chinese curators were starting to consider the problems and developing direction for
future.

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This study collects 3 famous Chinese curators, analyzes their existed interviews and
opinions. Their views are more mature, and from a higher level because of the rich experiences.
They all hold an optimistic view to the future of Chinese curatorial industry, but still mentioned
that Chinese curator needs to find their own cultural value system and help government complete
the operational mechanism. Hou Hanru advocates that contemporary curator should also be a
critic or with critics perspective, almost Chinese curator are lack the deep research of academic,
they should pay more attention on professional art academic with an international perspective. Pi
Li focuses more on the mechanism; curators always existed with mechanism, which is China
need to improve and complete. The mechanism includes the employment system, fundraising
system, and museum development system. And different with these two curators, Huang Du
illustrates a sharp view about power discourse on culture during globalization, he mentioned that
China is weak on culture compared with economic, so we should recognize our own unique and
develop it.
Then, this study collected 4 interviewees’ response. Both of these 4 interviewees are
students, they all think cultural globalization is inevitable, it may enrich the variety of culture for
a region, but it still developing to cultural homogenization; so we need to find our own aesthetic
system, universal educate contemporary art, and support the development of non-for-profit
institution. Cultural globalization seems like a double-edge sword for these emerging curators.
On the one hand, they are worried about the lack of professional curator and the limits form
government; on the other hand, they greatly expecting for the development in the future because
Chinese curatorial industry was just started. For this situation, these young curators believe
China just need more time to complete the curatorial mechanism. For themselves, three of them
are studying abroad, so they will learn the history, system and operational mechanism of western
curatorial industry, and combine with Chinese situation to create or build a unique but “Chinese”
curator style in the future. And the rest one wants to go abroad to accept the systematic
education.
Globalization is unavoidable, so how to take advantage of this trend becomes one of the
most important problems that curators need to carefully consider. Whether the old generation or
the young Chinese curator, both of them are really seriously consider the situation and

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16

developing direction for Chinese curatorial industry in the future, and they also find their answer.
China need more time.

Reference
Anonymous, Men’s Fashion. (2010, Aug. 23). Huang Du: Taste of Curator is the Same as Girl's
Dress [Online forum comment] . Retrieved from http://art.china.cn/voice/201008/23/content_3674695.htm
Anonymous, Scope, Artists. (2014, Mar. 25). Transition from Gallery Owner to Curator – Pi Li ’s
New Work [Online forum comment]. Retrieved from
http://magazine.99ys.com/periodical/per_200/article--1001--4528_1.shtml
Anonymous, Si Shang Art Museum. (No Date). Pi Li: Internationalization is a battlefield with
flowers [Online forum comment]. Retrieved from http://www.sisam.cc/focus/3308/
Behnke, Christoph. “The Curator as Arts Administrator?” The Journal of Arts Management, Law,
and Society 40(2010): 27-42.
Brenson, Michael. “The Curator’s Moment.” Art Journal 57, No.4 (1998): 16-27.
Carroll, Noel. “Art and Globalization: Then and Now.” The Journal of Aesthetics and Art
Criticism 65, No.1 (2007), 131-43.
Gielen, Pascal. “The Art Institution in a Globalizing World.” The Journal of Arts
Management, Law, and Society 40(2010): 279-96.
Hu, Bin. (2013, Mar. 25). Sound from Multiple Body Glocal Context: Hou

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Hanru’s Curatorial Concept [Web blog message]. Retrieved from
http://blog.artintern.net/article/359030
Meng, Yufang. (2013, Jul. 20). Curators report Huang Du (2): Global curators are looking for
"virgin"[Online

forum

comment].

Retrieved

from

http://contemporary.artron.net/20130720/n480244_4.html
Morin France, Poshyananda Apinan, Ramirez Carment Mari, Turner Caroline, Zabel, Igor and
Cassel Valerie. “Beyond Boundaries: Rethinking Contemporary Art Exhibition.” Art
Journal 59, No.1 (2000): 4-21.
Murphy, Bernice. “Museum, Globalization and Culture Diversity.” International Journal of
Heritage Studies 5(2007): 44-51.
Napack, Jonathan. “Young Beijing.” Art in America 92(2004): 142-45.
Shan, Zhonggui. (2011, Nov. 30). Hou Hanru: Curator is A Contradictory Role [Online forum
comment]. Retrieved from http://collection.chinaluxus.com/Coc/20111130/89773.html
Quemin, Alain. “International Contemporary Art Fairs in a Globalized Art Market.” European
Society 15(2013): 162-77.
Quemin, Alain. “Globalization and Mixing in the Visual Arts: An Empirical Survey of ‘High
Culture’ and Globalization.” International Sociology 21(2006): 522-50.
Velthuis, Olav. “Globalization of Markets for Contemporary Art.” European Societies 15, No.2
(2013): 290-308.
Wei, Yi. “The Comparison and Development between Chinese and Foreign Independent
Curator.” Beauty and Times No.1 (2009): 71-9.
Yang, Yingshi. “The rise of Independent Curator in China.” Art Forum 21(2007): 21-4.
Zhang, Ruijuan. (No Date). Curator: Finally Disappeared Career in Arts Circle [Online forum
comment]. Retrieved from http://www.neweekly.com.cn/newsview.php?id=2052

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Appendix
Interviews from 4 emerging curators
Yingting Xie
1.你是如何看待文化全球化这一趋势的?
众所周知,全球化已经成为了现今世界最为醒目的特征。然而对于文化和艺术全球化
时代的命运,人们的观点普遍趋于悲观。个人认为,全球化的过程是不可逆的,并且仍将
继续。全球化”一般指的是在国与国之间强化经济、政治、社会和文化联系的过程,旨在达
到全球范围内政治与社会 - 经济结构的同质化( homogenization, 或称“同一化”)。然而
也因其具有同质化的趋势,更加强了人们对于差异性的渴望,对自我认知、身份和文化各
方面的思考。此外全球化也确实极大改善了沟通状况,增强了多元文化的传播,帮助我们
更好了解我们的世界和未来。因此,对于文化艺术工作,我们需要的是在理解和包容的基
础上,辩证的去看待全球化进程。我们所要做的不应该是告诉别人我们需不需要全球化,
而是真正的发现问题,引发社会对于问题的关注,并尝试通过各种艺术、文化手段来进行
干预、解决。
2.你认为中国策展行业目前的发展有何优势&劣势?
优势:
中国的策展行业开始兴起,人们对于策展行业的关注度增加
中国拥有雄厚的资金实力
中国的艺术市场势头良好
劣势:
缺少专业且富有经验的策展人员
策展行业的就业标准不规范
社会缺少相应的艺术赞助、投资机构,策展机制发展不完全
大众缺少对于策展行业的认知
国家政府没有给予相应的就业保障
3.你认为是何种原因导致了这样的劣势?
官方意识形态始终掌控的艺术文化行业的决定权。因此,在中国从事策展,具有一定
的前提性和局限性。策展行业的不规范。从 1992 年的“广州双年展”以来,中国的社会仍
然没有形成具有完善的策展机制。这使得“策展人”概念和标准不清,批评家、理论家等学
术垄断。没有相应的艺术、文化机构的支持,如艺术基金会等。
归根结底,策展行业在中国发展不过 20 年,在理论和实践上都还不足以形成完善的
发展机制。官方的意识形态决定了策展行业发展的范围和现状,使得行业发展不得不作出
一些妥协。

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4.你觉得如何才能改善或者克服这些劣势?
避免中国现阶段的“策展人”专权,防止学术垄断。对策展人的权利进行制衡,将执
行、监督和检查分而治之等;这就在一定程度上,避免了在策展的执行过程中,只有策展
人一个人说了算。一方面避免了策展人因权利过大而受贿,另一方面能够使执行更加有效
合理开展。
加强中国民众对于当代艺术的普及教育,提升整体认知水平;不仅是要提高策展人
的整体素质,更关键是应该多开展有关当代艺术的公共活动讲座,让人们可以拥有更多的
方式渠道接触和了解当代艺术。
支持非赢利性艺术机构的发展,为策展人的未来提供更多的机会和保障。中国的策
展人还有待发展,这就意味着需要更多的实践机会与政府,甚至来自社会的经济支持。中
国的当代艺术发展不是属于个人或者某一类集体的。只有得到社会的认同和支持,当代艺
术和策展人的工作才能更好的发展。
5.你个人未来将如何利用自己的所学去发展中国的策展行业?
未来计划是先投入美术馆或相关艺术机构的策展工作中,增强个人理论与实际策展经
验,了解并熟悉掌握国内的策展行业局势。致力于推动艺术公共项目,提高社会对于艺术
及策展的理解和认知。
6.你认为中国策展人如何发展自身、提升自身实力对国内行业更有利?
提高自身专业和对艺术文化发展的全局认知
增加实践的机会,丰富策展经验
学会中西结合,找到差异,结合实际文化社会语境操作
7.你认为中国策展行业在文化全球化潮流下未来会有怎样的发展?
将会有全球化的工作模式。事实上,这种工作模式现在已经开始。但未来可能任何国
家的策展人能够参加任何国家的展览或者双年展的策划。随着全球化的发展,策展不再仅
仅只是一个国家艺术文化发展的某一项具体工作,而将逐渐演化成一种全球化交流下的一
种工具。通过策展工作,来了解和展现全球化世界中更多复杂的、现实的、可能的问题。
8. 你将会如何做来努力推动这样的发展和前景?
继续学习和实践。关键是找准中国目前策展行业的位置和可能的方向,既要保持自己
特殊“语境”下的操作,同时也要和世界接轨。
9. 关于这个主题你有何想要补充的么?
中国策展行业的发展,不能只将目光集中再“中国”,而应把其行业发展的利益目光放
得更远。比如,根据中国策展现状,有什么东西是西方可以学习的呢?

Danqing Xue
1.你是如何看待文化全球化这一趋势的?

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我觉得文化融合是必将发生的,虽然现在中国经济上的地位越来越高了,但是文化上还是
相对弱势的,西方中心论还是存在的。
2.你认为当下中国策展行业的发展如何?
我觉得目前国内缺少一个公认的系统标准,除了部分官方机构,有力量策划学术性强的展
览,民间机构的力量很薄弱,感觉就是过家家。
3.你认为中国策展行业目前的发展有何优势&劣势?
优势:一切都是新的,所以什么都可以尝试。中国经济发展,出现很多新兴的收藏家,客
观上提供了艺术品市场蓬勃发展的动机。
劣势:大众的审美教育不够,与展览之间的文化隔阂还是比较深的,如何缩小这种隔阂是
个问题;这个策展行业目前缺乏专业的策展人,缺乏和国际上的策展人顺利交流对话的机
会。
4.你认为是何种原因导致了这样的劣势?
策展行业刚刚开始发展起来,需要时间,大众的审美还未跟上发展,要启蒙,要教育。
5.你觉得如何才能改善或者克服这些劣势?
需要先行者的努力,尤其是出国接受了教育的中国年轻一代策展人,需要有使命感,将在
国外学到的知识真正吸收和内化,在符合中国语境的前提下,运用西方发展比较完善的知
识体系,来促进中国策展行业的发展。
6.你个人未来将如何利用自己的所学去发展中国的策展行业?
首先我会尽力进入美国最顶尖的博物馆工作学习,学习他们运作的机制,然后回国,将所
学带到国内的策展业。同样,除了学习他们的长处,也会洞察出他们机制里的漏洞,了解
他们发展停滞的原因,避免中国复制他们的失败。
7.你认为中国策展人如何发展自身、提升自身实力对国内行业更有利?
要积极与国外的策展人交流,积极参与国外的展览机会,但是不能妄自菲薄,不加思考地
全盘吸收西方思维,去中心化,努力发展自有文化,才是最重要的。
8.你认为中国策展行业在文化全球化潮流下未来会有怎样的发展?
中国的经济发展,购买力增强,最重要的是,大众有渴望了解艺术文化的需求,所以天时
地利人和,未来的策展行业将会蓬勃发展。
9.你将会如何做来努力推动这样的发展和前景?
将西方策展机制里的益处介绍到中国,努力向大众推出经过时间检验的优秀的艺术,积极
与国际策展人对话,不断交流学习。
10 关于这个主题你有何想要补充的么?
虽然跑到美国学策展的中国人越来越多了,但中国在展览方面,几乎依然是在主流之外的,

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如何建立我们国家自己的审美标准,不依赖西方设立的标准,才是最高目标,为什么一定
要冠上“西方”才高大上?为什么我们自有文化里没有让我们自信的精华,让我们可以骄傲
地介绍给世界的东西?我越是了解西方文化,越是被他们“认可”,我越是觉得不安,因为
这间接上稳固了西方中心论。

Yuping Yu
1.你是如何看待文化全球化这一趋势的?
我认为这是不可避免的。首先从人们生活的基础——经济全球化来说,通过发展信息技术
等渠道,推动着人们从物质及精神方面有了趋同和分歧(这里指多样性)。其次就文化本
身而言,充分交流后的文化自然体现出统一的判准,虽然就一个地区而言也许丰富了本地
文化多样性,但就全球范围来看,却逐渐丧失了原有的鲜明特色。
2.你认为当下中国策展行业的发展如何?
具体情况我也不是很清楚……就我个人观察,国内策展还是蛮热门的,主要是依附于机构
中心的策展人,真正的独立策展人并不多,并且年轻的策展人实际的策展机会并不多。需
要依靠艺术圈内的推荐来获取策展机会,没有平等的选拔机制和入门机会。

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3.你认为中国策展行业目前的发展有何优势&劣势?
优势是大家对国内艺术发展抱有较大的希望,因此热情较高。劣势就是没有成熟的教育系
统与参与机制(尽管国外一开始也没有专业策展教育,但是国外的实践机会相对较多,利
于培养实践型策展人),而国内既没有实践机会,也没有系统的教育(例如艺术管理专业
课程设置的不合理与开设该课程的院校缺乏教育经验)。此外上面说到的没有平等的策展
机会也是一个亟待解决的问题。
4.你认为是何种原因导致了这样的劣势?
急于求成。一方面是学生急于求成,迫切希望自己走上策展之路而缺乏相应的素质与知识
储备;另一方面是艺术界的催促,使国内的策展成为一种依附或者是一种噱头。
5.你觉得如何才能改善或者克服这些劣势?
教育体制的完善与政府方面的配合,除了画廊和艺术中心外,美术馆博物馆仍被控制在政
府手中却毫无作为,受限于政府高层的艺术修养。艺术圈自身也给策展设了限,因此我觉
得要改善这一现象仍需要时间。在人们没有意识到策展的重要性与必要性之前,策展不会
成为一个被严肃对待的命题,也无法成为。当然现在也有一些优秀的策展人,在试图摆脱
商业和利益对艺术的桎梏,但同时这又是一个悖论,在没有资金支持下,优秀高质的策划
是很难执行的。
6.你个人未来将如何利用自己的所学去发展中国的策展行业?
这也是我想出国学习的原因之一。希望通过到国外学习成熟的艺术市场机制与策展流程,
修正自己错误的观念,借鉴经验,再应用到国内的策展行业中,大概会从教育方面入手。
7.你认为中国策展人如何发展自身、提升自身实力对国内行业更有利?
丰富自己的知识面,除了艺术史之外,时代的语境也很重要,结合实际情况(政治/经济/
文化政策等),积累自己的实践经验(画廊/艺术中心/美术馆/博物馆),从志愿者/助理
到策展,一点点学习,多与艺术家/策展人交流,在此过程中认识累积人脉,融入艺术圈。
8.你认为中国策展行业在文化全球化潮流下未来会有怎样的发展?
学习西方的模式,但是要认清自己所处的环境。
9.你将会如何做来努力推动这样的发展和前景?
同6
10.关于这个主题你有何想要补充的么?
全球化让我们看到西方发展的成熟,让我们模仿,但并非全是好处。因为西方的艺术发展
至今不仅仅是制度的完善,还有文化氛围与群众意识的帮助,一味的学习西方体制,模仿
西方策展才使国内策展走上“大跃进”的道途。当然全球化也帮助我们看到各种突破的可能
性,有交流就会有进步。

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Yaqi Luo
1.你是如何看待文化全球化这一趋势的?
随着经济全球化的发展,文化全球化的趋势是不可避免的。过去中国的艺术家总是忙于应对复杂的过没问
题,几乎从不关注国外的发展状况以及彼此之间的关系,随着全球化,中国乃至亚洲的艺术家和策展人将
慢慢形成艺术自觉,对全球艺术家需要面对的问题,也慢慢开始进行思考。

2.你认为当下中国策展行业的发展如何?
中国的策展行业目前仍然是以艺术活动背后的经济价值为主要目的,也就是市场化操控是整体艺术活动的
主要手段。行业中出现了大量的商人。形式却拘束于老旧的博物馆,美术馆的展览。 目前中国的策展行业
一直在效仿西方的展览机制,同时也在慢慢的从本质上在改变。

3.你认为中国策展行业目前的发展有何优势&劣势?
我认为优势是中国的策展行业是有很大的一个发展空间的,与国外略显饱和的发展状况相比。而这又源于
中国策展行业发展的不成熟。随着的经济的发达,策展行业慢慢开始进入繁荣,但是大部分的策展人都仅
仅是西化效仿了很表面的艺术形式,以艺术之名其实在做着以文化旅游之类的附带娱乐性项目,过度吹捧
明星艺术家或者明星策展人,依附娱乐业发展,从而使得策展人的素质良莠不齐。

4.你认为是何种原因导致了这样的劣势?

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第一,源于观众,展览的受众群体非常广泛但同时又非常的具体。中国现在整体的艺术素养基础并不坚实
策展人不得不考虑观众的接受能力从而弱化了展览的目标已经形式。第二,策展行业的体制和体系都不是
很成熟完善,策展人的地位基本上都很难与艺术家本身齐平。没有足够的尊重与重视,就不能有策展行业
的迅速提升和发展。

5.你觉得如何才能改善或者克服这些劣势?
我觉得这是一个不可避免的需要经历的阶段,就如同当时中国经济的发展一样,太急于求成一定会暴露问
题的存在。是需要一定时间的学习与锻炼的。

6.你个人未来将如何利用自己的所学去发展中国的策展行业?
7.你认为中国策展人如何发展自身、提升自身实力对国内行业更有利?
“新的殖民开拓者一样,走进其他国家、地区和文化,去寻找“那种地方”出产的有价值的艺术品,并将它放
在中心国的美术馆里展出,他们以自认为最佳的方式,将这些艺术“国际化”和合法化。”这是我之前读过的
一段话,我觉得概括的很好。

8.你认为中国策展行业在文化全球化潮流下未来会有怎样的发展?
在全球化的影响下,中国的策展人一定会更加频繁的去学习国外的策展体系,以及产生更多的交流,必然
会挣脱固有的束缚,沾染西化的色彩,但又因为中国独特的发展状态而形成自己策展的独特风格。

9.你将会如何做来努力推动这样的发展和前景?
10.关于这个主题你有何想要补充的么?
策展行业与其他行业的关系已经其在整个行业链条中的地位还不是特别明确,如果能处理好这层关系,应
该会更加促进策展业的发展。

HOW DOES THE CULTURAL GLOBALIZATION INFLUENCE THE CHINESE CURATOR?

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HOW DOES THE CULTURAL GLOBALIZATION INFLUENCE THE CHINESE CURATOR?

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