Melissa Chiu, Museum Director and Curator for Contemporary Asian and Asian-American art at the Asia Society, has had a long involvement with Asian contemporary art and is recognized as a leading authority in the field. Prior to working at the Asia Society, she served as the founding Director of the Asia-Australia Arts Centre in Sydney, a non-profit contemporary art center devoted to promoting dialogue in the Asia-Pacific region among artists, writers, curators and filmmakers.
Additionally, Ms. Chiu has curated over thirty exhibitions with artists from Malaysia, Vietnam, China, Thailand and Japan, among others. She was a founding member of the Asian Contemporary Art Consortium and a driving force behind the establishment of Asian Contemporary Art Week, which will mark its sixth year in New York next Spring.
Melissa Chiu received her B.A. from the University of Western Sydney and her M.A. from the College of Fine Arts, University of South Wales. She holds a Ph.D. from the University of Western Sydney and has authored many artist monographs and conference papers and has published widely in journals, magazines and for exhibition catalogues. Ms. Chiu has been a faculty member of the Rhode Island School of Design where she taught Asian contemporary art and design. She has also served on a number of boards and grant panels, including the New York State Council on the Arts, Museums Grant Committee and the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs.
Question: Are you generally optimistic or pessimistic about the way the world is headed?
Melissa Chiu: I think . . . I think I’m always optimistic in how we might . . . we might deal with these issues. I think that there are, of course, moments of great pessimism when things appear to be going terribly; but I think that there are . . . there is still great work being done in various different communities. And certainly if you look at the London situation, there are great leaders. And even . . . you know recently, I have been reading more about the . . . the imams in London and the way that they are _____ with the London government _____ as representatives. And I think that that kind of collaborative . . . collaborative approach between communities and government is something that we should always ______ as a great model.
Recorded on: 7/11/07