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: Where are we?
Melissa Chiu: I think, of course the environment is one big issue; but another perhaps even greater issue is an issue of cultural difference that we see played out in religious differences. And we have seen it most recently in London. I think it’s also an issue of course here for the United States, and it’s dealt with very differently in different places. But I think that the way the communities, societies, and nations are able to deal in a sophisticated way with cultural difference, most societies today are much . . . contain much . . . many more different kinds of communities. There are very few places in the world that are ________ today. And so I think in the future, our ways of dealing with different cultures in our society will have a great impact on our . . . great impact on peace, for example, and a great impact on the quality of life.
Recorded on: Jul 11 2007