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: Who are you?
Melissa Chiu: My name is Melissa Chiu. And I am Director of the Asia Society museum.
Question: Where are you from and how has that shaped you?
Melissa Chiu: I was born in Darwin, Australia. It’s a far northern city. And I spent most of my childhood in this place. And then my mother believed that we should move south to Sydney to be educated, so I spent most of my life in Sydney. And in fact, just over six years ago I moved here to New York when I was offered a position at the Asia Society. My father is originally from mainland China. In fact, from the South of China, _________. And his family story is that they moved from Southern China from Hong Kong when the Communists came into power in China. And he subsequently moved to Australia for his university education. And my mother is Australian of Anglo-Celtic heritage.
Recorded on: Jul 11 2007