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Asia Foundation Announces 2024 Margaret Williams Fellows in Asian Art

May 13, 2024 — The Asia Foundation and the Asian Art Museum of San Francisco are pleased to announce Min-hyung Kang (Korea) and Ellen Larson (United States) as the 2024 Margaret F. Williams Memorial Fellows in Asian Art.

Meet our 2024 Fellows:

Min-hyung Kang (she/her) is the founder of Barim, a decentralized community art space in Gwangju, South Korea, which she established in 2014. She has worked extensively as an independent curator, collaborating with many international and domestic artists. Her work has led to partnerships with prestigious art institutions in Korea, including the Seoul Museum of Arts, Asia Culture Center, and Gwangju Biennale. She has curated critically acclaimed exhibitions like Degital and Forking Room, offering unique platforms to critically engage with art, technology, and society in South Korea. Fluent in English, Korean, and Japanese, she also worked as a professional translator and interpreter in the field of art and culture, working with most of the important art institutions in South Korea. She holds a master’s degree in New Media art from the Tokyo University of the Arts.
Dr. Ellen Larson (she/they) is a Chicago-based curator, designer, writer, and educator. Ellen’s research underscores the nature of temporalities as represented in contemporary moving image art, using a methodological approach to the study of art history that incorporates curation and design as critical forms of applied practice. They have organized exhibitions, screenings, and cultural symposia throughout China and the United States, and their writing has appeared in many prominent publications, including Art+Australia, ARTMargins by MIT Press, Millennium Film Journal, The Journal of Contemporary Chinese Art, Hemisphere: Visual Cultures of the Americas, LEAP: International Journal of Contemporary Chinese Art, and Contemporaneity: Historical Presence in Visual Culture. Ellen’s research has been recognized and supported by the US Fulbright Program, the Getty Foundation, the Henry Luce Foundation, the Dunhuang Foundation, the Center for Contemporary Art Research in Japan Program, and the University of Chicago’s Provost’s Global Faculty Award.

The 2024 fellows will work with the Asian Art Museum’s Practice Institute and report to Cheng Xu, the inaugural assistant curator of Games and Technology, who spearheads the Museum’s new RAD (Research and Development) exhibition.

Ellen Larson will support the contemporary art department in developing criteria for presenting new practices. New practices at the Museum will encompass multimedia artworks, theater sound, performances, digital (especially AI-generated) artworks, archives, community engagement, and nontraditional works.

Min-hyung Kang will support the development of a major exhibition focused on interactive experiences and interpretive technology (video games) with visionary game designer Jenova Chen. She will lend a curatorial perspective during the hardware and software development process, enabling audiences to engage with Chen’s immersive world.

Offered every other year, the Margaret F. Williams Memorial Fellowship supports two emerging contemporary art curators with a substantive three-month residency at the Asian Art Museum of San Francisco under the purview of Abby Chen, head of Contemporary Art and senior associate curator. Fellows will contribute to the projects and events of the Contemporary Art department and have opportunities to create original projects and events and apply their experiences to their own research. Fellows also receive a $10,000 award to develop a unique study tour to advance their research, deepen their perspectives, and grow their professional networks. As the fellowship emphasizes cultural exchange, fellows will share their unique perspectives and organize future professional development meetings in the United States and Asia to ensure continued collaboration beyond the fellowship period.

Established by Asia Foundation President Emeritus Ambassador Haydn Williams, the fellowship honors his wife, Margaret F. Williams, whose interest in Asian art was influenced by their travels to the region. The program looks to expand diversity, equity, and inclusion in the curatorial field by building the capacity of an emerging generation of curators who bring diverse perspectives, especially those who have been marginalized by sexism, heterosexism, or racism and are committed to diversity, equity, and inclusion in their work.

The Asia Foundation is a nonprofit international development organization committed to improving lives and expanding opportunities across Asia and the Pacific. Informed by 70 years of experience and deep local knowledge, our work is focused on governance, climate action, gender equality, education and leadership, inclusive growth, and international cooperation. We work in more than 20 countries through our 17 permanent country offices and programs across Asia and the Pacific, supported by a headquarters in San Francisco and an office in Washington, DC. Our funding comes from a diverse array of bilateral and multilateral development agencies, foundations, corporations, and individuals.

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