Broad Art Museum Hires America’s First China-Based Curator

Wang Chunchen Part Of New Generation Of Chinese Curators

The Zaha Hadid-designed Broad Art Museum opens this November

In a major step for a US arts institution, the Eli and Edythe Broad Art Museum — which will open November 9 in a Zaha Hadid-designed building at Michigan State University, East Lansing — will bring on Beijing-based Wang Chunchen as adjunct curator. This appointment, originally arranged this past March, will make Wang the first-ever China-based curator ever taken on by an American art museum, Art in America reports this week.

The Broad Art Museum will focus primarily on contemporary art, with its first acquisitions being work by the New York-based artist Andrew Kuo. Though Wang is not the first Chinese curator to hold a higher position at a US institution, Art in America points out that others — like Hou Hanru, former director of exhibitions and chair of museum studies at the San Francisco Art Institute, and Wu Hung of the University of Chicago — have been based in the US for their appointments. Wang, deputy head of the curatorial research department at the Museum of the Central Academy of Fine Arts, Beijing, will remain in China, which makes his curatorship highly notable.

As Broad director Michael Rush told Art in America, Wang’s appointment reflects the greater presence of Chinese scholars at Michigan State University. Said Rush, “We have a very international student body…with about 10 percent of the class that will arrive this fall coming from China.”

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