Tara Wang

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Tara Wang, Assistant Researcher, Tsinghua Art Museum, Beijing, China

A total of 24 modern and contemporary art museum professionals residing in 19 different cities have been awarded support to attend the CIMAM 2019 Annual Conference The 21st Century Art Museum: Is Context Everything? that will be held in Sydney, Australia 15–17 November 2019 hosted jointly by the Museum of Contemporary Art Australia.

Launched in 2005, CIMAM’s Travel Grant Program is designed to foster cooperation and cultural exchange between contemporary art curators and museums directors in emerging and developing economies and their counterparts in other regions of the world.

Tara Wang's Conference Report

My participation at CIMAM 2019 Annual Conference The 21st Century Art Museum: Is Context Everything? as one of the travel, grantees could be described as a return to home. Although it was my first time, the context of the conference was easy to dive in due to the professional/internationally concerned arrangement of the agenda and the selected people with similar academic training and working methodology.

Wanda Nanibush's case study on day 1, Challenging the Narrative: Indigenous Perspectives about using her own body as a curating strategy stoke a responsive chord in my body and heart. Having the same bodily experience as a dancer, I fully understand the difference between employing body or not in making exhibitions. Contemporary art curating has evolved into a highly mature field in the past half-century. Curators are allowed and encouraged to follow some established paths of exhibition-making. However, I was always mostly moved by exhibitions that showed who the curator was, not what he/she knew. I have the experience of walking hundreds of times in the exhibition space to talk to the space, the objects and the lights to negotiate with them, to listen to them, and to debate within. This on-site work gave me the confidence that I created an exhibition as a living body, it can be touched, connected and inhaled. I haven’t had the chance to visit a show curated by Wanda, and I am curious to know if her exhibitions will be as personal and cozy as her way of expressing.

In-depth conversations among curators from dozens of countries happened every minute at CIMAM 2019. It is a unique opportunity and a true luxury getting to know intellectual people to exchange facts, concerns, and thoughts. Exhibitions are the communication tools of curators to share opinions and create influences, CIMAM 2019 made it possible for curators to co-create more effective and efficient tools together to influence both local and global contexts. A mind that is stretched by a new experience can never go back to its old dimensions. This new experience had planted good seed in my career and I feel thankful and honored to be one of the grantees.