The Eli and Edythe Broad Art Museum at Michigan State University, East Lansing, hired Wang Chunchen, Beijing-based critic and curator, as adjunct curator in March. Wang thereby becomes, according to Broad director Michael Rush, the first China-based curator hired at an American art museum.
The museum is due to open Nov. 9 in a building designed by Zaha Hadid. Its collection will focus on contemporary art; the first acquisitions, Rush told A.i.A., were works by New York-based artist Andrew Kuo.
While other Chinese curators and scholars have held prominent positions in the U.S.—for example, Hou Hanru was formerly director of exhibitions and chair of museum studies at the San Francisco Art Institute, and Hung Wu is a consulting curator at the Smart Museum of Art as well as a professor at the University of Chicago-Chunchen’s continuing residence in China sets his appointment apart.
“We have a very international student body,” Rush told A.i.A., “with about 10 percent of the class that will arrive this fall coming from China.”
Chunchen is deputy head of the curatorial research department at the Museum of the Central Academy of Fine Arts, Beijing. His art criticism has been published widely and has earned him numerous awards. His 2011 book Art Intervenes in Society-A New Artistic Relationship considers artwork that employs quotidian situations to “question political and artistic norms.”
Chunchen has organized numerous international exhibitions including “Mixed Maze” (Red Mansion Foundation, London, 2008), “Infinity” (Galerie Iris Schuhmacher, Berlin, 2009) and “CAFAM Biennale 2011: Super-Organism” (Beijing, 2011).
Dan Hirsch, formerly of the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston also joined the Broad as curator of performances and public programs in March, joining Alison Gass, who was hired as curator in 2011. She was previously assistant curator at the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art.