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Wu Hung

Art Advisory Committee

Wu Hung is an elected member of the American Philosophical Society and a noted art historian, critic, and curator. From 1972 to 1978, he worked in the Painting and Calligraphy Department and the Bronze and Stone Carving Department at the Palace Museum in Beijing. From 1978 to 1980, he studied art history at the Central Academy of Fine Arts, receiving his master’s degree in 1980. From 1980 to 1987, he studied at Harvard University, receiving dual doctorates in art history and anthropology. He stayed on at Harvard, teaching in the Art History Department until he received tenure in 1994. He subsequently headed the teaching and research program for Asian art at the University of Chicago, where he was named the Harrie A. Vanderstappen Distinguished Service Professor in Chinese Art History. In 2000, he established the Center for the Art of East Asia and served as its director. He is also a consulting curator for the Smart Museum of Art.


Wu’s first book, The Wu Liang Shrine: The Ideology of Early Chinese Pictorial Art (1989) won the Joseph Levenson Prize for the best book in Chinese studies. Monumentality in Early Chinese Art and Architecture (1999) was named one of the “Best Books of the 1990s” by Artforum. The Double Screen: Medium and Representation in Chinese Painting (1996) was nominated one of the best art history books in the United States. His other monographs include Remaking Beijing: Tiananmen Square and the Creation of Political Space (2005), Art of the Yellow Spring: Rethinking Chinese Tombs (2010), A Story of Ruins: Presence and Absence in Chinese Art and Visual Culture (2012), and Contemporary Chinese Art: A History (2014). He has also written dozens of articles, monographs, and sections of edited collections.


Since 1984, Wu Hung has curated numerous exhibitions of Chinese contemporary art, including “Transience: Experimental Chinese Art at the End of the 20th Century” (1998), “Cancelled: Exhibiting Experimental Art in China” (2000), the First Guangzhou Triennial (2002), “Between Past and Future: New Video Art from China” (2004), “About Beauty” (2005), the Sixth Gwangju Biennale (2006), “Re-Imagining Asia” (2008), “Displacement: The Three Gorges Dam and Contemporary Chinese Art” (2008), and “Myth/History” (2014-2015).