Bringing Asian Art to a Wider Audience

Ellen Wallop/Asia Society
Ellen Wallop/Asia Society

Following a distinguished career in Asia, Boon Hui Tan moved to New York in January after joining Asia Society as Museum Director and Vice President of Global Arts and Culture. In a recent interview with Barron's Asia, Tan described how his relocation changed the way he viewed Asian art.

Being out of Asia is an interesting perspective to have. You are able to take a step back and look at the region. You are able to see how only selective stories, selective narratives of Asia make it to New York. A lot of the artists I see a lot of in Asia, who I think are good, nobody has heard of. I’m reminded that even a global city like New York is far from Asia and it’s more than a physical distance, there’s a kind of conceptual leap that has to be made.

In discussing his plans for Asia Society, Tan added that "we need to engage more seriously with the full diversity of the global art world. We need to find a balance between artistic practices of East Asia, South Asia, Southeast Asia and West Asia. Our programming needs to reflect that diversity."

Read the whole Q&A here.

Tan was also interviewed for "Download" column in Sunday's New York Times, where he talked literature, art criticism, and his love of Taylor Swift and Kanye West. Read the column here.