2020 CV Annie Jael Kwan

M: +44(0)7795285022
W:  anniejaelkwan.com

My curatorial and research practice is located at the intersection of art, activism and education, with an interest in archives, digital modalities, histories, feminist, queer and alternative knowledges, collective practices, and solidarity. As an independent curator and co-director of Something Human (SH 2012-2020) a curatorial initiative based in London, I have presented exhibition and live art projects across the UK and Europe, featuring the work of artists working in relation to Asia. In 2017 SH launched the pioneering Southeast Asia Performance Collection (SAPC) with over 27000 digital items that represent 50 artists from the region at the Live Art Development Agency’s Study Room. 

In 2018, I co-founded Asia-Art-Activism (AAA), an interdisciplinary research network that has presented a programme of presentations, workshops, mini-residences and festivals that complicate notions of ‘Asia’. AAA is a 2020 recipient of the European Cultural Found’s Culture of Solidarity grant for Tools to Transform, a project focused on creating resources for Asian and diaspora organising. As a researcher, I write for various art platforms and publications, and am co-editor of Southeast of Now: Directions in Contemporary and Modern Art in Asia’s 2019 guest issue: Archives; and its 2021 guest issue on performativity.


2016 – 2018 MA (Distinction) in History of Art and/or Archaeology, SOAS, University of London (Modules: Global & Contemporary Art; Southeast Asian contemporary art; Korean Modern and Contemporary Art; Engendering Southeast Asia; Architectural Boundaries & the Body; The Figure of the Buddha from premodern to contemporary) 

2016 Semester module: Museum Curating Now: Behind the Scenes at Tate

2003 Postgraduate Diploma in Law, The College of Law, London 

1996 BA Hons. Drama and Theatre Arts (2:1), Goldsmiths, University of London


2020 “Nikhil Chopra in conversation with Catherine Wood,” review for Tate

2020 “Mapping Suwa in the digital,” review for R3 City-scape: Suwa

2020 “And we breathe,” review for GAX 2020 Global Tides

2020 “Taking space, holding space: curating-as-organizing in the time of need for solidarity at Asia-Art-Activism,” On the future and artist-run spaces, Club Solo

2019 Southeast of Now special issue: Archives, co-editor

2019 “Gudskul,” ArtReview Asia Winter 2019

2019 “Taking Space for Asian Diaspora Narratives,” British Art Studies 13, 

2019 “Cross Talk: a halfway point, a sidebar reflection,” 4A Papers

2019 “Speech Acts,” Art Asia Pacific 

2018 “Things could have been different, that would have been possible”: the imminent ‘potentiality” in Larry Achiampong’s Relic Traveller, Jerwood Catalogue essay commission

2018 “Speech Acts,” Art Asia Pacific

2018 “Shamanistic Artistry,” on Ghost 2561, Art Asia Pacific

2018 “Uganda Stories,” Art Asia Pacific

2018 “Temporalities Disrupted: Report on Territories Disrupted conference, MMCA Seoul” for Tate Research Centre: Asia  

2018 “Dear Ada” curatorial response to Ada Hao, for Iniva

2017 “Artist and Empire: (En)countering Colonial Legacies,” Art Asia Pacific

2016 “A Stitch in Time,” report for Contact Point at Tate Research Centre: Asia

2016 “A Collage of Constellations,” report on Black Artists and Modernism conference for Iniva. Also published on C&, 7 November 2016

2016 “Empire of Whom,” essay on Artist and Empire at Tate Britain, Art Asia Pacific

2016 “Brothers in Art,” profile on the Le Brothers, Art Asia Pacific

2015 “The Buddhist Bug: The Performative, Photographic and Moving Image”, catalogue essay for Anida Yoeu Ali’s The Buddhist Bug series.

2015 “Artist Provocateur,” profile on Anida Yoeu Ali, Art Asia Pacific


2020 Creator of “Archiving art in Asia,” digital lecture series, British Council Vietnam

2018 – 2021 Associate Lecturer, “Producing the Body: Practice, Place, Politics,” for Critical Studies at BA Fine Arts, Central St Martins (curriculum includes performance from Southeast / East Asia)

2017 – 2018 Guest Lecturer, MA Asian Art, Sothebys’s Institute of Art: Cambodian Performance Art, Thai Contemporary Art, and Curating networks and practices in Cambodia and Vietnam.

1999 – 2002 Visiting Lecturer at Goldsmiths College, University of London and Middlesex University.


2020 Till We Meet Again IRL, Best wishes, Asia-Art-Activism, digital exhibition, performance and screening programme

2020 Tracing the Circle, audio-visual project for British Film Institute & British Council, Japan, The Light Surgeons, co-producer

2019 Asia-Art-Activism public programme including AAA Radio, AAA Research Commissions, Making Time: A Timeline of Asian Art and Activism project

2019 Being Present, a digital performance programme for British Art Studies Issue 13, Paul Mellon Centre, curator

2019   Pathways of Performativity: symposium and archive exhibition on performance from Southeast Asia, Haus der Kunst, Munich, co-curator  

2019 PASAR (Post-Asian School of Alternative Rites) at The Palace of Ritual, Venice, Palazzo Dona Brusa, curator

2019 Being Present, live art programme for Speech Acts: Reflection-Imagination-Repetition, Manchester Art Gallery, curator 

2018 UnAuthorised Medium, exhibition and programme 15 September – 18 November 2018, Framer Framed, Amsterdam, NL, curator.

2018 Border Stew: De-colon-ising Art & Learning, food colloquium, curator 

2017 MAP (Movement x Archive x Performance) 1: WATERWAYS Venice, 2: Communities and 3: Archiving “Asia”, performance and symposium in Venice and London, and the launch of the Southeast Asian performance collection at the Live Art Development Agency, lead curator for Something Human

2017 Curating Radical Futures, a colloquium commissioned by Outset and Arts Council England, Tate Modern, curator

2017 Screening of Vietnamese Films, Q&A, Deptford Lounge

2017 History Lessons: Fluid Records, a performance programme in collaboration with Iniva at the South London Gallery, curator

2017 MOVEMENTS: Southeast Asia, the inaugural postgraduate research conference at SOAS, organising committee

2017 Reframing the Archive, a programme of moving image works and symposium in partnership with SOAS, Centre of South East Asian Studies and The Asia Projector, London, UK, co-organiser

2016 Krisis exhibition and public programme in partnership with the Nottingham Trent University and Bonington Gallery, and CCLAP 2016, Nottingham, UK, co-curator

2015 From East to the BARBICAN, live art programme presented in partnership with Fish Island Labs and the Barbican, London, UK. Funded by Arts Council England, National Arts Council Singapore, Singapore International Foundation, The Cooperative Funeralcare, Town Hall Hotel, co-curator

2015 Couldn’t Care Less: CCLAP 2015, in partnership with Vipash Purichanont and Deptford Lounge, London, UK, Supported by NAC Singapore, co-curator

2015 London Calling, for reception at Eden Hall, residence of the British High Commissioner in Singapore, for the Prime Ministerial delegation of Great Britain to Singapore, curator consultant

2015 EX PARTE, exhibition and public programme, London, UK, commissioned by the Singapore Tourism Board as an official partner event for the travelling SG50 showcase, Singapore: Inside Out to London, curator

2014 CCLAP2014 (Cross-cultural Live Art Project) a 2-day symposium of presentations, performances and screenings that brought together live art practices from UK, Europe and Southeast Asia, The Proud Archivist, London UK.  Supported by NAC Singapore, co-curator

2014 HoldInfinityinthePalmofYourHand, exhibition of contemporary Southeast Asian art, presented at the Embassy Tea Gallery, London, UK. Supported by NAC Singapore and SEA ArtsFest, curator

2013 – 2014 SEA ArtsFilm & SEA ArtsShorts, a programme of feature and short film screenings presented at SEA ArtsFest 2013 & 2014, curator

2013 – 2014 D.E.A.R. – online digital engagement artist residency for Something Human, curator

2013 – 2015 MOVEWITH(OUT) Berlin, Rome, London, Belgrade, Venice, Budapest, Skopje, Singapore & Lisbon, a traveling curatorial performance by Something Human presented in partnership with Emersen Gallery (Berlin), Galleria D’arte Vista (Rome) Enclave Projects (London), Remont Gallery (Belgrade), 3D Gallery (Mestre), Officina delle Zattere (Venice), FFS, the Studio of Young Photographers (Hungary) City of Skopje, Dominium Hub (Skopje), Aliwal Art Centre (Singapore) European Cultural Foundation and Roundabout LX (Lisbon).

2013 The Terminal, a durational live art project taking place over three days and multiple spaces in Bermondsey, London, co-curator

2013 If On A Winter’s Day, a programme of site-specific live performances in Deptford, UK, funded by the GDCA, co-curator

2013 FRESHLY PACKED / ALWAYS CHECK THE LABEL, live performance, co-curator

2012 WITH(OUT), a multidisciplinary exhibition shown at Brockspace, a pop-­up project space in southeast London, UK, co-curator


2020 Online Reading Group on archives and knowledge, Iniva

2020 “David Blandy vs Annie Jael Kwan,” RCA2020, Royal College of Art

2019 “Curating as organising” at Activism and Diaspora: American Art Histories, Smithsonian American Museum Art Museum, NYU Washington

2019 Skin the Game, Diverse Actions, Manchester

2019 “Southeast Asia Performance Collection,” National Art Gallery, Malaysia,

2019 “Asia-Art-Activism: making collective space,” Green Papaya, Philippines and Gudskul, Jakarta, Indonesia,

2019 DIY Workshop: Potluck Stories, Tramway, Glasgow

2019 “Gameplay as collaborative creativity in the Finding Fanon Trilogy,” AUTO Conference, Royal College of Art, 

2019 “Sim Chi Yin,” in conversation at performingborders LIVE, Attenborough Centre for the Creative Arts, 

2019 Artist Talk – Genetic Automata, Arts Catalyst, 

2018 AAA Sharing Session: Sim Chi Yin and Noel Ed De Leon

2018 “Contaminating archives; Unauthorised medium,” at Creating Interference

2018 “Curating-as-research” as part of the 2018 NYU Global Asia/Pacific Art Exchange and Working Sessions, Central St Martins

2018 Stuart Hall Research Network “The Mask of Insanity” with Ada Hao

2017 Diaspora Pavilion, curator tour for Outset

2017 1:54 Art Fair, VIP curators tour 

2017 “Sonia Boyce, David Medalla”, Black Arts & Modernism, Stuart Hall Library 

2017 “Trust Me, I’m an Artist: DNA Ancestry Testing,” Arts Catalyst

2017 “All Channels Open: Resolutions,” Wysing Arts Centre

2016 “Conditions for Performance,” Java Arts, Cambodia

2016 “How can live art engage with social issues in the community?” Human Rights Festival

2015 “MOVE WITH (OUT)” connecting cities, Something Human, Kula, Skopje,

2015 “Surveillance and live art – Something Human at the Terminal”, Royal College of Art


2020 Curatorial research residency at Tokyo Arts and Space

2019 Curatorial Residency at the Helsinki International Artist Programme 

2017 Stuart Hall Library research residency, Iniva & International Curators Forum

2016 Curatorial Research Residency at JavaArts Arts Lab, with the support of the Artists’ International Development Fund (British Council/Arts Council England) and Capability Grant (NAC Singapore) 


2020 Culture of Solidarity award for Asia-Art-Activism from the European Cultural Foundation

2019 Diverse Actions Leadership Award 2019-2020

2017 Outset / Arts Council England Contemporary Art Commission

2017 Outset / Arts Council England Contemporary Art Research Travel Grant 

2017 Tate Research Centre: Asia Travel Grant for MMCA conference in Korea

2016 Selection for International Curators Forum, “Beyond the Frame”

2016 Artists’ International Development Fund (British Council/ACE)