Annie Jael Kwan is an independent curator, writer, researcher and producer based in London. She trained in theatre arts, film and cultural theory at Goldsmiths College and then obtained a postgraduate qualification in Law.
She has worked as producer and curator on numerous art projects in the UK and internationally since 2005, working with major arts and cultural institutions including the South Bank Centre, Geffrye Museum, Barbican Centre and the Live Art Development Agency. Selected projects include the multidisciplinary SEA ArtsFest in 2013/2014, leading on curating its visual arts programme and SEA ArtsFilm, its screening programme of feature-length and short moving image works. In 2015, she also co-curated the exhibition, 50 Years of Theatre Memories for irememberSG, as part of Singapore’s 50th Anniversary celebrations, and curated the exhibitions EX PARTE connecting British and Singaporean artists for the Singapore Tourism Board, and ‘London Calling’ for the British High Commission for the delegation of the British Prime Minister to Singapore.
She founded the curatorial partnership, Something Human, in 2012, to focus on her interests in the critical ideas and explorations surrounding movement across borders. Something Human has delivered projects in the UK, Rome, Venice, Belgrade, Skopje, Lisbon and in Singapore. For Something Human, she has co-curated Something Human at the Terminal (2013), the travelling exhibition MOVE W I T H (OUT) 2013-2016, From East to the Barbican (2015), CCLAP (Cross-Cultural Live Art Project 2014-2016) and Krísis in partnership with Nottingham Trent University, Bonington Gallery, and Nottingham Contemporary.
In 2016, she completed a self-initiated curatorial research residency with Java Arts in Cambodia, with the support of the Artists International Development Fund (British Council/Arts Council England) and the National Arts Council Singapore. This generated the collection of interviews and digital materials that would form a significant part of the pioneering Southeast Asian Performance Collection, launched at the Live Art Development Agency in London during the M.A.P. (Movement x Archive x Performance) project. M.A.P. extended across multiple sites with a programme of live performance in collaboration with Diaspora Pavilion and the International Curators Forum in Venice, an artist residency programme exploring Vietnamese diaspora in London, and a programme of performances, panels, and presentations that marked the inauguration of the landmark Southeast Asian Performance Collection.
She was also selected for the International Curators Forum’s curatorial programme, “Beyond the Frame”, and for Outset and Arts Council England’s development programme for emerging curators. For Outset and Arts Council England, she curated the colloquium “Curating Radical Futures” which took place at the Tate Modern.
She has also conceived and driven forward the launch of SEA Currents, a new platform for Southeast Asian arts in London.
Most recently, she founded and co-leads Asia-Art-Activism, a cross-disciplinary and intergenerational network of artists, curators and academics investigating ‘Asia’, ‘art’ and ‘activism’ in the UK through research, dialogue, practice and collective work.