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Lecture Series

Exhibiting Asia in the 21st Century

Speaker Bios


Julian Raby
Dame Jillian Sackler Director of the Arthur M. Sackler Gallery and the Freer Gallery of Art
From Privilege to Participation: Temple, Forum or Tower of Babel

Julian Raby is the Dame Jillian Sackler Director of the Arthur M. Sackler Gallery and the Freer Gallery of Art. Prior to his arrival at the Freer|Sackler in 2002, he had a long association with University of Oxford, serving at various times as university lecturer in Islamic art and architecture, chairman of curators of the Oriental Institute, and chairman of the board of the Faculty of Oriental Studies. A prolific and respected scholar of Islamic art, he is the author of numerous papers, articles, and books, including Venice, Dürer, and the Oriental Mode (1982);IZNIK. The Pottery of Ottoman Turkey (London, 1989); Turkish Bookbinding in the 15th Century, The Foundation of a Court Style (1993); andQajar Portraits (London, 1999). Raby takes an active interest in curatorial affairs, having curated In the Beginning: Bibles before the Year 1000 and Tsars and the East: Gifts from Turkey and Iran in the Moscow Kremlin at the Freer|Sackler.

Julian Raby headshot


Joan Kee
Assistant professor, Department of History of Art, University of Michigan
Contemporary Korean Art: Tansaekhwa and the Urgency of Method

The author of Contemporary Korean Art: Tansaekhwa and the Urgency of Method, Joan Kee holds the first university position in North America specifically created for the study of modern and contemporary art in Asia. Since the late 1990s, she has written widely on East and Southeast Asian art for such publications as Artforum, Art Bulletin, Art History, Oxford Art Journal, Third Text, and the catalogue for the Korean Pavilion at the 50th Venice Biennale. Holding a JD degree from Harvard Law School, as well as a PhD in art history from NYU, she is interested in artistic responses to the law in the context of legal developments in post-1965 America, the focus of her latest book project. Her other interests include the problem of scale; revisionist histories of postwar abstraction, particularly of monochrome painting; issues of globalization and form; and modernity in ink painting.

Joan Kee  headshot


Sebastian Chan
Director of Digital & Emerging Media, Cooper-Hewitt National Design Museum, New York
The Digital Museum and the Evolving Promise of Digitization

Sebastian Chan is director of digital and emerging media at the Smithsonian’s Cooper-Hewitt, National Design Museum, in New York. He is responsible for the museum‘s complete digital renewal as it reinvents itself to reopen in 2014. Previously based at the Powerhouse Museum in Sydney, he is known for his expertise in open access, mass networked collaboration, digital strategy, and cultivating innovation in the cultural sector. He has consulted for museums and libraries worldwide, helping them adapt and change to the digital age. He was a member of the Australian Government's Gov 2.0 Taskforce, and serves on several nonprofit advisory boards. He has a former life as a festival and event organizer in electronic arts and founded Cyclic Defrost magazine. He blogs at freshandnew.org.

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Lecture Series