Asia Society announces the appointment of Yasufumi Nakamori, an experienced museum leader, curator, and noted scholar of modern and contemporary Asian art from cross-disciplinary and transnational perspectives, as its new Museum Director and Vice President of Arts and Culture. He will be responsible for overseeing the museum’s exhibition program and collection, as well as arts and culture programming across the global organization. He joins Asia Society in August.
Nakamori comes to Asia Society from Tate, where, since 2018, he has served as the Senior Curator, International Art (Photography), leading the development of Tate’s collection of photography as well as the strategy for representing photography in the program at Tate Modern; developing and curating exhibitions, including Zanele Muholi (2020-21), and collection displays. He has also advised on numerous initiatives on Asian and Asian diaspora art in programming, and provided strategic management for photography and modern art in the programming at Tate Britain.
From 2020 to 2022, Nakamori was a member of Tate’s Race Equality Task Force, which made recommendations to the Tate Executive Group to set institutional goals, and monitored for the goals to be actioned, for the purposes of combatting racism and achieving equity and diversity at Tate.
“We have found in Yasufumi Nakamori a leader who will guide the Asia Society Museum in making the case for the vital importance of Asian art and artists to visual culture globally, as it grows roster of exhibitions, arts programming, and collection,” said Emily Rafferty, Asia Society Trustee and co-chair of the search committee. “The search committee is delighted that he is joining at this critical juncture for Asia Society and for museums, as they redefine what it means to be an engaged and relevant museum today.”
“We are delighted to welcome Yasufumi to the Asia Society family. His knowledge and experience will be invaluable to our arts and culture program and to growing the Asia Society Museum as an indispensable global arts institution, which will be a key priority in the years to come,” said Asia Society Board co-chairs Ambassador Chan Heng Chee and John L. Thornton in a joint statement.
“I’m extremely excited about leading the next chapter of the Asia Society Museum and the global organization’s arts and culture program,” said Yasufumi. “I would like the museum to become the engine for expanding the scholarly and curatorial field of Asian and Asian diaspora art by looking at Asia’s relationship with the world throughout history.”
Prior to Tate, Nakamori headed the department of photography and new media at the Minneapolis Institute of Art, developing exhibitions of photography and time-based media within the context of a global encyclopedic art museum. His exhibitions of artists such as Amar Kanwar and the Propeller Group revealed interconnections between contemporary video and premodern art from the global south in the museum collection. He was also responsible for numerous key acquisitions which transformed and diversified the museum’s photography collection.
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