Independent Curators International supports the work of curators to help create stronger art communities through experimentation, collaboration, and international engagement.

Independent Curators International supports the work of curators to help create stronger art communities through experimentation, collaboration, and international engagement.

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ICI’S 2018 Independent Vision Curatorial Award Nominees

Oct 23, 2018

New York, NY, USA

547 W 26th St
New York City

Join ICI’s Annual Benefit & Auction on Tuesday, October 23, as we reaffirm our commitment to curatorial practice and contemporary art. We invite you to raise a glass to the future of ICI, and in support of new programs and partnerships.

Wassan Al-Khudhairi, Chief Curator at the Contemporary Art Museum in St. Louis and an alumna of ICI’s Curatorial Intensive, will select the recipient of the 2018 ICI Gerrit Lansing Independent Vision Curatorial Award and present the Award at ICI’s Benefit & Auction on October 23 in New York City. Al-Khudhairi will bring a broad set of international perspectives to the selection process; she was formerly the Curator of Modern and Contemporary Art at the Birmingham Museum of Art, and the Founding Director of Mathaf: Arab Museum of Modern Art in Qatar, as well as the Curator of the 2017 Asian Art Biennial; and Co-Artistic Director of 2012 Gwangju Biennial.

A panel of established international curators selected nine nominees for the award, based on the strengths of exhibitions, or projects, that they have recently curated anywhere worldwide. The ICI Gerrit Lansing Independent Vision Curatorial Award was established in 2010 as one of the first in the world to recognize rising curatorial talent. Dedicated to the memory of early ICI supporter and long-time Board Chair Gerrit Lansing, whose commitment to education and the future of the curatorial field helped shape ICI’s mission, it is presented every two years to an early or mid-career curator to support their independent practice and includes a $3,000 stipend towards a new project.

The 2018 Independent Vision Curatorial Award Nominees are:

Liu Ding (Artist and curator, Beijing, China) and Carol Yinghua Lu (PhD scholar, University of Melbourne, Director, Beijing Inside-Out Art Museum)
Merve Elveren (Senior Programmer SALT, Istanbul and Ankara, Turkey)
Violeta Horcasitas (Independent curator and Founder of Satélite, Mexico City)
Fang-Tze Hsu (Independent curator and archivist, Singapore)
Aram Moshayedi (Curator, Hammer Museum, Los Angeles)
Luiza Proença (Writer and independent curator, São Paulo, Brazil)
Vipash Purichanont (Assistant Curator, Thailand Biennale, Krabi 2018)
Yasmeen Siddiqui (Founding Director, Minerva Projects, Denver, CO)
Nicole Smyth-Johnson (Independent Curator, Kingston, Jamaica)

The winner of the 2018 ICI Independent Vision Curatorial Award will be announced later this fall. The Award will be presented at ICI’s Annual Benefit & Auction on October 23, 2018, alongside the Leo Award, recognizing those who have supported and made pioneering contributions to the field of contemporary art. The 2018 Leo Award will be presented by ICI Trustee Emerita Agnes Gund to Emily Pulitzer.

Past recipients of the award are Doryun Chung (2010); Nav Haq & Jay Sanders (2012) selected by Hans Ulrich Obrist; Eva Barois De Caevel (2014) selected by Nancy Spector; and Miguel A. Lopez selected by Franklin Sirmans (2016).


Carol Yinghua Lu (PhD scholar, University of Melbourne, Director, Beijing Inside-Out Art Museum) and Liu Ding (Artist and curator, Beijing, China):

Liu Ding is a Beijing-based artist and curator. He actively reflects on the links between culture, art and political power in the modern and contemporary history of China in his practice. He investigates into the historical process of contemporary discourses and thoughts through multiple perspectives. He has participated in international biennials such as 2018 Yinchuan Biennale, 2015 Istanbul Biennial, 2015 Asia Pacific Triennial, 2014 Shanghai Biennial, 2014 Prospect 3 New Orleans, 2012 Taipei Biennial, Chinese Pavilion of 2009 Venice Biennial, 2008 Media City Seoul, and 2005 Guangzhou Triennial. His work has been shown at art institutions including: Tate Modern, ZKM, Seoul Museum of Art, Frye Art Museum, Taipei Fine Arts Museum, MOMA PS1, HKW and many more.

Carol Yinghua Lu is an art critic and curator. She is a PhD scholar of art history at the University of Melbourne and director of Beijing Inside-out Art Museum. She is a contributing editor at Frieze. Lu was on the jury for the Golden Lion Award at the 2011 Venice Biennale and the jury for the National Pavilion of the Philippines in the 2018 Venice Architecture Biennale. She was the co-artistic director of the 2012 Gwangju Biennale. From 2012 to 2015, she was the artistic director of OCAT Shenzhen. She was the first Asia-Pacific visiting fellow at Tate Research Centre in 2013 and a fellow of Association of Research Institute in Art History at Bard Graduate Center in 2017.

As a curatorial team, Ding and Lu have mounted many exhibitions, co-authored and co-edited publications. They have recognized the scarcity of methodologies and approaches both in art historical research and artistic practice in China and questioned the existing order of art historical narratives by implementing a holistic perspective and horizon. While both working within the global art system, they have repeatedly emphasized the necessity of self-recognition in the process of globalization. They have taken a self-reflexive approach, studying the intellectual roots and construct of contemporary Chinese art by analyzing the lasting legacy of Socialist Realism in China’s contemporary culture.

Their ongoing practice of exhibition and publication making establishes organic connections between history and the contemporary, investigates and narrates historical realities from multiple entry points. In these projects and practices, they address the following issues from the perspective of China’s intellectual history: first, returning to the origin of practice; second, the meaning of the individual subject; third, the significance of undercurrents in relation to the system of interpretation founded on tacit consent to the universal law of history; fourth, the impact of artistic concepts on art when they have become part of the ideological structure; fifth, the illusion that existence determines consciousness and how problematic the illusion is; sixth, the historical significance of the “natural inheritance” of universalized discourse, and superficial phenomena and their relationship to history.

Merve Elveren (Senior Programmer SALT, Istanbul and Ankara, Turkey):

Merve Elveren is a curator based in Istanbul, Turkey. With an emphasis on the social and cultural landscape of the 1980s and 1990s in Turkey, her research-based curatorial practice examines critical discussions and new institutional formations around shifting political urgencies.

Between August 2011 and September 2018, Elveren was part of the founding team of Research & Programs at SALT. Together with Duygu Demir, she co-curated A Promised Exhibition (2013)—the first comprehensive survey of Gülsün Karamustafa’s works proposing a sociopolitical and economic history of Turkey from 1970s onwards. In 2015, Elveren contributed to L’Internationale’s five-year program “The Uses of Art-The Legacy of 1848 and 1989” with the exhibition How did we get here at SALT Beyoğlu and Galata. The project traced the shaping of contemporary Turkey back to the 1980s post-coup d’état period, and investigated the emergence of a grassroots civil society through the personal archives of second-wave feminists, anti-militarists, the green movement, LGBTQI activists, and human rights defenders. A selection of works and documents from How did we get here later traveled to Van Abbemuseum in Eindhoven for the exhibition The 1980s. Today’s Beginnings? (2016). In April 2018 Elveren’s two-year-long project Continuity Error—the first major exhibition of Aydan Murtezaoğlu and Bülent Şangar, prominent figures in shaping the emerging contemporary art scene in 1990s’ Turkey, opened at SALT Beyoğlu. The exhibition was structured around the idea of the viewer as ‘interlocutor,’ creating spaces for negotiation through recovering and rethinking critical artistic and societal ruptures. Her independent projects include the co-production of Köken Ergun’s film Ashura (2013) and Volkan Aslan’s solo exhibition Shoot Me! Don’t turn me over! (Pi Artworks, 2018).

Most recently, Elveren initiated an independent group of women art professionals in order to organize temporary exhibitions and public events for the benefit of Women's Library and Information Centre Foundation, founded in 1990. The collective aims to increase the visibility and resources of the first and only library dedicated to women’s histories in Turkey, which also has important archival holdings for the local and regional feminist movements since 1869.

Violeta Horcasitas (Independent curator and Founder of Satélite, Mexico City):

Violeta Horcasitas is an independent curator of contemporary art. From 2007 to 2012, she was part of Jumex Collection in the Research and Curatorial Programs area. In 2013, she served as curator at La Tallera, one of the two museums that are part of the Siqueiros Project, which belongs to the National Institute of Fine Arts in Mexico. Her work is focused on researching collaborative processes, online projects and new exhibition formats.

Since 2015, she founded and has directed “Satélite”, a curatorial initiative that reflects on the institution of the museum as an exhibition space. The project opens up new possibilities in the curatorial field by presenting in unofficial ways artworks in institutional spaces. Satélite is a disruptive and DIY project that could be summarized as thinking outside the box inside the white cube. The project invites creators and artists to question, through ephemeral actions (online and offline), the institutional processes and the relationships that are created between art, the public and the museum.

Besides her "occupy" and independent curatorial work in Satélite, she also develops institutional curatorships. Laboratorio ArteAlameda and La Tallera are examples of some of the museums in which she has recently presented some of them. Other curatorial projects she has carried out include: Happy is a place (2010), Invisible maps (2012), A room for two and for many more (2012), Simultáneo (2013), OBJECTSFOODROOMS (2015), Puras cosas nuevas (2017), Red Star, Winter Orbit (2016), Maps under construction (2017), Trayecto o curso de una parte a otra (2018), and Another visit with the sculpture (2018).

Violeta writes constantly about art topics in several written media. She runs a radio program: Cocktail, art, parties and disasters that is about to become a website-archive that will include independent and self-managed spaces and events that emerged in the 2000s in Mexico. She has been a professor at Universidad del Claustro de Sor Juana, Centro Morelense de las Artes y la Universidad de la Comunicación. She currently imparts the Subversive curatorship module at Centro Cultural Border Curatorship Diploma Course.

Fang-Tze Hsu (Independent curator and archivist, Singapore):

Fang-Tze Hsu is a writer, translator, researcher, and independent curator who works in close collaboration with the artistic practitioners' archival reconceptualization with respect to its material and historiographical concerns. Her curatorial and pedagogical projects examine the colonial modernity of the Cold War in the longue durée. By exploring the geopolitics of medium specificity, in conjunction with the formation of the First Island Chain in the shadow of American militarization of Asia-Pacific, she engages with visual artists and theatre practitioners to develop context-specific projects, which explore the possibility of decolonizing epistemology. Furthermore, with a research interest in the politics of memory and affective forms of state violence, her work emphasizes on investigating, archiving, and theorizing artistic attempts pertaining to the enunciation of the long-silenced womanhood and queer experiences noted in post-war Asia.

In 2017, Hsu collaborated with TheCube Project Space, to organize a symposium titled Reality in its Double Bind: Emotional Signifiers in the Undercurrents of History, which engaged with scholars and practitioners from Taipei and Kuala Lumpur. In the year prior, she co-curated Negative Horizon: 5th Taiwan International Video Art Exhibition and presented the curated research project Working-Through: Vandy Rattana and His Ditched Footages at TheCube Project Space. Furthermore, in 2015, with support from the Institute of Regional Studies at Okinawa University and Okinawa Prefectural Art Museum, she initiated a research project Artists’ Film and Video in Postwar Okinawa, which explored gendered narrative agency under the U.S.-Japan military alliance. Her other cross-disciplinary research projects include Singaporean artist Loo Zihan’s Artists’ General Assembly: The Langenbach Archive (2013), FIELDS: An Itinerant Inquiry Across the Kingdom of Cambodia (2013), which was co-organized by the SA SA BASSAC (Cambodia) and ST PAUL St Gallery (Aotearoa, New Zealand), and On Site: A Centennial Retrospective of Robert Capa at the National Taiwan Museum of Fine Arts.

Aram Moshayedi (Curator, Hammer Museum, Los Angeles):

Aram Moshayedi is a writer and curator at the Hammer Museum in Los Angeles, where he recently organized the exhibition Stories of Almost Everyone. In 2016, he co-curated (with Hamza Walker) Made in L.A. 2016: a, the, though, only. Since joining the Hammer in 2013, he has organized projects by artists Lawrence Abu Hamdan, Andrea Büttner, Andrea Bowers, Simon Denny, Avery Singer, Maria Hassabi, and Mario Garcia Torres, as well as All the Instruments Agree: An Exhibition or a Concert, a two-day program of live music and sound performed by visual artists. He was formerly associate curator at the Roy and Edna Disney/CalArts Theater (REDCAT), where he organized exhibitions and oversaw the production of new works by The Otolith Group, Slavs and Tatars, Jordan Wolfson, Tony Cokes, Ming Wong, Erlea Maneros Zabala, and Geoffrey Farmer. He has contributed to numerous exhibition catalogues as well as Artforum, Art in America, Frieze, Metropolis M, Parkett, X-TRA Contemporary Art Quarterly, and Bidoun, for which he is a contributing editor.

He has coordinated and edited such publications as Stories of Almost Everyone (Hammer Museum/DelMonico Books Prestel, 2018); Adam Linder: Who Is Surfing Who (Hammer Museum, 2018); Huguette Caland: Everything Takes the Shape of a Person, 1970–78 (Skira editore, 2017); Made in L.A. 2016: a, the, though, only (Hammer Museum/DelMonico Books Prestel, 2016); and Jordan Wolfson: Ecce Homo/le Poseur (Verlag der Buchhandlung Walther König, 2013).

Luiza Proença (Writer and independent curator, São Paulo, Brazil):

Luiza Proença is an art researcher, writer, educator and curator. She has worked mainly collectively and collaboratively in several projects and institutions in Brazil, looking for alternative forms of organization of cultural labour, collective learning and social exchange. Many of the projects have involved the revision of Brazilian modernity and hegemonic art historical narratives, addressing complex realities or partial truths, while considering multiple epistemologies, forms of existence, and understandings of the notions of art and work . Claiming a constant ethical-political positioning, the challenge has been to find, in the past, or create, in the present, tools for dialogical processes which does not fear differences, desires, and tensions.

Luiza Proença is the former curator of mediation and public programs of the Museu de Arte de São Paulo (MASP), where she co-organized numerous projects such as the exhibitions Art from Brazil in 20th Century (2015), Histories of Madness: Drawings from Juquery (2015), Playgrounds (2016), and Avenida Paulista (2017); the international seminars Politics of Mediation (2015 and 2016), Histories of Sexuality (2016 and 2017), and Histories of Slavery (2016); and the book Concrete and Crystal: MASP's Collection on Lina Bo Bardi's Easels (2015); as well several training programs, lectures, workshops and screenings. Among other projects prior to MASP, she was associate curator at the 31st Bienal de São Paulo – How to (...) things that don't exist (2014); and the editor of publications of the 9th Bienal do Mercosul | Porto Alegre – Weather Permitting (2013). Currently she is a curatorial researcher of Bauhaus Imaginista (Sesc Pompéia, São Paulo/HKW, Berlin, 2018-2019), which foregrounds an interest at the Bauhaus and its successors in the vernacular and the premodern as well as in the social value of craft.

Vipash Purichanont (Assistant Curator, Thailand Biennale, Krabi 2018):

Vipash Purichanont is an independent curator and a co-founder of Waiting You Curator Lab, a curatorial collective based in Chiang Mai.

Purichanont currently holds an assistant curator position at Thailand Biennale, Krabi 2018, a new site-specific outdoor biennale taking place between local communities and natural sites along the Andaman Sea coast. His previous curatorial projects included Kamin Lertchaipraset’s 31st Century Museum of Contemporary Spirit: Laboratory @ Chicago at Sullivan Galleries, School of the Art Institute of Chicago (2011); Concept Context Contestation: Art and the Collective in Southeast Asia at Bangkok Art and Cultural Centre (2014); Couldn’t Care Less: Cross Cultural Live Art Project at Deptford Lounge in Southeast London (2015); and Metaphors: An Evening of Sound and Moving Image with Kick the Machine at BangkokCityCity Gallery (2017). He was a researcher-in-residence at dia/projects in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam, in 2010.

Purichanont’s practice has its roots in collaboration. Most of his theoretical work his focused on notions of collectivity and community as well as caring and sharing. He is interested in artistic practice as a technology of self-emptying, or a possibility in which the production of subjectivity becomes undone through experience with contemporary art. This interest drove him to pursue a research project on genealogy of curatorial practice and neoliberal subjectivation, which developed into his PhD dissertation. Although most of Purichanont’s curatorial projects are structured around Southeast Asia, his main objective is to initiate a meaningful conversation between the region and the globe.

Purichanont is completing his doctoral degree in Curatorial/Knowledge at the Department of Visual Cultures, Goldsmiths, University of London. He received an MA in Arts Administration & Policy and an MA in Modern and Contemporary Art History from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. He is currently a lecturer at the department of Art History, Faculty of Archeology, Silpakorn University, Bangkok.

Yasmeen Siddiqui (Founding Director, Minerva Projects, Denver, CO):

Guiding Yasmeen Siddiqui’s practice is an overarching commitment to testing perceptions of either specific artists or existing art movements through the synchronized interplay of writing and exhibition making. Siddiqui benefits from working in the fields of publishing and exhibition making (as an editor, critic, and curator), because together they reinforce the important role translation plays when presenting artwork to a myriad of audiences.

Over the course of her career so far, Siddiqui’s research and practice has taken her to Cairo, Egypt; Beirut, Lebanon; Cambridge, Massachusetts; Louisville, Kentucky; Denver, Colorado; throughout northern Italy; London, England; and New York City. Each for extended periods of time. She has earned support for specific bodies of research from The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts and Alianza de las Artes Americans (a support group of the New World Department of the Denver Art Museum) among other agencies, enabling her to compile extensive bodies of research that will assume different forms. She is most optimistic about her long-term study of the legacy of the early twentieth century Futurists. The quality of this project and how it is slowly evolving is indicative of her highest ambitions for what an exhibition and its writing might be.

Siddiqui’s interest in the mechanics of storytelling led to the launch of an incubator space, a test site for artists and curators. Minerva Projects supports those who have expressed the desire to re-read their work though historiographical, political, philosophical, or spiritual frameworks. Minerva achieves its mission through an extremely intimate and rigorous oral interview that takes place daily, over the course of two weeks. The meetings are recorded. Minerva Press publishes one book per project. Through interview and essay formats, as well as experimental literary approaches, the book operates as a space for reflection, and a portrait and marker of the present moment in the trajectory of the artist or curator’s career. The book is an essential outcome of each project, and deeply connected to my practice and mission, as it points to the interdependence of excellent art writing and articulated, viscerally powerful exhibitions.

Nicole Smythe-Johnson (Independent Curator, Kingston, Jamaica):

Living and working in Kingston Jamaica–where the last real commercial gallery closed in 2013, leaving the National Gallery of Jamaica (NGJ) as the only dedicated exhibition space in the city–exhibitions do not form the core of Nicole Smythe-Johnson’s practice. Her practice is more akin to what Zasha Colah of the Clarke House Initiative in Bombay has described as “making possible the conditions under which art can be true to itself”. Smythe-Johnson’s work quite deliberately takes the form of praxis, creating physical space and theorizing intellectual space simultaneously.

Sometimes that praxis looks like an exhibition, like Trajectories (2014), where Smythe-Johnson converted one floor of an office building into an exhibition of historically significant, but rarely seen privately-owned work, in conversation with the work of five contemporary artists. There, she created space for engagement; between the private collection and new publics, but also between generations of artists and artwork, and between corporate and art interests (both particular issues in Jamaica).

Making space may also look like the research Smythe-Johnson did as the inaugural Tilting Axis fellow (2016-2017). There, she was interested in identifying in her research (of contemporary and historical practice in four countries), and performing (in her visits and their accompanying texts), a curatorial practice suited to and grounded in the Caribbean. That emerged as a practice that is epistemically sensitive, context-specific, tactical and unabashedly embodied (engaging her physical, emotional and relational resources).

Smythe-Johnson has been the recipient of several grants and awards including the Harbor Residency at Beta-Local in Puerto Rico, A Pendaflex for the Future Curatorial Research Residency at the Henie Onstad Kunstsenter in Norway and the International Committee of ICOM for Museums and Collections of Modern Art (CIMAM) Travel Grant. In fall 2018, she will begin a PhD programme in art history at the University of Texas at Austin to continue her praxis.


Join us and meet the winner at the 2018 Annual Benefit & Auction on October 23, 2018. To stay updated on this event or for ticket inquiries contact Jenn Hyland at

Wassan Al-Khudhairi

Wassan Al-Khudhairi is the Chief Curator at the Contemporary Art Museum in St. Louis and the former Hugh Kaul Curator of Modern and Contemporary Art at the Birmingham Museum of Art.