Wu Hong is the founder and director of the Center for the Art of East Asia at the University of Chicago, the Consulting Curator at the Smart Museum, and the Harrie A. Vanderstappen Distinguished Service Professor in Chinese Art History at the Department of Art History and the Department of East Asian Languages and Civilizations at that university. He is also an elected member of the American Academy of Art and Science.
Wu Hong’s research interests include both traditional and contemporary fields. Regarding contemporary art, in the mid-eighties he organized a series of exhibitions of contemporary Chinese art at Harvard University. From 1999 to 2002 he curated Transience: Chinese Experimental Art at the End of the Twentieth Centur (Chicago, Smart Museum of Art, 1999), Canceled: Exhibiting Experimental Art in China (Chicago, Smart Museum of Art, 2000), and the First Guangzhou Triennial entitled Reinterpretation: A Decade of Experimental Art in China (1990-2000) (Guangzhou, Guangdong Art Musem, 2002). The catalogues he wrote for these three exhibitions provide in-depth analyses of the development of experimental Chinese art. His more recent curatorial projects include Between Past and Future: New Photography and Video from China (International Center of Photography and Smart Museum of Art, 2004), About Beauty in Berlin’s Haus der Kulturen der Welt (2005), the 6th Gwangju Biennale (First Chapter,2006), Shu: Books in Contemporary Chinese Art (New York, China Institute Museum, 2006), Re-imagining Asia (Haus der Kulturen der Welt, Berlin, March 2008), Displacement: The Three Gorges Dem and Contemporary Chinese art (Chicago, Smart Museum of Art, 2008), and many solo exhibitions of important contemporary Chinese artists.
In addition to the catalogues of these exhibitions, his publications on contemporary art include Chinese Art at the Crossroads: Between Past and Future, Between East and West (Hong Kong: New Art Media, 2001), Rong Rong’s East Village (New York: Chambers Fine Arts, 2003), Remaking Beijing: Tianmen Square and the Creation of Political Space (London and Chicago: Reaktion Books and University of Chicago Press, 2005), Xu Bing’s Tabacoo Project (Beijing: 2006), Making History: Wu Hong on Contemporary Art (Hong Kong: Timezone8, 2008), Wu Hung on Contemporary Chinese Artists (Hong Kong: Timezone8, 2009), The Zhang Huan Studio: Art and Labor (Guilin: Guanxi Shifan Daxue chubanshe, 2009), Waste Not: Zhao Xiangyuan and Song Dong (Tokyo, 2009), and Zhang Xiaotao: Microscopic Narrative (Chengdu: 2010).