Annie Jael Kwan is an independent curator and researcher whose exhibition-making, programming, publication and teaching practice is located at the intersection of contemporary art, art history and cultural activism, with interest in archives, histories, feminist, queer and alternative knowledges, collective practices, and solidarity. As co-director of Something Human, a curatorial initiative, she has presented live art projects across the UK and Europe, and launched the the pioneering Southeast Asia Performance Collection (SAPC) with over 27000 digital items that represent 50 artists from the region at the Live Art Development Agency during the 2017 M.A.P. (Movement x Archive x Performance) project.

In 2018 she curated UnAuthorised Medium, an exhibition and programme exploring artistic responses to archives with artists working in/relation to Southeast Asia for Framer Framed, Netherlands, and in 2019, she co-curated Archive-in-Residence “Southeast Asia Performance Collection” exhibition and the Pathways of Performativity in Contemporary Southeast Asian Art symposium at the Haus der Kunst in Munich, Germany; and “Being Present” a live performance programme in response to the exhibition Speech Acts: Reflection-Imagination-Repetition at the Manchester Art Gallery; and the subsequent digital adaptation for the Paul Mellon Centre’s British Art Studies Issue 13. 

She leads Asia-Art-Activism (AAA), a research network that has presented an active public programme of presentations, talks, workshops, mini-residences and festivals that challenge and complicate notions of ‘Asia’. AAA is in residence at Raven Row until May 2021, and with 7 other grassroots organisations in the UK and Europe, leads Tools to Transform, a project focused on creating resources for Asian and diaspora organising that received the European Cultural Foundation’s Culture of Solidarity grant in 2020. She was the co-editor of Southeast of Now: Directions in Contemporary and Modern Art in Asia’s guest issue: Archives, and contributes writing to various publications including ArtReview and Art Asia Pacific. She is a recipient of a Diverse Actions Leadership Award 2019. She currently teaches Critical Studies at Central St Martins, University of the Arts, London, and co-teachers Writing and Curating at KASK, School of Art, in Gent, Belgium.

Image by Arabelle Zhuan