Hou Hanru

30 Nov 2016


Hou Hanru. Courtesy of Fondazione MAXXI, Rome.

Hou Hanru is a Chinese-born art critic and curator who in 2013 was appointed artistic director of the MAXXI National Museum of the 21st Century Arts in Rome, founded in 2010. A resident of both San Francisco and Paris, Hanru gained international attention with Cities on the Move (1997–2000), a traveling exhibition curated with Hans Ulrich Obrist that emphasized the ways in which Asian contemporary artists have dealt with rapid changes in urban lifestyles and values. He has also curated many seminal exhibitions in Europe, the U.S., and Asia, including international biennials in Shanghai (2000), Istanbul (2007), the Chinese Pavilion at the Venice Biennale (2007), and Lyon (2009). In 2013, he curated the 5th Auckland Triennial, New Zealand, and co-directed the World Biennial Forum (Gwangju). Hanru also served as director of exhibitions and public programs and the chair of exhibition and museum studies at the San Francisco Art Institute from 2006 to 2010. He has consulted for many cultural institutions across the world, including the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, the Global Advisory Committee of the Walker Art Center, and the Asian Art Council. Hanru served as a Center exhibitions panelist in 2007 and he contributed to Pigeons on the Grass: Contemporary Curators Talk About the Field, published by The Pew Center for Arts & Heritage in 2013.