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  • Jan 28, 2019

Tate And Hyundai Motor Launch Research Center

Tate and Hyundai have announced a new research center devoted to furthering the British institution’s study of non-Western art histories. Pictured: installation view of OTOBONG NKANGA,

On January 24, Tate in the United Kingdom and South Korea’s Hyundai Motor Company jointly announced the launch of a new research initiative, the Hyundai Tate Research Centre: Transnational. The Centre will aid Tate’s vision to study the diverse visual traditions of non-Western countries and build upon its collection to reflect the multiple cultural perspectives of the institution’s global audience. Hyundai Motor has committed to support the Centre from January 2019 to December 2024.

The enterprise will be led by Sook-Kyung Lee, senior curator of international art, and will build on the work of Tate Research Centre: Asia and the Tate’s acquisitions committees, foregrounding collective research on global and multidisciplinary art practices. It will also open five new curatorial posts in the Tate Modern Curatorial team, bringing in fresh expertise from the field. Seminars, workshops and annual symposia will be held at the Tate museums and other institutions throughout the next five years.

Of this joint collaboration, Frances Morris, director of London’s Tate Modern, said: “This visionary project acknowledges movement and exchange, forced and voluntary migration and the experience of diaspora as central to modern and contemporary art. It will enrich our programme of exhibitions, acquisitions and collection displays, and help us to share and connect more deeply with the work of many institutions around the world. We want to deepen our commitment to exploring multiple art histories beyond western Europe and North America by showing that art, art movements and their histories are interconnected well beyond their country of origin. This generous new support from Hyundai Motor will allow us to carry out original research in this area, collaborate with international colleagues, and bring in new members to the Tate team, making this work integral to Tate’s activities.” Wonhong Cho, executive vice president of Hyundai Motor, added: “We are living in a diverse world that is more connected than ever, through technology and media. This project will explore how partnerships with others can transform research and how connections that have been overlooked can provide a new way of framing history.”


Since 2013, Hyundai Motor has supported art initiatives worldwide, including programs and exhibitions at the National Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art, Korea; Tate Modern; and the Los Angeles County Museum of Art. It supported the Korean Pavilion at the Venice Biennale in 2015 and 2017, as well as the Biennale of Sydney in 2016 and 2018. In 2015, Hyundai Motor launched the annual Hyundai Commission, inviting artists such as Abraham Cruzvillegas, Philippe Parreno, Superflex and Tania Bruguera to create site-specific installations in Tate Modern’s Turbine Hall.

The new Centre’s first symposium, “Axis of Solidarity: Landmarks, Platforms, Futures,” will explore the international solidarity movements that emerged in the Global South during processes of decolonization from the 1950s to the ’80s. The conference will be co-organized with the Institute for Comparative Modernities at Cornell University in Ithaca, New York, and the Africa Institute in Sharjah, and will be held at Tate Modern from February 23 to 25, 2019. 

Julee WJ Chung is the assistant editor of ArtAsiaPacific.

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