How to work with artists

11 JANUARY 2023

A workshop for select curators in Thailand and Vietnam, led by Kate Fowle (former Director, MoMA PS1, New York) and Sharmini Pereira (Chief Curator, Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art, Sri Lanka)

Organized by in-tangible institute | Moderated by Zoe Butt

Hosted by Jing Jai Gallery, Chiang Mai | www.jingjaigallery.com


How do we work with artists? It sounds a simple question, but it can get complicated. How do we, as curators, ensure professionalism between an international world of art and its market standards, art historical categories and institutionalized expectations; and the world of art in our local that is vibrant yet inexperienced, with little support, and with limited access to comparative education. Drawing on particular case study, Kate and Sharmini shared their experiences, focusing on three areas of curatorial practice, giving insight to the success and dilemmas in undertaking:

  • Commissioning of an artwork
  • Handling/advising the commercial interests of an artist
  • Finding a curatorial trajectory in your practice

Participants (see list below) were concerned about how to create programs for publics you don’t know; how to balance artist expectations with the reality of limited capacity; how to sustain the attention of the next generation and their media-savviness; how to prevent exploitation in the field; how to boost intellectual confidence and time management skills; how to maintain a balanced connectivity between artists, audiences and institutions? The dominance of the art market as prime motivation of artistic production was also of key concern, aware that many artists (and gallerists) do not understand how to appropriately price an artist’s practice that takes into consideration their unique method of enquiry and approach to practice requiring international competent comparison.

Kate and Sharmini’s extensive know-how in juggling the balance between local and international contexts of artistic production, working as curators who lead community and organization, with first-hand experience in realizing projects across the world, was a rare opportunity to engage. Please find their bios further below.


Ploy Charoenpol | Jing Jai Gallery, Chiang Mai

Chol Janepraphaphan | independent, Chiang Mai

Ormkwan Sanasen | Jing Jai Gallery, Chiang Mai

Haisang Javanalikhikara |Art4C, Chulalongkorn University, Bangkok

Kittima Chareeprasit (|Waiting for You Curator Lab, Bangkok / MAIIAM Museum of Contemporary Art, Chiang Mai / MAEILIE, Khon Kaen

Vipash Purichanont | Waiting for You Curator Lab, Bangkok / Lecturer, Art History Department, Silpakorn University, Bangkok

Lin | SAC Gallery, Bangkok

Bill Nguyen | Director, Nguyen Art Foundation, Ho Chi Minh City

Le Thuan Uyen | Director, OUTPOST, Hanoi


Kate Fowle | For twenty-six years, Kate Fowle has developed institutional frameworks for art and curatorial practices around the world, as well as restructuring established non-profits in the US. She was Director of MoMA PS1 from 2019–2022. Prior to this she was the inaugural chief curator and artistic director at Garage Museum of Contemporary Art in Moscow, as well as the director-at-large of Independent Curators International (ICI) in New York, where she was the executive director from 2009–13. Previously, Fowle was the inaugural international curator at the Ullens Center for Contemporary Art in Beijing after co-founding the Master’s Program in Curatorial Practice for California College of the Arts in San Francisco in 2002, for which she was the Chair until 2007. Before moving to the United States, she was co-founder of Smith + Fowle in London from 1996–2002 and curator at the Towner Art Gallery and Museum in Eastbourne, East Sussex from 1994-1996. Initially, Fowle was trained as an artist. 

Sharmini Pereira | Sharmini Pereira is Chief Curator of the Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art Sri Lanka. She is the founder and Director of Raking Leaves and co-founder of the Sri Lanka Archive of Contemporary Art, Architecture and Design. She was born in 1970 and currently lives and works in Sri Lanka. She was Guest Curator at the Aga Khan Museum (2014) and for the Abraaj Capital Art Prize (2010) and co-curated the first Singapore Biennale in 2006. Her writing has appeared in South East of NowMousse Magazine, Guggenheim online, Art Asia PacificGroundviews and Imprint amongst others. She was a judge for the 2017 Geoffrey Bawa Award for Architecture and currently sits on the Asia Society India’s Advisory Council and the International Council for the Centre for Book Arts, NYC.