On March 15, 2013, Mori Art Museum Chief Curator Mami Kataoka presented a lecture at the Art Gallery of Ontario titled "Contemporary Art in Japan: Visions and Views of the Universe." The lecture was part of the Asia Contemporary Speaker series, which is presented in partnership by the Canadian Art Foundation and the Asia Pacific Foundation of Canada and its sponsors. This particular lecture was also presented in collaboration with the AGO.

Mami Kataoka has been the Chief Curator at the Mori Art Museum in Tokyo since 2003. Among the exhibitions she has curated at MAM is “Ai Weiwei: According to What?” (2009), which has subsequently toured to the Hirshhorn Museum and will arrive at the AGO in summer 2013. (Kataoka is guest curator for the touring edition.) At the MAM, she has also curated “Roppongi Crossing” (2004), “Ozawa Tsuyoshi” (2004), “All About Laughter: Humor in Contemporary Art” (2007) and “Sensing Nature: Perception of Nature in Japan” (2010). Most recently, she curated “Lee Bul: From Me, Belongs to You Only.”

Kataoka is extending her curatorial practice in many international projects: she is the Joint Artistic Director of the ninth Gwangju Biennale (2012) in South Korea and the curator of "Phantoms of Asia: Contemporary Awakens the Past” (2012) at the Asian Art Museum in San Francisco. From 2007 to 2009, she was the International Curator at the Hayward Gallery in London, where she curated “Laughing in a Foreign Language” (2008) and co-curated “Walking in My Mind” (2009). She was also Chief Curator at Tokyo Opera City Art Gallery from 1998 to 2002. Kataoka frequently writes and gives lectures on contemporary art in Asia.

The rise of Asia on the international scene is one of the most compelling stories in contemporary art. Provocative artworks command ever-higher prices as markets expand, and impressive new museums, schools and biennials continue to proliferate. Hong Kong, Singapore, Dubai, Tokyo and Beijing have established themselves as major art-world hubs, competing directly with London and New York. In order to understand this phenomenon and its connection to global movements of economic and political power, the Asia Contemporary Speaker Series was developed.

Other lectures in this series include Vishaka Desai of the Guggenheim Foundation at the Art Gallery of Ontario on November 14, 2012; Jane DeBevoise of Asia Art Archive at the Musée d'art contemporain de Montréal on January 23, 2013; Philip Tinari of the Ullens Center at the Vancity Theatre on March 11, 2013; and Zheng Shengtian of Yishu: Journal of Contemporary Chinese Art at the Glenbow Museum on April 18, 2013.

To enjoy more talks from this series, please visit canadianart.ca/learn/talks/. To learn about upcoming lectures presented by the Canadian Art Foundation, please visit canadianart.ca/foundation/events/.

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