Meet Tiffany Chae
MA Contemporary Art, London, 2012
What is your current position, what are your responsibilities?
I work full-time for the Gwangju Biennale Foundation as an exhibition coordinator, and am responsible for Returns, a project curated by David Teh (co-curator of the 12th Gwangju Biennale). The project looks directly at the history of the Gwangju Biennale as one of the most prominent institutional platforms for contemporary art in Asia, focusing on its earlier editions from 1995 to 2002. It also aims to animate the memory and public value of the Biennale itself. I closely work with the curator to realize the project in the Gwangju Biennale Exhibition Hall. I work on both the administrative and production sides so my tasks are quite diverse—they include managing a new film production of a performance artist; interpreting a 4-hour-long interview between an activist-turned-scholar who fought for democracy in Gwangju; assisting with the budget for the show's production, loan, shipping, and media equipment rentals; and facilitating discussions for installation plans between the curator and the architect of the space. I also liaise between Teh and the Biennale's other co-curators, since many aspects of Teh’s project overlap physically and conceptually with other sections.
I also work as a project coordinator for "Gwangju Biennale Pavilion Project," a newly initiated satellite project by the Foundation. Helsinki International Artist Programme, Palais de Tokyo, and Philippines Contemporary Art Network are 3 participating institutions that realize their international exhibitions in local art spaces in Gwangju. We help the international institutions to discover cultural and historic sites in Gwangju for their exhibition venues, and encourage participation of artists based in Gwangju.
How has your career evolved since you graduated from Sotheby's Institute? How did you come to your current position?
During my time on the MA Contemporary Art (MACA) program, I met a group of like-minded peers who shared my desire to navigate London's art hot spots. When we graduated, our shared enthusiasm resulted in the launch of ArtworldNow, an online publishing platform for reviews of shows around the globe that was initiated by fellow alumnus Martin MacDonald. Being a contributor to this forum encouraged me to keep writing about art in Seoul, while simultaneously working as a project coordinator for various art projects in the city. Later, I worked for 4 years as an editor at Art in Culture, Korea's prestigious monthly journal focusing on global contemporary art. My team and I were responsible for the entire publishing process: planning, commissioning and contributing articles, photography, layout, copywriting, editing, and printing. I was often invited as a member of the international press to attend biennials, international symposia, and art fairs, which helped widen my art world perspectives and gain more exposure in international magazines, such as Frieze and ArtReview Asia. During this time, my interest in participating in the development of physical exhibitions increased. So I decided to join Gwangju Biennale's Exhibition Team.
How did your time on the MA program prepare you for what you are doing now? What was your favorite part of the program and what was most relevant to the role you have now?
I truly enjoyed the privileged access we were granted to London's most influential critics, independent curators, and researchers, not just through their lectures but also through personal interactions with them during tutorials and field trips. I appreciated their detailed feedback and insight when I was preparing my dissertation and other writing assignments. I believe this experience really encouraged me to keep writing about art. Also, I often found myself impressed and inspired by my fellow students. I still keep in touch with many of them.