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Thomas J. Berghuis


Thomas J. Berghuis is lecturer in Asian Art at the Department of Art History & Film Studies at the University of Sydney, starting on 1 July 2008. He is a Visiting Fellow at the College of Fine Arts, University of New South Wales, until 2010. Since June 2007 he has been working as Senior Research Curator with the Casula Powerhouse Arts Centre and the Centre for Contemporary Art and Politics, College of Fine Arts/ UNSW in Sydney, on an ARC Linkage Project on “Construction, Connection and Community: Measuring Asian Art’s Contribution to Contemporary Culture”. He completed his PhD dissertation on Performance Art in China at the University of Sydney (Australia), following an MA in Sinology at Leiden University (The Netherlands).

During the past 10 years he has frequently traveled to China for his research, and from 2003 to 2004 he was a visiting scholar at the Central Academy of Fine Arts in Beijing. Next to his studies he has also been involved in several curatorial projects, including Associate Curator for the 6th Sharjah International Biennale, U.A.E (2003), Assistant Curator for the Museum of Contemporary Art (2003), Curator for the 1st Dashanzi International Arts Festival at the 798 Factory in Beijing (2004), Associate Curator for the 3rd Israel Video Art Biennial in Tel Aviv (2006), and Associate Curator for the Jakarta Biennale, Indonesia (Forthcoming, 2008). His writings have been published in various magazines and art publications, including in Art Review UK, Art Asia Pacific, Artlink, Broadsheet, Art Chinas, C-Arts, East West Arts, Mesh, NY Arts, positions and RealTime. His book, Performance Art in China, has been published in 2006 with Timezone 8, Hong Kong. Since 2006 he has been actively involved with research and curatorial projects on modern and contemporary art in Southeast Asia, with special attention to art from Indonesia, Malaysia, and Singapore.

Selected Writings: Books - Performance Art in China, (Hong Kong: Timezone 8, December, 2006) - “Performance Art and its Constraints” in John Clark, ed., The Eye of the Beholder (Sydney: Wild Peony Press, December 2006) Catalogues - “The ‘art’ of Chinese performance art” in Chinese avant-garde, Catalogue for the forthcoming exhibition at the Gronginger Museum, the Netherlands (Rotterdam: Nai Publishers, Forthcoming March 2008) - Tracing Ghosts: Tony Schwensen and André Stitt, Catalogue (Sydney: Campbelltown Arts Centre, Forthcoming 2008) - “André Stitt: Performance Beyond Action” in Blair French, ed. André Stitt: Dingo, A treatment towards a new communionism (Sydney: Artspace, 2008) - “Islands and the Archipelago: Cultural remembering, community belonging, and the infinite locale of the post-nation” in News From the Islands (Sydney: Campbelltown Arts Centre, 2007) - “Trees of Remembrance, Echoes of Solace, and the Genealogy of Counting: The work of Dadang Christanto” in News From the Islands (Sydney: Campbelltown Arts Centre, 2007) - “The Event of Performance: A Discourse of Performance Art Festivals in Asia” in The Future of Imagination 4 (Singapore, 2007) - “Video-REAL: Recent Chinese Video Art” in VideoZone 3 – The 3rd International Video Art Biennial in Israel (Tel Aviv: Centre for Contemporary Art, 2006) - ’Bubble’: Birth, Death and Transference in the Work of Zhu Ming” in Rachel Kent, ed., Liquid Sea (Sydney, Museum of Contemporary Art, 2003) - “Close Encounters – Performance art practices in China”, Peter Lewis and Hoor Al-Qasimi, ed., Sharjah International Biennial 6 (United Arab Emirates: Sharjah International Biennial, 2003), 034-038 - “Changing spectacles: Tracing patterns of historical coherence in Chinese contemporary art practices amidst the featureless models of global conduct”, “6th Sharjah Biennial International Symposium Catalogue, Art in a Changing Horizon: Globalisation and New Aesthetic Practice, 9-11 April 2003 (Publication in Arabic) - Accréditation in exhibition catalogue Alors, la Chine? Paris: Centre Pompidou (2003) Journal Articles - “Shanghai Dream-Theater: (Re-)imagining the City, the Conditions of Existence, and the New Shanghai Surreal” in TAASA Review, Vol. 16, No, 3 (September 2007) - “Considering Huanjing: Positioning Experimental Art in China” in positions: east asian cultures critique, volume 12, number 3 (Winter 2004) - “Conditioned by Asia: A review of the 32nd CIHA conference in Melbourne in C-Arts: Journal of Contemporary Art, Vol. 02 (Forthcoming, March 2008) - “China, We Love You! Responds to the ‘China Now’ Survey” in Ctrl+P Journal of Contemporary Art (Forthcoming, March 2008) - “’Picture Perfect’- Performance and Conceptual Photography in China in C-Arts: Journal of Contemporary Art, Vol. 01 (January 2008) - “Performance Art and the Art of Performance” in Broadsheet, Vol. 36, No.3 (September 2007) - “Pride and Prejudice” in Art Review 11, Digital Digest (UK: May 2007) - “Mediated Subjects and Acting Bodies” in NY Arts Magazine (November – December 2006) - “Diyu Guanxi” (“Relating the Region”), Review of the Biennale of Sydney 2006 in Yishi Dangdai (Art China), No. 5 (December 2006) - “Performance and Beyond – Documenting Performance Art in Asia” in Archiving and Beyond, Online publication of workshop proceedings by the Asia Art Archive in Hong Kong, 2006 (http://www.aaa.org.hk/onlineprojects/webproceeding/) - “Flesh Art: Body and Performance Art in Post-Mao China” in Chinese Type Contemporary Art Magazine, Vol. 4, Issue 5 (November, 2001), published Online at: http://www.chinese-art.com/Contemporary/volumefourissue5/flesh.htm (seized publication in 2003) - “Transcending Media and the Role of Contemporary Art Practices in China” in Mesh, Online Journal on New Media Art, 2004 (www.experimenta.org/mesh/mesh17/berghuis.htm)