John Tain is Head of Research at Asia Art Archive, where he leads a team based in Hong Kong, New Delhi and Shanghai. Previously, he was a curator of modern and contemporary collections at the Getty Research Institute, Los Angeles (2007–2017).

His curatorial projects include Crafting Communities, Asia Art Archive, Hong Kong (2020), which considered the history of Womanifesto, a feminist biennial programme active in Thailand from 1997 to 2008; Out of Turn (co-curated with Meenakshi Thirukode), Serendipity Arts Festival, Goa, India (2018); Yasuhiro Ishimoto: Someday, Chicago (co-curated with Jasmine Alinder), DePaul Art Museum, Chicago (2018); and In Focus: Ed Ruscha (co-curated with Virginia Heckert), J. Paul Getty Museum, Los Angeles (2013).

Tain has contributed to many publications, including the Introduction in Uncooperative Contemporaries: Art Exhibitions in Shanghai (Afterall, 2020); The Lives of Others, Artforum (2016); Taxonomies of Desire, Hwayeon Nam: Time Mechanics (Arko Art Center, 2015); and From My Space to the Face of Facebook: Zhu Jia and the Work of Social Landscape (Hunan Fine Arts Publishing House, 2015). He is an editor for the Exhibition Histories series, co-published by Afterall with AAA and CCS Bard.

He has served as a lecturer for the MA Program in Curatorial Practices in the Public Sphere at the USC Roski School of Fine Arts, Los Angeles (2011–2017).
Tain earned a BA in Social Studies and Fine Arts from Harvard College, Cambridge, was a grad student in History of Art at the University of California, Berkeley.

Born in Taipei, he currently lives and works in Hong Kong.

SAF participation:
March Meeting 2021

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