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Karen Jean Smith



I am a curator and art critic specializing in contemporary art in China since 1979. I have written for numerous journals and exhibition catalogues, and have authored numerous artist monographs and several books on China’s contemporary art scene including the series As Seen: Notable Artworks by Chinese Artists, begun in 2012, and Nine Lives: The Birth of Avant-Garde Art in New China published in 2008, and most recently the China section for Taschen's Art Now Volume 4, 2013.

Curatorial work includes numerous group and solo exhibitions for China's contemporary artists in China and abroad, including The Real Thing, at Tate Liverpool, 2007, and more recently Evolution: A Question, Yuan Space, Beijing and A Potent Force at the Rockbund Art Museum, Shanghai, both 2013.

I joined the academic advisory board of OCAT Shenzhen in 2005, and was appointed director of OCAT Xi’an in 2012. OCAT Xi'an opened in November 2013.

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