Asia Society Appoints New Museum Director
By Brynn Gordon
On June 26, the Asia Society named Yasufumi Nakamori as its museum director and vice president of arts and culture. Set to join the Asia Society this coming August, Nakamori will oversee its collection and exhibition program in New York, and work with the Asia Society’s main centers in Texas and Hong Kong as well as their global network from South Korea to Switzerland.
Currently the senior curator of international art at Tate Modern in London, Nakamori has been responsible for shaping the museum’s program of photography since 2018. During his time at Tate, he championed the integration of Asian art into the museum’s programs, and he was a member of Tate’s Race Equality Task Force from 2020 to 2022, where he helped promote equality and diversity within the museum itself. Prior to Tate, he had also worked as the department head of photography and new media at the Minneapolis Institute of Art from 2016 to 2018, and as associate curator at the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston from 2008 to 2016. Throughout his career, Nakamori curated a range of successful exhibitions, including Zanele Muholi’s solo exhibition (2020–21) at Tate Modern, London; “New Pictures: Amar Kanwar, Such a Morning” (2018) at the Minneapolis Institute of Art; and “Katsura: Picturing Modernism in Japanese Architecture, Photographs by Ishimoto Yasuhiro” (2010) at the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston. Most recently, he curated the Singapore International Photography Festival in 2022, and he was also involved in the 2006 Singapore Biennale.
Regarding his appointment, Nakamori expressed his excitement “about leading the next chapter of the Asia Society Museum and the global organization’s arts and culture program” and mentioned his plans to focus on “expanding the scholarly and curatorial field of Asian and Asian diaspora art by looking at Asia’s relationship with the world thought history.”
Emily Rafferty, Asia Society trustee and co-chair of the search committee, said, “We have found in Yasufumi Nakamori a leader who will guide the Asia Society Museum in making the case for the vital importance of Asian art and artists to visual culture globally. The search committee is delighted that he is joining at this critical juncture for Asia Society and for museums, as they redefine what it means to be an engaged and relevant museum today.”