People

4A TEAM

Mikala Tai – Director 

Mikala is a curator, researcher and academic specialising in contemporary Asian art and Australian design, who over the past decade has collaborated with local, national and international organisations to strengthen ties between Australia and Asia. Curatorial projects include Closing The Gap: Contemporary Indonesian Art (2011) at Melbourne International Fine Art (MIFA) when she was director; Yang Yongliang (2009) at 45 Downstairs, Melbourne; public programs for Swimming in Sand; Growing Rice under an Umbrella  (2014) at No Vacancy Gallery, Melbourne; project managing Common Threads (2015), a project initiated by the Council of Textile and Fashion Industries of Australia (TFIA) to strengthen the relationship between Australian fashion and textiles and Hong Kong; and leading VIP Tours to Art Basel Hong Kong, Art Dubai and Sharjah Biennale. As an academic Mikala has taught at both RMIT and the University of Melbourne in both undergraduate and graduate programs in Contemporary Art, Modernism and Exhibition Management, in addition to having devised and delivered the inaugural Contemporary Asian Art syllabus at RMIT (2012 – ) and the first China Fieldwork Course (2015 – )with Rebecca Coates and Kate McNeill at the University of Melbourne. More recently Mikala was the founder and director of Supergraph – Australia’s Contemporary Graphic Art Fair, which has been held twice at the Royal Exhibition Building in Melbourne and exhibited at Somerset House, London (2015). She was also part of the public programs team for Melbourne Now (2013) at the National Gallery of Victoria, and previously the Cultural Program Manager for the Melbourne Fashion Festival (2009-2013). Mikala currently sits on the board of BUS Projects, Melbourne. In 2006 Mikala completed her Bachelor of Arts (Honours) at the University of Melbourne and in early 2015 submitted her PhD at UNSW Art & Design examining the influence of the Global City on China’s local art infrastructure.

Pedro de Almeida – Program Manager

Pedro joined 4A as Program Manager in 2012. Over the past decade Pedro has developed and delivered a broad range of artistic, cultural and publishing projects in partnership with local, national and international organisations that have been distinguished by their engagement with culturally and socially diverse artists, communities and audiences. Curatorial projects for 4A include MASS GROUP INCIDENT (2015, co-curated with Toby Chapman & Aaron Seeto) and Beijing Silvermine (2014). Independent curatorial projects include Ian North – Felicia: South Australia 1973-1978 (2013) for the Australian Centre for Photography, Sydney, with accompanying artist monograph; and EXCAVATION: The Armory Exhibition (2012), Sydney Olympic Park. Previously he held the position of Program Coordinator at Campbelltown Arts Centre (2008-2011) in Sydney’s western suburbs where he worked across a multidisciplinary program and community-engaged projects, including the major three-year project Edge of Elsewhere (2010-2012), produced in partnership with 4A for Sydney Festival, for which he was also Associate Curator. He has also held roles with Sydney Living Museums (2011-2012) and Allen & Unwin (2006-2008), Australia’s largest independent publisher. Pedro’s writing on art is published regularly, appearing in ArtAsiaPacificArt & AustraliaArt Monthly AustralasiaAmerican Suburb XBroadsheet JournalPhotofile and Un Magazine among others. He has authored and contributed to several exhibition catalogues and artists’ monographs including, most recently, TV Moore: With Love & Squalor (2015). Pedro graduated with a Bachelor of Visual Arts (Honours) from Sydney College of the Arts, University of Sydney (2003). In 2014 he undertook a secondment at Delfina Foundation, London, and is currently undertaking a Master of Philosophy (Art Theory) at University of New South Wales Art & Design.

Toby Chapman – Curator

Toby  is a curator and arts manager currently based in Sydney. Toby received a BA (Art History & Theory and Film Studies (Honours) from the University of Sydney in 2009. He has worked at a number of institutions in western Sydney including Casula Powerhouse Arts Centre where he was a Curatorial Assistant for the exhibition Nam Bang! (2008) which examined the ongoing impacts of the Vietnam War. Since then Toby has held positions at the Museum of Contemporary Art as Assistant Curator for C3West (2010-2013), a socially engaged project that sees artists collaborating with businesses and communities in western Sydney. During his time in the position Toby delivered projects including Angelica Mesiti: The Begin Again (2012) and Lara Thoms: Ultimate Visions – Monuments To Us (2013). In 2011 Toby joined 4A as Assistant Curator, Edge of Elsewhere. Since then, he has worked on a range of curatorial projects at 4A including Roslisham Ismail AKA ISE’s Jalan Jalan Makan Angin (2012); The Floating Eye: The Sydney Pavilion, 9th Shanghai Biennale (2012); and With or Without You, Lawrence Wilson Art Gallery, University of Western Australia. Beginning in 2013 Toby worked as Assistant Curator full time and has since curated projects including Vertical Villages: an artistic collaboration with ruangrupa ArtLab & Keg de Souza, 4A and the 15th Jakarta Bienanle (2013); Haze: Tully Arnot, Sarah Contos, Jensen Tjhung (2014); MASS GROUP INCIDENT (2015) (co-curated with Pedro de Almeida and Aaron Seeto); James Nguyen: Exit Strategies (2015) and Future Archaeology (2015). He was the inaugural recipient of the NAVA Emerging Curators Grant (2010); participated in the 4A Emerging Curators Intensive (2012) and was a recipient of the MGNSW Curatorial Mentorship (2013).

Jessica Kostera – Marketing / Communications 

Jessica has over 10 years professional experience as a communications, design and marketing specialist working with not-for-profit organisations, government and private business. Previously held the role of Marketing Manager at the Sydney Jewish Museum, working across public programming, events, membership, temporary exhibitions and permanent collection. Key campaigns included Dressing Sydney: The Jewish Fashion Story (2013), Anne Frank – A History for Today (2014), Drawing On Memory (2014), Signs of Life – Letters of the Holocaust (2015). Major projects included the redevelopment of digital and print branding assets for the museum and public programming development. She has also held roles at The Centre for Independent Studies, Mokum Textiles and Warrnambool City Council.

Con Gerakaris – Gallery Assistant – Operations 

Con was part of 4A’s project team for Yangjiang Group: Actions For Tomorrow, contributing as a project assistant. He has volunteered at the 18th Biennale of Sydney (2012, invigilating and liaising for Sachiko Abe). Con has recently completed a Master of Art Curating at the University of Sydney after graduating in 2013 with a Bachelor of Arts (Honours) at the same institution.

Harriet Reid – Gallery Assistant – Research 

Harriet graduated from Macquarie University in 2014 with a Bachelor of Arts Majoring in Arts Practice and Management. She is currently studying a Master of Art Curating at the University of Sydney for which she was awarded a CSP Government Scholarship for outstanding academic merit. Harriet has volunteered at several art festivals including the 19th Biennale of Sydney and the Beams Art Festival in Chippendale. She joined the 4A team as a project assistant for the exhibition Chen Qiulin: One Hundred Names.

Interns

4A values the ongoing contribution that our interns make to our organisation. Our current interns: To be announced

4A BOARD 

Edmund Capon AM, OBE  Chair 

Edmund Capon is a former Director of the Art Gallery of New South Wales holding this position from November 1978 -  23 December 2011. He is a Visiting Professor in the School of Languages and Linguistics, Faculty of Arts and Sciences, University of New South Wales; is on the Board of the St James Ethics Committee; has written extensively on the arts of China; written and presented a 3-part ABC TV-China Central Television co-produced documentary entitled Meishu: Travels in Chinese Art which has been distributed worldwide; developed the AGNSW as a centre for Asian art display and education; created the Gallery’s highly successful Foundation, a Capital fund, to acquire works for the Collection; has curated exhibitions encompassing Asian, European and Australian art; has written extensively on Chinese art & archaeology and on the work of artists such as Jeffrey Smart, Caravaggio and Giacometti. John Choi – Vice Chair

John Choi – Vice Chair & Secretary

John Choi is co-founder of CHROFI, a dynamic architectural practice that operates across a wide portfolio from houses to cities. Established in 2000, the practice’s founding design, TKTS booth at centre of Times Square in New York, has been widely recognised for its design excellence and innovation, from fields as varied as planning, architecture, branding, public space and tourism. Awards include New York Art Commission Award, World Architectural Festival Award, Jørn Utzon Award for International Architecture, and has been cited as New York’s Building of the Decade. Other key projects include Stamford on Macquarie, Lune de Sang, The Goods Line with Aspect Studios, Millstream Lookout and Mona Vale House. In 2012, John was nominated for the Iakov Chernikhov Prize and in 2014, was prize recipient in AR International Award for Emerging Architecture. John has lectured extensively on architectural design, is Adjunct Professor of Architecture at University of Sydney, and serves on Sydney Olympic Park Authority Design Review Panel.

Adrian Williams – Treasurer

Adrian Williams has 20 years’ experience in finance and accounting within large Australian and global organisations. He is currently Head of Finance for AMP Capital Shopping Centres. Throughout his career, Adrian has led large finance teams through periods of significant cultural, system and organisational change. Emphases on continuous improvement and awareness of trends in the external market place have also been cornerstones of his approach.

Sue Acret

Sue Acret is an art advisor, writer and collector with 20 years experience in the field of  contemporary Asian art. She is a former editor of Art AsiaPacific magazine as well as a book editor. Sue spent 13 years in Hong Kong, during which time she worked with the Asia Art Archive and as a freelance writer and editor. In 2010 she co-founded Art Asia Advisory. Sue returned to Sydney in 2014 and continues her freelance and advisory practices.

Sharon Chen ( 陈壬 )

Sharon Chen is the director of Aushine Consulting. She has art, advertising and media experience with senior levels of management for more than 20 years with all the leading Chinese media firms. She has worked as the Public Relationship Manager for the Shanghai Biennale in 2012, and the Curatorial Project Manager for The Floating Eye – The Sydney Pavilion, 9th Shanghai Biennale (2012).  She has also curated exhibitions including  Seeking: Australian Chinese Artists Group Exhibition and The Forgotten Voyage: Where the Australia-China Story Began. Sharon also has experience with arts management  projects such as Chinese dance dramas The Peony Pavilion (2013);  Miss Chinese Cosmos Pageant (2013) and Embrace China. Her passion for art has specifically focussed on raising awareness of art & culture across the Australia- Chinese community, working with leading Chinese and Australian artists. She also is a contemporary Chinese art column writer in Chinese media, promoting culture exchanging between the two countries. Sharon also sits on a number of non-profit boards. She is a Director of VisAsia Council (Art Gallery of NSW); Executive Chair of Australia- China Culture Council(ACCC); Executive Vice-President and Secretary General of Australia Fujian Entrepreneurs Association; and Executive Vice-President of Australia Minnan Association.

Caroline Choy

Caroline Choy is a Property Business Development Manager for AMP Capital Shopping Centres. She has a keen interest in the arts and has worked previously on projects for the Australian National Maritime Museum, Sydney; Australian War Memorial, Canberra; Powerhouse Museum, Sydney; and South Australian Museum, Adelaide.

Lisa Corsi

Lisa Corsi is currently the Special Projects Coordinator (Public Art) with the City of Sydney. She is also co-founder of SafARI, a community based and alternative exhibition of unrepresented and emerging artists in Artist Run Initiatives in Sydney. Lisa was co-curator for SafARI between 2006 and 2010 and has worked as an independent curator on several exhibitions in Sydney and in Regional galleries and museums. From 2000-2006, Lisa was Curatorial and Collections Manager at Sherman Galleries, Sydney, and later founder and Managing Director of ARTCELL, an independent agency that provided project and collection management services for the visual arts industry, including public and private institutions, private collectors, commercial galleries and artists. She has worked with international intergovernmental organisations and with local, national and international Artist Run Initiatives, galleries and museums.

Hannah Skrzynski

Hannah Skrzynski is the Founder of Creative Asia, an arts management firm that produces cross-cultural collaborations between Australia and China. She is also founder of creative-asia.net website, an English language portal into the vibrant world of China’s contemporary arts. She has extensive experience working in the Australia-China cultural field, and is a Mandarin speaker. Hannah is a board director of 4A Centre for Contemporary Asian Art and Vice President of the board of Performance 4A. She also co-founded the Australia-China Young Professionals Initiative, Sydney. Hannah is a recipient of one of the inaugural Sidney Myer Creative Fellowships, awarded by the Sidney Myer Foundation to 12 artists and arts managers from across Australia.

John Young Zerunge

John Young Zerunge is a co-founder and founding president of 4A (1995). He has exhibited extensively in major exhibitions both nationally and internationally, and institutions including the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York. As well as representing Australia in touring exhibitions regionally since 1990, John has held regular solo exhibitions nationally in addition to Berlin and Hong Kong. John has contributed extensively with theoretical writings in art journals since 1981 and lectured at Sydney College of the Arts of the University of Sydney  (1982 to 1993). Two survey exhibitions have been held, TarraWarra Museum of Art, Victoria and the Australian National University Drill Hall Gallery in Canberra. Three monographs have been published on his practice. Recently John’s work has focused on transcultural humanitarianism including two projects entitled Bonhoeffer in Harlem and Safety Zone. John was the recipient of the Australia Council Fellowship for Established Visual Artists, with research concentrating on cross-cultural humanitarism and the visual realization of the history of the Chinese diaspora in Australia

4A ADVISORY COMMITTEES 

Visual Arts Advisory Group Dr Thomas Berghuis, Gary Carsley, Simryn Gill, Olivier Krischer Ambassadors Kate Mizrahi Fundraising Committee Phillip Haw, Jodie Hill, Belinda Lai, Paris Neilson, Nina Skrzynski, Martin O’Sullivan, Angel Whitaker, Joanna Bayndrian