Taliesin Thomas

Aesthetics Enthusiast
Director, AW Asia }
Taliesin Thomas was first involved with the dynamic art world during her undergraduate days at Bennington College. She has worked in the field of contemporary Chinese art after living two years in rural China (1999-2001). Since 2007 she is the founding director of AW Asia, a private arts organization that promotes the field of contemporary Chinese art through institutional loans, museum acquisitions, curatorial projects, and publishing. She is simultaneously the manager of a private art collection. Thomas has lectured widely on contemporary Chinese art including The Ringling Museum of Art, FL; Denver Arts & Venues at Civic Center, CO; The Asian Art Museum of San Francisco, CA; School of Visual Arts, NY; The Warhol Museum, PA; Brattleboro Museum, VT; University of South Florida, Tampa, FL; and the Universidade de Lisboa, Faculdade de Belas-Artes, Lisbon, Portugal; and the former Chelsea Art Museum, NY. She has published in ARTPULSE magazine, Yishu Journal of Contemporary Chinese ArtJournal of Contemporary Chinese Art (JCCA), and ArtAsiaPacific magazine. Thomas holds an M.A. in East Asian Studies from Columbia University and she is a Ph.D. candidate in Art Theory and Philosophy with the Institute for Doctoral Studies in the Visual Arts concurrent with her professional role in the art world.

• Founding director of AW Asia, a private organization dedicated to promoting the field of contemporary Chinese art in the USA and abroad. Responsible for the management, growth, and global profile of all AW Asia activities. Duties include management and organization of diverse projects such as Ai Weiwei’s Circle of Animals/Zodiac Heads: Bronze and Gold sculpture series and world tour; management of private programs and events; management of artist inventories including Ai Weiwei, Zhang Xiaogang, Zeng Fanzhi, Wang Guangyi and Yue Minjun (among others); management of institutional loans and museum acquisitions including placing collections of contemporary Chinese photography with permanent collections at The Metropolitan Museum of Art, NY; The Museum of Modern Art, NY; J. Paul Getty Museum, LA; and the National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne. Other responsibilities include research and organization of original scholarly publications including Ai Weiwei Circle of Animals (Prestel, 2011) and Weiwei-isms (Princeton University Press, 2012); management of press and social media platforms; management of loan and consignments, inventory storage locations and inventory database records; museum and auction house liaison; facilities manager; registrar and art handler; accountable for all other aspects of day-to-day business.

• Collection manager for Art Issue Editions, a publisher and private collection of contemporary Western art. Responsibilities include management of curated projects and artist inventories including Jean-Michel Basquiat, Keith Haring, KAWS and Lawrence Weiner (among others); management of loan agreements, consignments, shipping, invoicing, preparation of works and registrar.