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Chang Tan


Dr. Tan specializes in Chinese, East Asian, and Asian diasporic art of the 20th and 21st century. Her research interests include global avant-gardism, public and socially engaged art, eco art and activism, vernacular photography, and museum studies. Her upcoming book The Minjian Avant-garde: Art of the Crowd in Contemporary China (Cornell, 2023) studies how experimental artists mixed with, brought changes to, and let themselves be transformed by minjian, the volatile and diverse public of the post-Mao era, and critically assesses the rise of populism in both art and politics. Dr. Tan has published in peer-reviewed journals such as positions: asia critique, Art JournalDiacritics, World Art, and Third Text. Her curatorial and editorial activities explore the connections between Asian and Asian American art. She currently works on two projects. One studies the intersection between photography, landscape painting, design, and theater in China and the Chinese diaspora from the 19th century to present. The other examines the tension between land ownership and contemporary eco art in the Sinophone world. Her research on these projects have been supported by the Chiang Ching-kuo Foundation and the Humanities Institute at Penn State.