4A Centre for Contemporary Asian Art today publicly announces the departure of Director Mikala Tai. After over five years leading our organisation, Tai will depart 4A to take up the role as Head of Visual Arts at The Australia Council for the Arts.
Julie Ewington, Deputy Chair of 4A Centre for Contemporary Asian Art, said:
“Since joining 4A as Director in 2015, Mikala has led the organisation with a creative and entrepreneurial spirit that has built 4A’s reputation locally and internationally. Her breadth of knowledge and skill as a researcher, curator, and academic have seen her lead 4A – and the wider sector – in a way that is accessible, inclusive and engaging. Mikala has developed strong and meaningful relationships with a great many artists and creatives, and worked both publicly and behind the scenes to build the profile and representation of Asian and Asian Australian contemporary artists in our region. On behalf of the 4A board and team, I would like to thank her for her dedication to and leadership of 4A. A much loved member of our ‘4A family,’ Mikala will be missed but we look forward to seeing her impact continue to be realised in future roles.”
Tai’s time at 4A saw her develop key new international collaborations and initiatives including with Art Central Hong Kong, International Curators’ Forum, Longli International New Media Art Festival; meaningful national partnerships and programs such as major touring exhibition Eugenia Lim: The Ambassador, symposia series events in partnership with The University of Sydney, University of Western Sydney, and University of Melbourne. Tai’s curatorial projects while at 4A have included Xiao Lu: Impossible Dialogue ??: ?? (2019, co-curated with Claire Roberts), Nusra Latif Qureshi: Strategies of Intent (2019), The Burrangong Affray (2018, co-curated with Micheal Do), Before the Rain (2017); I don’t want to be there when it happens (co-curated with Kate Warren and expanded at Perth Institute of Contemporary Arts with Eugenio Viola, 2017); and Jogja Calling (2016). In 2021, Tai will remain part of the curatorial team for I am a heart beating in the world: Diaspora Pavilion 2, Sydney co-curated with Jessica Taylor and Adelaide Bannerman of International Curators’ Forum.
Australian artist and 4A supporter, Abdul Abdullah, said of Tai:
“Mikala Tai has been an invaluable asset to Australia’s arts communities as director of 4A Centre of Contemporary Asian Art. In the role she has been a curator, programmer, leader, brilliant mind, sounding board and friend to every artist she has worked with, and will bring all of these incredible qualities to her new role at the Australia Council for the Arts. With her in a leadership position I truly believe the ship is in steady hands. Mikala’s initiative, experience and international network of creative communities will uplift Australian art as a whole, and we are all much better for it.”
Tai said on leaving 4A:
“It is always hard to say goodbye and it is especially hard to say goodbye to something you love. I have huge love and affection for 4A and its community and it has been an honour being a custodian of such a special and important place. My time at 4A has been endlessly creative and, over the last five years, I have been lucky to work with so many generous and collaborative people. I will remain part of 4A’s extended family and I look forward to watching the next chapter unfold when 4A returns mid-next year to its refreshed home in Haymarket.
A big thank you to the 4A team, 4A Board and the wider 4A community who have shared snacks and stories with me over the past few years.”
4A’s Board and team will continue to deliver programming as planned and will soon announce our 2021 Artistic Program. In the interim period, Bridie Moran will remain Acting Director, and the Board will very shortly commence a recruitment process for a new Director.