“Curator” is a strange concept for most Chinese. In China, the word is often understood as its Chinese “equivalent” (Cezhanren) suggests—the one (ren) who plans (ce) the exhibition (zhan). However, the original meaning of “curator” as a borrowing word is never correctly conveyed in this translation.
With the coming of the information era, a globalized and networking society is also bringing tremendous changes in art, and the word “curator”, popular as it has already been, seems to gradually become fatigued. Its ever-changing connotation and denotation is a witness to the development of its concept under various contexts and in different logical categories of art.
In this issue, we will explore an “artist as curator” phenomenon. Such a concept has sparkled discussions in the art circles in recent years, which, however, fail to stage effective dialogues among individuals who engage themselves differently in art. In my opinion, “artist as curator” represents a more democratic way of artistic expression as well as a motivation to practice artistic autonomy – in an art world full of frameworks, artists’ autonomy aspiration may well be a showcase of what is intrinsic in contemporary art. Therefore, we have invited artists, professional curators, artist curators and art lovers into discussion, and adopted both inside and outside perspectives of the issue in question to illustrate what roles curators and artist curators are playing in the world of art today.