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Y. Nakamori
Yasufumi Nakamori, PhD | Director of Asia Society Museum and Vice President of Arts and Culture

Asia Society, Museum Director and Vice President of Arts and Culture

The Asia Society announced the appointment of Yasufumi Nakamori, an experienced museum leader, curator, and noted scholar of modern and contemporary Asian art from cross-disciplinary and transnational perspectives, as its new Museum Director and Vice President of Arts and Culture. He will be responsible for overseeing the museum’s exhibition program and collection, as well as arts and culture programming across the global organization.

Nakamori comes to Asia Society from Tate, where, since 2018, he has served as the Senior Curator, International Art (Photography), leading the development of Tate’s collection of photography as well as the strategy for representing photography in the program at Tate Modern; developing and curating exhibitions, including Zanele Muholi (2020-21), and collection displays. He has also advised on numerous initiatives on Asian and Asian diaspora art in programming and provided strategic management for photography and modern art in the programming at Tate Britain.

From 2020 to 2022, Nakamori was a member of Tate’s Race Equality Task Force, which made recommendations to the Tate Executive Group to set institutional goals, and monitored for the goals to be actioned, for the purposes of combatting racism and achieving equity and diversity at Tate.

Prior to Tate, Nakamori headed the department of photography and new media at the Minneapolis Institute of Art, developing exhibitions of photography and time-based media within the context of a global encyclopedic art museum. His exhibitions of artists such as Amar Kanwar and the Propeller Group revealed interconnections between contemporary video and premodern art from the global south in the museum collection. He was also responsible for numerous key acquisitions which transformed and diversified the museum’s photography collection.

He previously served as curator of photography at the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston from 2008 to 2016, organizing ground-breaking exhibitions such as Katsura: Picturing Modernism in Japanese Architecture, Photographs by Ishimoto Yasuhiro (a recipient of the 2011 Alfred H. Barr Jr. Award for Smaller Exhibitions), and For a New World to Come: Experiments in Japanese Art and Photography, 1968-1979 that traced the development of conceptualism in Japan in the wake of the Anpo protests. In Houston, he also taught graduate seminars focusing on the history of modern Japanese art and architecture at Rice University.

Nakamori has authored numerous essays and four books, including Katsura: Picturing Modernism in Japanese Architecture, Photographs by Yasuhiro Ishimoto (2010). His essays are included in Postwar: Art Between the Pacific and the Atlantic, 1945-1965 (Haus der Kunst, 2016) and Changing and Unchanging Things: Noguchi and Hasegawa in Postwar Japan (Noguchi Museum, 2019).

From 1995 to 2002, Nakamori practiced corporate law in New York City and Tokyo.

Nakamori serves on the board of several institutions in Japan and the U.K., including the Yayoi Kusama Foundation. He is a 2016 fellow of the Getty Leadership Institute. He received a BA from Waseda University in Tokyo, a Juris Doctor from the University of Wisconsin Law School, an MA in the History of Art from Hunter College, the City University of New York, and a PhD in the History of Art and Visual Studies from Cornell University.

Jack Gorman led this search with Ryan Leichenauer and Sandeep Kaur.