Sophia Hao

+44 (0)1382 388017
Principal Curator of Exhibitions


Sophia Y. Hao is a curator and writer with a focus on challenging and innovative practices and critical discourse in contemporary art and visual culture.

After obtaining her MA in Visual Culture with distinction in 2005 (Manchester Institute for Research and Innovation in Art & Design), Hao worked as a freelance artist, curator and project manager in Manchester and London.

Between 2007 and 2010, Hao was the Curatorial Research Fellow and Exhibitions &Events Officer at the Laing Art Gallery in Newcastle.

In the summer of 2010, Hao was appointed Curator of Exhibitions and Visual Research Centre at Duncan of Jordanstone College of Art and Design, University of Dundee. She has led an experimental and cross-disciplinary curatorial programme that consists of commissions, exhibitions, off-site projects, artists’ and writers’ residencies and publications.

Notable curatorial projects include NOTES on a return (2009); a re-contextualisation of Performance Art in 1980s Britain that revoked the objectified condition of contemporary art in art history and its institutions, A Cut A Scratch A Score (2011); a process led project expanded from and around a week-long performance by Bruce McLean, that sought a critical position on the production, reproduction and circulation of knowledge, Studio Jamming: Artists’ Collaborations in Scotland (2014); a discursive survey that interrogated the legitimization of grassroots characteristic of artists’ collaboration against the backdrop of the social and political conditions since 1989 and an ongoing national and international touring forum Hubs and Fictions: A Touring Forum on Current Art and Imported Remoteness .

Hao’s current curatorial research is focused on:

  • The proposition of artists’ collaboration as a de-materialized studio and as an Event;
  • The Para-curatorial as a mode of investigating and challenging ideas of public, context and critical discourse through discursive, participatory and process led strategies.

As a writer, Hao has published books, articles, catalogue essays, novels and poetry internationally. Her books include A CUT A SCRATCH A SCORE (2014) and NOTES on a return(2010). Her new book Hubs and Fictions: on Current Art and Imported remoteness (Co-edited with Edgar Schmitz) will be published by Sternberg Press in 2015.

Hao is the founder and Editor of the art journal &labels.

Hao was awarded the Henry Moore Institute Research Fellowship 2014/15.


Books and Chapters

Hubs and Fictions (forthcoming), Co-edited with Edgar Schmitz, published by Sternberg Press 2015

A CUT A SCRATCH A SCORE, published by Arts Edition North, University of Sunderland, 2014

Attending the Gallery in ‘Performativity in the Gallery: Staging Interactive Encounters’ published by Peter Lang Publishing Oxford, 2013

NOTES on a return, published by Arts Edition North, University of Sunderland, distributed by Cornerhouse, Manchester, 2010

Journal/Catalogue essays

Provoking and Disrupting Discourse, essay, Depart, issue 12, 2014, Bangladesh

Memory is not Transparent, survey essay, Art Journal , Fall issue 2011, USA

Between the Margins of Wisdom, Catalogue essay for exhibition Flagrant Wisdom by Rose English, 2010, National Glass Centre, Sunderland, UK

Interview with Song Dong, Art World Magazine Issue 6, 2008, UK

Review on John Dummet’s Work, Eastern Edge Gallery catalogue, 2008, Canada 

Interview with Cao Fei, Art World Magazine Issue 2 2007, UK

Conference Papers

The Politics of Performance and the Performing of Politics, presented at Hayward Gallery London on the occasion of the exhibition Art of Change in Nov. 2012.

Studio Displaced: Artists’ Collaboration as a De-materialized Studio,presented in StudioChongqing   Symposium, CAC, Manchester on 21 April 2011.

Notes on NOTES,presented at “Futures and Pasts” conference at ICA, London 21-23 May, 2010