Hou Hanru, born in 1963, Guangzhou, China, Critic and Curator based in Paris and in San Francisco. He currently lives and works in Rome.
He received degrees from the Central Academy of Fine Arts in Beijing and moved from China to France in 1990. He lived 16 years in Paris before moving to San Francisco in 2006. He worked at San Francisco Art Institute as Director of Exhibitions and Public Program and Chair of Exhibition and Museum Studies from 2006 to 2012. He co-directed the first World Biennale Forum (Gwangju, 2012).
He has curated numerous exhibitions including “China/Avant-Garde” (1989), “Parisien(ne)s” (1997), “Cities On The Move” (1997–2000), Shanghai Biennale (2000),Gwangju Biennale (2002), Venice Biennale (French Pavilion, 1999, Z.O.U. — Zone Of Urgency, 2003, Chinese Pavilion, 2007), Nuit Blanche (2004, Paris), the 2nd Guangzhou Triennial (2005), the 2nd Tirana Biennial (2005), the 10th Istanbul Biennial (2007), “Global Multitude” (Luxembourg 2007), “Trans(cient)City” (Luxembourg 2007), EV+A 2008 (Limerick), “The Spectacle of the Everyday, The 10th Lyon Biennale” (Lyon, 2009). He curated the 5th Auckland Triennial (Auckland, New Zealand, May – August 2013).
He has been consultant and advisor in many international institutions including Walker Art Center (Minneapolis), Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum (New York), Kumamoto Museum of Contemporary Art (Kumamoto, Japan), De Appel Foundation (Amsterdam), Rockbund Art Museum (Shanghai), Times Museum of Contemporary Art (Guangzhou), Today Art Museum (Beijing), Deutsche Bank Collection (Frankfurt), Kadist Art Foundation (San Francisco/Paris), Asian Art Archive (Hong Kong), and served in juries of many international awards including the Hugo Boss Prize (Guggenheim Museum), Chinese Contemporary Art Award (Beijing), Ars Fennica (Helsinki), Prix International d’Art Contemporain de la Fondation Prince Pierre de Monaco (Monaco).
He contributes regularly to international art magazines including “Flash Art International”, “Art in America”, “Art Asia Pacific”, “Yishu”, “Art-It”, etc. and served as guest/advisory editor for some of them.
A selection of his writings was published as “On The Mid-Ground” by Timezone 8, 2002. His recent books include “Paradigm Shifts, Walter & McBean Galleries exhibitions and public programs, San Francisco Art Institute, 2006-2011″, San Francisco Art Institute, 2011 (with Mary Ellyn Johnson)
He has also taught and lectured in various artistic and educational institutions including Rijksakademie van Beeldende Kunsten (Amsterdam), HISK (Antwerp /Ghent), and numerous universities, museums, etc. across the world.
Since December 2013 he has been the Artistic Director of MAXXI. The first exhibition he curated for the Italian Museum was titled “Non basta ricordare” (Remembering is not enough – open till September 28 2014): more than 200 works by 70 artists and architects in dialogue with each other and with the space, emphasizing the profound vitality of the museum’s collection, representing universal themes and encouraging debates and critical discussions.