The Guggenheim Presents: The Making of Tales of Our Time

Wednesday January 18: 6:30PM 8:00PM

This panel discussion on the conceptual, editorial, design, and production processes behind the exhibition catalogue Tales of Our Time features exhibition curator Xiaoyu Weng; Julian Myers-Szupinska, California College of the Arts; Brian Kuan Wood, e-flux; and Chris Wu, Project Projects. It is moderated by Lisa Naftolin, Creative Director, Publishing and Digital Media at the Guggenheim. The evening includes a reading from the catalogue by Brian Kuan Wood, book signing, and light reception.

A conceptual extension of the exhibition Tales of Our Time, the catalogue edited by Xiaoyu Weng and Hou Hanru blends a traditional museum publication with a fiction anthology. Featuring scholarly essays and artwork descriptions, it unconventionally examines the exhibition artists and challenges current views about art from China. Interwoven with these essays are seven commissioned short stories by Chinese and American fiction writers Han Song, Hon Lai-chu, Li Juan, Ken Liu, Lo Yi-chin, Wang Bang, and Brian Kuan Wood. The exhibition and accompanying catalogue offer a heterogeneous view of contemporary art and culture from China, highlighting tensions between individual narratives and mainstream history as well as exploring how the gaps between the two can be transcended.

Buy a copy of Tales of Our Time or a $20 gift card in-store at the Strand's main floor registers or at the door to attend. This event will take place in the Rare Book Room on the Strand's 3rd floor, accessible via the store elevator or at 826 Broadway.


  • Julian Myers-Szupinska is an art historian based in Oakland and Los Angeles. He is an associate professor at California College of the Arts (CCA), San Francisco, a member (with Joanna Szupinska) of the curatorial collaboration grupa o.k., and is Senior Editor of The Exhibitionist, a journal of exhibition-making.
  • Xiaoyu Weng is The Robert H. N. Ho Family Foundation Associate Curator of Chinese Art at the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum and exhibition curator of Tales of Our Time. She served as the founding director of the Kadist Art Foundation’s Asia Programs, Paris and San Francisco. Previously, she worked as program director of the Asian Contemporary Art Consortium and as a curator at the Wattis Institute for Contemporary Arts at CCA, both in San Francisco. Educated at the Central Academy of Fine Arts (CAFA) in Beijing and CCA, she has organized exhibitions and public programs for venues including the Asian Art Museum of San Francisco; CAFA Art Museum, Beijing; and Witte de With Center for Contemporary Art, Rotterdam; among others. She is a contributing editor of Leap, a bilingual magazine dedicated to contemporary Chinese art. Her writing also appears in prominent art periodicals, books, and exhibition catalogues, including those published for the 2012 Gwangju Biennial, 2012 Shenzhen Sculpture Biennial, and 2013 Auckland Triennial.
  • Brian Kuan Wood is a writer based in New York. He is an editor of e-flux journal.
  • Chris Wu is Associate Principal at Project Projects, where he leads identity, print, interactive and environmental projects for clients such as the Guggenheim Museum, Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York; Pew Center for Arts & Heritage, Philadelphia; Asia Art Archive, Hong Kong; Modern Media Group, Shanghai; and M+/West Kowloon Cultural District Authority, Hong Kong. With his bilingual and multicultural background, Chris has lectured and served as a guest critic at universities and institutions internationally; he has also led a workshop on Chinese typography at the Type Directors Club in New York. In 2008 Wu authored, translated, edited, and designed a reissued edition of Graphic Design: Visual Comparisons (Zoar Press), the iconic design title originally published in 1963. His work has been widely published in design publications such as IDEA (Japan), Eye (UK), City Magazine (Hong Kong), PPaper (Taiwan), and Design 360? (China). Chris received his master’s degree in communications design at Pratt Institute, Brooklyn.


Lisa Naftolin is Creative Director, Publishing and Digital Media at the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum. She has worked on commercial and cultural projects for brands, magazines, museums, and individuals for the past 25 years. Having begun her career designing books and exhibition materials for contemporary art and experimental film, Naftolin has also worked as an art director at publications including the New York Times Magazine and Architecture. She was previously Creative Director of Art + Commerce and Executive Director of Creative Brand Development at NARS Cosmetics. The recipient of numerous professional awards, Naftolin has sat on the board of the American Institute for Graphic Arts (AIGA), New York, and on juries for the AIGA and the Hyères Festival, among others. She has been a visiting critic in design at Yale University, New Haven; a visiting artist at Cooper Union, New York; and a mentor in the photography program at the School of Visual Arts, New York.

This program is made possible by The Robert H. N. Ho Family Foundation.

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