Philip Tinari

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Philip Tinari
Born1979 (age 41–42)
Other namesPhil Tinari
Known forChinese Contemporary Art

Philip Tinari (born 1979, Philadelphia) is a notable writer, critic, art curator, and expert in Chinese contemporary art. Based in Beijing since 2001, Tinari is currently director and CEO of the UCCA Center for Contemporary Art (UCCA) in Beijing.[1][2]


Tinari holds a bachelor's degree from Duke and a Master's from Harvard. Fluent in Chinese, he was a Fulbright fellow at Peking University, and is currently completing a Ph.D. at Oxford.[3]


Prior to arriving at UCCA in 2011, Tinari worked as China representative for Art Basel, and lecturer in art criticism at the China Central Academy of Fine Arts. He is a contributing editor at Artforum, having launched the magazine's Chinese edition in 2008. In 2009 he launched LEAP, "the international art magazine of contemporary China," and edited the magazine until 2012. He has written and lectured extensively on contemporary art in China, in particular on the artist Ai Weiwei.

Tinari joined UCCA as director in 2011, and assumed the concurrent post of CEO in 2017. At UCCA, Tinari oversees an exhibition program devoted to established and emerging artists both Chinese and international, aimed at UCCA's annual public of approximately a million visitors. Under his leadership the institution has built its international reputation and successfully transitioned from the ownership of its founders Guy and Myriam Ullens to that of a council of Chinese and international patrons.[4] In 2018 he led the museum through the opening of a second location, UCCA Dune, in Beidaihe, China.[5]

Tinari serves on advisory boards including the Guggenheim Asian Art Council and the gallery committee at the Asia Society Hong Kong Center. He is a World Economic Forum Young Global Leader and a fellow of the Public Intellectuals Program of the National Committee on US-China Relations.[6]


Since arriving at UCCA in late 2011, Tinari has mounted exhibitions including Gu Dexin: The Important Thing is Not the Meat, Kan Xuan: Millet Mounds (later included in the 2013 Venice Biennale), Yung Ho Chang + FCJZ: Material-ism, ON|OFF: China's Young Artists in Concept and Practice, Duchamp and/or/in China, Wang Xingwei, Tino Sehgal, Wang Keping, and Taryn Simon: A Living Man Declared Dead and Other Chapters, I-XVIII.[7] Outside of UCCA, in 2014 he curated the Focus: China section of The Armory Show in New York.[8] Together with Alexandra Munroe and Hou Hanru, in 2017 he co-curated “Art and China after 1989: Theater of the World” which opened at the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum in New York, before subsequently touring to the Guggenheim Bilbao and SFMOMA.[9]


  1. ^ Goldstein, Andrew (2 March 2014). "Ullens Center Director Philip Tinari on China's Evolving Art Scene". Artspace. Retrieved 3 April 2015.
  2. ^ Jansen, Chiu-Ti (7 March 2014). "The China that Philip Tinari Wants You to Know". Sothebys. Retrieved 3 April 2015.
  3. ^ "Public talk: Philip Tinari on Chinese Art and its Global Context | February 28, 2019 | Events". Retrieved 2019-07-26.
  4. ^ "Sold to Investors, Beijing's UCCA Will Now Be a Nonprofit Run by Director Philip Tinari". artnet News. 2017-10-09. Retrieved 2019-07-26.
  5. ^ "UCCA Dune, a New 'Guggenheimian' Museum by the Sea". The Artling. Retrieved 2019-07-26.
  6. ^ "Public talk: Philip Tinari on Chinese Art and its Global Context | Happening @ Michigan". Retrieved 2019-07-26.
  7. ^ "How artist Taryn Simon and curator Philip Tinari are tackling censorship in China —". Retrieved 2016-08-02.
  8. ^ Guiducci, Mark (7 March 2014). "Inside the Armory Show: A Conversation with Philip Tinari, Curator of "Armory Focus: China"". Artspace. Retrieved 3 April 2015.
  9. ^ Press, Clayton. "Art And China After 1989, Theatre Of The World At The Guggenheim Museum, New York". Forbes. Retrieved 2019-07-26.

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