Research activity per year

Personal profile


Sophia Yadong Hao is a curator, writer and editor whose practice appropriates a rhizomatic approach to situate the curatorial as a mode of critical inquiry directly engaging with culture and the political as an open question. Hao leads the programme of Cooper Gallery at Duncan of Jordanstone College of Art and Design, University of Dundee, which is internationally recognised as a distinctive platform in Scotland for its radical curatorial research, international approach and focus on critical inquiries in contemporary art and culture.


In 2022, Hao was appointed a Visiting Professor at the University of Sunderland.

Notable projects include NOTES on a return (2009), a re-contextualisation of performance art from 1980s Britain; Studio Jamming: Artists’ Collaborations in Scotland (2014); Of Other Spaces: Where Does Gesture Become Event? (2016–2017) that evokes the ethos of feminism for an alternative politics in culture and society; and CURRENT: Contemporary Art from Scotland (2015–2021), an exhibition programme toured to five major art venues in China that interrogates contemporaneity in a global capitalist context. Since 2021, Hao has initiated and realised The Ignorant Art School: Five Sit-ins Towards Creative Emancipation, a five phase exhibition and event programme that examines the histories and future possibilities of creative pedagogy as a radical emancipatory praxis and emphasises knowledge as a collective experience rooted in social interaction.

Hao is also co-curator (with Edgar Schmitz) of the international touring forum Hubs and Fictions: on Current Art and Imported Remoteness.

As a writer, Hao has published books, articles, catalogue essays, novels and poetry internationally. Her publications include Of Other Spaces: Where Does Gesture Become Event? (Sternberg Press, 2019), Hubs and Fictions: On Current Art and Imported Remoteness (co-edited with Edgar Schmitz, Sternberg Press, 2016), A CUT A SCRATCH A SCORE (2015) and NOTES on a return (2010). Hao is the founder and Editor of the art journal &labels.

Hao currently serves as a committee member of British Art Network Steering Committee (Tate Britain and Paul Mellon Centre), and a member of Art 360 Advisory Group. She was a Board Member of Scottish Contemporary Art Network between 2012 – 2018 and a member of Live Art Sector Review Steering Group (Arts Council England, 2019–2021).

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

Hao’s curatorial research is focused on:

- Rhizomatic curatorial methodology and its capacity to configure a ‘space of appearance’: the role of the curatorial in the production of the political.

- Art school gallery as a laboratory for radical pedagogies.

- The performativity of the gallery.

- Rethinking ‘contemporaneity’ of transnational contemporary art exhibitions in a global capitalist reality.

- Feminist ethos as a curatorial method.

- The role of fiction in the globally distributed art world ecology.

- 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.

Expertise related to UN Sustainable Development Goals

In 2015, UN member states agreed to 17 global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure prosperity for all. This person’s work contributes towards the following SDG(s):

  • SDG 1 - No Poverty
  • SDG 3 - Good Health and Well-being
  • SDG 4 - Quality Education
  • SDG 5 - Gender Equality
  • SDG 8 - Decent Work and Economic Growth
  • SDG 10 - Reduced Inequalities
  • SDG 11 - Sustainable Cities and Communities
  • SDG 13 - Climate Action
  • SDG 15 - Life on Land
  • SDG 16 - Peace, Justice and Strong Institutions

External positions

Visiting Professor , University of Sunderland

Sept 2022 → …

Edinburgh Art Festival Platform Selection Panel member,


Trinity Buoy Wharf Drawing Prize Selection Panel Member


Art 360 Scotland Advisory Committee Member

2019 → …

Live Art Sector Review Steering Committee Member


British Art Network Steering Committee Member

2019 → …

Dundee Visual Artists and Craft Makers Awards Selection Panel member, Creative Scotland


Margaret Tait Award Selection Panel Member


Arts Edition North Advisory Committee Member, University of Sunderland

2015 → …

Creative Scotland Artists’ Bursaries Panel Member, Creative Scotland


Scottish Contemporary Art Network Board Member


Collaborations and top research areas from the last five years

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