• About

    Selected Projects 1997-2014

    Keith Whittle is a researcher and lecturer who also curates and writes on contemporary art.

    Fortunate enough to have collaborated with many of the leading figures on the contemporary art scene, whilst continuing to showcase emerging talents within the field. He has worked with numerous international and renowned UK contemporary artists, curators and organisations.

    Working across gallery, site specific, public art commissions and touring exhibitions. He has curated several large displays of contemporary art including There is No I In Team: Emergent Contemporary Art from China at the BALTIC Centre for Contemporary Art and twinned international residencies such as A Gift to Those Who Contemplate the Wonders of Cities and the Marvels of Traveling, both part of two major cultural festivals CHINA NOW and UK-Japan 2008.

    Recent collaborations have resulted in exhibitions of work by Turner Prize winners Laure Prouvost and Elizabeth Price and British Artists’ Film from The Film London Jarman Award, presented in partnership with the British Council.

    A Japan Foundation Fellow he is currently Research Fellow at Central Saint Martins, UAL and also lectures on Modern and Contemporary Japanese Art at Sotheby’s Institute of Art.

    Contact by Email: mail@keithwhittle.org

  • KASHIMA 2015

    Kashima 2015 is an International Artist in Residence programme for artists working in visual arts, mixed media and digital arts. The programme aims at fostering opportunities for artists, international links and promoting art and culture.

    Kashima 2015 welcomes British artists Sutapa Biswas and Adam Chodzko as part of Mixed Bathing World, Beppu International Contemporary Art Triennial, Japan. Which has received numerous accolades and awards and previously commissioned work by artists such as Adel Abdessemed, Michael Lin, Lani Maestro, SARKIS, Jin-me Yoon, YOUNG-HAE CHANG HEAVY INDUSTRIES, Christian Marclay, Ann Veronica Janssens, Shilpa Gupta, Satoshi Hirose, Tsuyoshi Ozawa and Qiu Zhijie.

    Download information on KASHIMA 2015 (Japanese Only)

    Directed and curated by Keith Whittle and produced by Beppu Project NPO, Kashima 2015 is generously supported by the Agency of Cultural Affairs Japan.

  • Artist Talk by SHIMURAbros

    SHIMURAbros are the sister and brother artist duo of Yuka and Kentaro Shimura, currently researchers at Studio Olafur Eliasson and exemplifying a new breed of Japanese contemporary artists. Working and exhibiting internationally, SHIMURAbros are known for incorporating elements of sculpture, installation and avant-garde filmmaking in their work. Film is the catalyst to all their creations and the artists employ different techniques to each work. As an exploration of the history of moving images approached from a fundamentally different perspective extending film beyond its two-dimensional limit -their installations are an intricate and playful re-working of film and cinematic language.

    Programmed in partnership with Central Saint Martins, University of the Arts London, home to the British Artists 'Film & Video Study Collection which holds a large amount of material for academic research in artists' moving image, this talk will highlight SHIMURAbros’ film and moving image installations, with a focus on the artistic content, formalistic qualities and contexts at play in working within the canon. The talk was followed by discussion with Keith Whittle, exploring the role technology, cinematic history and popular culture has on the aesthetic and conceptual approach the artists' have to their work, in terms of research and exhibition.

    Programmed by Japan Foundation

  • Moving Pictures: Artists’ Films from the Film London Jarman Award

    Receiving its European Premier as part of The Other Side of Here an International Touring Exhibition of Artists' Moving Image curated by Keith Whittle.

    Moving Pictures is an innovative programme of artists’ film which brings together 18 filmmakers who have been nominated for the prestigious Film London Jarman Award over the past seven years. The programme selected by the British Council and Film London and showcases the rich and diverse range of artists’ moving image work currently being produced in the UK.

    The Film London Jarman Award is an annual prize celebrating imagination, innovation and excellence among UK artist filmmakers. Inspired by Derek Jarman, one of Britain’s most experimental and controversial artists of the late 20th century, the award recognises work that resists conventional definition.

    Presented in partnership with the British Council and Film London

  • One Place After Another

    Talk by Keith Whittle followed by panel discussion, One Place After Another: What can periodical international exhibitions of contemporary art projects actually share?

    Questioning and reflecting on the circumstances that inform recurrent international exhibitions, with two internationally recognised curators, Yuko Hasegawa and Lewis Biggs, both responsible for curating a number of major exhibitions, including in Sharjah, United Arab Emirates and Aichi, Japan respectively, Koki Tanaka representative artist, Japan Pavilion, 55th International Art Exhibition, Venice Biennale and Mark Rappolt, Editor ArtReview.

    Organised by Japan Foundation

  • The Other Side of Here

    This international touring exhibition of Artists’ Film and Moving Image included screenings, installations, exhibitions, talks and events featuring emerging and established artist filmmakers from the UK and France, exploring and celebrating moving image beyond the single screen.

    Presented in the UK and France in collaboration between Maison de l'Art et de la Communication, Lens, France and 51zero Festival, UK. The touring exhibition featured work by Turner Prize winner and Jarman Award nominee Laure Prouvost presenting three films, one of which won the Principal Oberhausen Prize. Known for films and installations characterised by richly layered stories, translation and surreal moments, Prouvost's seductive and disorienting tales toy with the audience’s ability to become fully absorbed by a single narrative.

    Exhibited alongside was a programme of work from the Film London Jarman Award Film Commissions (2009-2013). Short films of up to three minutes in duration, were commissioned for Channel 4’s 3 Minute Wonder and Random Acts strands as a result of the annual Film London Jarman Award and included work by Anja Kirschner & David Panos, Brad Butler & Karen Mirza, Emily Wardill, Lindsay Seers, Luke Fowler, Nathaniel Mellors and Shezad Dawood.

    The exhibition programme also included a talk event and discussion between David Panos winner along with Anja Kirschner of the 2011 Jarman Award, Steven Ball, British Artists' Film and Video Collection and guest festival curator Keith Whittle exploring artists’ film and video, and its contexts.

    Presented in partnership Film London and Channel 4

  • Into the world of palpable objects and fruitful delight

    For this his first solo show in London, Malaysia artist Fan Chon Hoo exhibited collected works questioning the positing of origin through the subtle and irreverent exploration of artifice, in the highly fitting setting of Eleven Spitalfields, one of number of Georgian town houses built in East London in the late 17th and 18th centuries, a period defined by the 'new luxury' of Eastern ornamentation in affluent society of eighteenth & nineteenth century Britain.

    With the generous support of Chris Dyson Architects.

  • The first man who bought a juicer bought it not for drinking juice

    Chinese artist Lu Chunsheng’s films are not linked to specific places but rather to events. Filmed entirely on-location in San Antonio, Texas, The first man who bought a juicer bought it not for drinking juice, was produced during a residency at Artpace (San Antonio, USA), and received its European premier to place at Iniva (Institute for International Visual Arts) London in early 2010, as part of the major exhibition Counterpoints: Jia Aili and Lu Chunsheng, and was exhibited at Stephenson Works Newcastle upon Tyne as part of Everybody Knows This Is Nowhere.

    Part of a European-wide tour of the work curated by Keith Whittle. Iniva staging presented working with exhibition curator David Thorp, Iniva, Serpentine Galleries and ShanghART Gallery, China.

  • A Sense of Place

    A Sense of Place is a forthcoming publication which explores public art in Japan; objectives, practices and considerations, from curatorial and artistic strategies to political, social and economic agendas.

    During the past decade, there has been a boom in art for public spaces in Japan, often as a tool of rural, town or city regeneration. Taking place outside the situ of the museum or gallery, what is unique about these projects is that they are often led by the communities where the projects take place. This new phenomenon has increasingly come to occupy an important position in Japan's contemporary art scene and has created an opportunity to review the relationship between art and those who are involved in it.

    Introducing readers to some of the most distinctive and inspiring art projects of this nature, informed by in-depth interviews with project producers, artistic directors and curators, conducted by Keith Whittle. The book provides an unrivaled insight into important projects of this nature across the country, questioning if this style may pave a way forward for the presentation of contemporary art.

  • Floating World to Floating Point

    Japan has produced some of the leading figures within the international media art community, and Japanese media art is recognised as a major contemporary art form, gaining acceptance from cultural institutions, festivals, and media art competitions alike. In this talk Keith Whittle introduced some of these state of the art projects produced since the 1990s, drawing on research involving leading Japanese academics, curators and media artists.

    Programmed as part of The Conquest of Imperfection the first major UK exhibition of Japanese new media artist Masaki Fujihata's acclaimed interactive work.

  • Invisible Worlds

    Presented in collaboration with the V&A South Kensington, Invisible Worlds by Liliane Lin, was the first in a series of three artist talks exploring light and matter. Bringing together leading practitioners using technology and light in new and dynamic ways, the talks aimed to introduce the ideas and methodology behind each presenters work. Recently shortlisted for the Fourth Plinth commission, Liliane Lijn works in a broad range of materials and media, making extensive use of new technologies to create works that view the world as energy.

    Organised in collaboration with the V&A, London.

  • Art, Community and Engagement: Recent Trends from Japanese Art Projects

    During the past decade, there has been a boom in contemporary art projects in various areas of Japan, often as a tool of town or city regeneration. What may be unique about these projects is that many are happening outside the situ of the museum and are being led by the communities where the projects take place. Creating an opportunity to review the relationship between art and those who are involved in it. For this event, Takashi Serizawa, founder and Director of P3 art and environment, introduced some of these state of the art projects which have emerged in Japan since the 1990s, followed by a discussion with Keith Whittle and Andrea Schlieker, former Curator of the Folkestone Triennial.

    Organised by Japan Foundation

  • The Light Field by Daisuke Ohba

    For this his first solo exhibition in London, Japanese artist Daisuke Ohba showcased his unique ‘light field’ paintings, achieved through the use of iridescent pearl paint to produce continual transformations, image shifts, and colour transitions, as the light varies or as the viewer moves. The exhibition was accompanied by a presentation and discussion event where Ohba was joined by Keith Whittle who talked about the artist and contemporary Japanese art, drawing on his rich experiences with the art circle in Japan and in East Asia.

    Organised by Daiwa Anglo-Japanese Foundation, London to coincide with Frieze Art Fair.

  • A Gift to Those who Contemplate the Wonders of Cities and the Marvels of Travelling

    A major international collaborative residency and exhibition project ‘A Gift to Those…’ was the result of an exchange of two artists between the UK and Japan. Tokyo-based artist Mio Shirai and London-based Erika Tan, each spent the summer of 2008 in the others country of residence, undertaking a journey of discovery to unpick what cultural connections exist between Japan and Britain, and what separates them.

    Exhibited at Northern Gallery of Contemporary Art and BankART NYK as part of UK Japan 2008 and Japan-UK 150 festivals

    Supported by British Council Japan, Daiwa Anglo-Japanese Foundation, The Great Britain Sasakawa Foundation, Arts Council England and Japan-UK 150
  • There is No I in Team

    A unique opportunity to see the work of an extraordinary and vibrant new generation of Chinese artists. There is No I in Team was an international collaborative exhibition presented at BALTIC Centre for Contemporary Art and city-wide locations across Newcastle. Part of two major festivals celebrating East Asian culture; EAST'08 and CHINA NOW and touring to V&A South Kensington, London and Program EV Berlin. The exhibition provided a rare opportunity to Contemporary Chinese Art exploring the role of the individual in Chinese society today.

    Supported by Culture 10, British Council & ArtistLinks, Shanghai and presented in partnership with ISIS arts and /sLab, Newcastle.

  • Bairdcast Media: A History of Machine Translation

    In this her first international residency and exhibition, Bairdcast Media: a history of machine translation, Japanese artist Yuko Mohri explored the early history of British broadcasting at the time of the switch from analogue to digital transmission. Informed by the work of John Logie Baird, the pioneering inventor of early television and the “Televisor” a semi-mechanical analogue television system that used a patented mechanical scanning method - Mohri offered a timely critique of the journey from Baird’s experiments in 1925, right up to the creation of YouTube, in 2005

    Part of EAST08 and AV Festival 'Broadcast' 2008.

    Supported by The Great Britain Sasakawa Foundation and AV Festival 2008
  • Undercurrent

    An international research, production and touring exhibition, Undercurrent brought together moving image practice from the UK and China. Focusing on the role of architecture in the transformation of urban environments in China, a transformation so swift and drastic that as one artist stated 'it has hardly left chance to catch one’s breath', the project fed from a pool of audio, video and photographic material collected by participating artists in the cities of Chongqing, Guangzhou, Shanghai, London, Liverpool and Newcastle, compiled during a series residencies in those cities.

    Exhibition toured to Lighthouse Media Centre, Brighton; MU, Eindhoven, Netherlands; Dresden, Germany; Shanghai, Beijing, Guangzhou, China and Tokyo, Japan.

    Supported by Arts Council England, ArtistLinks, Shanghai and Visiting Arts

  • TraumaTrauma

    A lecture exploring the Great East Japan Earthquake, questions posed by such circumstances and the complexity and ambiguity of post-war Japanese society; priortising of economic efficiency and diplomatic relations, modernisation and urbanisation - all thrown into sharp focus post 3.11, as explored by contemporary Japanese artists’ and through the practice of curating.

    Presented at Sotheby's Art Institute, London

  • Post 3.11 – What Can Art Do?

    For this the first session in a series of talks with individuals who through art have in various ways been involved in supporting the victims of the 2011 earthquake and tsunami in the Tohoku region of Japan. Ichiro Endo, a painter, performer and self-proclaimed ‘future artist’ famous for his artworks and activities, conveying a strong sense ‘future’ was joined by co-presenter Keith Whittle and Kaori Honma, to discuss those organising art events directly with, or for those affected.

    Organised by Japan Foundation

  • Intervening in Nature and Society: History of the ‘Art Project’ in Japan, 1955-2013

    The first decade of the 21st century saw the expansion of non-museum-based exhibitions in Japan. Ranging from art initiatives run by artists to large-scale festivals in the countryside, they are often called ‘art projects’ to highlight the process of making artworks and exhibitions and the temporariness of their installations and venues. In this talk, Kenji Kajiya, was joined by Keith Whittle to discuss how art projects took place and have developed in postwar Japan.

    Organised by Japan Foundation.

  • David Blandy in Conversation with Keith Whittle

    Part of Frieze London VIP events 2013. This in conversation between Artist David Blandy and Keith Whittle explored his most recent work, ANJIN 1600 alongside previous works such as Child of The Atom. Programmed to coincide with the major solo exhibition Anjin 1600: Edo Wonderpark by British artist David Blandy, curated by Keith Whittle and co-produced by Elizebeth Newell.

    Organised in partnership with East London arts agency Create London.

  • Lu Chunsheng and Jia Ali: Counterpoints

    Iniva presented new work by two contemporary Chinese artists at Rivington Place, with the European premiere of The first man who bought a juicer brought it not for making juice, a film by Lu Chunsheng who showed in the Serpentine Gallery's exhibition of contemporary Chinese art at Battersea Power Station and Make Believe..., by emerging artist Jia Aili. Both artists reflect on industrial progress, social corrosion and the individual's struggle in the machine age.

    Exhibition and talks programme supported by Arts Council England.

  • Colonised Imagination: Urban constructions within the discourse of Japanese animation

    Anime has a proverbial reputation for crossing the boundaries between the human and the divine, the sacred and the profane, the prosaic and the majestic. Imaginary domains are traversed by traces of real historical moments, inherently concerned with Japan's rich history and heritage, it holds a huge popular appeal that crosses the generations offering allegorical readings of real human experiences rooted in tangible realities. In this talk Artist David Blandy, Keith Whittle, Dr Verina Gfader and Japanese animator Keiko Shiraishi discussed how artists' use Anime to explore such imaginary domains in their work.

    Organised in partnership with East London arts agency Create London the talk was co-hosted by Japan400 as part of Japan400 week.

  • “Mixed Bathing World” Beppu Contemporary Art Festival 2009

    “Mixed Bathing World” is a major International Contemporary Art Triennial in Beppu (south Japan), which has received numerous accolades and awards. The first edition of the triennial saw newly commissioned work specially for the public realm by Adel Abdessemed, Hossein Golba, Michael Lin, Lani Maestro, SARKIS, Yinling of JOYTOY, Jin-me Yoon, YOUNG-HAE CHANG HEAVY INDUSTRIES. With the second edition continuing this ambitious vein with new works by Christian Marclay, Ann Veronica Janssens, Shilpa Gupta, Satoshi Hirose, Tsuyoshi Ozawa and Qiu Zhijie, artist and co-curator of the Shanghai Biennale 2012. 

    “Mixed Bathing World” Beppu Contemporary Art Festival 2009 was produced by Jun'ya Yamaide, CEO Beppu Project, Artistic Direction, Takashi Serizawa with Assistant Director, Keith Whittle

  • Art School Futures: What does it mean to be an art graduate in 2013?

    This one-day international collaborative symposium and unique networking event at Tokyo University of the Arts, Japan brought staff, students and graduates from two of the world’s leading Fine Art Programmes; Central Saint Martins, University of the Arts London, UK and Tokyo University of the Arts, Japan, together with established British and Japanese artists, curators and art project managers to discuss support for emergent art practice, new and recent graduate artists’ work, ideas, connections and careers within the contemporary art world.

    Symposium designed by Professor Hirotoshi Sakaguchi, Tokyo University of the Arts, Department of Painting; Keith Whittle, International Projects, Central Saint Martins and Linda Dennis, Tokyo University of the Arts, Painting Department.

  • Arcus Project: International Residency Programme

    Arcus Project “Residency for Artists, Experiments for Locals” aims to support promising artists from across the globe, and also, to promote the Ibaraki area through art. Artists-in-Residence in 2013 were Rodrigo Gonzalez Castillo, Sybille Neumeyer, and Nandesha Shanthi Prakash, who developed their works at ARCUS Studio.

    Participating curators were International Guest Curator, Keith Whittle and Guest Curator, Naoko Horiuchi, AIT Tokyo.