Keith Whittle is a researcher, art history lecturer, curator and exhibition-maker based in Tokyo.
Working collaboratively with institutions and galleries in the UK and Japan to deepen exchanges with artists internationally. He is an Advisor and Associate curator at White Rainbow gallery, London and Lecturer in Modern and Contemporary Japanese Art, Sotheby’s Institute of Art, London.
Specialising in the study of Japanese art and championing the work of emerging and mid-career Japanese artists never before seen in the UK, and by so doing, promoting the study of the field and the introduction of Japanese art overseas. Recent exhibition projects at White Rainbow include solo shows by Yuko Mohri; Chikako Yamashiro; Chim↑Pom; Aki Sasamoto; Taro Izumi and Meiro Koizumi.
Committed to making art available to the widest possible audience he combines extensive experience of working with artists, both national and international, with a strong academic background in art history. As a programme director and exhibition-maker, he has worked on and organised many monographic and thematic exhibitions with particular focus on performance, film and installation-based practices. In keeping with his interests in modern and contemporary art from Japan and the wider Asia-Pacific region, his work has brought attention to emerging and under-recognised artists, and expanded areas of practice and presentation in the art world. As a Research Fellow at The Japan Foundation and Central Saint Martins, University of the Arts London, he has undertaken extended periods of fieldwork in Japan and wider Asia-Pacific region, and he is currently writing a publication which explores ‘Chiiki Art (local art)’ or ‘Art Projects’ in Japan; objectives, practices, and considerations, from curatorial and artistic strategies to political, social and economic agendas.
Previously, he has held positions at leading cultural institutions and commissioning agencies such as the Institute of Contemporary Arts and Film and Video Umbrella, London. He has also given talks, lectures and delivered discussion events at esteemed UK-Japan based institutions including the Daiwa Anglo-Japanese Foundation, Tokyo Geidai, Japan Foundation & University of the Arts London. Major organisations and institutions he has previously worked with include Serpentine Galleries, London; BALTIC Centre for Contemporary Art, Newcastle/Gateshead; NFT South Bank London; EAI, New York; BankArt NYK, Yokohama; Tate Art Galleries; P3 art and environment, Tokyo; Beppu Project NPO, Oita; Sainsbury Institute for the Study of Japanese Arts and Cultures, Norwich; ShanghArt gallery, Shanghai; Hong Kong Arts Centre & Iniva (Institute of International Visual Arts), London.