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Maya Kóvskaya


Maya Kóvskaya  is a Delhi-based scholar, art critic, curator, and writer with over a decade’s experience in China.


She has worked on numerous exhibitions in the capacity of curator and/or critic, including  ‘Excrescence,’ in Mumbai (curator/critic, India, 2011), ‘Reflected on Air: Zhong Biao’, in San Francisco (critic, USA, 2011), ‘A Pair of Lungs, A Lack of Faith: Vijai Patchineelam Solo Exhibition in New Delhi (critic, India, 2010), ‘Earth’ (critic, India, 2010); ‘A Cry from the Narrow Between: Tejal Shah & Han Bing’ in New Delhi (critic, India, 2010); ‘Passages: China at the Crossroads’ (India, 2009); Chen Hui-Solo Exhibition (critic, PRC, 2009); ‘Black Screen’ (critic, PRC, 2009); ‘Action-Camera: Beijing Performance Photography’ (curatorial coordinator and critic, Canada, 2009); ‘Chinese History in Animal Time: Huang Rui’ Solo Exhibition (critic, PRC, 2009); ‘Spectral Memory: Wu Gaozhong’ Solo Exhibition, Zendai Museum (critic, PRC, 2008); ‘Multiple Realities’ (curator/critic, PRC, 2008), ‘China Under Construction II’ at the 2008 Fotofest 12th International Photography Biennial (curator/critic, USA, 2008), worked with the Asia Triennial Manchester ATM08 (curatorial liaison for the project at The International 3, UK, 2008), ‘China Under Construction I’ at Art Houston (curator/critic, USA, 2007), ‘Age of Big Construction’ (curator/critic, PRC, 2007), ‘The Fatalistic Language of Things’ at the Columbia Art Museum (curator/critic, USA, 2007), ‘On the Stage of Modernization’ (curator/critic, USA, 2007), ‘The Fragmented Gaze: Video Art from the People’s Republic’ (curator/critic, USA, 2007), ‘Love in the Age of Big Construction’ (curator/critic, PRC and USA, 2006), ‘Quotidian Iconic’ (curatorial coordinator, PRC, 2006), ‘The Other Shore of Desire’ (curator/critic, USA, 2006) ‘Estrangements and Engagements: Chinese Contemporary Video Art’ (curator/critic, Canada, 2006), ‘Misalignments: Chinese Performance and Video Art Documenta’ (curator/critic, USA, 2006), ‘Other Modernities’ (curator/critic, USA, 2006), and others. In 2011, she is currently curating upcoming exhibitions in Bombay, New Delhi, and elsewhere.


Maya has taught at the University of California, Berkeley (where she earned her PhD), the Renmin University of China, in Beijing, and Beijing Capital Normal University. She has also lectured extensively on contemporary art at a variety of institutional settings, including the Asia Society, the Center for Chinese Studies and Institute of East Asian Studies at the University of California, Berkeley, UCLA, University of South Carolina, USC Center for Asia Studies, Columbia Art Museum, the Xi’an Museum of Fine Arts, and Baroda Faculty of Fine Arts, the American Anthropology Association, and the Berkeley Program in Soviet/Post-Soviet Studies, among others. She was a critic in review at the Daegu Photography Biennale 2010. Her writings appear regularly in numerous international art catalogues, academic volumes, and magazines, such as Art IndiaYishu: Journal of Contemporary Chinese ArtArt ReviewFlash ArtContemporaryArt ConcernsTake On ArtArt ETCArt ConcernsArt Post, Art Map, Mayday MagazineArt iTEyemazing: International Contemporary Photography Magazine, and /positions: east asia cultures critique/. She has also translated over 1000 texts on Chinese art, including most major art critics’ writing in Chinese about China. Her book on Chinese contemporary art, China Under Construction: Contemporary Art from the People’s Republic (2007) is available in bookstores worldwide, and she is the Art Director for the scholarly journal Positions: Asia Cultures Critique (Duke University Press).
Maya was the 2010 Critic in Residence at KHOJ‘s ‘In Context: Public. Art. Ecology’ program and is currently working on a series of pan-Asian curatorial projects, along with researching a comparative book on art and the public sphere in China and India. She received the Inaugural 2010 Yishu Award for Critical Writing on Contemporary Chinese Art, among other academic honors and awards, and was selected for the 2011 Young Curators Hub convening in Calcutta.