Ian Alden Russell is a curator, educator and strategist from the EU and US. Ian currently holds the post of Associate Professor in Cultural Studies at the Chinese University of Hong Kong. Before joining CUHK, Ian was an Artistic Director and Chief Curator with K11, Curator of Brown University’s David Winton Bell Gallery, a Lecturer in the Rhode Island School of Design’s Glass Department and an Instructor with Brown University’s School of Professional Studies. Previously, Ian held the posts of Assistant Professor of Curating and Contemporary Art at Koç University in Istanbul, Turkey, Fellow in Public Humanities at Brown University and NEH Fellow at the University of Notre Dame. Ian has also been a visiting critic at the University of Texas, Austin, Rhode Island School of Design and the School of Visual Arts New York.

With a professional background as a contemporary art curator and a cultural brand strategist, Ian has broad international experience leading projects and working with major arts and cultural organizations in the US, Europe and China – specializing in arts programming, brand strategy, cultural strategy, semiotics, visual identity and organizational development. Ian also has ten years’ experience in the performing arts, touring and performing internationally with the award-winning vocal group Anúna.

Recent curatorial projects include: Wafaa Bilal’s Conflict Exchange (CX) featuring works by Drew Cameron (Combat Paper) and Alicia Dietz for the inaugural National Veterans Art Museum Triennial, Project Development Consultant for Tania Bruguera’s 10,148,451 for the Turbine Hall at Tate Modern, On Protest, Art and Activism featuring Paul Chan with Badlands Unlimited, Hermine Freed, Ja’Tovia Gary, Theaster Gates, Guerrilla Girls, Josephine Meckseper, Howardena Pindell, Suzanne Lacy, Martha Rosler and Dread Scott as part of the For Freedoms 50 State Initiative, Melvin Edwards’s Festivals, Funerals, and New Life featuring works by Jayne Cortez, Pierre Huyghe’s Untitled (Human Mask), Artpace San Antonio’s 2015 International-Artist-in-Residence program, the Brown University 250th Anniversary Alumni Exhibitions featuring Taryn Simon, Paul Ramirez Jonas, Kerry Tribe, Sarah Morris, Rob Reynolds and Dawn Clements and the premiers of Mark Dion’s Against the Current, Fatma Bucak’s And men turned their faces from there, Vincent Valdez’s The Strangest Fruit and Wafaa Bilal’s The Ashes Series. 

Recent research and publication projects include: contributions to The Sustainability Plan for Ormston House in Limerick, Ireland, contributions to the Safina Radio Project at the 56th Venice Biennale, researcher for “Socially Engaged Art Practices and Education in Contemporary Discourse” at UNIDEE, Cittadellarte-Fondazione Pistoletto, An Innocent City in Istanbul, Turkey responding to Orhan Pamuk’s Museum of Innocence and Sean Lynch’s Clanbrassil Street ‘Zines and Ursula Rani Sarma’s Home Project both in Dublin, Ireland.

Ian’s research and teaching address contemporary art, creative entrepreneurship, curatorial practice, cultural production, design, heritage studies, museum studies, public speaking and material culture studies. 

Ian’s writings have been published by Cambridge University Press, Cittadellarte, deCordova Museum & Sculpture Park, Lars Muller Publishers, Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago, Oxford University Press, Springer-Kluwer and Yapı Kredi Publishers.

Ian has also been invited to give lectures at the Academy of Fine Arts in Helsinki, Brown University, Chinese University of Hong Kong, Columbia University, Contemporary Istanbul, Fudan University in Shanghai, Guangzhou Academy of Fine Arts, Harvard University, New York University, Rhode Island School of Design, Stanford University, University of Cambridge, University of Shanghai, University of Texas, Austin and Williams College.

Born in Richmond, Virginia and educated in Ireland, Ian received a Ph.D. in History from Trinity College Dublin and has held major fellowships at Brown University, University of Notre Dame and University College Dublin. Ian is currently based in Hong Kong.