The Asian Cultural Council is pleased to welcome our newest cohort of New York Fellows: curator Leo Li Chen, sound artist Tomoko Hojo, and visual artist Yu Ji. While their fellowships were initially granted in 2019, the pandemic postponed their travels to 2022. Now, in New York, they’ve hit the ground running.  

ACC has paired each fellow with an alumni mentor to provide guidance and opportunities for growth. Through the years, ACC has coordinated informal mentor-mentee relationships between fellows and ACC staff, alumni, and community members. This newly formalized mentorship program builds on ACC’s work of facilitating the cross-cultural exchange of ideas through enduring person-to-person relationships that collectively advance mutual understanding. 

To learn more about Leo Li Chen, Tomoko Hojo, Yu Ji, and their fellowship programs, view below.  

Leo Li Chen

Grant: to explore independent art practices and participate in a curatorial residency at Triangle Arts Association in New York City

Mentor: Reiko Tomii (Historian/Curator, ACC 1987) 

Leo Li Chen is an independent curator and researcher based in Beijing, China. He worked as the Director of Research at Magician Space, Beijing, and is an independent curator in Hong Kong and China. His main research focuses on geopolitics, performativity and moving images to explore the complexity of identity and subjectivity that transcends geographical barriers. He has curated The Racing Will Continue, The Dancing Will Stay (Guangdong Times Museum, Guangzhou, 2019); Today Could Have Been a Happy Day (Taikang Space, Beijing, 2018); That Has Been and Maybe Again (Para Site, Hong Kong, 2016); Adrift (OCAT, Shenzhen, 2016); and more. He was a resident researcher at Asia Art Archive in 2016, and MMCA Korea in 2019.

IG: @leolichen

Tomoko Hojo 

Grant: to conduct archival research on sound art and experimental music in New York City, with a particular focus on Yoko Ono and the intersection of feminism and sound 

Mentor: Julia Santoli (Sound Artist, ACC 2018) 

Tomoko Hojo is an artist working within the fluidities of experimental sound, music and performance. Since 2018, she has developed projects around making audible the silenced voices of women throughout history. Her recent activities include a solo exhibition Unearthed Tremor (Aomori Contemporary Art Centre, Aomori, 2021), Fall Asleep (Electromuseum, Moscow, 2021), a solo concert at the Music From Japan Festival (Scandinavia House, New York, 2021), and participation in the Saitama Triennale (Saitama, 2020). 

Website: | IG: @hojokraft | Twitter: @tomodomo

Photo Credit: Rikiya Nakamura ©︎Tokyo Arts and Space

Yu Ji

Grant: to explore trends in contemporary arts in New York City while participating in a residency at Triangle Arts Association 

Mentor: Beth Citron (Curator, ACC 2019) 

Yu Ji lives and works in Shanghai and Vienna. Her current practice is motivated by the ongoing investigation into specific locations through geographical and historical narratives. Her works are based in field research and an interest in the intervention of the body in space. Taking materiality as her starting point and sculpture as her essential media, Yu Ji has been developing and enriching her own vocabulary of art. Her performances and sculptural exhibitions reflect and moderate the fragile presence of humans and objects in their everyday environments, often turning the art space into the site of labor. 

Yu Ji's work has been exhibited at various art institutions, including Palais des Tokyo in France, CAFA Museum in Beijing, Yuz Museum Shanghai, and Times Museum Guangzhou.