Photo of Ming Tiampo

Ming Tiampo

Professor, SSAC, and Director: ICSLAC

Degrees:B.A. (Princeton University) M.A. and Ph.D. (Northwestern University)
Phone:613-520-2600 x 5039
Office:201B St. Patrick’s Building

Ming Tiampo is Professor of Art History and Director of the Institute for Comparative Studies in Literature Art and Culture at Carleton University in Ottawa, Canada. She is a scholar of transnational vanguardism with a focus on Japan after 1945. Tiampo’s book Gutai: Decentering Modernism (University of Chicago Press, 2011) received an honorable mention for the Robert Motherwell Book award. In 2013, she was co-curator of the AICA award-winning Gutai: Splendid Playground at the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum in New York.

In addition to her work on Gutai, Tiampo has published on Japanese modernism, war art in Japan, globalization and art, multiculturalism in Canada, and the connections between Inuit and Japanese prints. In 2013, she co-edited Art and War in Japan and its Empire: 1931-1960 (Brill Academic Press). She is currently working on two books: Decentering Globalism is an interdisciplinary and methodological analysis of World Studies. Paris from the Outside In: Art and Decolonization considers Paris as a site of intersection to investigate the historical conditions of global modernism. Tiampo is a founding member of the Center for Transnational Cultural Analysis at Carleton University, serves on the advisory boards of the Institute for Cultural Inquiry Berlin, and the Tate Research Centre Asia, as well as sitting on the editorial boards of the Archives of Asian Art, the Canadian Art Review (RACAR) and the Journal of Asian Diaspora Visual Culture and the Americas (ADVA).

Tiampo’s teaching is concentrated in three areas: Postwar Japanese Art, Transnational Modernisms, and Curatorial Studies. In her teaching, she seeks to provide real-world experiences for her students, be it through exhibitions, visiting lecturers, or hands-on experiences.

Profile photo: David Heald

Recent publications


Gutai: Decentering Modernism. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2011
*Honourable Mention, Robert Motherwell Book Award

Books edited

Co-edited with Alexandra Munroe, Gutai: Splendid Playground. New York: The Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, forthcoming 2013.

Co-edited with Asato Ikeda and Aya Louisa McDonald, Art and War in Japan and its Empire: 1931-1960. Leiden: Brill Academic Publishers, 2012

“Under Each Other’s Spell: Gutai and New York. Easthampton: Pollock-Krasner House and Study Center, 2009

Electrifying Art: Atsuko Tanaka 1954-1968. Vancouver: The Morris and Helen Belkin Art Gallery, 2004.

Chapters in edited books

“To Recapture the Light of a Star: Exhibiting Gutai at the Guggenheim.” In Anne Bénichou ed., Documenter/Recréer. Dijon: Presses du réel, 2014.

“Gutai from 1954.” In Explosion: Painting as Action. Stockholm: Moderna Museet, 2012.

“Cultural Mercantilism: Modernism’s Means of Production.” In Globalization and Contemporary Art, edited by Jonathan Harris. Oxford: Blackwell Publishing, 2011.

“Gutai Art on the World Stage,” “Biographies,” “Bibliography” and “Guide to Primary Resources,” In Gutai. Lugano: Museum of Modern Art, 2010.

“The Contents of ‘Emptiness’: Yamazaki Tsuruko’s Gutai Years. In Yamazaki Tsuruko.Paris: Galerie Almine Rech, 2010.

“The Work of Art in the Age of Transnational Dissemination.” In Ouvrir le Document:Usages et statuts de la documentation dans les arts visuels contemporains, edited by Anne Benichou. Dijon: Presses du reel, 2010.

“Originality, Universality, and other Modernist Myths: A Response to the 2007 Stone Summer Theory Institute Seminars.” In Globalization and Art, edited by James Elkins, Alice S. Kim and Zhivka Valiavicharska. Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 2010.

“Distance and Mobility: Towards a New Understanding of Modernism.” In Distance and Proximity: Can There be Life without the Other? Lisbon: Gulbenkian Foundation, 2009.

“Remplir le vide : l’avant-garde japonaise après Hiroshima.” In Vides: Une Rétrospective, exh. cat., 423-426. Paris: Éditions du Centre Pompidou, 2009.


  • Gutai: Splendid Playground. Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum (February-May 2013), co-curator.
  • Traveling Prints: James Houston, Hiratsuka Un’ichi and the Inuit Print Tradition, Prince Takamado Gallery, Embassy of Canada in Tokyo (February-April 2011), co-curator.
  • “Under Each Other’s Spell: Gutai and New York.Easthampton: Pollock-Krasner House and Study Center, 2009New Jersey City University Art Gallery, and David Anderson Gallery, SUNY Buffalo (August-October 2009), curator.
  • ImagiNation: New Cultural Topographies, Carleton University Art Gallery, Ottawa, Canada (8 September-2 November 2008), and University of Toronto, Scarborough campus, co-curator.
  • Electrifying Art: Atsuko Tanaka 1945-1968Grey Art Gallery, New York University, NYC, USA (September 14-December 11, 2004) and The Morris and Helen Belkin Art Gallery, University of British Columbia, Vancouver, Canada (January 21-March 20, 2005), co-curator.
  • Resounding Spirit: Japanese Contemporary Art of the 1960s, The Roland Gibson Art Gallery, State University of New York, Potsdam, NY (February-April 2004), and Carleton University Art Gallery (February-April 2007), curatorial consultant and leader of curatorial seminar.

Selected Book Covers

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