Photo of Ming Tiampo

Ming Tiampo

Professor; Graduate Supervisor (AAH)

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 Full Professor of Art History, co-director of the Centre for Transnational Cultural Analysis, and cross-appointed to the Institute for Comparative Studies in Literature, Art and Culture. She is a specialist of transnational modernisms, with a particular interest in worlding, global microhistories, circulation, and comparative diasporas. She has published on Japanese modernism, global modernisms, contemporary diasporic art in Canada, the connections between Inuit and Japanese prints, and post-imperial histories of the UK and France.

For the first 15 years of her career, her research was mostly focussed on decentering Modernism from postwar Japan, which she took as a paradigmatic site of global art history, arguing for the fundamental transnationality of modern art in Japan, and of Modernism more broadly. The work she did on the Gutai group as a scholar and as a curator made a case for the group’s importance in global art history, bringing out their experimental exuberance, theoretical incisiveness, and conscious internationalism. Among many smaller projects, in 2011, she published Gutai: Decentering Modernism (University of Chicago Press), which received an Honorable Mention for best book published on Modernism that year from the Robert Motherwell Book Award, and in 2013, she co-curated the AICA-award winning exhibition Gutai: Splendid Playground at the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum in New York.

Tiampo’s work on contemporary art in Canada has, since 2008, been concerned with the parallels, entanglements, and conflicts between racialized and Indigenous histories. Her work in this area seeks to complicate dichotomies, and grapples with questions of decolonization, re-worlding, and repair as relational endeavours. In 2008, she co-organized the conference Complicated Entanglements: Rethinking Pluralism in the 21st Century, which culminated in ImagiNation: New Cultural Topographies, an exhibition at the Carleton University art Gallery and the Doris McCarthy Gallery in 2009. In 2017, she convened Rethinking Canada 150: Networks and Nodes in Asian Canadian Visual Culture. In 2019, she co-organized the conference Worlding the Global: The Arts in the Age of Decolonization which took place alongside Àbadakone: Indigenous. Contemporary. International. at the National Gallery of Canada, and co-authored an essay in the catalogue. In 2022, she published Jin-me Yoon: Life and Work (Art Canada Institute), as well as two further essays on Yoon. She is also a founding member of the Canadian BIPOC Artists Rolodex, an online database which seeks to raise the visibility of BIPOC artists in Canada. It will be launched in 2024 on the Art Canada Institute website.

Since 2014, Tiampo has brought together her interests in global art history and diaspora. Her project, Mobile Subjects: Contrapuntal Modernisms (1945-1989) investigates the circulation of artists from the decolonizing world through the colonial and artistic capitals of London and Paris. This tale of two cities considers how these capitals of decolonizing empires functioned as critical meeting places, anti-colonial hubs, and sites of exchange in the decades after World War II due to postwar mass migration. It proposes a new analytical model that sees metropoles not as points of origin or as global training grounds, but as spaces of intersection and flow that allow us to understand the transnational condition of modern art. In 2017, the project received a SSHRC Insight Development Grant, in 2018, a fellowship from the Paul Mellon Centre for British Art in London (PMC), and in 2023, a SSHRC Insight Grant. Among many presentations on the subject were the lectures Paris from the Outside In: Representation Under Siege at ici Berlin, Slade, London, Asia: Intersections of Decolonial Modernism at the Paul Mellon Centre for British Art, and a co-publication of some of the project findings as Slade, London, Asia: Contrapuntal Histories between Imperialism and Decolonization, 1945-1965(British Art Studies).

Committed to collective practice as an ethical method for writing responsible and relational global art histories, Tiampo is active in collaborative projects, which she also sees as an engine for enacting social change. In 2005, she co-founded the Centre for Transnational Cultural Analysis (CTCA), which provides an ecosystem for transnational research and graduate studies at Carleton University. In 2006, she joined ici Berlin as a founding associate member, and continues to collaborate with the institute on events and publications. In 2018, she co-founded the Transnational and Transcultural Art and Culture Exchange (TrACE) network, which links research centres in transnational and transcultural studies internationally. The following year, she served as co-Principal Investigator for the Trans-Atlantic Platform-funded  Worlding Public Cultures project (WPC), which is ongoing. This project seeks to shift discourse beyond top-down models of “inclusion,” “diversity,” and other representations of the “global” to enable bottom-up approaches and entangled histories to emerge, opening pathways to decolonize “universal” Western narratives and epistemologies. Tiampo’s activist work also extends to pedagogical activities. She is currently a member of the six-person editorial collective for Intersecting Modernisms, an ambitious publication that provides a critical survey of modernisms arising in Africa, Asia, Latin America, Eastern Europe, their diasporas, and that of the Indigenous peoples of the Americas and Oceana. She is also a member of the working council for Asia Forum, a discursive platform for the contemporary art of global Asias. Tiampo serves on the advisory boards of the Hyundai Tate Research Center: Transnational, the Journal of Asian Diasporic Visual Cultures and the Americas (ADVA), Trans-Asia Photography (TAP), and the Redefining Art History Fellowship Program at Art Canada Institute (ACI).

Tiampo’s teaching is concentrated in five areas: Postwar Japanese Art, Transnational Modernisms, Transnational Theory, Diaspora, 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.

Graduate Studies

I supervise students at the MA and PhD levels who are taking transnational and transcultural approaches in the following fields: Japanese modernism, Global modernisms, Diaspora, and Curatorial Studies.

I involve my students in my collaborative research projects as much as possible, and endeavour to foster a community of practice among them.  My students have gone on to pursue PhDs at Carleton, McGill, Oxford, Queen’s, UBC, and York; jobs in arts administration at institutions such as CARFAC (Canadian Artists Representation) and Canadian Heritage; curatorial positions and projects at institutions such as the Carleton University Art Gallery, Art Gallery of Guelph, Karsh-Masson Gallery, Ottawa Art Gallery, National Gallery of Canada; teaching at Carleton, Ottawa School of the Photographic Arts, UCLA; and tenure-track/tenured positions at Fordham University, Nova Scotia College of Art and Design, and York University.

Please get in touch by email if you would like to explore the possibility of working with me.

MA Theses and Major Research Papers Supervised and Co-Supervised:


  • Haruka Toyoda, “Taikyoku-shugi of the Festival Plaza and Tower of the Sun at the 1970 Osaka Expo,” 2022.
  • Maggie Bryan “Art and the Inaka: Yamamoto Kanae and New Conceptions of Modernity in Rural Japan,” 2020.
  • Eui-Jung McGillis, “Local is Global: Aesthetic Negotiations of a Localilzed Material, Hanji and its Incommensurability,” 2016.
  • Amy Bruce, “Collateral Events at the Venice Biennale: An Examination of the Axel Vervoordt Exhibitions at the Palazzo Fortuny,” 2015.
  • Cayllan Cassavia, “Cultural Transplants: Self-fashioned global art historical narratives in the work of Yayoi Kusama and Noriko Shinohara,”
  • Andrew Gayed, “Nationalism, Migration, and Exile: The Photographs of Youssef Nabil,” 2015
  • Rosemary Marland “The Uli Sigg Effect,” 2009.
  • Nicole Neufeld, “Our Home and Native Land: Locating Pluralism,” 2008 (distinction)
  • Asato Ikeda, “Japan’s Haunting War Art,” 2008.
  • Caroline Vanderloo, “Multiculturalism in Canadian Art,” 2007.
  • Crystal Parsons, “Contemporary Canadian First Nations Artists and Institutional Critique,”2006.
  • Carla Taunton, “Aboriginal Performance Art,” 2006.
  • April Britski, “The Edge of Painting: Emma Lake,” 2006.

PhD Dissertations Supervised and Co-Supervised in the Cultural Mediations program (ICSLAC):


  • Pansee Atta, “Unruly Things: How Contestation Shapes the Value of Pharaonic Things,” 2022. (Senate Medal)
  • Amy Bruce, “Resistivity in Contemporary Art Biennales,” 2021.
  • Anna Khimasia “At Play in the Archive: Reading Sophie Calle’s Double Game as Autofictional Remains,” 2015.

Selected Publications and Presentations


Ming Tiampo, Jin-me Yoon: Life and Work (Toronto: Art Canada Institute, 2022).

Ming Tiampo, Gutai: Shūen kara no chōsen [Gutai: Challenge from the Margins], translated by Yuko Fujii (Tokyo: Sangensha, 2016).

Ming Tiampo, Gutai: Decentering Modernism (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2011).

Publishing News: Jin-Me Yoon by Ming Tiampo

Book cover for Ming Tiampo's Gutai: Challenge from the Margins

Book cover of Ming Tiampo's Gutai: Decentering Modernism


Ming Tiampo and Alexandra Munroe eds. Gutai: Splendid Playground. New York: The Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, 2013. Co-curator.

Asato Ikeda and Ming Tiampo. “The Transnational History of Japanese Woodblock Prints.” In Inuit Prints: Japanese Inspiration: Early Printmaking in the Canadian Arctic, edited by Norman Vorano, 13-21. Ottawa: Canadian Museum of Civilization, 2011. Curatorial team member and essay co-author.

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

Ming Tiampo and Mizuho Kato eds. Electrifying Art: Atsuko Tanaka 1954-1968. Vancouver: The Morris and Helen Belkin Art Gallery, 2004. Co-curator.

Book cover: Gutai Splendid Playground

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Book cover for Ming Tiampo Gutai and New York

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Eva Bentcheva, Annie Jael Kwan, and Ming Tiampo eds. Thinking Collectives/Collective Thinking. Berlin: ici Berlin Press, Forthcoming 2023.

Franziska Koch, Birgit Hopfener and Ming Tiampo eds., Worlding Pedagogies. Berlin: ici Berlin Press, Forthcoming 2023.

Birgit Hopfener and Ming Tiampo eds. Worlding the Global: The Arts in the Age of Decolonization. Berlin: ici Berlin Press, Forthcoming 2023.

Asato Ikeda, Aya Louisa McDonald, and Ming Tiampo eds. Art and War in Japan and its Empire: 1931-1960. Leiden: Brill Academic Publishers, 2013.

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Ming Tiampo ed. Worlding Public Cultures. Berlin: ici Berlin Press, Ongoing.


Ming Tiampo. “Multidirectional Avant-Gardes: A Conversation with Vivan Sundaram.” In The Indian Avant-Garde, edited by Brinda Bose. New York and Delhi: Routledge, Forthcoming 2023.

Ming Tiampo. “Decolonizing Paris: Global Urban Art History between Diaspora and the Global.” In Companion to French Art, edited by Natalie Adamson and Richard Taws. Wiley Blackwell, Forthcoming 2023.

Ming Tiampo. “Transversal Articulations: Decolonial Modernism and the Slade School of Fine Art.” Postwar – A Global Art History, ca. 1945-1965, edited by Atreyee Gupta and Okwui Enwezor. Durham: Duke University Press, Forthcoming 2023.

Ming Tiampo. “Reworlding and Repair.” in Andrea Kunard and Ming Tiampo. Jin-me Yoon (Göttingen: Steidl Press, 2023).

Ming Tiampo. “Who am I here? Diasporic Reflections on Settler Colonialism, Nation and Planet.” In Jin-me Yoon: About Time, edited by Zoe Chan and Diana Freundl, 152-169. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2022. (In English and Korean)

Ming Tiampo. “Exile, “The Awakening of Race Consciousness,” and Anti-Colonial Worldmaking.” In Surrealism Beyond Bordersedited by Stephanie d’Alessandro and Matthew Gale, 168-9. New York: The Metropolitan Museum of Art, 2021..

Birgit Hopfener, Heather Igloliorte, Ruth Phillips, Carmen Robertson, and Ming Tiampo. “World-Making: Indigenous Art and Worlding the Global.” In Àbadakone/ Continuous Fire/Feu Continuel, edited by Greg Hill et. al., 114-24. Ottawa: National Gallery of Canada, 2020.

Book cover for Yin-Me Yoon by Ming Tiampo

Book cover for Jin-Me Yoon About Time

Book cover for Surrealism Beyond Borders

Book cover for Àbadakone


Birgit Hopfener and Ming Tiampo. “Worlding Global Art Histories,” Texte Zur Kunst, Forthcoming 2023.

Ming Tiampo, “Worlding Modern Art and its Pedagogies,” ArtMargins 2 (February 2023).

Ming Tiampo, “What is radical?” ArtMargins 3 (October 2021): 90-94.

Liz Bruchet and Ming Tiampo, “Slade, London, Asia: Contrapuntal Histories between Imperialism and Decolonization 1945-1989 (Part 1),” British Art Studies 20 (July 2021).

Liz Bruchet and Ming Tiampo, “Slade, London, Asia: Animating the Archive (Part 1),” British Art Studies (July 2021).

Ming Tiampo, “Jinny Yu: Don’t They Ever Stop Migrating?” Asian Diasporic Visual Cultures of the Americas, Vol 4, no. 1-2 (2017): 217-219.


Ming Tiampo, “What it Means for us to be Together: Solidarity, Difficult Histories, and Planetary Futures in the Work of Jin-me Yoon,” School for the Contemporary Arts, Simon Fraser University, Vancouver, 21 October, 2022.

Ming Tiampo, “Mobile Subjects, Contrapuntal Modernisms,” Centre for the Study of Contemporary Art Annual Lecture, University College London, 4 October, 2022.

Ming Tiampo, “Pluriversal avant-gardisms: Unworlding, Re-worlding, and Worlding the Avant-Garde,”Keynote lecture, Globalizing the Avant-Garde, European Network for Avant-Garde and Modernism Studies Conference, Universidade Nova de Lisboa, 2 September, 2022.

Ming Tiampo, “Contrapuntal Modernisms between Imperialism and Decolonization: Critical Unlearning and the Slade School of Art,” Norma U. Lifton Annual Lecture in Art History, School of the Art Institute of Chicago (online), 15 October, 2021.

““Who am I here?”: Diasporic Reflections on Settler-colonialism, Nation and Planet,” Margaret Plant Annual Lecture in Art History, Monash University, Melbourne (online), 7 September, 2021.

“Slade, London, Asia: Intersections of Decolonial Modernism,” Paul Mellon Centre for British Art, London (online), 10 November 2020.

“Topologies of Global Art History,” Keynote Lecture, Graduate Symposium, The Warehouse, Dallas, November 9, 2018.

“Paris from the Outside In: Representation Under Siege,” ici Berlin, December 9, 2016.