Sophia Cai (b. 1989, China). Lives and works in Melbourne, Australia.


2013 – 2014 – Masters in History of Art with Distinction, Courtauld Institute of Art, University of London, London, UK

2008 – 2011 – Bachelor of Philosophy (Hons) with First Class Honours in Art History and Curatorship, the Australian National University, Canberra, Australia


Awards, Grants & Opportunities

2018: Emerging Cultural Leaders – Footscray Community Arts Centre, Melbourne

2017: Craft Emerging Makers and Curators Program – Craft, Melbourne

2017: Gordon Darling Foundation Grant for ‘Closing the Distance’ exhibition

2016: Craft Writers Program – Craft, Melbourne

2016: SEVENTH Emerging Writers’ Program – SEVENTH Gallery, Melbourne

2013 – 2014: Friends of the Courtauld Scholarship, University of London

2011: Janet Wilkie Art History Honours Prize, the Australian National University

2008 – 2011: National Undergraduate Scholarship, the Australian National University


Curatorial Projects

2018: Lucky?, Bundoora Homestead Art Centre, Melbourne (forthcoming) – with Claire Watson

2018: Floor Plan, c3, Melbourne (forthcoming)

2018: Handle with Care, Soul Craft Festival, Melbourne

2018: Disobedient Daughters, Metro Arts, Brisbane

2018: AIR17, Australian Tapestry Workshop, Melbourne

2017: Every Dog Will Have its Day, Casula Powerhouse Art Centre, Sydney (with Kathleen Linn)

2017: No Woman is an IslandBLINDSIDE Gallery, Melbourne

2017: Slice of Life, Craft, Melbourne

2017: Closing the Distance, Bundoora Homestead Art Centre, Melbourne

2016: Think PinkENOUGH Space, Melbourne (with Caitlin Shearer)

2016: Domestic Bliss, Little Woods Gallery, Melbourne

2016: Some words are just between us, Firstdraft, Sydney

2016: Wonky, Tinning St, Melbourne (with Caitlin Shearer)

2016: Playful, City Library Gallery, Melbourne

2015: Secret Garden, Long Division Gallery, Schoolhouse Studios, Melbourne (with Caitlin Shearer)


Projects & Community Engagement

2017 – ongoing: Open Curator’s Network – a peer-to-peer digital community for curators (co-founded with Tess Maunder)

2016 – ongoing: MAFAP – Melbourne Artists and Friends of Asian Persuasion

2016 – ongoing: MONOGRAPH – a reading circle for artists and art lovers (co-founded with Charlotte Watson)

2018: FRESH! exhibition Panel Member at Craft

2017: Reading Corner as part of Craft and Design as a Career, 2017.

2016: Crafthouse – craft club for artists, designers and makers

2015 – 2016: Dearest Projects – a creative and curatorial collaboration with Caitlin Shearer


Talks & Appearances

2018: Roundtable Speaker, “The Curatorial Age: The Future Curating” at RMIT First Site Gallery as part of the RMIT Curatorial Collective, Melbourne, 2 August 2018

2018: Panel Speaker, “Emerging to Established” at Monash Gallery of Art, Melbourne, 14 July 2018

2018: Panel Speaker, “Coverage, Critique and Catalogue” as part of the Movers and Makers program at Parramatta Artist Studios, Sydney, 19 May 2018.

2018: Judge, Doggy Fashion Parade as part of the Immigration Museum’s Year of the Dog celebrations, 25 February 2018.

2018: Panel Speaker, “Feminist Futures in Colour: What is White Feminism” as part of the Women, Art and Feminism Symposium at VCA, 21 February 2018

2017: Panel Speaker, “Managing and Marketing Your Practice” as part of BLINDSIDE Gallery’s Professional Development series, 14 October

2017: Guest Lecture, “Curating Beyond the ‘Other’: Approaches to Gender and Identity Politics” at University of Melbourne, 5 October

2017: Guest speaker, “Curating Textiles” for RMIT Advanced Diploma Textile Design students, 31 July

2017: Panel Speaker, “Curating Relationships” as part of Australia-China Emerging Leaders Summit, The University of Melbourne, 29 July

2017: Panel Speaker as part of Chinese Whispers and Other Stories, exhibition at BLINDSIDE Gallery, 8 July

2017: Panel speaker, “Contemporary Asian-Australian artists in the Australian Mainstream” as part of Asian Arts in Australia: Long Pasts and Possible Futures, held in conjunction with AsiaTOPA, 31 March

2017: Curator Floor Talk, Closing the Distance, Bundoora Homestead Art Centre, Melbourne, 18 March

2017: Speaker, “In My Skin: Contemporary Chinese Photography” at Echo Chamber #6, Centre for Contemporary Photography, Melbourne, 2 March

2016: Speaker, “Revisiting Identity: Asian Art Dialogue #4” at Art History Student Society, University of Melbourne, 20 October

2016 : Guest Lecturer, “Coming of Age: Contemporary Chinese Photography and the Body” at Monash Gallery of Art, Melbourne as part of the China Grain to Pixel exhibition, 20 August

2016: Panel Chair, “China on the Move: Photography in a Changing Nation” at Monash Gallery of Art, Melbourne for the China Grain to Pixel exhibition, 7 August

2016: Workshop, MONOGRAPH: art reading circle at Museum of Contemporary Art, Sydney as part of the MCA Zine Fair, 12 June


Selected Publications

‘Anonymous Was a Woman’, catalogue essay for group exhibition This Wild Song at Town Hall Gallery, 1 September 2018 [link]

‘PROFILE: Sean Meilak’, Artist Profile, Issue 44, July 2018, p 88 – 92.

‘The Burrangong Affray’ at 4A Centre for Contemporary Art, review for un Extended, 30 July 2018 [link]

‘Paved with Gold by Occupation:Artist’, interview for Radiant Pavilion, 6 July 2018 [link]

‘A Conversation with Nikki Lam’, Liminal Magazine, 7 May 2018 [link]

‘Celeste Chandler: Be My Eyes’, exhibition preview for Art Almanac, April 2018, p 36 – 38 [link]

‘Conspicuous Presence’, catalogue essay for group exhibition curated by the Women’s Art Register, Trocadero Art Space, 21 February 2018 [link]

‘GLOSSARY’, catalogue essay for Infrastructuralism, La Trobe Institute of Art, 8 February 2018 [link] [unformatted]

‘WIP: The Unfinished Business of Feminism’, Runway Conversations, 21 January 2018 [link]

‘Heroine Knits: Dear Kate Just, I’m Your Feminist Fan’, Portrait Magazine, Issue 58, p 68 – 71.

‘Poetry of the Everyday’, Journal for Australian Ceramics, Issue 57, November 2017

‘A Conversation with Jason Phu’, Liminal Magazine, 12 November 2017 [link]

‘PREVIEW: Notfair 2017’, Artist Profile, Issue 41, November 2017, p 108 – 111.

‘Cellular to Stellar’, catalogue essay for Linda Oy Ho’s solo exhibition, St Heliers Street Gallery, 4 August 2017 [link]

‘Five Ways With Clay’, Journal for Australian Ceramics, Issue 56, July 2017, p 64 – 69.

‘Making Work/Making it Work’, Visual Arts Editorial for Peril Magazine, edition 30, 19 June 2017 [link]

‘Home Sweet Home?’, catalogue essay for Rosi Griffin’s solo exhibition Fractured Dwellings, St Heliers Street Gallery, 2 June 2017 [link]

‘Performing geographies: Asia TOPA arrives in Melbourne’, 4A Papers, Issue Two, May 2017 [link]

‘Looking Back to Look Forward’, catalogue essay for Ashley Ronning’s solo exhibition No Place Like Space, Magic Johnson, 3 February 2017 [link]

‘Renaissance Woman’, interview with Kate Rohde as part of the Craft Writers Program, 14 December, 2016 [link]

‘Umbilicus in Flux’, essay for Freÿa’s Black solo exhibition as part of the SEVENTH Emerging Writer’s Program, 9 November, 2016 [link]

‘BOOB’, catalogue essay for group exhibition ‘BOOB – Bias Objects Objective Bodies’, KINGS Artist-Run, 1 October 2016 [link]

‘In Conversation with Mikala Tai’, Peril Magazine, edition 24, June 2016 [link]

‘Not a Museum Postcard’, catalogue essay for Emma Hamilton’s solo exhibition ‘Angled Regard’, BUS Projects, 6 April 2016 [link]

‘It’s the Small Things’, exhibition review, Language of Labour, 22 February 2016 [link]

‘Uncommon Threads’, exhibition review, RAVEN Contemporary, 24 June 2015 [link]

‘Believe Not Every Spirit, But Try The Spirits.’ exhibition review, RAVEN Contemporary, 19 May 2015 [link]

Foreword in Recovery in Art 2014 exhibition catalogue, NSW CAG 2014, p 3. [link]

Crafting China:Textiles as Strategy in the Works of Gao Rong, Yin Xiuzhen and Lin Tianmiao, Masters Thesis, The Courtauld Institute of Art, July 2014. [extract]

‘Feel and Think: A New Era of Tokyo Fashion,’ exhibition review, ArtsHub, 9 July 2013 [link]

‘Go Figure! Contemporary Chinese Portraiture,’ exhibition review, ArtsHub, 28 September 2012 [link]

‘Beyond the Last Sky,’ exhibition review, ArtsHub, 10 September 2012 [link]

‘National Gallery of Australia Collection: Lucien Freud,’ in Antiques & Art in NSW, December 2011 to March 2012, p 96. [link]

‘Favourites from the NGA’s Renaissance exhibition,’ in The Canberra Times – Panorama, February 11, 2012, p 19. [link]

Past Present and Future: Contemporary Chinese Photography and Identity, Honours Thesis, Australian National University, November 2011. [extract]

Contributor: Radford, Ron, et al., Renaissance: 15th and 16th century Italian paintings from the Accademia Carrara, Bergamo, Canberra: National Gallery of Australia, 2011.


Professional Experience

2018 – ongoing: Runway Experimental Art – Editorial Assistant and Management Board

2017 – ongoing: The Australian Tapestry Workshop, Melbourne – Public Programs Coordinator

2015 – ongoing: Independent curator and arts writer

2016 – 2018: The Dolls House Gallery, Melbourne – Curator

2016 – 2017 : Bundoora Homestead Art Centre, Melbourne – Project Curator

2016 – 2017: Melbourne Library Service, City of Melbourne – Acting Community Heritage Curator, Gallery and Events Technician

2015: MARS Gallery, Melbourne – Art Consultant

2014 – 2015: The Ian Potter Museum of Art, Melbourne – Gallery Attendant

2013 – 2014: The Courtauld Institute of Art, London – Library Assistant

2013: Serpentine Gallery, London – Gallery Assistant

2012 – 2013: Museum of Contemporary Art, Sydney – Curatorial Research Intern for Senior Curator

2012 – 2013: Museum of Contemporary Art, Sydney – Gallery Host & Back Up Team Leader

2012: Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney – Curatorial Intern, Contemporary Art

2012: Annandale Galleries, Sydney – Gallery Intern

2011 – 2012: National Gallery of Australia, Canberra – Front of House

2011: National Gallery of Australia, Canberra – Curatorial Intern: International Painting and Sculpture


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