We had the good fortune of connecting with Yi Chin Hsieh and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Yi Chin, what’s something about your industry that outsiders are probably unaware of?
I feel like people always have this misconception of curators as a beautiful, shiny career; a curator as someone who travels between cities, who have fancy champagne at exhibition openings, and gets all the glory side of the art world. However, working as a curator, or at least an independent one, is not the case in the imagery. Yes, I do enjoy the lovely openings and champagne! However, there is so much research and meetings, many sleepless nights, hundreds of unread messages, tear-soaked pillows, and self-doubt inner battles behind the scene that people are unaware of. Being a curator is an endless learning career, you are always absorbing new knowledge, coming up with ideas, meeting new people… and when your office is set inside your brain, there’s never really a day off for you. A lot of times a curator’s effort is not visible. But it is all these invisible hard work behind the scene makes a good exhibition.
Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
As a curator from a visual design background, I am incredibly interested in installation, digital art, and curatorial methods. I like to work with creatives that are open to new and experimental ways of exhibitions. I love collaborating with artists to develop a new project together. The process of realizing it is challenging but exciting. I am not particularly “loyal” to any art historical period or specific art trends per se…I am always looking for something new to try. I am really into net-based art and the digital world as an exhibition platform and am still researching and planning for more ideas to come. I moved to Miami from Taiwan around three years ago, knowing nobody at the time. Later on, I met a lot of amazing people through grad school. I am thrilled to be part of the vibrant art community and bounding with friends who share the same passion for art as I. It was never easy to start from nothing. I consider myself at an emerging career stage, and I welcome all kinds of opportunities and challenges. I like to think of myself as a sponge, absorbing all sorts of bits of knowledge. Although the road is not always unicorns and rainbows, the struggles of being a curator are also something I enjoy suffering from, haha! It is all because of these I can learn and be better every time at what I do.
Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
I have so many favorite spots in Miami! I’d start the tour by going to the beach. My favorite is Bill Baggs Cape state park at Key Biscayne. It’s quiet and chill, a great place to bike around and lay down on the sand. After the nature tour, I believe it is worth seeing some of Miami’s great art corners. It might take a couple of days just for art: museums, galleries, and residencies at little Haiti, Art Deco buildings at South Beach…Another thing I found amazing is the sunset in Miami. At the end of every day after touring, I’d love to enjoy a glass of wine with my friends while appreciating the colored sky of the sunset.
The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
There are so many people I am extremely thankful for. I was given all kinds of support and encouragement from family and friends, I will never be able to do what I am doing now without them. I’d like to dedicate this shoutout especially to my partner, Ronald Sanchez, who is also an art professional. Thank you for the unconditional support in all my projects, and tolerate my craziness. I won’t be able to achieve them without you!