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Art Administrator Interview: Yahan Wang Finds Her Passion in Making the Arts Happen

It is never easy to generate or manage in the world of arts. As a matter of fact, the majority of responsibilities lie on the shoulders of the administration team in order to make any form of art successful. Having worked all the way to North America from Asia, Yahan Wang is excited to share her inspiring experience as a multi-arts administrator. 

Q: Would you briefly introduce yourself?

A: My name is Yahan Wang. I graduated from the Master Program of Visual Arts Administration at New York University in 2022 and I’m now working as a Sales Operation Coordinator at Artnet, New York. My career path is largely influenced by the arts education I received in New York and all different kinds of work experience I had in the art industry these years. Along the process, I determined that I want to be in this industry and keep enjoying the process of promoting art. Additionally, I’m also a curator that works on theme-based exhibition projects off-work.

Q: What are your main responsibilities at Artnet?

A: My responsibilities contain work from both advertising designs and sales operations. The advertising design campaigns I worked on mostly spread over daily newsletter and artist branding. I’m grateful to have the opportunity to work with prestigious galleries in the field on these design campaigns. Sales-wise, I generate leads for sales and assist with both pre-sale and post-sale throughout the process. Other tasks include recording and organizing data, prospect research and competitor analysis on a daily basis, mostly work that requires attention to detail and a lot of teamwork. 

Q: What was the unique experience that made you settle down with being an art administrator?

A: It was a project I did when I worked at nAscent Art in 2018. We were looking for artists and artworks for a hotel project. I was given the concept and had to do research on the theme of the hotel to narrow down the artwork category. My final proposal was accepted by the client. The whole process of connecting artists with people who sincerely appreciated being matched with the best fit really brought me joy. Being the liaison between art and other spheres of society is something I want to pursue and will keep doing.

Q: Can you share one exhibition where you worked as a curator?

A: The most recent exhibition I curated was Ways of Seeing with Museum 54, which discusses women’s identity. Throughout history, women were always put in a passive place that made them subject to be viewed when it comes to paintings. But this time we gathered paintings from 6 emerging female artists that tell their stories from a proactive female perspective. The exhibition took place at Museum 54  in Tribeca New York, in March, 2023. It was a learning process for me when it comes to details on venue selection, installation, and marketing about the show, etc. I realized all the hard work was worth it when I received positive feedback from other gender audiences on how they interpreted and felt about the exhibition.

Q: What do you think your personal growth is after working in so many roles?

A: Working in these roles has helped me to explore the best role I can play in the art market. I think my major personal growth is that I’m having a clearer idea on the career path that I want to pursue, which is being a liaison that can curate, design, consult and connect in the art industry. A lot of my current work is about curation such as curating a show, a project or a design. Helping artists connect with the audience, turning something conceptual to visual and providing consultation to people who have interests in collecting will be my long term goal. 

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