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Artists’ creative process, curator Xiaoying Juliette Yuan

Studio visits with John F. Simon, Jr, Stephanie Rothenberg, and LoVid

Curator Xiaoying Juliette Yuan’s “The Artist’s Creative Process” series explores the practice of internationally known artists who reveal their creative process step by step and the relationship between their lives and their art.


Xiaoying Juliette Yuan August 20, 2014, New York

We are launching The Artist’s Creative Process as a new series on the Streaming Museum’s site to provide a unique chance for the public to penetrate the secretive world of how artists work, to explore their creative process step by step, and to understand their lives and creations in greater depth.

From my curatorial position, I suggest that an effective method of fully investigating the creative process is to give up some measure of authority and instead position oneself in the artist’s role and become a collaborator with the artist in seeing the work realized.

Instead of inviting viewers to focus on discrete objects, images and fixed relationships, Process curating promotes a curatorial aesthetic of emergence, the emergence of meaning, form, medium, and ideas, asking the public to investigate the artist’s life and working methods with the same curiosity and passion as they receive the finished artworks.

Christiane Paul, art critic and Adjunct Curator at the Whitney Museum of American Art recognized the shift in curatorial attention from a single object for display to an entire history of an object’s creation when she stated that new media work is, “often characterized as process-oriented, time-based, dynamic, and real-time; participatory, collaborative, and performative: modular, variable, generative, and customizable.”(1) Driven by the changing nature of artists’ works in art and technology, curators adopted new strategies of presenting artists’ works through process-oriented temporary events such as: online galleries, artists’ workshops, open studios, panel discussions, or popup shows.

We are honored to inaugurate our project with one of the pioneers in the development of Software Art, John F. Simon, Jr., who has shared with us his creative process leading to the creation of his newest major work, “Moment of Expansion.” This has been followed by the newest project from Stephanie Rothenberg whose works question “the boundaries and social constructs of manufactured desires ” and LoVid whose works explore “the often invisible or intangible aspects of contemporary society.” The series will continue to be enriched by many other artists in the future.

I take for my Object to curate and to display, the entire body of the ephemeral outcomes produced during the artist’s process including: drawings, 2D and 3D digital images, simulations manipulated by computer software, videos or sound samples to be edited, raw materials to be cut, shaped, and painted, and all prototypes that served as transitional components for the final painting’s production. These studies and thought diagrams are the real core of an artist’s process and are essential to fully understand the object that is finally exhibited.

As the curator who initiated The Artist’s Creative Process, I feel extremely fortunate and grateful to have Streaming Museum in New York as the producer of the project. _________

[1] PAUL Christiane, Introduction for New Media in the White Cube and Beyond: Curatorial Models for Digital Art, ed. Christiane Paul, University of California Press, 2008, p4



Xiaoying Juliette Yuan is a curator based in New York. She has curated numerous exhibitions, conferences, and workshops for international biennials and festivals and worked with international art fairs, academies, and institutions. As a trilingual scholar, she has widely published in art magazines and journals and lectured at conferences and academies. In 2012, she was appointed the curator for Syncretic Cybernetics, the first retrospective of Roy Ascott, the British pioneer in the telematic art within the 9th Shanghai Biennale in China. In 2013, she accomplished a large publication project, “Media Arts Collection” introducing a group of Western media art pioneers’ writings to China. In 2013, she curated for Harvestwork’s New York Electronic Festival (NYEAF) a screening program presenting a series of sound works from a group of emerging artists from China Mainland. In 2015, she collaborated with Harvestworks and the NYEAF again to showcase in New York the sound projects of five pioneer artists from Taiwan and Hong Kong. The project received significant support from the Ministry of Culture in Taipei, TECO Taipei Cultural Center (New York), and the Museum of the Moving Image (New York). As a researcher focusing on curatorial aesthetic and methodology, she is interested in artists’ creative processes as well as the curators’ role in such processes.


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