Professor Wang (/wong/) joined UC Merced in 2006 and is the founding faculty of the Global Arts Studies Program (GASP), as well as the founding director and curator of the UCM Art Gallery. He specializes in 20th-century American art history and visual culture in an international context, with a focus on historical discourses on race and diaspora in pre-World War II American art. He is one of a small group of scholars who have produced extensive scholarship on the critical rediscovery and reexamination of the work of pre-WWII American artists of Asian descent.
Prof. Wang is the author of Becoming American? The Art and Identity Crisis of Yasuo Kuniyoshi (University of Hawaii Press in 2011) and The Other American Moderns. Matsura, Ishigaki, Noda, Hayakawa (Penn State University Press, 2017). The Other American Moderns received positive reviews and won the 2018 Georgia O'Keeffe Museum Book Prize, given every three years to honor the author of a book that influences ideas about American Modernism.
Prof. Wang also curated and wrote the exhibition catalog, Chiura Obata: An American Modern (University of California Press, 2018), to accompany a retrospective of the same name that he curated. The exhibition, organized by UC Santa Barbara’s Art, Design & Architecture Museum, is touring internationally, thanks to a major exhibition grant from the Terra Foundation for American Art. After a successful run at the Utah Museum of Fine Arts in the summer of 2018, the retrospective travels to the Okayama Prefectural Museum of Art in Japan (January 18—March 10, 2019), the Crocker Art Museum in California (June 23—September 29, 2019), and a six-month display at the Smithsonian American Art Museum (November 1, 2019—April 10, 2020).
A 2014 Terra Foundation for American Art Senior Fellow at the Smithsonian American Art Museum, Prof. Wang's scholarship has appeared in major journals both in English and Chinese. His essay, "Japan against Japan: U.S. Propaganda and Yasuo Kuniyoshi’s Identity Crisis,” won the 2008 Patricia and Phillip Frost Essay Award, a prize given by the Smithsonian American Art Museum (SAAM) to recognize excellence in scholarship in the field of American art history. He has subsequently published two more essays in SAAM's journal, American Art and he was invited to join its editorial board in 2018. He has also contributed essays and articles to journals and magazines that include American Studies, AAPI Nexus, Trans-Asia Photography Review, Yishu-Journal of Contemporary Chinese Art, and several issues of Journal of Aesthetic Education, the official publication of the National Taiwan Arts Education Center. Published and lectured internationally, Prof. Wang was recently featured in a symposium celebrating the launch of the 50th-anniversary special volume published by the Smithsonian National Portrait Gallery.
Dr. Wang holds a Ph.D. in Art History from UC Santa Barbara, and a M.A. in Art History from Indiana University in Bloomington, where he also earned a B.A. in Studio Art.
Professor Wang can be reached by email: firstname.lastname@example.org.