An online discussion between Dr. Gabriele Finaldi, Director of the National Gallery in London, and Mami Kataoka, Director of Mori Art Museum in Tokyo, with opening remarks from the UK’s Minister of State (Minister for Asia), Nigel Adams MP. 

The global pandemic has forced cultural institutions to innovate in order to meet the needs of their audiences and to ensure their financial sustainability. In this discussion, two leading figures from the UK and Japanese cultural sectors will address some key questions about the future of museums and galleries. We ask, how can museums and galleries connect with a global audience? And what is the role of the arts in society in the era of Covid-19 and beyond?

Video link: British Council YouTube channel


Matthew Knowles, Director, British Council Japan

Opening remarks
Nigel Adams MP, Minister of State (Minister for Asia) FCDO

Mami Kataoka, Director, Mori Art Museum
Dr. Gabriele Finaldi, Director, National Gallery, London

(in order of appearance)

Speaker biographies

Mami Kataoka, Director, Mori Art Museum

Kataoka was Chief Curator at Tokyo Opera City Art Gallery (1997-2002) prior to the Mori Art Museum (2003-) where she holds the current position since 2020. Kataoka was also International Curator at the Hayward Gallery, London (2007-2009); Co-Artistic Director for the 9th Gwangju Biennale, South Korea (2012); Artistic Director of the 21st Biennale of Sydney (2018); and Artistic Director of the Aichi Triennale 2022. She has been serving as a Board Member of CIMAM [International Committee for Museums and Collections of Modern Art] (2014-) and currently the President of CIMAM 2020-2022. Chair of Contemporary Art Committee Japan, Art Platform Japan [Initiative by the Agency for Cultural Affairs, Japan]; Councilor of Tokyo Council for the Arts [Initiative by Tokyo Metropolis, Japan]; and Member of AICA [International Association of Art Critics]. Visiting Professor at Kyoto University of the Arts Graduate School; Visiting Professor at Tokyo University of the Arts’ Faculty of Fine Arts, Graduate School of Fine Arts. Kataoka frequently writes, lectures, and juries on contemporary art from Japan, Asia and beyond.

Dr. Gabriele Finaldi, Director, National Gallery, London

Gabriele Finaldi has been Director of the National Gallery since August 2015.
Dr Finaldi was previously Deputy Director for Collections and Research at the Museo Nacional del Prado, Madrid, a position he took up in 2002.
Prior to his role at the Prado, he was a curator at the National Gallery between 1992 and 2002 where he was responsible for the later Italian paintings in the collection (Caravaggio to Canaletto) and the Spanish collection (Bermejo to Goya).
Born in London in 1965, Gabriele Finaldi studied art history at the Courtauld Institute of Art where he completed his doctorate in 1995 on the 17th-century Spanish painter who worked in Italy, Jusepe de Ribera.
He has curated exhibitions in Britain, Spain, Italy, and Belgium and he has written catalogues and scholarly articles on Velázquez and Zurbarán, on Italian Baroque painting, on religious iconography, and on Picasso.

Date of recording: 7 January 2021

See also

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