Keith Whittle is a Fellow at Central Saint Martins, University of the Arts London and The Japan Foundation. His research focuses on art practices informed by East and Southeast Asian heritages.

He has held a long-standing interest in Japanese art: Kindai Bijutsu (modern art in Japanese), Gendai Bijutsu (contemporary art in Japanese), and Kontenporariato (the English term contemporary art). Corresponding roughly to the general division of the prewar-wartime (1907–45), postwar (1945–the 70s), and recent (1980s–present) periods.

Through an interdisciplinary and multifaceted approach that covers modern and contemporary art. His research has focused on the aesthetic, cultural and political intentions and processes that shape its production, Empire, colonialism and diaspora. 

Research interests have expanded to encompass East and Southeast Asian and modern and contemporary art; artists in the international diaspora, performance art and the body in art; strategies and politics of curating ‘East and Southeast Asian’ art; twentieth-century modernity and post-modernity; colonialism and post-colonialism, visual culture and spectatorship, transnational art; criticism and curating; geographic and pedagogic characteristics of the history of art.

Further research is related to Bienalisation and related developments in the art world. Such as the emergence of global curatorial discourse, the vanishing boundaries between art and non-art categories, and contemporary art from the Global South such as from Africa, Asia, and Latin America.

International in focus research is qualitative, descriptive and comparative, with a critical overview of the knowledge with outcomes that include:

National and international touring exhibitions, commissioned and produced in partnership with galleries and cultural institutions.

Exchange Residencies 
Art-based research residencies aimed at researchers, artists, curators, writers.

Research-related interviews with curators, artists and academics.


Qualitative, descriptive, and comparative, research-based publications. A collating of and a critical overview of the knowledge.

Explore the structure and characteristics of art and culture, global and regional contexts.

Lectures on Modern and Contemporary Art at Sotheby’s Institute of Art, London and other institutions focus on several interrelated themes.

International research gatherings working with specialists and scholars from various disciplines. 

An accompaniment to commissioning, exhibitions, projects and events.