John Stanmeyer is a humanist, photojournalist, Emmy nominated filmmaker and field recordist dedicated to social and political issues that define our times. Over the last decade, John has worked nearly exclusively with National Geographic magazine, producing over 14 stories for the magazine and resulting in 10 covers. Between 1998 and 2008, John was a contract photographer for Time magazine, during which time he photographed hundreds of stories for the magazine including the war in Afghanistan, the fight for independence in East Timor, the fall of Suharto in Indonesia, and other significant world news events. His years with Time resulted in 18 covers of the magazine. In January 2015, Stanmeyer joined National Geographic Creative, bringing his ten years of stories with National Geographic to the Society for representation. Prior to joining National Geographic Creative, in 2001, he cofound with six of the world’s leading photojournalists the VII Photo agency. By 2005 VII was listed in third position in American Photo’s“100 Most Important People in Photography.” He remains a Distinguished Member and Emeritus with his historic archive of war and conflict at VII. He is the recipient of numerous honors, including the prestigious Robert Capa award (Overseas Press Club), POYi Magazine Photographer of the Year (three times), and numerous World Press, Picture of the Year and NPPA awards. In 2008, his National Geographic cover story on global malaria received the National Magazine Award. In 2012 was nominated for an Emmy with the documentary film series, Starved for Attention and in 2014 was the recipient of the World Press Photo award for his photograph from Djibouti titled, Signal. John has published a number of books including Island of the Spirits, a journalistic/anthropologic look at Balinese culture documented during the five years he lived on the island. In 2013, John opened Stanmeyer Gallery & Shaker Dam Coffeehouse in West Stockbridge, Mass, combining photography and education around his passion for brilliant coffee, wrapping the two around ethically procured, human rights-based direct trade coffee with the socials issues represented in his photographs. A lecturer and educator, Stanmeyer lives on a farm with many fireflies over summer, blanketed quietly in deep snow for pondering walks in winter, in the Berkshires of Western Massachusetts.
Jacqueline Francis, Ph.D., is a writer, curator, art historian, and educator. She is the author of Making Race: Modernism and “Racial Art” in America (2012). With Ruth Fine, she co-edited Romare Bearden: American Modernist (2011). With Kathy Zarur, she co-curated the contemporary art exhibition “Where Is Here” for the Museum of the Diaspora in 2016-17. Francis presently serves on the Advisory Boards of Panorama: Art and Visual Culture of the United States, Third Text: Critical Perspectives on Contemporary Art and Culture, and San Francisco’s Luggage Store Gallery. She is also Board President of the Queer Cultural Center (QCC), a resource and site for LGBT artistic expression in San Francisco. Francis is an Associate Professor and Chair of the Graduate Program in Visual and Critical Studies at the California College of the Arts in San Francisco.
Dr. Linda Chiu-han Lai, Associate Professor in Intermedia Arts at the City University of Hong Kong’s School of Creative Media (SCM), is a research-based interdisciplinary artist. She seeks to extend her doctoral training in Cinema Studies from New York University to relevant artistic and theoretical endeavors and created SCM’s first courses in generative art, sound art and visual ethnography. Her creations have appeared in key venues worldwide—the International Short Film Festival Oberhausen, the Open City London Documentary Festival, Women Make Waves (Taipei), and experimental film/video festivals in Seoul (EXiS) and Taipei (EXiT), among others. In 2004, Lai founded the HK-based new media art group, the Writing Machine Collective, which explores computational thinking and contemporary art. The Floating Projects is her latest experiment on modes of sustainability in art-making.
Melissa Karmen Lee is the Education and Public Programmes Curator at Tai Kwun Heritage and Arts Centre, Hong Kong. Her experience primarily consists of curating beyond the exhibition space through pedagogical and public practice. In July 2018, she organised and conceived of ‘Summer Institute’, an inaugural programme where three distinguished scholars and one contemporary artist led seminars and public lectures on the theme of Labour and Privilege, explored through art historical and contemporary art case studies. In 2014-2015, she was the curator at large projects with Slought Foundation, Philadelphia in which she curated a series of ‘On the Cloud’ exhibitions included a newly commissioned work ‘Bozo on the Boom Boom Badass Beat’, performed online and in a gallery space by digital artists Young-Hae Chang Heavy Industries. This exhibition was contextualised in a curatorial essay alluding to Sherry Turkle’s Life on the Screen. A second ‘cloud’ exhibition entitled ‘Add Oil Machine’ was about the 2014 Hong Kong Umbrella Movement and the revolutionary potential of language and enunciation contextualised with Deleuze and Guattari’s Kafka: Towards a Minor Literature. She has been an invited and keynote speaker at panels including Sharjah Art Foundation March Meetings (2015), ‘Women in the Arts’ at the Asia Society Museum, Hong Kong (2013), and the ‘Arts Writers Convening’ at the The Creative Capital | Andy Warhol Foundation, Philadelphia (2011). She gave a TEDx Hong Kong talk entitled ‘Translating the Human Experience’ (2013). Previously, Lee was a Senior Lecturer on faculty at the English Department at the Chinese University of Hong Kong.
Teresa Ma is a Trustee of the WYNG Foundation. She has worked as a journalist, investment banker and lawyer. She was a partner and an elected board member of a global law firm and received the Chambers China Award for Outstanding Contribution to the Legal Profession. Her current interest is in peace and conflict transformation. She is actively engaged in volunteering for a number of non-governmental organisations (including the Hong Kong Arts Centre). Her longstanding interest in film and fine arts is rooted in undergraduate studies of the subjects. She has lived and worked in many countries, including most recently, Costa Rica and Cambodia.