Dr Martha Liew
Director (Curatorial and Art Consultancy)
Hong Kong-born Dr Martha Liew is an award-winning curator specialising in public art, contemporary Chinese art, Hong Kong art and art festival management. She received her curatorial training from the prestigious Schoeni Art Gallery (Hong Kong). She was primarily responsible for introducing some Chinese superstar artists such as Yue Minjun, Yang Xiaobin, Wang Yidong and others to the western audience. In the mid-1990s, Martha headed the visual art department at the Hong Kong Fringe Club and led two hugely successful Hong Kong Fringe Festival in 1997 and 1998.
Between 1998 and 2000, Martha worked as the Project Director at Art Works and had successfully delivered 15 public art projects for high-profile clients. These include Cheung Kong Holdings, Hutchison Whampoa, Grand Hyatt Hotel, Times Square Hotel, Dresdner Bank, Sheraton Lido Hotel Portofino Club House and Regus Business Centre across Southeast Asia. Her curatorial skills are equally impressive – during her time in Hong Kong, Martha successfully curated more than 180 exhibitions for Schoeni Art Gallery, Hong Kong Fringe Club and Artworks.
Martha returned to Brisbane in 2000 and joined the Art Built-in Unit, Project Services, Department of Public Works (2000 – 2006), where she held the position of Senior Project Manager/Head and was responsible for implementing and managing the Queensland Government's state-wide Art Built-in Policy. Under her leadership, she successfully delivered 19 public art projects, including three award-winning projects: Bob Marshman Building and 33 Charlotte Street (currently known as Treasury Building), and South Queensland Institute of TAFE. The former two projects were awarded the Art + Architecture Award from the Australian Institute of Architects Queensland Chapter in 2004 and 2006. The last project was awarded the National Sustainability Award from the Australian Institute of Steel in 2007.
Martha is well-versed in public art policies nationally and internationally and excels in research. Her expertise in public art and contemporary Chinese art led her to develop the Australian Institute of Architect's first national policy on public art (2009), followed by her appointment as the chief curator for the ScreensGuru in Hong Kong (2021), where she curated Hong Kong's first NFT's art exhibition, WAVE@Space/Art//NFT (2021), at Gallery by the Harbour. She is also the author of China's first bilingual public art book, Public Art + Practice: East + West.
In early 2022, Martha was appointed by Schoeni Projects (London) to curate their first metaverse exhibition, Manfred Schoeni: Love, Art & Legacy – a Chinese Contemporary Art Collection featuring works by leading Chinese artists, including Zhang Xiaogang, Yue Minjun, Zeng Fanzhi and many others.
Academically, Martha graduated in Visual Arts from the Queensland University of Technology. She also holds a Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of Queensland and a PhD (iconic architecture and public art in China) from the Australian National University. In addition, Martha was a recipient of the Australian Research Council Linkages Grant between Lingnan University, Hong Kong and ANU in 2006 – 2007.