NATT-art is Not a Think Tank.
Founded in 2020 by Rotana Shaker and Jean Wong, NATT-art is an art collective that develops public programs, exhibitions, and publications. Driven by our interest in vernacular forms of knowledge sharing, we are interested in projects that engage under- and mis-represented histories and people who occupy hybrid spaces- across cultures, media, disciplines, etc.
NATT-art fosters communal learning with different people-- artists, writers, scholars, performers, software engineers, designers… the list goes on! We build long-term relationships that allow for sustainable collaborations. Through this process, we hope to create more expansive curator-artist relationships and support artists’ work beyond traditional modes of display and commerce, namely museums and galleries. We are guided by the question: How can curator-artist relationships become more interdisciplinary and enter more everyday spaces?
Rotana and Jean work from/with our backgrounds in the ill-defined regions of the Middle East/West Asia and Southeast Asia, respectively. We honed our academic knowledge at Columbia University, where we met during our Master’s in Modern and Contemporary Art: Critical and Curatorial Studies in 2018. Steeped in traditional art historical methodologies and having derived our knowledge from U.S. research institutions, we approached our fields of study as negatives to a western positive. NATT-art was born out of our shared gratitude for those experiences coupled with the question: where do we go from there? We are inspired by our colleagues who are actively creating language and discourses that reorganize art histories around non-western centers. As two young curators still trying to find our place in this constellation, we hope our cross-disciplinary approaches allow us to find different ways of knowing, questioning, and sharing [blank].
Jean Wong is an artist, educator, and researcher of modern and contemporary art. She received her BA in Studio Arts and Art History (double major) from Bard College and her MA in Modern and Contemporary Art from Columbia University. Jean is interested in the intersections of technology, contemporary art, and colonialism, particularly in Southeast Asia.
Rotana Shaker received her BS in Psychology and Art History from Tufts University and her MA in Modern and Contemporary Art from Columbia University. Rotana was the MODA 2020 Curatorial Fellow at the Wallach Art Gallery where she curated the exhibition A Bottomless Silence, featuring the works of Jumana Manna, Walid Raad, and Nadia Kaabi Linke.