Sophia Cai is a Melbourne-based curator, arts writer, public programmer and greyhound enthusiast. She is particularly interested in Asian art history, the intersection between contemporary art and craft, as well as feminist methodologies and community-based practices.
She completed her Masters in History of Art at the Courtauld Institute of Art in London in 2014, specialising in contemporary Chinese art. Prior to this, she graduated from the Australian National University with a First-Class Honours degree in Art History and Curatorship in 2011, receiving the Janet Wilkie Art History Honours Prize for her dissertation on contemporary Chinese photography.
In addition to her tertiary qualifications, Sophia has gained experience in major museums and galleries, independent and not-for-profit art spaces, and commercial galleries across Australia and the UK. She is currently the Public Programs Coordinator at the Australian Tapestry Workshop, a Board Member of Runway Experimental Art, as well as an independent curator and arts writer.
As an independent curator Sophia has worked on a number of projects and exhibitions. Recent curatorial projects include Some words are just between us at Firstdraft, Closing the Distance at Bundoora Homestead Art Centre, No Woman is an Island at Blindside, Every Dog Will Have its Day at Casula Powerhouse Arts Centre (with Kathleen Linn), Slice of Life at Craft Victoria as part of the Emerging Curators Program 2017, and Disobedient Daughters at Metro Arts in Brisbane. In 2019 she was featured as one of the ‘Tastemakers’ in Art Collector Magazine.
In addition to exhibition catalogues and artist commissioned essays, Sophia’s writing has appeared in Art Guide, Artist Profile, Art Almanac, 4A Papers, Un Extended, Runway Conversations, The Journal of Australian Ceramics, Peril Magazine, Liminal Magazine, ArtsHub, Antiques and Art NSW, and the Canberra Times. In 2016 she was selected for the SEVENTH Emerging Writers program and also the inaugural Craft Writers Program.
As a public programmer, Sophia is passionate about community building and working collaboratively with her peers. Her side projects include MONOGRAPH, a Melbourne-based arts reading circle with artist Charlotte Watson, with recent appearances at the MCA Zine Fair and the NGV Art Book Fair. With Tess Maunder, she is also the co-founder of Open Curators’ Network - a peer-to-peer digital network for emerging and independent curators. Sophia is also the founder of MAFAP – Melbourne Artists and Friends of Asian Persuasion, ostensibly a social club for Asian artists and friends in Melbourne but really just an excuse to eat dumplings. She is also involved with the Melbourne Makers group - a knitting and crafting group for people of colour.
When not visiting galleries or museums, Sophia enjoys knitting and taking walks with her greyhound best friends (and half-siblings) Rosie and Rocket.