Sophia Cai (she/her).
Lives and works in Birraranga/Melbourne, Australia.


2013 – 2014 – Masters in History of Art with Distinction, Courtauld Institute of Art, University of London, London, UK

2008 – 2011 – Bachelor of Philosophy (Hons) with First Class Honours in Art History and Curatorship, the Australian National University, Canberra, Australia


2019: Artbank Emerging Curators Program - Sydney

2018: PARASITE Experimental Arts Laboratory - Westspace, Melbourne

2018: Emerging Cultural Leaders – Footscray Community Arts Centre, Melbourne

2017: Craft Emerging Makers and Curators Program – Craft, Melbourne

2017: Gordon Darling Foundation Grant for ‘Closing the Distance’ exhibition catalogue 

2016: Craft Writers Program – Craft, Melbourne

2016: SEVENTH Emerging Writers’ Program – SEVENTH Gallery, Melbourne

2013 – 2014: Friends of the Courtauld Scholarship, University of London

2011: Janet Wilkie Art History Honours Prize, the Australian National University

2008 – 2011: National Undergraduate Scholarship, the Australian National University

SELECTeD Curatorial Projects

2020: CERAMIX, Manly Art Gallery & Museum, Sydney (forthcoming)

2019: The Four Letter Word, Artbank, Sydney

2019: For Love or Money, Town Hall Gallery, Melbourne

2019: AIR18, Australian Tapestry Workshop, Melbourne

2018: Degrees of Separation, c3 Annual Fundraiser, Melbourne

2018: Lucky?, Bundoora Homestead Art Centre, Melbourne (with Claire Watson, exhibition advisor Yhonnie Scarce)

2018: Floor Plan, c3, Melbourne

2018: Handle with Care, Soul Craft Festival, Melbourne

2018: Disobedient Daughters, Metro Arts, Brisbane

2018: AIR17, Australian Tapestry Workshop, Melbourne

2017: Every Dog Will Have its Day, Casula Powerhouse Art Centre, Sydney (with Kathleen Linn)

2017: No Woman is an Island, BLINDSIDE Gallery, Melbourne

2017: Slice of Life, Craft, Melbourne (Emerging Curator's Program)

2017: Closing the Distance, Bundoora Homestead Art Centre, Melbourne

2016: Think Pink, ENOUGH Space, Melbourne (with Caitlin Shearer)

2016: Domestic Bliss, Little Woods Gallery, Melbourne

2016: Some words are just between us, Firstdraft, Sydney

2016: Wonky, Tinning Street Presents, Melbourne (with Caitlin Shearer)

2016: Playful, City Library Gallery, Melbourne

2015: Secret Garden, Long Division Gallery, Schoolhouse Studios, Melbourne (with Caitlin Shearer)

PROJECTS & Community Engagement

2017 – ongoing: Open Curator’s Network – a peer-to-peer digital community for curators (co-founded with Tess Maunder)

2016 – ongoing: MAFAP – Melbourne Artists and Friends of Asian Persuasion

2016 – ongoing: MONOGRAPH – a reading circle for artists and art lovers (co-founded with Charlotte Watson)

2018: FRESH! exhibition Panel Member at Craft

2017: Reading Corner as part of Craft and Design as a Career, 2017.

2016: Crafthouse – craft club for artists, designers and makers

2015 – 2016: Dearest Projects – a creative and curatorial collaboration with Caitlin Shearer


2019: Panel speaker, '“Wellbeing in the Arts” at First Site Gallery RMIT, 26 August 2019

2019: Panel speaker, “Cultural Appropriation and (In)Sensitivity: Working in a Cross-Cultural Context” at West Space, 27 June 2019

2019: Radio interview, ‘Is Racism Weakening the Craft Community’s Tight-Knit Bond?’ on 3RRR The Grapevine, 24 June 2019

2019: Panel speaker, “Safe Spaces for BIPOC in the Fibre Community” at FibreX, Ourimbah NSW, 22 June 2019

2019: Panel speaker, “Diversity & Inclusion in the Fibre Space – Where do we go from here?” at Edinburgh Yarn Festival, Edinburgh, 24 March 2019

2019: Panel Chair, “The Great Australian Dream”, as part of Lucky? at Bundoora Homestead Art Centre, 23 February 2019

2018: Speaker, “Women and Cultural Identity in the Art World”, as part of Talk The Talk by ACP Projects at University of Melbourne, 12 October 2018

2018: Roundtable Speaker, “The Curatorial Age: The Future Curating” at RMIT First Site Gallery as part of the RMIT Curatorial Collective, Melbourne, 2 August 2018

2018: Panel Speaker, “Emerging to Established” at Monash Gallery of Art, Melbourne, 14 July 2018

2018: Panel Speaker, “Coverage, Critique and Catalogue” as part of the Movers and Makers program at Parramatta Artist Studios, Sydney, 19 May 2018.

2018: Judge, Doggy Fashion Parade as part of the Immigration Museum’s Year of the Dog celebrations, 25 February 2018.

2018: Panel Speaker, “Feminist Futures in Colour: What is White Feminism” as part of the Women, Art and Feminism Symposium at VCA, 21 February 2018

2017: Panel Speaker, “Managing and Marketing Your Practice” as part of BLINDSIDE Gallery’s Professional Development series, 14 October

2017: Guest Lecture, “Curating Beyond the ‘Other’: Approaches to Gender and Identity Politics” at University of Melbourne, 5 October

2017: Guest Lecture, “Curating Textiles” for RMIT Advanced Diploma Textile Design students, 31 July

2017: Panel Speaker, “Curating Relationships” as part of Australia-China Emerging Leaders Summit, The University of Melbourne, 29 July

2017: Panel Speaker as part of Chinese Whispers and Other Stories, exhibition at BLINDSIDE Gallery, 8 July

2017: Panel speaker, “Contemporary Asian-Australian artists in the Australian Mainstream” as part of Asian Arts in Australia: Long Pasts and Possible Futures, held in conjunction with AsiaTOPA, 31 March

2017: Curator Floor Talk, Closing the Distance, Bundoora Homestead Art Centre, Melbourne, 18 March

2017: Speaker, “In My Skin: Contemporary Chinese Photography” at Echo Chamber #6, Centre for Contemporary Photography, Melbourne, 2 March

2016: Speaker, “Revisiting Identity: Asian Art Dialogue #4” at Art History Student Society, University of Melbourne, 20 October

2016 : Guest Lecture, “Coming of Age: Contemporary Chinese Photography and the Body” at Monash Gallery of Art, Melbourne as part of the China Grain to Pixel exhibition, 20 August

2016: Panel Chair, “China on the Move: Photography in a Changing Nation” at Monash Gallery of Art, Melbourne for the China Grain to Pixel exhibition, 7 August

2016: Workshop, "MONOGRAPH: art reading circle" at Museum of Contemporary Art, Sydney as part of the MCA Zine Fair, 12 June


‘Arts Writing in the Meme Age (and Other Complications)’, opinion piece for Art Guide, Issue 120, July/August 2019, p 72 - 73.

‘ART/WORK’, catalogue essay for For Love or Money, Town Hall Gallery, 6 July 2019

‘Status Quo: an open letter to white women in the arts’, opinion piece for INSITE Magazine, May - July 2019, p 3.

‘Barriers to Entry’, catalogue essay for Chloe Bensahel and Amelia Dowling’s exhibition, KINGS Artist Run, 6 April 2019

‘If I Could Have’, artwork wishlist for Art Collector Magazine, April - June 2019, p 86

‘Sally Smart: The Violet Ballet’, exhibition preview for Art Almanac, March 2019

‘What does love have to do with it?’, catalogue essay for Kate Just’s solo exhibition From China with Love, Hugo Michell Gallery, February 2019

‘The quilts of Jess and Cynthia Johnson: a mother-daughter partnership', Garland Issue 12, September 2018

‘Anonymous Was a Woman’, catalogue essay for group exhibition This Wild Song at Town Hall Gallery, 1 September 2018

‘PROFILE: Sean Meilak’, Artist Profile, Issue 44, July 2018, p 88 – 92.

‘The Burrangong Affray’ at 4A Centre for Contemporary Art, review for un Extended, 30 July 2018

‘Paved with Gold by Occupation:Artist’, interview for Radiant Pavilion, 6 July 2018

‘Underneath the Mask’, catalogue essay for Kristone Capistrano’s solo exhibition Forgotten Faces, Crowther Contemporary, 24 June, 2018

‘A Conversation with Nikki Lam’, Liminal Magazine, 7 May 2018

‘Celeste Chandler: Be My Eyes’, exhibition preview for Art Almanac, April 2018, p 36 – 38

‘Conspicuous Presence’, catalogue essay for group exhibition curated by the Women’s Art Register, Trocadero Art Space, 21 February 2018 

‘GLOSSARY’, catalogue essay for Infrastructuralism, La Trobe Institute of Art, 8 February 2018

‘WIP: The Unfinished Business of Feminism’, Runway Conversations, 21 January 2018

‘Heroine Knits: Dear Kate Just, I’m Your Feminist Fan’, Portrait Magazine, Issue 58, p 68 – 71.

‘Poetry of the Everyday’, Journal for Australian Ceramics, Issue 57, November 2017

‘A Conversation with Jason Phu’, Liminal Magazine, 12 November 2017

‘PREVIEW: Notfair 2017’, Artist Profile, Issue 41, November 2017, p 108 – 111.

‘Cellular to Stellar’, catalogue essay for Linda Oy Ho’s solo exhibition, St Heliers Street Gallery, 4 August 2017 

‘Five Ways With Clay’, Journal for Australian Ceramics, Issue 56, July 2017, p 64 – 69.

‘Making Work/Making it Work’, Visual Arts Editorial for Peril Magazine, edition 30, 19 June 2017

‘Home Sweet Home?’, catalogue essay for Rosi Griffin’s solo exhibition Fractured Dwellings, St Heliers Street Gallery, 2 June 2017

‘A White Utopia’, criticism, June 2017

‘Performing geographies: Asia TOPA arrives in Melbourne’, 4A Papers, Issue Two, May 2017

‘Looking Back to Look Forward’, catalogue essay for Ashley Ronning’s solo exhibition No Place Like Space, Magic Johnson, 3 February 2017 

‘Renaissance Woman’, interview with Kate Rohde as part of the Craft Writers Program, 14 December, 2016

‘Umbilicus in Flux’, essay for Freÿa’s Black solo exhibition as part of the SEVENTH Emerging Writer’s Program, 9 November, 2016 

‘BOOB’, catalogue essay for group exhibition ‘BOOB – Bias Objects Objective Bodies’, KINGS Artist-Run, 1 October 2016 

‘In Conversation with Mikala Tai’, Peril Magazine, edition 24, June 2016

‘Not a Museum Postcard’, catalogue essay for Emma Hamilton’s solo exhibition ‘Angled Regard’, BUS Projects, 6 April 2016

‘It’s the Small Things’, exhibition review, Language of Labour, 22 February 2016

‘Uncommon Threads’, exhibition review, RAVEN Contemporary, 24 June 2015

‘Believe Not Every Spirit, But Try The Spirits.’ exhibition review, RAVEN Contemporary, 19 May 2015

Crafting China:Textiles as Strategy in the Works of Gao Rong, Yin Xiuzhen and Lin Tianmiao, Masters Thesis, The Courtauld Institute of Art, July 2014.

‘Feel and Think: A New Era of Tokyo Fashion,’ exhibition review, ArtsHub, 9 July 2013

‘Go Figure! Contemporary Chinese Portraiture,’ exhibition review, ArtsHub, 28 September 2012

‘Beyond the Last Sky,’ exhibition review, ArtsHub, 10 September 2012

‘National Gallery of Australia Collection: Lucien Freud,’ in Antiques & Art in NSW, December 2011 to March 2012, p 96. 

‘Favourites from the NGA’s Renaissance exhibition,’ in The Canberra Times – Panorama, February 11, 2012, p 19. 

Past Present and Future: Contemporary Chinese Photography and Identity, Honours Thesis, Australian National University, November 2011. 

Contributor: Radford, Ron, et al., Renaissance: 15th and 16th century Italian paintings from the Accademia Carrara, Bergamo, Canberra: National Gallery of Australia, 2011.

‘Review: For Love or Money, Hawthorn Town Hall Gallery’, Arts Hub, 24 July 2019

'Feature: Tastemaker’, Art Collector Magazine: 50 Things Collectors Should Know, January - March 2019, p 186 - 188

‘Preview: Lucky?’, Art Almanac, 28 November 2018

‘Review: Lucky?’, Time Out, 18 November 2018

‘Review: Disobedient Daughters by Yen-Rong Wong, Un Extended, 26 April 2018

‘Challenging the media’s portrayal of Asian women through art and photography’ by Cristiana Bedei, Huck Magazine, 6 April 2018

‘Preview: Disobedient Daughters’, Art Almanac, 29 March 2018

‘Interview: Disobedient Daughters’, Artist Profile, 28 March 2018

‘A New Book on Australian Contemporary Art Foregrounds Questions about Diversity’ by Naima Morelli, D/Railed Mag, 4 August 2017

‘Feature: No Woman is an island’ by Elli Walsh, Art Almanac, 3 May 2017

‘Discursions: Closing the Distance’ by Andy Butler, Art and Australia Online, 11 February 2017

‘Location, the Female Gaze and the Warmth of the Internet’ by Kathleen Linn, Peril Magazine, 12 August 2016


professional experience

2019 - ongoing: Westspace, Melbourne - Artist Committee

2018 – ongoing: Runway Experimental Art, Sydney – Editorial Assistant and Management Board

2015 – ongoing: Independent curator and arts writer

2017 – 2019: The Australian Tapestry Workshop, Melbourne – Public Programs & Exhibitions Coordinator

2016 – 2018 : Bundoora Homestead Art Centre, Melbourne – Guest Curator

2016 – 2018: The Dolls House Gallery, Melbourne – Curator

2016 – 2017: Melbourne Library Service, Melbourne – Acting Community Heritage Curator, Gallery and Events Technician

2015: MARS Gallery, Melbourne – Art Consultant

2014 – 2015: The Ian Potter Museum of Art, Melbourne – Gallery Attendant

2013 – 2014: The Courtauld Institute of Art, London – Library Assistant

2013: Serpentine Gallery, London – Gallery Assistant

2012 – 2013: Museum of Contemporary Art, Sydney – Curatorial Research Intern

2012 – 2013: Museum of Contemporary Art, Sydney – Visitor Services Officer & Back Up Team Leader

2012: Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney – Curatorial Intern, Contemporary Art

2012: Annandale Galleries, Sydney – Gallery Intern

2011 – 2012: National Gallery of Australia, Canberra – Front of House

2011: National Gallery of Australia, Canberra – Curatorial Intern: International Painting and Sculpture