Workforce diversity of the museum sector
Trained as a social art historian at UCL and University of Amsterdam, Hoyee Tse is interested in the meaning-making of art and cultural objects and the politics of cultural representation in different informal settings and in relation to various social ideologies. She earned a postgraduate degree with distinction at UCL Institute of Education with her dissertation focusing on contemporary museum collecting practices. She also extends her interest to the digital and physical representations of visual culture and heritage. She was the 2022 Design Trust Curatorial Fellow at the Royal College of Art and is aspiring to continue her research in the field via various projects in both Europe and Asia. Her latest project was curating the Butterfly Project exhibition initiated by Undone Theatre.
Based on my own Asian identity and the Anti-Asian Racism movement during the Covid-19 pandemic, I would like to take the employment of Asian professionals in the museum sector as my case study and explore whether and how museums are limiting their employment of Asian staff to Asian-related projects and hospitality positions. I propose to answer the following questions: At what levels are Asian professionals employed in the museum sector? For the collection and curatorial positions, are Asians hired for their specialisations in Asian subjects or Asian language skills? Moreover, many European museum professionals are still employed to lead Asian-related museum programmes. Does it mean that the opportunities available for the Asian workers in the sector become even more limited? The answers to these questions will demonstrate whether the current diversification of the museum workforce means a diversification of the workforce at all levels or just a racialisation of the museum profession.