John Clark Archive

The John Clark Archive contains over 250 audio interviews with artists and art professionals from across Asia, ranging from 1981 to 2010. The personal nature of these conversations offer a unique set of art historical narratives, which are often missing from existing art writing and public records. The interviews were predominantly conducted by Clark himself—in Mandarin, Japanese, Thai, English, French, and Dutch—with the occasional participation of curator and art historian Thomas Berghuis. Most of the interviews are accompanied by transcripts, alongside Clark’s research notes, chronologies and bibliographies on Asian artists, as well as manuscripts and appendices of publications.

The archive’s arrangement attempts to reflect Clark’s own system of organising, as he often serialised his interviews into country-based and largely chronological volumes. Interviews in Volume I to IV were intended for Clark’s book Modern Asian Art (1998); while interviews in Volume V to X include artists he had exchanges with, or countries he visited in Volumes I to IV, and additional interviews conducted in Korea, the Philippines, Singapore, and Europe (hence the titles “Further Interviews”). While his selection of countries reflects his longstanding scholarship and research interests, it was also a personal choice: Clark is a polyglot who speaks English, Mandarin, Japanese, and Thai, and it is no coincidence that he made China, Taiwan, Japan, and Thailand the first four countries he visited. He conducted interviews with artists in their mother tongues, with hope of encouraging forthright exchanges and avoiding anything lost to translation as much as possible.

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For each of these collection items, we applied a description to facilitate ease in search and access. Every item has a title, access level, rights statement, description and the folder and path within the archive structure. This includes the URL to the webpage and URL to the items with online access. The metadata is predominantly in English, with some supplementary title and descriptive information in other languages.

This information has been exported from the database as Excel, XML, and JSON files.  

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Please acknowledge and attribute Asia Art Archive as the publisher of the data sets.

This information is made available for research use at the user’s own risk under the guidelines of CC0 and our Terms and Conditions.

Please do not use AAA’s logo, fonts, or other trademarks. Do not misrepresent the data sets or use them to mislead others. If you change, modify, or transform the information found within these data sets for your project, you must make it clear that you have made alterations to the source material.

Items Under Copyright or Other Restrictions

While the data sets are freely available for use under CC0, each collection item described within has its own rights statement with specific restrictions on rights and reproductions.

Please respect the copyright of each item. If you wish to use any item beyond what is permitted in the rights statement please contact the Collections team.

Contact Information

We would love to see what you do with our data sets, so please get in touch. As well, if you identify possible inaccuracies in the metadata please notify us and we will investigate.


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John Clark Archive

John Clark Archive

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