I acknowledge, pay respect, and pay the rent to the Traditional Custodians of the land on which I live and conduct this creative practice: the Wurundjeri people of the Kulin Nations. I pay my respects to their Ancestors and Elders, past and present, and all Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people. Sovereignty was never ceded. Always was, always will be, Aboriginal land.

Dr Jacina Leong 梁玉明 is an artist-curator, educator and researcher of Chinese Italian heritage, living and practising on the unceded Country of the Wurundjeri people in Narrm/Melbourne, and engaged in critical processes of community engagement, arts management and post-representational curatorial practice.

With sixteen years experience working with children and young people, school and university students, emerging and established artists, creative and cultural producers, researchers and educators, Jacina is committed to the role that arts organisations—as public, pedagogic spaces—can play in bringing people together to explore and respond to complex and converging crises: through situated, responsive, and purposeful forms of engagement. Employing feminist methodologies of care ethics, and informed by her experience as an early school leaver, this commitment has since been shaped by professional experiences, including positions of leadership, working with and across social history and visual art museums, contemporary and regional galleries, universities and schools, local councils, international arts festivals and libraries.

She is a former Co-Director of Bus Projects, Public Programs Curator at The Cube and Ipswich Art Gallery, Producer for the Creative Industries Precinct, Sessional Academic at RMIT University School of Art and La Trobe University, mentor for the ACMI CEO digital mentoring program, and co-founding member of the Guerrilla Knowledge Unit (with Linda Knight). 

Through her organisational roles, and expanded independent practice, Jacina has produced and presented projects nationally and internationally including at Ars Electronica, Brisbane City Council, Liquid Architecture, Queensland Museum, Queensland University of Technology, Ritsumeikan University, and West Space. She has presented talks at Aarhus University, Arts House, Monash University, State Library of Queensland, University of Melbourne, University of Tasmania, and UNSW, and has writing published in Co-Publishing, Journal of Public Pedagogies, The Routledge Companion to Mobile Media Art, and The World We Want: Dystopian and Utopian Impulses in Art Making.

As a researcher, Jacina has worked with ACMI to explore the perceived and lived experiences of audience engagement, and how such learnings can inform the co-development of responsive methods of intergenerational engagement. She has investigated self-tracking interventions by contemporary artists and the omniscient and omnipresent advancement of human and more-than-human self-tracking entanglements. More recently, she had written about composting as a methodology, and together with Larissa Hjorth and Jen Rae, engaged in research that explored how creative practitioners are responding to ecological grief, and how creative practice can be used to mobilise shared practices of care, connection and community.

Her PhD (completed in 2023) explores the conceptual, methodological and practical tensions of care, at play in post-representational curatorial practice, and the real-world implications and challenges of practising care within pandemic-impacted, colonial capitalist organisational systems and structures. The major creative output of her PhD was caring in and through our practices, an online resource developed to cultivate shared practitioner reflexivity, through questions that prompt practitioners to consider not only the complexities of care, but also the purposes, values, and ethics of our practices.

She is currently Acting CEO/Director of Next Wave, Co-Chair of Bus Projects, and a member of the Darebin Council Art and Heritage Advisory Panel. 

Jacina has a Bachelor of Fine Arts (Visual Arts) and Master of Arts (Research) from the Queensland University of Technology, and a PhD from RMIT University.

Learn more about some of the organisations Jacina has worked with, her research and teaching, and select projects, publications and presentations.

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