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Adriel Luis

Curator of Digital & Emerging Practice

I am an artist, curator, and community organizer who believes in the social power of our collective imagination. I’m currently researching, critiquing & imagining beyond how histories of colonization shape our everyday lives. Most of my current projects investigate what connects indigeneity, diaspora & belonging. Right now I’m reading and thinking about origin/creation stories, histories of healing practices, and digital intimacy.

Research: Bigger Than the Internet: Museums and the Digital Colonization of the Web

Article on Open Rivers Journal: Extract:
Locating Indigeneity in Immigrant Experiences

Article on National Trust's Saving Places:
Serving Versus Observing Communities as Part of Preservation Practice

Lecture at Rockwell Museum:
Dismantling Diversity in Museums

Article on Smithsonian Magazine:
The Public Puts Great Trust in Museums, and Now It’s Time Museums Trust the Public

Geographic Focus

Professional Biography

  • Adriel Luis is a community organizer, artist, writer, and curator who believes that collective liberation can happen in poetic ways. His life’s work is focused on the mutual thriving of artistic integrity and social vigilance. He is a part of the iLL-Literacy arts collective, which creates music and media to strengthen Black and Asian coalitions, and is creative director of Bombshelltoe, a collaborative of artists and leaders from frontline communities responding to nuclear histories. Adriel is the Curator of Digital and Emerging Practice at the Smithsonian Asian Pacific American Center, where he advocates for equitable practices in museums and institutions. His ancestors are rooted in Toisan, China, and migrated through Hong Kong, Mexico, and the United States. Adriel was born on Ohlone land.

    Adriel has curated projects in a range of venues including several museums across the Smithsonian in Washington D.C.; MoMA and Pearl River Mart in New York City; Queensland Art Gallery in Brisbane, Australia; Silo Park in Auckland, Aotearoa; Atom Bar in Buenos Aires, Argentina; and an abandoned Foodland in Honolulu, Hawaiʻi. His writing has appeared in Poetry Magazine, the Asian American Literary Review, and Smithsonian Magazine. He has spoken at the Tate Modern, Yale University, the National Museum of African American History and Culture, and the China Academy of Fine Arts. His performance venues include the Brooklyn Academy of Music, SXSW, the John F. Kennedy Center, and the American University of Paris. He has a degree in human ecologies from UC Davis in Community and Regional Development and a minor in Asian American Studies.