Rodney Cone, Director
Alfredo Varas Setz, Director
A seminar on the history of Sino-Russian relations at Brown University in 1981 was one of Rodney's favourite research topics and was the the first step in a life spent working, learning and living in China.
In 1982, he moved to Taiwan to study Chinese Mandarin and in 1983 he explored mainland China, from north to south, by sleeper car. The symbols and language found in the propaganda posters of the first 30 years of the People's Republic of China still dominated the visual landscape as well as the spoken language, but China was changing and a new paradigm of economic reform and social change had sprouted that would soon break forth in one of the greatest economic transformations the world has seen.
Rodney worked in journalism, consulting and venture capital in Taiwan, Hong Kong and mainland China in the '80's and '90's. Between 1991 and 1993 he undertook an MBA program at Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania, where he had the opportunity to organize and teach an MBA course on current economic development. He took this opportunity to bring his students to Taipei, Hong Kong and Shanghai. At Wharton, he also served as an officer of the Wharton Chinese Associtaion.
In 1997, he partnered with Stevens Vaughn in Xiamen (PRC) to create a commercial ceramics export business. A key part of this business was a ceramics sculpting studio headed by Stevens, whose activities quickly expanded into collaboration with artists from China and Europe.
During their travels around China in the late '90's, Rodney and Stevens noticed that large numbers of original posters from 1949 to 1983 were being sold, as China cleaned out the old and brought in the new. A diverse collection covering major aspects of China propaganda posters was assembled in short order.
Today Rodney works as an investor in China and the United States and participates in learning and teaching experiences in China, Europe, North America and South America.
Jo Kjaergaard, Assistant Curator and PR Manager
Jo Kjaergaard graduated from both the University of Arts and the Confucious Institute of Helsinki in 2018. She speaks more than 5 languages and has lived in China, Colombia, Germany, Finland and Denmark. She did her internship at the Danish Culture Center in Beijing, where she assisted well known Danish artist, Bjorn Norgaard, in the production of artworks.
Ben Qin (秦奕宇), Assistant Curator
Ben Qin holds a Bachelor of Arts (English Literature and Philosophy) and a Master of Creative Writing, Editing and Publishing from the University of Melbourne in Melbourne, Australia.
He writes poetry in English.