Jo-Lene Ong is a curator in Amsterdam of Malaysian-Hokkien heritage. Her practice engages with counter-colonial ways of sensing, remembering, and organising. She got her start in the field at the intersection of art and civil society activism in Kuala Lumpur. Jo-Lene is pursuing a constellation of research on recovering erased histories and knowledge systems, and re-connecting with ancestors and ancestral knowledge. Jo-Lene is a program advisor for the 12th Seoul Mediacity Biennale and teaches theory at the Gerrit Rietveld Academie where she is also part of Urgent Ecologies: Towards A More Sustainable Curriculum working group.

Ishibashi Foundation/Japan Foundation Fellowship for Research on Japanese Art. July – August 2023. Research: Shifting Perspectives on Human and Beyond-Human Relationships in Times of Multiple Crises.

Delfina Foundation 1 Jan – 30 Mar 2023
Research: British Propaganda During the Malayan Emergency, The National Archives, Kew.


2023 Program Advisor, 12th Seoul Mediacity Biennale, This Too Is A Map

2023 Ecologies of Knowledge, Ecological Economics module for first year students in Gerrit Rietveld Academie, Amsterdam. Co-programmed with Marjet Zwaans.

2023 Slippery Tongues Sliding Horizons, for Beautiful Soup screening and symposium, by Arts Council Korea (ARKO), in De Appel Amsterdam

2023 Still Thriving short-film program for Refuge: fleeing, flowing, leaking BeamClub, Studium Generale Gerrit Rietveld Academie, Amsterdam.

2022 Slippery Tongues Sliding Horizons, for 5 Inclusion Tactics for 7 Curators screening and exhibition Arts Council Korea and DutchCulture

2022 Stateless Mind_Bodies of Knowledge performance and video program for Pera+Flora+Fauna by PORT Ipoh, Malaysia at 59th Venice Biennale Collateral Events

2022 Crafting Different Futures: Merentas Bentuk Pengetahuan (Crossing Forms of Knowledge) forum in PORT Ipoh, Malaysia

2022 graduation showcase of MA Artistic Research, The Royal Academy of Art, The Hague

2021-22 Flow into the SEA that transforms into a wave reading group for Oceanic Imaginaries, Studium Generale Gerrit Rietveld Academie, Amsterdam

2020-21 Hartwig Art Foundation: Production | Collection Fund Special Project Selecting 15 artists to be awarded a production grant from a long-list of artists nominated by 7 post-academic residencies in the Netherlands. The resulting artwork by each artist was exhibited in solo presentations across 5 art institutions, acquired by the foundation and donated to the Rijkscollectie (National Dutch Collection) With special attention to the works and presentations by :
• Kent Chan, Warm Fronts, Kunstinstituut Melly, Rotterdam
• Maria Pask, Zandra Rhodes’ Bedroom; A Room to Read Auden, Kunstinstituut Melly, Rotterdam
• Ana Guedes, vol.7 n.17 007 | 30’07” |121169_tape loop_7’13”, Oudekerk, Amsterdam
• Em’kal Eyongakpa, babhi–bεrat 21r, Oudekerk, Amsterdam

2020-21 Other Futures Festival co-curator of Visual Arts and Theory 2020 Olfactory History of Oosterdok Mediamatic, Amsterdam

2020, 2019 Unpacking the 3 Package Deal Amsterdam Funds for the Arts

2019 Practice Space, Eds. Jo-Lene Ong, Rachael Rakes, De Appel (NL) and NAME Publications (US). A publication featuring all new texts that gathers perspectives and approaches to “the local” from art initiatives that operate outside of conventional frameworks.

2019 Elsewheres Within Here inaugurating exhibition at Framer Framed’s new location

2018 Brace For Impact, exhibition and public program, De Appel, Stedelijk Museum, Schiphol Airport. Unraveling the relationship between technology and affect.

2017 SUNSHOWER: Contemporary Art from Southeast Asia 1980s to Now simultaneously at National Art Center, Tokyo and Mori Art Museum. The largest survey of contemporary art from the region, jointly organised by Japan Foundation Asia Center.

2016 My Story, My Strength workshop, exhibition, and auction centering stories of survivors of domestic violence. Women’s Center for Change, Penang.

2016 Khabar dan Angin: Excursus on Faith in Kelantan, exhibition of field-notes in the National Visual Art Gallery, Kuala Lumpur. Resulting from a field-trip bringing artists and curators to engage with diverse faith groups across urban, rural, and interiors of Kelantan that straddles the Thai-Malaysia border.

2015 Making Space: We Are Where We Aren’t a group exhibition of interventions in response to increasing privatisation of space as means to freedom. Organised by Japan Foundation in Sekeping Sin Chew Kee, Kuala Lumpur.

2011-2014 Programmer and Manager, mapKL @ Publika an art and culture platform in Kuala Lumpur that offers space to explore contemporary ideas. Main responsibilities include the arts and cultural programming of mapKL’s network of spaces totalling 18,000 sqft (white box, black box, outdoor stage) across music, theatre, visual art, fashion, design, grassroots initiatives, art and crafts bazaar; media plan and communications; managing the centre’s staff and budget (balance sheet, capital expenditure, KPI, ROI); commissioning over 100 public artworks for the surrounding mixed-use development, Publika.


2023 — Urgent Ecologies: Towards A More Sustainable Curriculum working group, Gerrit Rietveld Academie, Amsterdam

2020 — Art Theory, Basicyear, Bachelor’s Program, Gerrit Rietveld Academie, Amsterdam 2021 -2022 Curatorial Practice, MA in Artistic Research, The Royal Academy of Art, The Hague GUEST LECTURES

2022 Curating with Southeast Asian Cosmologies, BA Fine Art, The Royal Academy of Art, The Hague

2022 Future Ancestors: Animism and Post Humanism, MA Non-Linear Narrative, The Royal Academy of Art, The Hague

2021 Spectres of Batavia: Transcultural Modernisms in the Margins of Stedelijk Museum Amsterdam, MA Art in Context, Universität der Künste Berlin

2018 Southeast Asian Perspectives, MA in Social Sculpture, Oxford Brookes University, UK


2023 Gender, Colonialism, Ecology: Sabine Groenewegen and Riar Rizaldi, ReCNTR, Leiden

2023 Future Ancestors: Sensing and Recovering the Erased, Extra Academy, Antwerp

2022 5 Inclusion Tactics for 7 Curators, Country Focus: South Korea, Dutch Culture, Amsterdam

2022 Ownership of Natural History at Pera+Flora+Fauna, 59th Venice Biennale Collateral Event by PORT, Ipoh, Malaysia

2019 Freedom Of Expression And Art, Aichi Triennial International Forum, Japan

2019 Southeast Asian Cosmologies, Drained Atlas mini symposium puntWG, Amsterdam 2019 Looking Back at SUNSHOWER, Kaohsiung Museum of Fine Arts, Taiwan

2019 Sorry Not Sorry: Colonial Apologies, at Bellybutton, puntWG, Amsterdam 2019 Attitudes of the Limbs, at Stretching is a Matter of Spelling, puntWG, Amsterdam

2018 Landscape as Lived Experience in Climate as Artefact, The Hague

2018 Spectres of Batavia in the Stedelijk Museum Amsterdam in Returns and Repatriation Symposium, Framer Framed, Amsterdam

2017 The Gift of Time: Intergenerational Dynamics, Mori Art Museum, Tokyo


2022 Mindi Matu – With(in) the forest on the collaboration between Marjet Zwaans and Totomboti bridging ecological economics and Saramakan ancestral wisdoms, Unfair Amsterdam

2022 Lostgens Contemporary Art Space in SEA Contemporary Art Practices in Southeast Asia, Eds. Ute Meta Bauer, Karin G. Oen, Tan Boon Hui, Weiss Publications

2019 Co_temporary Tenses: OCAC Taipei (co-authored with Lo Shih Tung) in Practice Space, Eds. Jo-Lene Ong and Rachael Rakes, De Appel and NAME Publications

2019 Innovating Amidst Monuments: Interview with Melanie Bouteloup, Betonsalon in Practice Space, Eds. Jo-Lene Ong and Rachael Rakes, De Appel and NAME Publications

2019 A Pedestal and a Scaffolding in Decoding Dictatorial Statues, Ted Hyunhaak Yoon, Onomatopee

2015-17 SEA Project web-blog entries for the field research across 10 ASEAN countries, The Japan Foundation Asia Center, the National Art Center, Tokyo, and Mori Art Museum

2023 Ishibashi Foundation/Japan Foundation Fellowship for Research on Japanese Art
2023 Delfina Foundation, London
2019/20 De Appel Research Fellowship, Amsterdam
2017/18 De Appel Curatorial Programme, Amsterdam
2017 Khazanah Nasional Special Grant, Malaysia
2017 Perak State Government Special Grant, Malaysia
2014/15 Japan Foundation Young Curators Programme and Grant
2014 Berlin Biennale 8 Young Curators Programme
2010 United Nations Millenium Development Goals #3 (Ending Violence Against Women) Grant


2023— Advisory Board 1646 Experimental Art Space, The Hague
2023 External Examiner, F for Fact, MFA, Sandberg Instituut, Amsterdam
2023 External Examiner, ArtEZ University of the Arts, Enschede
2021 External Examiner, MA Artistic Research in and through Cinema, Netherlands Film Academy
2021 Admissions Committee, School for New Dance Development, Amsterdam
2020 Editorial Advisory Board, Errant Journal, Eds. Irene De Craen, Framer Framed,
2020 External Examiner, BAFine Arts, Gerrit Rietveld Academie Amsterdam
2019 Jury, De Appel Curatorial Programme, Amsterdam
2019 Nominator, NTU Center for Contemporary Art (CCA) Artist Residencies, Singapore
2019 Jury, SEA Foundation artist residencies, Tilburg
2018 Nominator, Signature Art Prize, Singapore Art Museum