JOSEPH LO

Currently a curator with Centre for Folklife and Cultural Heritage, Smithsonian Institution, Washington DC, Dr Lo is working on a project with the Royal Textile Academy of Bhutan, Thimphu to sustain and re-capitalise Bhutanese weaving practices.

Graduated from School of Textiles and Design, Heriot-Watt University, Scotland in 2015, Dr Lo’s academic contribution has been to determine self-identified markers of authenticity in the work of artisans. Practically, it addresses the balance between protection and conservation of the community’s identity with openness to design innovation and development from outside. Dr Lo has worked for numerous UN agencies on culture and development, specifically focusing on culture-based creative industry, artisan development and cultural diplomacy. Dr Lo also sat on the Board of Advisors for British Council’s Crafting Futures programme for East and Southeast Asia (2017 – 2019) and is currently acting as an advisor to World Crafts Council (WCC)International and the Asia-Pacific Region.

Responding to the Covid-19 pandemic, Dr Lo drafted a framework for WCC to build greater resilience in the crafts sector – a means to mitigate against future crisis. This resulted with Dr Lo curating, coordinating and organising a global webinar to discuss this matter. Dr Lo has over two decades of first-hand experiences in Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, Cambodia, China, Indonesia, Laos, Mongolia, Myanmar, Nepal, Pakistan, Thailand, Tibet Autonomous Region and Vietnam.