The supervisory board of the Witte de With Center for Contemporary Art in Rotterdam has announced that Sofía Hernández Chong Cuy will serve as the public institution’s new director, starting on January 1, 2018. She succeeds Defne Ayas, who has led the institution successfully for two three-year terms, the maximum for a director at Witte de With according to the organization’s governance code.
Hailing from Mexico, Hernández Chong Cuy has been curator of contemporary art at the Colección Patricia Phelps de Cisneros since 2011. She has also developed exhibitions independently, including “The Neighbors” (2016−17), an exhibition series at the Bronx Museum of the Arts in New York, and “Let’s Walk Together” (2016), a survey exhibition of Mario Garcia Torres at Museo Tamayo in Mexico City, a museum she also previously served as the director of, from 2009 to 2010. Hernández Chong Cuy was artistic director and chief curator of the Ninth Mercosul Biennial in Porto Alegre, Brazil, in 2013, as well as an “agent” of Documenta 13 (2012) in Kassel.
The outgoing director of Witte de With stated: “I am thrilled to see what we were able to achieve in the past six years, especially in the way we have become more of an open and inclusive place, and how we continued to be a site of excellence for exhibitions, while also transforming into a stage for global and national debate about the role of art and culture in society . . . I am grateful for the opportunity I was given here to work with some of the most generous and demanding artists, thinkers, and writers of our times. I will cherish this place and its people for the rest of my life. Sofía’s appointment aligns wonderfully with our ambitions to keep this center a continuously relevant one. She is someone who is conscientious and of uncompromising curatorial rigor, and, as such, the perfect person to lead this institution into the next, and possibly the most important, chapter of its evolution.”