Project Description


Dr. Hsu-Tang received her Ph.D. in Chinese art and archaeology from the University of Pennsylvania in 2004. Prior, she was a Mellon Foundation Pre-doctoral Fellow at the Needham Research Institute at Cambridge University in 2003 and subsequently served on the faculty at Brown University from 2004 to 2007. Dr. Hsu-Tang was a post-doctoral scholar in Classics at Stanford University from 2007 to 2008. She studied Classical and Near Eastern Archaeology, East Asian Studies, and English Literature at Bryn Mawr College and also holds an M.A. in Asian and Middle Eastern Studies from the University of Pennsylvania.

Trained as an art historian and archaeologist, Dr. Hsu-Tang is a cultural heritage policy advisor and documentarian. Since 2006, Agnes has served on UNESCO World Heritage Centre’s scientific committees, participated on missions to China, Uzbekistan, and Turkmenistan, spoken at international conferences, and authored a white paper on the multi-national nominations of the Qhapag Ñan and the Continental Silk Road. In 2013, Agnes advised the United States Cultural Property Advisory Committee on the renewal of the bilateral agreement with China to reduce the illicit trafficking of cultural objects. Prior, Agnes was the Special Assistant to the former United States Ambassador to China and Korea, the late James R. Lilley.

Dr. Hsu-Tang’s publications include The Exceptional Universal Value of the Road Systems in Ancient Empires: A Comparative Study of the Chinese Oasis Route of the Early Silk Road and the Qhapag Ñan (Paris: UNESCO, 2006), “An Emic Perspective of the Ancient Mapmaker’s Art” in Journal of the Royal Asiatic Society (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2007), “Structured Perceptions of Real and Imagined Landscapes in Early Imperial China” in Geography, Ethnography, and Perceptions of the World from Antiquity to the Renaissance (Oxford: Wiley-Blackwell, 2009) and others.  Her recent scholarly contributions include two exhibitions, “Chinese in America: Exclusion/Inclusion” at the New-York Historical Society (2014-15), “China’s Lost Civilization: The Mystery of Sanxingdui” at the Bowers Museum (2014-15), and the English-language libretto of the new opera Paradise Interrupted at the 2015 Spoleto USA and 2016 Lincoln Center Festival.  Trained in Classical music since childhood, Dr. Hsu-Tang made her debut at the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in 1989.

Since 2008, Dr. Hsu-Tang has worked with television networks to develop public programs on Chinese archaeology, history, and art. Agnes is the bi-lingual host and narrator of two award-winning documentary series, Mysteries of China on History Channel Asia (2011-2013) and Chineseness on Discovery Channel Asia (2014-2015); the latter premiered during the 2014 Art Basel Hong Kong at the Asia Society Hong Kong Center. Her pervious TV credits include “The Giant Buddha at Leshan” (2009) and “Xi’an: China’s Forgotten City” (2010) on Discovery USA, “China’s Terracotta Warriors” on PBS (2011), and Mankind: The Story of All of Us series on History Channel (2012).

Dr. Hsu-Tang co-chairs the Global Council on Arts and Culture at the Asia Society and serves on the advisory boards of the Institute of International Education, the Peabody Museum of Archaeology at the Phillips Academy Andover, the University of Pennsylvania’s Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology, and the Institute of the Study of the Ancient World at NYU.   Dr. Hsu-Tang is a trustee of the New-York Historical Society, where she chairs the Exhibitions Committee, and a managing director of the Metropolitan Opera.