Hou Hanru

International curator and artistic director of the MAXXI, Rome

Having steered Rome’s MAXXI out of its rocky first few years, artistic director Hou is still listed on the institution’s website as ‘based in Paris and San Francisco’. But what distinguishes this perpetual internationalist from other globetrotting curators is not just relentless energy but also a progressive vision, with MAXXI’s recent programme including architect Yona Friedman and ecological artist Piero Gilardi. Hou just can’t sit still, also acting as a consulting curator for the Guggenheim (for whom he is one of the guest curators of the current and controversial Art and China after 1989 exhibition) and curator of Shenzhen’s Bi-City Biennale of Urbanism/Architecture, which opens in December under the title Cities, Grow in Difference and will be exploring themes of otherness and coexistence.