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director, curator, producer, manager and academic
Mirjam Asmal is the director of the AVA Gallery since 2015.
Originally from the Netherlands, Mirjam completed a Bachelors degree in International Management before obtaining her Masters in the History of Art, specialising in Indian contemporary art, from the University of Amsterdam. She has worked for numerous art galleries in Europe including the Royal Hibernian Academy Gallagher Gallery in Dublin, Ireland and the Foundation for Indian Artists in Amsterdam, The Netherlands.
On arrival in South Africa Mirjam joined the Association for Visual Arts in Cape Town as Gallery Custodian. In 1997 she obtained a mandate from the Swiss Arts Council, Pro Helvetia, to set up and run Pro Helvetia Liaison Office South Africa, promoting exchange between Switzerland and Southern Africa in all disciplines of art. In the function of Head of Pro Helvetia Liaison Office South Africa Mirjam initiated or facilitated around 500 arts exchange projects in the period 1998-2007.
Between 2006 and 2009 she held the post of Managing Director of CAPE Africa Platform, producing large-scale biennale exhibitions in Cape Town, debating platforms in the Southern African region, and a Young Curators Programme and Arts Awareness Programme. From 2010-2013 she was the Programme Manager Arts, Culture & Heritage at !Khwa ttu San Centre.
In between fixed positions, Mirjam has operated as independent curator/producer/manager of contemporary art events, with mandates from Open Design Cape Town, Montebello Design Centre, Century City Arts Foundation and the Cape Craft and Design Institute. She has curated Indian Contemporary Art (Cape Town, 1997) and co-curated Holland-South Africa Line (Amsterdam and Cape Town, 1997-2000) and Towards-Transit (Zurich, 1999).