Kóan Jeff Baysa is a physician, contemporary art collector, curator, designer, writer, critic, Whitney Museum Independent Study Program – Helena Rubinstein Curatorial Fellow, and a member of AICA, the association of international art critics.
He specialises in designing and producing projects and events that appose and contextualise seemingly disparate subjects. A contributing writer for the online publication ArtSlant, and contributing writer and art editor for the now online contemporary culture periodical, aRUde, he has written for Art Asia Pacific, Flavorpill, Ctrl+P Journal of Contemporary Art, the Scent Marketing Institute Newsletter, and is the Pacific editor for d’Art International (Toronto), Most recently he was invited as an international fashion journalist to Madrid Fashion Week 2012.
As a medical scientist, his interests center around issues of the sensate body and in the ways that the physical self experiences and knows the world through the senses; as a cultural worker, his interests lie in examining the dynamics of subcultures nesting within larger cultures. As an artist, he is most interested in creating text-based works, experimenting in all media. Dr. Baysa recently initiated the SENSEight Series: Come to Your Senses, private curated experiential workshops on the senses and perception. He has curated shows for the London Biennale, LA International Biennial, Chinese Biennial, Whitney Museum, Canon Corporation, The United Nations, and has organised and participated in art events throughout the US and in Paris, Cork, London, Abu Dhabi, Dubai, Tuzla, Sarajevo, Beirut, Beijing, Bandung, Hong Kong, Manila, Santiago, Singapore, Cologne, Seoul, St. Petersburg, Madras, Mexico City, and Yokohama. On the boards of The Vera List Center for Art and Politics at The New School University and the Art Omi International Artist Colony, he has presented lectures at the Whitney Museum of American Art and MoMA in New York, The Phillips Collection and The National Academy of Sciences in Washington DC, and is on the advisory panels for MuseCPMI, and Art and Med in Los Angeles, and the Streaming Museum, a cybersite with public exhibition spaces on all seven continents.
He is a consultant to and associate of The Daily Brand, a multi-disciplinary communications agency based in Los Angeles headed by Colin Mangham, a fellow founding member of MOCA China. He is an organising committee member of NextMed/MMVR (Medicine Meets Virtual Reality). The critic-in residence for the 2006 and 2011 Art Omi International Artist Colony in Ghent, New York, in 2007 he received a Ford Foundation grant to lecture on contemporary curatorial practice at the Hanoi University of Culture in Vietnam and conducted a survey of contemporary art in south and north Vietnam. In March 2009, he presented lectures and conducted workshops on the curatorial process from his unique perspective as a physician, at Zayed University campuses in Dubai and Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates.
Born and raised in Hawaii and completing his medical training at UCSF with a fellowship in allergy and clinical immunology, Dr. Baysa divides his time between New York and Los Angeles. He was an assistant clinical professor of pediatrics at the John A. Burns School of Medicine. With a special interest in the role of the sense of smell in health and aesthetics, he is creating scents with professional perfumers, curating olfactory exhibitions with artists, and collaborating in olfactory clinical research projects with scientists in Los Angeles and Berlin. He has segued from a clinical practice to focus on research investigating olfactory stimuli and their potential beneficial effects on memory disorders.