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Mao Lei

Dunhuang Academy

Exhibitions Planner

Country: China

ITP Year: 2018


As exhibition planner, Mao Lei is responsible for the exhibition centre which accompanies the Mogao Grottoes. He works on establishing exhibition themes and selecting works of art for both local exhibition in Dunhuang and for international touring exhibitions. Part of Mao Lei’s job is to interpret objects for visitors through images, information panels and text.

The Mogao Caves receive nearly 1 million visitors per year and as a result, Mao Lei’s daily work involves accomodating the growing number of visitors and as a result, managing increasing numbers of tour guides and volunteers. Mao Lei is interested in learning more about the role of education in museums, in order to make the museum and caves more accessible to school groups. He is interested in using small animations and interactive displays to do this. Mao Lei enjoys researching the canons of Chinese Buddhist Art.

At the British Museum Mao Lei enjoyed speaking with museum professionals from around the world about developing exhibitions at his museum for an increasingly international audience. Mao Lei aimed to develop long term relationships with the ITP network to share ideas and for future collaborations.

At the British Museum

During his time on the International Training Programme Mao Lei was based in the Department of Asia and he spent his partner placement at Tyne and Wear Archives and Museums.

In 2018 participants were asked to plan and propose a temporary exhibition, drawing on their existing museum experience and the skills learnt during the programme.  Mao Lei worked with Amalia Kakissis on his Object in focus project, Metis Art and a Journey of Identity.

Mao Lei’s place on the International Training Programme was generously supported by the Sino-British Fellowship Trust.