MIM is delighted to welcome a new curator for the Asia Gallery, Eddie Chia-Hao Hsu. A Taiwan native and accomplished Chinese dizi flute performer, Hsu received his PhD and master’s degrees in ethnomusicology from the University of Texas at Austin. His research concentrations were Taiwanese and Chinese musical culture and the institutionalization and teaching of traditional music in East Asia. Most recently, Hsu taught as an adjunct faculty member in Boyer College of Music and Dance at Temple University in Philadelphia. We spoke with Hsu about his new role at MIM:

What excites you about music and instruments from Asia?
There are so many instrument connections in East Asia, especially instruments from China, Korea, and Japan. There were frequent cultural exchanges between the regions around the seventh century—many instruments share surprising similarities in appearance, sounding mechanisms, and construction styles. I’m very interested in how each one of these instruments represents significant evidence of the development of traditional music in each country, while also demonstrating vibrant musical and cultural exchanges.

What do you hope to accomplish at MIM?
My main goal at MIM is to expand our collection of Asian instruments and engage guests by contributing to their understanding not just of music in Asia, but of the cultural diversity around them. I also hope to create the kind of stories that highlight the uniqueness of each tradition and cultural aspects shared among the peoples of particular geographic regions.