He used to lead archaeological teams into the Taklamakan desert and study Chinese manuscripts from Dunhuang, and now he is coming to Chicago.
Tao Wang, a well-known Chinese-born art scholar has been appointed as new director of the Department of Asian Art, and curator of Chinese Art at the Art Institute of Chicago.
Wang is an internationally-recognized scholar and plans to expand both the museum's Chinese art collection, and the recognition it gets in China.
One essential part of that plan is showing Chinese art in China.
"People don't necessarily get a direct experience with the Institute, and one of my tasks would be to have exhibitions from this Institute to be in China, so people can see what a wonderful collection is here," Wang explained.
Douglas Druick, director of the Art Institute, renowned for its Western art, explained that bringing Wang on board was an idea to partner with China and the beginning to expand its Eastern art collection.
Wang could never have imagined going to university in London or even arriving in America when he first started his schooling at the age of 16, at Yunnan Normal University in Kunming. But he will arrive in April, and Druick sees Wang's arrival as an opportunity for the Institute.
"We want to do pioneering research... I would like to see our Asian collections which are distinguished in certain ways: the jade, the ceramics. I would like to have that scholarship out there and in the world", said Druick.