A longtime professor, he is the Chair of Fine Arts at the University of Pennsylvania’s Weitzman School of Design in Philadelphia.
His is co-founder and founding editor of the Yishu Journal of Contemporary Chinese Art. He is a prolific writer with numerous essays and reviews in academic and non-academic publications. He was keynote speaker at the 2022 congress of the International Association of Empircal Aesthetics, the 2010 World Museums Conference in Shanghai, the 2006 Biennale of Sydney in Australia, and the 1997 Universities Art Association of Canada. A book of his writings titled Everything is Relevant: Writings on Art and Life 1991 – 2018 was published in 2020 by Concordia University Press. In 2020, he wrote a screenplay titled The Cook about Chinese contract laborers in the 19th century which is under development in Hollywood. In 2021, he penned a second screenplay about the expulsion of Chinese from Tacoma, Washington Territory in 1885.
Lum has worked on numerous major permanent public art commissions including for the cities of Vienna, Rotterdam, St. Louis, Leiden, Toronto and Vancouver. Lum has a curatorial record including co-curating Shanghai Modern: 1919 – 1945; Sharjah Biennial 7, Sharjah, United Arab Emirates and Monument Lab: Creative Speculations for Philadelphia. Lum is the co-founder and Senior Curatorial Advisor to Monument Lab, a public art and history thinktank.