Richard’s principal areas of research are Japanese art and aesthetics, and Chinese art collections in New Zealand. He curated the 'Pleasure and Play in Edo Japan' exhibition at the Canterbury Museum (December 2009 - March 2010) and edited the accompanying publication. With Associate Professor James Beattie (Victoria) he completed a Marsden-funded project on the Rewi Alley Collection at Canterbury Museum. Their website catalogues all 1400 objects in the collection: http://www.rewialleyart.nz. In 2014 with Beattie he co-authored Visions of Peace and co-curated an accompanying exhibition. They co-curated the 'Bringing China Home' exhibition (MTG Hawke's Bay July 2016 - June 2017). In 2017 their co-edited book New China Eyewitness: Roger Duff, Rewi Alley and the Art of Museum Diplomacy was published by Canterbury University Press, and was long-listed for the Ockham NZ book awards. It won the best book and people’s choice award at the 2018 Publishers Association of New Zealand book design awards. He was a 2019 CAA-Getty International Scholar, and in 2019 he co-edited China in Australasia: cultural diplomacy and Chinese arts since the Cold War, published by Routledge. Recently he has also published on Japanese aesthetics and the aesthetic philosophy of David Hume, and the aesthetics of the Japanese Tea garden. He is currently working on art made in WWII by Japanese POWs held at Featherston, NZ, and with Tets Kimura (Flinders) that made by Japanese in Australian POW and internment camps. He is a Research Fellow at Canterbury Museum, and Honorary Curator of Asian Collections at MTG Hawke's Bay.