Asia/America Summary


(Critical Survey of Contemporary Fiction)

ASIA/AMERICA: IDENTITIES IN CONTEMPORARY ASIAN AMERICAN ART was published in conjunction with an exhibition organized and circulated by The Asia Society Galleries and guest curated by Margo Machida. The twenty artists and their fifty artworks explore questions of bicultural identity common to members of the fastest growing immigrant group in America.

Having come from China, India, Japan, Korea, Laos, the Philippines, Thailand, and Vietnam, the artists convey many concerns in unique visual languages. At the same time, their works express the common cultural bond of having been drawn from bicultural experiences. These artists share the fate and good fortune of being insiders and outsiders in America. They range from recent arrivals to thirty-year residents, and express their visions in various styles and mediums: painting, installation, photography, drawing and sculpture.

Work from the exhibition is reproduced on twenty-five pages of well-designed color plates and in black and white reproductions placed throughout curator Machida’s long essay, “Out of Asia: Negotiating Asian Identities in America.” Machida helps translate the potency of the artwork by identifying themes: traversing cultures, speaking to and of Asia, and attempting to situate oneself. Vishakha N. Desai writes on her search for an identity inclusive of Indian and American culture, and John Kuo Wei Tchen relates the history of the Asian identity in America. Included are works by Pacita Abad, Sung Ho Choi, Ken Chu, Y. David Chung, Marlon Fuentes, Jin Soo Kim, Hung Liu, Yong Soon Min, Takato Nagai, Long Nguyen, Manuel Ocampo, Sasavath Panyathip, Hanh Thi Pham, May Sun, Masami Teraoka, Mitsuo Toshida, Tseng Kwong Chi, Toi Ungkavatanapong, Zarina and Baochi Zhang.