Fall 2017 – News and Events

New York University
Wed, October 18, 2017 6:30-8:30pm
Queering Contemporary Asian American Art: Laura Kina, Jan Christian Bernabe, Greyson Hong, Kyoo Lee, Zavé Martohardjono, and Saya Woolfalk

New York University
19 University Place, Room 102
New York, NY 10003
This event is free and open to the public but please RSVP ahead of time HERE.

Saya Woolfalk
Chimera, 2013, from the Institute of Empathy project
Digital video and mixed media installation installed at MOCA Taipei, Taiwan
Courtesy of the artist and MOCA Taipei

Presented by the Asian/Pacific/American Institute at NYU. Cosponsored by the NYU Center for the Study of Gender and Sexuality.

Queering Contemporary Asian American Art (University of Washington Press, 2017), edited by Laura Kina (DePaul University) and Jan Christian Bernabe (Center of Art and Thought), brings together artists and scholars to challenge normative assumptions, essentialism, and methodologies within the study of Asian American art and visual culture. The featured essays, artist interviews, and artworks explore the multiple axes of race and identity, queer bodies and forms, kinship and affect, and digital identities and performances.

Kina and Bernabe met at the A/P/A Institute at NYU’s 2012 NEH Summer Institute, “Re-envisioning American Art History: Asian American Art, Research, and Teaching,” which was the genesis for their new book. We are excited to welcome them back to A/P/A alongside contributors Greyson Hong (artist), Kyoo Lee (John Jay College), Zavé Martohardjono (artist), and Saya Woolfalk (artist) to discuss and celebrate the publication.

American Studies Association
Sat, November 11, 12:00 to 1:45pm

Panel discussion: “Moving Bodies Towards Wonder: Asian American Aesthetics from Anger to Action”
Hyatt Regency Chicago, New Orleans, Ballroom Level West Tower

This event is for registered conference attendees only. For more information or to register for the conference, visit American Studies Association website.

Chair: Valerie Soe, San Francisco State University
Panelists: Mila Zua, Oregon State University
Laura Kina, DePaul University
Anita Chang, Independent Scholar
Valerie Soe, San Francisco State University

The impulse to give in to despair, anxiety, pain, and anger hinders the ability of many of us to effectively respond to the increased inequities, challenges to civil liberties, and the illegal and unethical restrictions proposed by the current administration. Whereas such negative feelings can immobilize and stultify, wonder moves bodies towards action. As Sara Ahmed points out, “Wonder is what energizes the very hope of transformation, the very will to politics.” This roundtable looks at the ways in which Asian American aesthetics of dissent are involved in creative labors and affective productions which seek to un-learn and un-feel dominant epistemologies borne from hetero-patriarchal modernities, globalizing forces, and institutional aporia. How can we induce wonder and movement through a pedagogical engagement with visual culture? What can Asian American aesthetics of dissent in particular teach us about the wondrous affects and pleasures of transgression, undisciplinarity, and resistance? Bringing together activists, makers, curators, and educators, this roundtable explores the unmaking of the anger and pain through Asian American bildungsroman narratives, aesthetic genealogies, queer futurities, and critical cosmopolitanisms in film and visual arts. Mila Zuo examines the “cinematic aesthetics of wondrous pain” in her short experimental film, “Carnal Orient,” and the Asian American queer film, “Spa Night.” Jason Coe explores Ang Lee’s coming-of-age films in order to investigate other possibilities of global modernities through alternative masculine subject formations. Valerie Soe investigates how an instance of conflict at San Francisco State University’s College of Ethnic Studies reveals the need for a counternarrative to the fraught and dangerous times we are entering. Anita Chang looks at “critical cosmopolitanism” as a way of thinking through difference and interconnectedness in teaching transnational cinemas. Laura Kina’s discusses her work as a curator and editor to explore the importance of historicizing failure in engendering queer political and artistic dissent oriented toward the future. The goal of the roundtable is to discuss the critical relationships between everyday resistances, pedagogy, and visual arts. What new socialities and publics are forged through an aesthetic engagement with wonder? How can Asian American creative praxes of dissent help us imagine a more hopeful and inclusive future, even as Trump’s presidency threatens to hurtle us back to the the exclusionary racialized histories of the past? What tools can we as scholars, artists, and educators use to make the leap from anger to action?

Visit Queer Horizons curated by Jan Christian Bernabe and Laura Kina for the Center for Art and Thought. The exhibition was released in staggered waves over the summer 2017 and the whole exhibition is archived permanently on CA+T’s website here.

“Queer Horizons” features the work of Asian American and Asian diasporic artists whose work envisions a queer future that unsettles the past, disrupts the present, and imagines new worlds beyond the limits of the horizon.

Contributors to the virtual show include: Anida Yoeu Ali, Sita Bhaumik, Kim AnnoWafaa Bilal, Greyson Hong, Kiam Marcelo Junio, Việt Lê,Maya Mackrandilal, Zavé Martohardjono, Genevieve Erin O’BrienJeffrey Augustine Songco, Tina Takemoto, and Saya Woolfalk.

“Queer Horizons” appears in conjunction with the publication of Laura Kina and Jan Christian Bernabe’s book, Queering Contemporary Asian American Art (University of Washington Press, 2017), which CA+T co-sponsored (http://www.queeringcontemporaryasianamericanart.com/).

Queering Contemporary Asian American Art.
Edited by Laura Kina and Jan Christian Bernabe
Foreword by Susette Min
Afterword by Kyoo Lee
University of Washington Press, 2017.
$40 paperback (ISBN: 9780295741376), 304 pp., 47 illus., 36 in color, 7 x 10 in.

Queering Contemporary Asian American Art takes Asian American differences as its point of departure, and brings together artists and scholars to challenge normative assumptions, essentialisms, and methodologies within Asian American art and visual culture. Taken together, these nine original artist interviews, cutting-edge visual artworks, and seven critical essays explore contemporary currents and experiences within Asian American art, including the multiple axes of race and identity; queer bodies and forms; kinship and affect; and digital identities and performances.

Using the verb and critical lens of “queering” to capture transgressive cultural, social, and political engagement and practice, the contributors to this volume explore the connection points in Asian American experience and cultural production of surveillance states, decolonization and diaspora, transnational adoption, and transgender bodies and forms, as well as heteronormative respectability, the military, and war. The interdisciplinary and theoretically informed frameworks in the volume engage readers to understand global and historical processes through contemporary Asian American artistic production.

LAURA KINA is an artist and a Vincent de Paul Professor of Art, Media, and Design at DePaul University. She is the coeditor of War Baby / Love Child: Mixed Race Asian American Art.

JAN CHRISTIAN BERNABE is the operations, new media, and curatorial director at the Center for Art and Thought.

The contributors are Mariam B. Lam, Eun Jung Park, Alpesh Kantilal Patel, Valerie Soe, and Harrod J Suarez. Featured artists are Anida Yoeu Ali, Kim Anno, Eliza Barrios, Sita Kuratomi Bhaumik, Wafaa Bilal, Hasan Elahi, Greyson Hong, Kiam Marcelo Junio, Lin + Lam (H. Lan Thao Lam and Lana Lin), Viet Le, Maya Mackrandilal, Zavé Martohardjono, Jeffrey Augustine Songco, Tina Takemoto, Kenneth Tam, and Saya Woolfalk.

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