Asian Contemporary Art Week New York Begins
Over 100 artists will present their works at 60 special events at 46 museums and galleries during the fifth Asian Contemporary Art Week (ACAW), March 15 to 24, featuring receptions, exhibition viewings, screenings, artist conversations and walkthroughs throughout New York City. ACAW aims to promote increased public awareness of the richness and diversity of contemporary Asian art. “Since the first Asian Contemporary Art Week held in 2002, there has been a dramatic increase in awareness of Asian contemporary art and we like to believe this initiative has contributed to this fact,” notes Asia Society Museum Director Melissa Chiu. “The ACAW Consortium feels that as general knowledge spreads, there is a need for more focused education and so this year, there is an increased emphasis on public programs involving the artists during the week.” “Participants in this year’s Asian Contemporary Art Week will enjoy an incredibly diverse and broad array of presenting venues as well as an expanded list of artists from almost every region of Asia,” notes ACAW Director Leeza Ahmady, an independent curator. Featured artists hail from China, Japan, Korea, Taiwan, Vietnam, Thailand, India, Pakistan, Indonesia, Iran, Afghanistan, Uzbekistan, Tajikistan, Kyrgyzstan, Kazakhstan and, for the first time, from the Middle East: Lebanon, Palestine and Israel.
New to this year’s ACAW format is Artists in Conversation, a series of talks given by 35 leading and emerging artists who speak about their works and share their concepts and inspirations. To match an exploding interest in Asian art—as manifested in the international art market—the ACAW Consortium chose to present and highlight the work of both leading and emerging Asian artists. The many public programs allow the artists to speak about their works, inspirations and processes. ACAW seeks to present a balance of artists who are succeeding in the market with those who are at the forefront in biennales and other international forums, and whose work is very relevant in the global arena.
Participating artists are from the U.S. and abroad, and include recognized names such as Akram Zaatari from Lebanon, Lin Yilin from China and currently based in Brooklyn, Navin Rawanchaikul of Thailand, Byron Kim, an Asian American artist based in New York and Ranbir Kaleka from India. Not as well-known in the U.S. but established in Asia and Europe are the artists Tie Ying and Xu Zhongmin, both from Beijing, who will kick off the week with a conversation at Sotheby’s on Saturday, March 15 from 3:00 to 7:00 p.m. ACAW events are organized each day around neighborhood location with events held uptown on Tuesday, March 18, midtown on Wednesday, March 19, in Chelsea on Thursday, March 20, downtown on Friday, March 21. Saturday, March 22 is divided amongst the boroughs with events planned in Manhattan, Brooklyn and Queens. The week closes Monday, March 24, with a 6:30 p.m. panel discussion at Asia Society on India’s burgeoning contemporary art scene. The complete schedule of events is available at: http://www.acaw.net/ACAW2008/acaw2008/#programtop. Asian Contemporary Art Week is a collaboration of the Asian Contemporary Art Consortium, which includes: Jung Lee Sanders, Art Projects International; Melissa Chiu and Miwako Tezuka, Asia Society and Museum; Steve Pacia and Shumita Bose, Bose Pacia; France Pepper, China Institute; Ethan Cohen, Ethan Cohen Fine Arts; Michael Goedhuis, Goedhuis Contemporary; Joe Earle, Japan Society; Philippe Koutouzis, Marlborough Gallery; Esa Epstein, Sepia International/The Alkazi Collection; Alexandra Munroe and Sandhini Poddar, Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum; and Jack & Susy Wadsworth, Collectors. ACAW 2008 is sponsored by Art Asia Pacific, Fora.tv, Sotheby’s and Art Radio WPS1.org. ACAW participating organizations and other details are available at www.acaw.net.