Events

Artists and Scholars Gather to Take Stock of South Asian American Art

A conference running June 30–July 2 brings together creators, curators, and scholars of South Asian American art from across the country.

Allan deSouza, “Rumpty-Tumpty Series #7” (1997/2017), digital print from film, 20 x 30 in (50.8 x 76.2 cm) (courtesy the artist and Talwar Gallery, New York and New Delhi)

A major convention is happening in New York City this weekend. Beginning on June 30, creators, curators, and scholars of South Asian American art from all across the country will gather, first at Asia Society and then at the Queens Museum. Their impetus is a new exhibition of South Asian diasporic art, and their goal is to examine the state of their field.

Opening on Friday, Lucid Dreams and Distant Visions: South Asian Art in the Diaspora spotlights 19 contemporary artists whose work deals with issues of home, migration, and memory. The way Asia Society describes it, the show is meant as a survey of sorts: “These artists represent a microcosm of the American experience and their respective practices across four decades have collectively made a significant impact on the development of contemporary art in the United States.” Building on that, the Queens Museum and the Smithsonian Asian Pacific American Center have organized a conference, “Fatal Love: Where Are We Now?,” that aims to consider South Asian American art nationally and shore up an often scattered or isolated community. “A lack of institutional support and scarcity of full time contemporary art South Asian curators employed in any local museums have prevented generations of artists from forming networks that go beyond the local to a national scale,” says the description.

“Fatal Love” promises to be a major gathering — so much so that Friday’s opening event, a walkthrough of the show and a panel on cultural production, is full. But free spots (with registration) are still available for the following daylong programs at the Queens Museum. The impressive, seemingly exhaustive lineup includes medium-specific panels on sculpture, photography, and public art; a curators’ discussion with Anuradha Vikram, Jasmine Wahi, Namita Gupta Wiggers, and others; a panel on queer theory with artist Allan deSouza, art historian Alpesh Patel, and others; performances by Baseera Khan, Lahore Vagistan, and Faluda Islam; and a whole lot more.

Shahzia Sikander, “The World is Yours, The World is Mine” (2014), gouache and ink on hand-prepared paper, 23 3/4 x W. 20 5/8 in (60.2 x 52.3 cm), created for New York Times Turning Points Op-Ed, Dec. 4, 2014 (courtesy the artist and Sean Kelly, New York)

When: Friday, June 30, 4–9pm; Saturday, July 1, 10am–6:15pm; Sunday, July 2, 10am–7pm (free with registration)
Where: Asia Society (725 Park Avenue, Upper East Side, Manhattan) & Queens Museum (New York City Building, Flushing Meadows Corona Park, Queens)

More info here.

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