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Blog Posts by Jeff Tompkins

Amitav Ghosh: Oil, Opium and the Religion of Free Trade

Jonathan Spence (L) and Amitav Ghosh (R) at Asia Society New York on Nov. 3, 2011. (Suzanna Finlay)

UPDATE: Jay Corcoran filmed some behind the scenes interviews with Amitav Ghosh, Jonathan Spence and members of the audience. (Scroll to the bottom of the page to watch.)


The relevance of past to present took center stage at Asia Society last night, when historical novelist Amitav Ghosh drew a provocative parallel between the Opium Wars of the 1830s and the present day.

New US-China Forum Sends Top American Artists to Beijing

Participants in the November 2011 US-China Forum on the Arts and Culture.

Meryl Streep, Yo-Yo Ma, Joel Coen, and Amy Tan are just some of the American cultural figures going to Beijing next month for four days of unprecedented cultural exchange.

Asia Society Documentary Series 'Visions of a New China' Garners Media Acclaim

Still from <i>Floating</i> (Huang Weikai, 2005), screening Oct. 21 at Asia Society New York.

Launched this past Sunday, Asia Society New York's nine-film, month-long documentary series Visions of a New China is enjoying the attention of both the mainstream and more specialized cinephile press. The New York Times featured it in the Sunday, Sept. 25 Arts & Leisure section, where "Week Ahead" columnist Neil Genzlinger wrote:

Interview: Author Tahmima Anam Asks, Who Is the 'Good' Muslim?

Tahmima Anam, author of <i>The Good Muslim</i>. (Zahedul I. Khan)

Bangladeshi novelist Tahmima Anam won worldwide acclaim for her 2007 novel A Golden Age, the first volume in a planned "Bengal Trilogy" that follows one family from the period just before Bangladesh's war for independence, in 1971, through the subsequent decades.

Asia Society Remembers Bangladeshi Director Tareque Masud, 1956-2011

<i>Clay Bird</i> director Tareque Masud (R) wins the prize for best script with his wife Catherine Masud (L) at the closing ceremony of the 2nd Marrakesh International Film Festival in Marrakesh, Morocco on Sept. 22, 2002. (Pascal Le Segretain/Getty Images)

Asia Society notes with sadness the passing of Bangladeshi filmmaker Tareque Masud, who was killed in a traffic accident near Dhaka, Bangladesh, on August 13, at the age of 54.

Long-Awaited 'Art of Gandhara' Exhibition Draws NY Times Rave

Asia Society Museum’s John H. Foster Curator for Traditional Asian Art Adriana Proser (R) works with art handlers installing a piece in the exhibition The Buddhist Heritage of Pakistan: Art of Gandhara. (Bill Swersey/Asia Society)

Asia Society Museum's latest exhibition, The Buddhist Heritage of Pakistan: Art of Gandhara, which opened August 9 after a delay of several months, receives a gratifying burst of publicity with a rave review in today's New York Times.

New York Times Lauds Asia Society's Ai Weiwei Exhibition

Ai Weiwei, <i>Mirror</i>, 1987.

On the eve of its final weeks, Asia Society Museum's exhibition Ai Weiwei: New York Photographs 1983-1993 enjoys a major publicity boost today with a lengthy review in the New York Times, which calls it "a wrap-around installation that puts you in the middle of the social and political action."

NY Times Describes 'Intense' Obstacles in Path of Asia Society's Gandhara Exhibition

Screen capture of the <em>New York Times</em> article on Asia Society's Gandhara exhibition on July 27, 2011.

The New York Times devotes major coverage to Asia Society Museum's upcoming exhibition The Buddhist Heritage of Pakistan: Art of Gandhara today, in a piece with enough international intrigue and behind-the-scenes maneuvering to fill a thriller novel.

Hillary Clinton to Asia: Debt Ceiling Debate 'Intense,' But Don't Worry

US Sec. of State Hillary Clinton gives a speech at the American Chambers of Commerce in Hong Kong on July 25, 2011. Clinton told Asian business leaders she was confident US lawmakers would reach a deal to avert a debt default. (Mike Clarke/AFP/Getty Images)

In Hong Kong yesterday, U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton publicly addressed several major economic issues, chief among them the ongoing fracas in Washington over raising the U.S. debt ceiling before an August 2 deadline.

In a speech co-organized by several local branches of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and Asia Society Hong Kong, Clinton conceded that "the political wrangling in Washington is intense right now."

Simon Tay: Does Asia Need the IMF?

Asia Society Global Council Co-Chair Simon Tay speaking in Hong Kong in fall 2010. (Asia Society Hong Kong Center)

If the IMF refuses to recognizes Asia's place in a changing world, says Simon Tay, then Asians shouldn't hesitate to look for alternatives.