28 Museums and Galleries to Present Asian Video Art During Asian Contemporary Art Week in New York

MAY 22-27, 2006

An unprecedented group of leading New York City galleries and museums are joining forces to present Asian Contemporary Art Week (ACAW) with a special focus on Asian video art. In its fourth year, ACAW is a citywide event in celebration of the richness and diversity of contemporary Asian art through exhibitions, lectures, performances, and public programs. A full schedule is available at www.acaw.net. A fully illustrated color book has been published to coincide with this event.

A highlight of ACAW 2006 is Fast Futures: Asian Video Art, an exhibition of 25 works selected by Asia Society Museum Director Melissa Chiu, independent curator Yu Yeon Kim and Museum of Modern Art Curator Barbara London. The artworks were drawn from submissions sent by over 100 artists from locations ranging from Turkey, Dagestan, China, Taiwan, Korea, Thailand, and Hong Kong. Comprised of single channel video works by leading and emerging Asian artists, Fast Futures will be presented in participating galleries throughout Asian Contemporary Art Week.

ACAW will showcase works by internationally recognized artists such as Yang Fudong, Lida Abdul, Shilpa Gupta, Vivan Sundaram, and Hiraki Sawa, as well as emerging artists from Japan, Turkey, India, Thailand, Afghanistan, Taiwan, China, and Korea. These emerging artists are part of a growing international movement of artists who have trained and worked exclusively in video art, "leapfrogging" over classically based artist training and practice.

There are several reasons why many artists in Asia have begun their careers working solely in video. The speed of economic, social, and cultural change in Asia has meant that video works suit the pace of these rapidly changing societies. Other factors include the accessibility of editing programs and ease of shipping and installation. This has allowed international participation in multiple, and sometimes simultaneous, exhibitions around the world.

"Asian and Asian American artists are on the cutting edge in video art," said Chiu. "It is significant that most of the Asian artists showing in the world's top contemporary art galleries are video artists. There is an excitement surrounding emerging Asian video artists, many of whose work is less culturally prescribed and more globally accessible. This enthusiasm is reflected in the unprecedented number of galleries and Museums participating in Asian Contemporary Art Week this year."

Asian Contemporary Art Week kicks off with a panel discussion held at Asia Society on Monday, May 22 at 6:30 p.m., with leading contemporary video artists and curators who will discuss current issues, emerging trends, and new directions in the Asian contemporary art scene. The panel will be followed by an exhibition opening reception for Projected Realities: Video Art from East Asia, featuring works by artists from China, Korea, Japan, and Taiwan, the leading countries in new media art. Events on subsequent evenings are generally organized by neighborhood location, with events on Tuesday, May 23 happening in midtown and uptown; on Wednesday, May 24 downtown in Tribeca, Soho, and also the Brooklyn Museum; Thursday, May 25 in Chelsea; Friday, May 26 at the Rubin Museum and area galleries as well as live sound works at the Diapason Gallery near Bryant Park; and Saturday, May 27 at the Bronx Museum of the Arts and the Queens Museum of Art.

Since its launch in 2002, ACAW has grown each year to include more public and private arts establishments. Previous Asian Contemporary Art Week programs have featured leading curators, collectors, and artists, including Vasif Kortun, Shirin Neshat, Shahzia Sikander, and Okwui Enwezor, as well as Gary Garrels, Dan Cameron, Francesco Bonami, Yuko Hasegawa, Apinan Poshyananda, Mariko Mori, Kent Logan, and Hou Hanru.

Asian Contemporary Art Week is a collaboration of the Asian Contemporary Art Consortium, which includes: Melissa Chiu, Asia Society and Museum; Eleni Cocordas, Japan Society; Ethan Cohen, Ethan Cohen Fine Arts; Esa Epstein, Sepia International, The Alkazi Collection; Michael Goedhuis, Goedhuis Contemporary; Steve Pacia and Shumita Bose, Bose Pacia Modern; France Pepper, China Institute; Jung Lee Sanders, Art Projects International; David Solo and Jack & Susy Wadsworth, Collectors.

Asian Contemporary Art Week 2006 participating organizations include: American Folk Art Museum, Arts Projects International (API), Asian Art Museum, Asia Society Museum, Bose Pacia Gallery, Brooklyn Museum, Bronx Museum of the Arts, Chambers Fine Art, China Institute, Chuk Palu Gallery, Ethan Cohen Fine Arts, Flow Sound Collective, Gallery Arts India, Gallery Korea, Goedhuis Contemporary, James Cohan Gallery, Japan Society, Max Protetch Gallery, M.Y. Art Prospects, Queens Museum of Art, Rubin Museum of Art, Sepia International/The Alkazi Collection, Sikkema Jenkins & Co., Sundaram Tagore Gallery, Thomas Erben Gallery, and Tilton Gallery.

ACAW 2006 is sponsored by Art Asia Pacific, Diapason, Chambers Hotel, Sotheby's, SurroundArt, and WPS1.org Art Radio.

The complete program agenda is available at http://www.acaw.net.

About Asia Society

Asia Society is the leading global organization working to strengthen relationships and promote understanding among the people, leaders, and institutions of Asia and the United States. We seek to enhance dialogue, encourage creative expression, and generate new ideas across the fields of policy, business, education, arts, and culture. Founded in 1956, Asia Society is a nonpartisan, nonprofit educational institution with offices in Hong Kong, Houston, Los Angeles, Manila, Melbourne, Mumbai, New York, San Francisco, Shanghai, and Washington, D.C. On the web at www.asiasociety.org.

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Contact: Elaine Merguerian or Jennifer Suh, Asia Society, (212) 327-9271