Maps have been at the center of cultural and political exchange between Asia and the West for centuries, supplying an orientation to unfamiliar environments, an ability to communicate about foreign lands to a domestic audience, and in some instances a taxonomy that gave mapmakers a sense of control and order. Maps continue to define and help navigate diverse geographies, both in analog and digital modes.
New Cartographies delves into the unique ways that contemporary artists such as Tiffany Chung, Allan deSouza, Li Songsong, and Sohei Nishino are incorporating cartography into their practices as they look at globally relevant topics such as urbanization, economic migration, environmental change, refugee movements, and the repercussions of colonial legacies.
Regular admission to this exhibition is free for Asia Society Members and children ages 12 and under, $8 for Nonmembers.
Tuesday – Friday, 11 a.m. – 6 p.m.
Saturday – Sunday, 10 a.m. – 6 p.m.
Photography of the exhibition without flash is permitted.
Tiffany Chung (b. 1969, Da Nang, Vietnam; lives and works in Houston) is noted for her cartographic drawings, sculptures, videos, photographs, and theater performances that examine conflict, migration, displacement, urban progress, and transformation in relation to history and cultural memory. Chung’s work studies the geographical shifts in countries that were traumatized by war, human destruction, or natural disaster. Based on meticulous ethnographic research and archival documents, her work excavates layers of history, re-writes chronicles of places, and creates interventions into the spatial narratives produced through statecraft.
Chung’s works have been featured in exhibitions at the Mori Art Museum, Museum of Modern Art, Louisiana Museum of Modern Art, San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, and in the 2015 Venice Biennale, in the exhibition All the World’s Futures in the Arsenale, with an installation of 40 map-based drawings relating to the ongoing crisis in Syria.
Allan deSouza (b. 1958, Nairobi, Kenya; lives and works in the Bay Area) is a multi-media artist. His photography, installation, text, and performance works restage historical evidence through counter-strategies of fiction, erasure, and (mis)translation. deSouza’s recent works engage with the history of the later 19th century and connections between South Asia, East Africa, the United States, and the United Kingdom.
His work has been exhibited in the U.S. and internationally, including at the Walther Collection, Germany; Pompidou Centre, Paris; 2008 Gwangju Biennale, Korea; 3rd Guangzhou Triennale, China; and in recent solo exhibitions at the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts; the Phillips Collection; the Fowler Museum; Krannert Art Museum; Talwar Gallery, NY; and Talwar Gallery, Delhi. His writings have been published in various journals, anthologies, and catalogues, including Third Text, London; Wolgan Art Monthly, South Korea; and X-TRA, Los Angeles. He is the Chair and an Associate Professor in the Department of Art Practice, UC Berkeley.
Li Songsong (b. 1973, Beijing; lives and works in Beijing) primarily employs painting in his practice, incorporating historical and political content informed by photographic research. He directs attention to the way in which societies understand their own histories, and its impact on their collective behavior. His paintings emphasize the materiality of the medium and manipulate scale, surface, and color to emphasize his themes.
He graduated from the Subsidiary School of the Central Academy of Fine Arts (CAFA) in Beijing in 1992 before going on to receive his BFA in oil painting from CAFA in 1996. Li has since been the focus of many publications and international exhibitions, including at Staatliche Kunsthalle, Baden-Baden, Germany; MAMbo – Museo d’Arte Moderna di Bologna, Italy; Pace Gallery, Beijing, London, and New York; and Galerie Urs Meile, Beijing and Lucerne.
Sohei Nishino (b. 1982, Hyogo, Japan; lives and works in Kanagawa and Shizuoka) is a photographer whose work focuses on the relationship between the physical body, memory, and diverse geographies. After graduating from Osaka University of the Arts in 2004, he began his Diorama Map series. The series features a “diorama” of each selected city, composed of thousands of collaged photographs which are records of his movements through its streets and architecture. The countless first-person views are printed on contact sheets and subsequently reconfigured as “maps” in his studio. The works are imbued with his experiences walking the selected cities, and capture the dynamism and subjectivity of cityscapes as we experience them.
He has exhibited his work internationally at San Francisco Museum of Modern Art; Daegu Photo Biennale, Korea; Saatchi Gallery, London; Tokyo Metropolitan Museum of Photography; and the ICP Triennial, New York.
Reception for New Cartographies & Artists' Conversation
Wednesday, September 12, 2018 | 6-8 p.m.
Visit with the artists over drinks and light bites and receive a FREE preview of the exhibition.
Artist Talk: Allan deSouza
Saturday, December 8, 2018 | 2-3:30 p.m.
Artist Allan deSouza will discuss his works in the Louisa Stude Sarofim Gallery, as well as his newest book, How Art Can Be Thought: A Handbook for Change (Duke University Press, October 2018). Copies of the book will be available for sale.
Artist Talk: Tiffany Chung
Saturday, January 12, 2019 | 2-3:30 p.m.
Artist Tiffany Chung will discuss her work as it relates to the current exhibition New Cartographies.
To schedule a group tour outside of these designated days, please fill out the form below or contact Michael Buening, Director of Education & Outreach, at MBuening@AsiaSociety.org.
School tours, facilitated by the education department staff and volunteers, provide educationally rich interactive opportunities for students to learn about Asian art, culture, and traditions. These free tours are open to all public, private, charter, alternative, and home schools. Visits take place on weekdays, Tuesday through Friday, for one to two hours.
All school tours and subsequent interactive projects are tethered to the Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills (TEKS) and district curriculum standards. They may include:
Docent-led tour of exhibitions in the Louisa Stude Sarofim Gallery
"Introduction to Asia” PowerPoint Presentation highlighting essential information about Asian art, culture, geography, and politics
Guided tour of the Texas Center and discussion of its unique architecture
Interactive projects based on the current exhibition (unavailable during summer months, June through August)
At least two weeks’ notice is required for school tours. Additional advance notice is required for groups larger than 25.
For more information, please contact Michael Buening, Director of Education & Outreach, at MBuening@AsiaSociety.org.
HOUSTON, September 11, 2018 — Asia Society Texas Center (ASTC) opens a new mixed-media exhibition entitled New Cartographies on September 15, featuring four artists from across the U.S. and Asia making their ASTC debuts. Their work examines how maps inform, and even shape, our view of the world in sometimes inaccurate ways. The exhibition, ranging from photography to installation, runs through March 17, 2019, in the Center’s upstairs Louisa Stude Sarofim Gallery.
New Cartographies delves into the unique ways that contemporary artists such as Tiffany Chung, Allan deSouza, Li Songsong, and Sohei Nishino are incorporating cartography into their practices as they examine globally relevant topics such as urbanization, economic migration, environmental change, refugee movements, and the repercussions of colonial legacies.
Maps have been at the center of cultural and political exchange between Asia and the West for centuries, supplying an orientation to unfamiliar environments, an ability to communicate about foreign lands to a domestic audience, and in some instances a taxonomy that gave mapmakers a sense of control and order. Maps continue to define and help navigate diverse geographies, both in analog and digital modes. These artists take cartography in utterly new directions while challenging past norms.
“In 2018, the majority of us encounter and use maps digitally. The artists featured in New Cartographies reconnect us to the physicality of maps, and their importance in shaping histories and narratives,” says Bridget Bray, ASTC’s Nancy C. Allen Curator and Director of Exhibitions. “This exhibition assembles a group of four artists from across Asia and the United States who raise interesting questions about something many of us rely on everyday as a factual, objective resource: the map. They re-frame maps as created documents that can share information but also can convey a certain perspective, depending on the map’s creator and their intentions.”
Individually, the artists’ works have been seen across the world and represent a diverse range of perspectives, as the artists hail from Vietnam, Kenya, Japan, and China, respectively. However, all four artists’ work sheds light on how mapmakers’ choices can alter societal impressions and therefore have long-term impact.
About Asia Society Texas Center
With 13 locations throughout the world, Asia Society is the leading educational organization promoting mutual understanding and strengthening partnerships among the peoples, leaders, and institutions of Asia and the rest of the world. Asia Society Texas Center executes the global mission with a local focus, enriching and engaging the vast diversity of Houston through innovative, relevant programs in arts and culture, business and policy, education, and community outreach.
Review: New Cartographies at Asia Society Texas Center, Arts and Culture Texas, October 31, 2018.
This exhibition is organized by Asia Society Texas Center
Exhibitions at Asia Society Texas Center are presented by Wells Fargo; the China Series is presented by East West Bank; the Japan Series is presented by Mitsubishi Corporation (Americas). Major support comes from Chinhui Juhn and Eddie Allen, Nancy C. Allen, Leslie and Brad Bucher, and Mary Lawrence Porter, as well as The Brown Foundation, Inc., Houston Endowment, and the City of Houston through Houston Arts Alliance. Generous funding also provided by The Clayton Fund, Texas Commission on the Arts, National Endowment for the Arts, Wortham Foundation, Inc., The Franci Neely Foundation, Olive Jenney, Nanako and Dale Tingleaf, and Ann Wales. Funding is also provided through contributions from the Friends of Asia Society, a dedicated group of individuals and organizations committed to bringing exceptional visual art to Asia Society Texas Center.
Special exhibition support provided by Leslie and Brad Bucher.
China Series Presenting Sponsor
Japan Series Presenting Sponsor