Imag(in)ing Asia and the Pacific: Emerging Visualities and Art Perspectives

Imag(in)ing Asia and the Pacific: Emerging Visualities and Art Perspectives

Cornell University, Department of the History of Art and Visual Studies
New York
United States
From - Until
20.02.2009 - 21.02.2009

Annual Graduate Symposium Cornell University

The symposium addresses the 20th century processes of decolonization, modernization, and nation-building that characterized the regions of Asia and the Pacific. These structures are revisited in the 21st century in the wake of globalization, and art practice in recent years has sought to address these questions, variously embracing or resisting their assumptions, politicizing their implications, or challenging discourse around such formulations. Not only are the cities of Asia and the Pacific growing, but have also become major centers of art, with mega-exhibitions and biennales that crucially forge regional identities and affinities. The symposium aims to explore these emerging visualities in the light of the complex, and changing socio-political and economic issues that affect countries, peoples, institutions and practice in the region.

Keynote Address:
Dr. Melissa Chiu
Director, Asia Society Museum, New York

We encourage submissions that focus on visuality, however, and can be from a range of disciplines, including but not limited to Asian Studies, Pacific Studies, History
of Art, History, Visual Studies, Anthropology, Sociology, Studio Art, Architecture, Literature, Theatre, Film, and Dance.

Of the many possible engagements with our theme, some include, but are not limited to:

• Classifications, geographies and identities – Possibilities of “Asian” and/or “Pacific” art: art and the archive (Hong Kong), and the museum (Fukuoka, Wellington, etc.).
• Forging regional “cultural” alliances: Inter-Asia theatre, Asia Pacific Triennial, Pacific Arts Festival, etc.
• Art and the city – cities as sites, cities as centers. Global cities and new urbanities (e.g. Shanghai, Mumbai, Auckland, Sydney, etc.) Cities as sites of public art. Exhibitions such as Cities on the Move, Paradise Now?, etc. Biennales such as Singapore, Gwangju, Sydney and new biennales and triennials being planned.
• Traditional Practices, New Media, and Art against the grain. Negotiation of tradition and technology in practice. Space for national heritage and culture and emerging alternative spaces/media for art.
• Economies of Art: The movement of art from the region across the global art market and the recent booms. The role of museums, galleries and auction houses.

Please submit abstracts of no more than 500 words for all proposals, along with brief biographical information and special equipment requests if necessary.
Submissions should be sent electronically to the organizers, Bernida Webb-Binder and Brinda Kumar ( and The application deadline for all abstracts is
December 15, 2008 in order to be considered for this year's symposium.


Contact (announcement)

Bernida Webb-Binder and Brinda Kumar
Cornell University
Goldwin Smith Hall GM08
607 255 4905
607 266 0566
Email: and
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