Thursday, July 18, 2019

In San Francisco AAAC participated in the Chinese Cultural Foundations exhibition "Task of Remembrance" in April 2019 where our exhibition, CHINA: June 4, 1989 was featured. This raised the issue of how to look back, how to remember, but it also raised the issue of how this exhibition furthered the goal and purpose of AAAC, that is to focus on Asian American art.

If one looks at the work of Zhang Hongtu, Martin Wong, Mel Chin, Mo Bahc, Rumiko Tsuda, Kunio Izuka, Yoshiki Araki, Lotus Do Brooks, Dolly Unithan, Jerald Lee, or any of the other Asian American artists in this exhibition one can see an important artwork, a substantial work that contributes to that artist career as well as to the field of Asian American art (see images on AAAC Instagram). In addition, as Asian Americans, this exhibition has connected us back to Asia, to China, to the recent overseas Chinese American community impacted by Tiananmen Square and its international implications. Not only has AAAC has devoted many years to preserving the artworks from this major exhibition for its political content, but for the cultural value that it acquires. Looking back one can see its artistic and cultural importance is woven into the issues of that time, and still into the issues that continue to affect us.

As Asian Americans our cultural direction/s are complex. In the visual arts what needs to be done is to recognize the voices of the broad spectrum of Asian American artists and offer a context, a point of departure to help grasp what may be new before our eyes. In this sense 6.4.89 manifests for us the polar opposites which pull at us where we stand. Two political systems, two ways of perceiving, two ways of perceiving ourselves and the range of perspectives and instincts each of us may have. Do they make sense of your feelings, thoughts, and experiences? Do they help to manifest how others might feel, how other Asian Americans might feel?

Zhang Hongtu, Last Banquet, painting

Look at the artworks in the Tiananmen Square exhibition. Each image is different, each perspective has its own emphasis, of Asian and non Asian artists, they all offer us a moment, a refuge for the beings that we are. This moment may become memorable, uncover an instinct only glimpsed, one work may stand out for you, or support you in expressing how you feel. The artworks are posted in AAAC’s Flickr for you, take this moment.

With Kind Regards,
 Robert Lee
 July 2019

Mel Chin, Forgetting Tiananmen, Kent State, Tlatelolco, hydrostone, steel, organic material.

Different Themes
Written by Lovely

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