Institute of Asian Art


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Past Events 
Deconstructing Diaspora:
Institute of Asian Art Inaugural Symposium
May 18–19, 2017

The inaugural symposium for the Institute of Asian Art took place May 18 to 19, 2017. This two-day event included local and international speakers whose presentations tackled the challenging topic of understanding diasporic experiences through art. The symposium opened on Thursday May 18 with a keynote lecture by Dr. Vishakha N. Desai entitled Global Culture in Contested Terrains: The Role of Artists and Institutions. In her presentation, Desai reflected on her experience presenting Asian and Asian American art over the last 25 years within the changing landscape of mainstream art institutions. The day-long symposium on Friday May 19 expanded on the possibilities and problematics of cultural exchange by considering the complex web of experiences that constitute an understanding of Asia and Asian diasporic communities. After a welcome from Musqueam Elder Larry Grant, the morning began with presentations by curator Tarah Hogue and artist Jin-me Yoon. The afternoon involved presentations from members of the International Asian Art Council of the Vancouver Art Gallery David Chau, Vishakha Desai and Roobina Karode. To conclude, final insights and reflections were offered by local artist Josh Hon and writer Sirish Rao, with closing remarks by Gallery Trustee Hank Bull. '

Supported by:
Gulzar and Harinder Cheema

MAY 18
THUR 6pm
UBC Robson Square,
Theatre C300
Global Culture in Contested Terrains: The Role of Artists and Institutions
Keynote: Dr. Vishakha N. Desai
Senior Advisor for Global Affairs, Professor and Senior Research Scholar at the School of International and Public Affairs, Columbia University

MAY 19
Vancouver Art Gallery
Room 4East

Institute of Asian Art Inaugural Symposium

TUE 7pm
In the Gallery Rotunda, 1st floor

Wang Dongling

Renowned contemporary calligrapher, Wang Dongling will write the Heart Sutra, one of the most important Mahayana Buddhist scriptures, during a public performance in the Vancouver Art Gallery’s rotunda. Wang will use his calligraphic invention, "chaos script," in which characters and even entire columns of text collide, generating an energetic and amorphous chaos and a written language that is pushed to the brink of legibility. Wang’s script heightens the tension between a calligrapher's controls—honed by a lifetime of training—and the spontaneity of live performance.

MAR 23
WED 10am
Hong Kong, China

Institute of Asian Art
Hong Kong Launch

During Art Basel Hong Kong, the Vancouver Art Gallery joins the international platform of curators, directors and artists in a brunch to celebrate the Gallery’s recently launched Institute of Asian Art.

FRI 3:30pm
In the Gallery, 3rd floor
Meet in the lobby

Artist’s Tour
Bharti Kher


Join New Delhi–based artist Bharti Kher as she tours her retrospective exhibition with co-curators Daina Augaitis, Chief Curator/Associate Director, and Diana Freundl, Associate Curator, Asian Art. The work of this internationally acclaimed artist explores complex human concerns of gender and social relationships.

Indian Summer Festival

SAT 10am
In the Gallery

Exhibition opens to the public at
Vancouver Art Gallery


The first major North America retrospective of artist Bharti Kher, this exhibition brings together sculptures and paintings which represent the diversity of Kher’s practice that speaks about domesticity, gender and body politics. Read more »