Institute of Asian Art


       ABOUT          EXHIBITIONS      COLLECTION      PUBLICATIONS          EVENTS               PRESS       


Upcoming Events 

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

This symposium considers how contemporary art and its institutions participate in the construction and experience of Asian diasporas in Vancouver and elsewhere. Local artists and curators along with the Vancouver Art Gallery’s Institute of Asian Art’s international council members—comprised of artists, curators, museum directors and collectors—discuss ideas of identity and nationhood, focusing on Asia-Canada relations. Visiting Asian Art Council members include David Chau, Dr. Vishakha Desai, Roobina Karode. As a platform for exchange from many national perspectives, speakers will reflect on art and museums as a space where people come together at the intersections of 'the local,' 'the national' and 'the global.'


$10 general admission


$15 general admission


$20 both days

MAY 18
THUR 6pm
UBC Robson Square,
Theatre C300
Directions »

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

In the early 1990s, when the western art world began to look seriously at the contemporary art being produced in the non-western world, it had the wind of globalization at its back. Now more than twenty five years later, the excitement of inter-connectedness from globalizing forces has encountered some serious headwinds. Using images of art works by Asian and Asian-American contemporary artists over the last twenty five years, Dr. Vishakha Desai will examine the role of artists and arts institutions in today’s constraining environment.

Tickets: $10 General Admission
Seating is first come, first served. Please note that the theatre has a
combination of fixed theatre seats and bleacher style seating.

MAY 19
Vancouver Art Gallery
Room 4East

Institute of Asian Art Inaugural Symposium

Curator Tarah Hogue begins the day with an exploration of movement and migration as an additional (rather than alternative) frame for thinking through Indigenous experience. Her talk will look at how diaspora can be considered as a state of being and orientation toward the future.

Artist Jin-me Yoon speculates on significant shifts in her art practice within the context of nationalism and transnationalism, the local and global, and the self and other, in order to ask how we can generate spaces for exchange.

In the afternoon, the Asian Art Council give short presentations that speak to their experiences and observations of Asian diasporas in cities such as Shanghai, New Delhi and New York, as well as the significance of art institutions in providing cross-cultural encounters that recognize and reflect their diasporic communities.

To conclude, final insights and reflections will be offered by local artist Josh Hon and writer Sirish Rao, with closing remarks by Gallery Trustee Hank Bull.


David Chau, collector, Shanghai
Dr. Vishakha N. Desai, scholar, New York
Tarah Hogue, curator and writer, grunt gallery
Josh Hon, artist, Hope, BC
Roobina Karode, Director/Chief Curator, Kiran Nadar Museum of Art, New Delhi
Sirish Rao, writer and co-founder of the Indian Summer Festival
Jin-me Yoon, artist and Professor, School for the Contemporary Arts, Simon Fraser University

Supported by:
Gulzar and Harinder Cheema


Tickets: $15 general admission
Seating is first come, first served.


May 18, 6pm | May 19, 10:30am
Tickets: $20 Members/Student. Gallery Members and students are invited to purchase a combination ticket to attend both the Keynote Lecture and full day symposium for a discounted price. Membership and student IDs will be checked at the door.

Images: Jin-me Yoon, Souvenirs of the Self (Postcard Series), 1991, postcards, SFU Art Collection. Gift of the Artist, 2015 Photo: Blaine Campbell Courtesy of SFU Galleries; Dr. Vishakha N. Desai; Josh Hon, HK as is, as/is: asism, 1987, oil on canvas, Courtesy of the Artist