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Tiny Rooms and Tender Promises, 2016, Mixographia print on handmade paper and archival pigment print with pushpins. 33 1/4 x 37 1/4 inches. Collection of Jordan D. Schnitzer. Courtesy of the artist and Mixographia.

Drawn from the exceptional collections of Jordan D. Schnitzer and his family foundation, Global Asias examined the cosmopolitan, playful, and subtly subversive characteristics of contemporary Asian and Asian American art. The exhibition highlighted the work of fifteen artists of Asian heritage who draw on a rich array of motifs and cultural motivations to construct complex identities in a modern global context.

What do we mean by Global Asias? Is it a place? An idea? This exhibition moved visitors away from considering Asia as a geographical location and instead invited them to think broadly about how “Asia” has long served as an imaginative construct. By focusing on the conceptual dimensions of Asia—and in thinking about Asia not in singular but plural terms—Global Asias encouraged visitors to recognize the power of imagination in constructing Asia as a site of meaning across the globe.

The exhibition featured 45 works and was divided into three thematic sections. Exuberant Forms featured works that reshape and challenge conventional views of abstract art by exploring new materials, techniques, and metaphors. Moving Stories encouraged viewers to reflect on the experiences of migration, both within Asia and beyond. Asias Reinvented highlighted works that transform styles and motifs of traditional Asian art to engage, probe, and critique contemporary popular culture and politics. Combined, the works in Global Asias suggested the plurality and fluidity of “Asia” as cultural construct and creative practice.

Organized by the Palmer Museum of Art in association with the Jordan Schnitzer Family Foundation, Global Asias was guest curated by Dr. Chang Tan, assistant professor of art history and Asian studies, and embarked on a national tour in 2022.

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