Fresh Talk/Daring Gazes chronicles the blossoming of Asian American art and anticipates the growing democratization of American art and culture. Pairing work by twenty-four contemporary Asian American visual artists with responses provocatively drawn from cultural critics, other artists, activists, and intellectuals, this book explores themes of geographical movement, the sexuality of Asian bodies, colonization, miscegenation, hybrid forms of immigrant cultures, the loss of home, war, history, and memory. Elaine H. Kim’s historical introduction charts the trajectory of Asian American art from the nineteenth century to the present, offering a comprehensive account of artists, major artworks, and major events. Commentaries by writers, artists, and cultural activists examine the work of visual artists such as Pacita Abad, Albert Chong, Y. David Chung, Allan deSouza, Michael Joo, Hung Liu, Yong Soon Min, Manuel Ocampo, PipoNguyen-Duy, Roger Shimomura, Carlos Villa, and Martin Wong. Prominent artists and critics such as Homi K. Bhabha, Luis Camnitzer, Enrique Chagoya, Gina Dent, Ellen Gallagher, Arturo Lindsay, Kobena Mercer, Griselda Pollock, Jolene Rickard, Faith Ringgold, Ella Shohat, Lowery Stokes Sims, Jaune Quick-to-See Smith, and Hulleah Tsinhnahjinnie offer thought-provoking reflections on each artist. Sharon Mizota’s extended captions further elucidate the paintings, graphics, photography, installations, and mixed-media constructions under discussion. As a set of dialogues, simultaneously visual and textual, Fresh Talk/Daring Gazes encourages the cross-cultural conversation that is shaping the emerging art of Asian Americans and of the United States in general. Alternately personal, intellectual, aesthetic, and political, these essays and the art they consider provide unique perspectives on both the past and the future of American art.
This title is included in “Holding Space: A Shortlist Exploring the Complexity of Asian American Identity”. Publications that address the complexities of the Asian American and Asian diasporic experience in the field of contemporary art are few and far between. As an organization based in the U.S. and serving a diasporic Asian community, we have experienced firsthand both the desire for knowledge in this space as well as the frustration due to its paucity. “Holding Space” is a shortlist composed of a selection of publications housed at our reading room that begins to redress this scarcity. This list is by no means exhaustive; rather, it represents the start of a continued commitment to fill this gap.