Institute of Asian Art


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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, Lin Li and Fumio Nanjo. 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.'

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.

MAY 19
Vancouver Art Gallery
Room 4East

Institute of Asian Art Inaugural Symposium


David Chau, collector, Shanghai
Roobina Karode, Director/Chief Curator
Kiran Nadar, Museum of Art, Delhi
Lin Li, collector, Hangzhou
Fumio Nanjo, Director, Mori Museum, Tokyo


Diana Freundl, Associate Curator, Asian Art, Vancouver Art Gallery
Tarah Hogue, curator and writer, grunt gallery
Josh Hon, artist, Hope, BC
Sirish Rao, writer, co-founder of the Indian Summer Festival
Jin-me Yoon, artist and Professor, School for the Contemporary Arts, Simon Fraser University

Further details and registration* information will be available in April.

Josh Hon, HK as is, as/is: asism, 1987, oil on canvas, Courtesy of the Artist
Supported by:

Past Events 
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 »