Project Statement

by Jane Allen

Welcome to the Asian American Art at Colby website!

For our JanPlan class “Asian American Art at Colby,” we curated an exhibition in the Davis Gallery of the Colby College Museum of Art. We decided to create an online exhibition of the works on display in the gallery. Our class discussed what it means to be an Asian-American artist. Is the label “Asian-American Art” inclusive or exclusive? The artists in our exhibition come from different countries, generations, socioeconomic backgrounds, work in different media, and some integrate different visual influences of Asian tradition in their works.

Is it acceptable to group Asian American artists together? Does this create stereotypes regarding medium and content?

We discovered through discussions, readings, and during the installation of the exhibition that Asian American art cannot be defined by a single identity. Instead, we should interpret Asian American art through a multitude of diverse aesthetics, themes, and identities. Since there is no concrete definition of or limitations in Asian American art, our class decided to curate four mini-exhibitions online to demonstrate the diversity in Asian American art.

Scars of War
This exhibition investigates memories and perceptions of war. install1 In it, artists explore the emotional and physical marks war has left behind. War is never-ending for many, especially when the emotional scars get passed down from generation to generation.

This exhibition highlights the way in which artists place themselves in their work in order to express larger truths. The artist becomes both the spectator and the object being viewed, breaking down the barrier between object and subject. By blurring the line between object maker and object, these artists use personal experience to encourage new

Although we use our limbs constantly in everyday life, the artists in this exhibition choose to highlight the presence or absence of limbs in their work. They utilize limbs to communicate and share memories and experiences with the viewers.

Traditional Techniques
There is an on going debate about the relationship between Oriental and Occidental art. A stereotype exists that Asian American artists work are a hybrid of the two cultures. This exhibition focuses on works of art by Asian American artists who unite Eastern and Western ideals while visually embodying an Asian tradition.