September 5, 2018 - Asia Contemporary Art Week (ACAW) - Asia Contemporary Art Week 2018
September 5, 2018

Asia Contemporary Art Week (ACAW)

Vandana Jain, ALPHABET, 2002–11. Hand-embroidered wool on linen, 76 x 136 inches. © Vandana Jain. Courtesy of Lakeeren Gallery.

Asia Contemporary Art Week 2018
September 5–November 2, 2018
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This fall, the 13th edition of Asia Contemporary Art Week (ACAW) expands to a full season in New York (September 5–November 2, 2018) with 30+ leading museums and galleries presenting cutting-edge exhibitions and public programs citywide. The platform showcases 150+ artists with practices from or related to China, India, Japan, Korea, Mongolia, Thailand, Pakistan, Syria, and Kazakhstan among others. Alongside significant solo and group exhibitions, ACAW 2018 highlights numerous symposiums, performances, lectures, film screenings, and panels.

Thinking Collections—ACAW 2018 Curated Signature Programs
Center stage to the edition is Thinking Collections—a constellation of ACAW curated exhibitions, studio visits, walk-throughs, and discussions exploring the act of collecting as an artistic and educational practice beyond the art market lens. The season kicks off on Sunday, September 9 with a keynote lecture at Christie’s Auction House by the acclaimed artist, activist, and 2018 Kochi-Muziris Biennale Curator Anita Dube. She will discuss her vision for organizing the fourth artist-led edition of India’s only international art biennale and her take on the state of the arts at large. Followed by a conversation with ACAW Director Leeza Ahmady.

Reorienting New York City as a collection in its own right, Thinking Collections: Open Studios incorporates Ahmady’s thesis of “seeing the artist as the first collector and studios as primary collections.” Scheduled across multiple dates and boroughs throughout the season, the program connects 28+ remarkable artists directly to the public in the context of their intimate studio spaces. See the full list of participating artists, their profiles and studio locations here.

The platform’s third significant initiative for 2018 foregrounds Central Asia with Thinking Collections: Telling Tales—an unprecedented survey exhibition of Kazakhstan’s most celebrated transavantgarde collective, Kyzyl Tractor. Noted for their feverish experimentations in the mid-1990’s and early 2000’s, their works reorient nomadic, Sufi, and Shamanistic philosophies as a new artistic language. Alongside numerous archival photos, sculptures, paintings and, drawings, on opening day, Sunday, October 14, the artists reenact one of their legendary performance rituals at the entrance of Mana Contemporary.

The edition culminates with ACAW’s noted annual forum, FIELD MEETING Take 6: Thinking Collections (January 24–26, 2019), premiering in Dubai at ACAW Consortium Partner Alserkal Avenue. The two-day program will focus on all regions of Asia (with an emphasis on East Asia) and stage a dynamic string of pop-up exhibitions, performances, lecture-performances, and discussions.

Highlights across Consortium Partner Venues
A range of common inquiries and themes emerge and reflect on the world’s troubling political, racial, and economic divisiveness. Dealing with the juxtaposition between social upheavals and humanity’s relationship with nature, a resurgence of identity politics, and an exploration of materials and process is examined through art history, modernity, religion, philosophy, education, and pop culture.

Friday, September 7
Renowned Palestinian artist Emily Jacir presents a multi-part installation at Alexander and Bonin and Asia Society debuts their recently acquired series of nine photographs by Vietnamese director, Tuan Andrew Nguyen.

Saturday, September 8
Two solo exhibitions open in downtown Manhattan, Chow Chun Fai at Eli Klein and Takashi Kunitani at Ulterior Gallery.

Wednesday, September 13 
"Chelsea Night" ACAW dedicates an evening to 2018 partners and participants with exhibition openings by emerging and notable artists such as Park Chan-Kyong, Chitra Ganesh, Manit Sriwanichpoom, Shang Yang, Vandana Jain & Taeim Ha.

Friday, September 14
Asia Society launches the landmark exhibition The Progressive Revolution: Modern Art for a New India centered on the Bombay Progressive Artists’ Group. Followed by a series of lectures and symposiums that shed light on the group’s influence in post-independent India.

Saturday, September 22
Pakistani-American artist Huma Bhabha & Met curator Shanay Jhaveri host an exhibition walkthrough of We Come in Peace at the Metropolitan Museum of Art.

Friday, September 28
The Technology is History symposium is held at the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum featuring a keynote lecture by Beijing-based philosopher Yuk Hui.

Wednesday, October 3
New York-based artist Christopher Ho hosts an exhibition walkthrough of his Bronx Museum show, Aloha to the World at the Don Ho Terrace.

Sunday, October 7
Queens International: Volumes premiers at the Queen’s Museum, featuring 43+ artists who respond to select Queens Library branches to expand on systems of knowledge production.

Friday, October 12
Japanese artist Yasumasa Morimura’s first New York institutional solo exhibition, Ego Obscura, opens at Japan Society. Also, Maya Lin’s A River Is a Drawing opens at The Hudson River Museum.

Thursday, October 18
Iranian artists, The Safarani Sisters, subtly enhance their sensual and glamorous paintings with video projections. Curated by Roya Khadjavi Projects; held at the Elga Wimmer Gallery.

Saturday, October 20
ACAW spotlights 15+ artists with practices related to Asia as part of the Elizabeth Foundation for the Arts' annual Open Studios program. Click here to see the list of participating artists. 

Saturday, October 27
Luhring Augustine presents new works by the India-born, New York-based artist Zarina Hashmi.

Thursday, November 1
Tyler Rollins Fine Arts presents renowned Cambodian artist Sopheap Pich and his monumental sculpture, Ordeal.

For the full ACAW 2018 agenda visit

We are delighted to announce a special media collaboration with the dynamic global art platform Ocula for a series of archival diaries, articles, and photologs to cover the 13th edition of ACAW. For more information, click here.

ACAW 2018 Consortium Partners & participating venues
Asia Society Museum | ArteEast | ArtAsiaPacific | Asia Art Archive in America | The Bronx Museum of the Arts | Brooklyn Museum | Hudson River Museum | Japan Society | The Metropolitan Museum of Art | The Museum of Modern Art | Queens Museum | Reversible Destiny Foundation | Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum | SVA MA Curatorial Practice | Twelve Gates Arts Wald & Kim Foundation | +91 Foundation | Christie’s | Chambers Fine Art | Crossing Collective | DAG | DOOSAN Gallery  Elizabeth Foundation for the Arts | Eli Klein Gallery | Luhring Augustine | Mana Contemporary | Owen James Gallery | Ronin Gallery | Roya Khadjavi Projects | Salon 94 | Sundaram Tagore Gallery | Tina Kim Gallery | Tyler Rollins Fine Art | Ulterior Gallery | Alserkal Avenue (Dubai) | Clark House Initiative (Mumbai) | Dastan Gallery (Tehran) | Kochi-Muziris Biennale Foundation (Kochi) | Ink Studio (Beijing) | Isabelle Van Den Eynde (Dubai) | M+ (Hong Kong) | National Museum of Kazakhstan (Astana) | PSM Gallery (Berlin) | Richard Koh Fine Art (Kuala Lumpur) | Vadehra Art Gallery (New Delhi)

Asia Contemporary Art Week (ACAW)
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