September 15, 2007 - University of California, Berkeley Art Museum and Pacific Film Archive (BAM/PFA) - Presents One Way or Another
September 15, 2007

Presents One Way or Another

Xavier Cha: Shrimp (poster from the
Human Advertisement Series), 2004;
digital C-print; 24 x 18 in.

One Way or Another: Asian American Art Now
September 19 through December 23, 2007

University of California,
Berkeley Art Museum and Pacific Film Archive
2626 Bancroft Way
Berkeley CA 94720

The University of California, Berkeley Art Museum and Pacific Film Archive (BAM/PFA) presents One Way or Another: Asian American Art Now, a major exhibition that asks what it means to be Asian American in today’s world.

The exhibition features more than thirty works by seventeen Asian American artists, most of whom were born after 1970 or who grew up in the U.S. during that decade. Working in a range of styles and media, the artists reveal widely divergent ideas about being Asian American. One Way or Another: Asian American Art Now is organized by the Asia Society, New York, and opens at BAM/PFA on September 19 and runs through December 23, 2007.

Unlike an earlier generation of Asian American artists whose work made very bold and deliberate statements of identity — as seen in the ground-breaking Asia/America: Identities in Contemporary Asian American Art, organized by the Asia Society in 1994 –the artists featured in One Way or Another create work that is not dominated or defined by their ethnicity. Instead, “Asian Americanness” is a theme that informs, rather than drives, the artists’ work.

“The biggest thing we had to address was what constitutes ‘Asian American arts,’” says Susette Min, one of the exhibition curators. “Is it art created by an artist who identifies as Asian American? Is it art created by an artist who has at least one parent who’s Asian? Is it art that has something thematically associated with being Asian in America? Does it have to be politically motivated, or engaged with ‘traditionally’ Asian American issues?”
One Way or Another features artists primarily from three major regions with large Asian American populations: Los Angeles, New York, and the San Francisco Bay Area. Four artists are based in the Bay Area — Ala Ebtekar and Indigo Som (Berkeley), Mike Arcega (San Francisco), and Binh Danh (San Jose) — and four in Los Angeles: Glenn Kaino, Mari Eastman, Anna Sew Hoy, and Kaz Oshiro. The exhibition’s title is taken from the 1978 Blondie hit, and reflects the visible influence of popular culture on these artists’ work.
Film Series
In conjunction with the exhibition, the Pacific Film Archive will present More than One Way, a film series that looks at several generations of Asian American moving-image artists, concentrating on earlier moments in their creative careers. This nine-part series affords an overview of a quest for cultural identity that has evolved throughout recent decades. Artists such as Jon Moritsugu, Shu Lea Cheang, Gregg Araki, and Gina Lim, display in all their energetic departures a restless instinct for the brash, the unconventional, and the fearless. Patty Chang, a performance artist included in the gallery exhibition, will participate in a short residency, bringing her forceful and telling work to several BAM/PFA events.
Public Programs One Way or Another will include a wide array of public programs that explore the question of Asian American identity. These include an interdisciplinary panel featuring several of the artists featured in the exhibition, a talk and demonstration by artist Binh Danh, a reading by young Asian American poets, a performance by artist Patty Chang, and a panel discussion focusing on Asian American identity and Asian adoption in the U.S.
Credit Line
The exhibition was organized by Asia Society Museum, New York, with support from Altria Group, Inc., the W. L. S. Spencer Foundation, Nimoy Foundation, and Asia Society’s Contemporary Art Council. The Berkeley presentation is supported in part by Richard Shapiro and Patricia Sakai. In-kind support provided by Southwest Airlines.
University of California, Berkeley Art Museum and Pacific Film Archive
2626 Bancroft Way, Berkeley CA 94720

Gallery Hours:
Wednesday and Friday to Sunday, 11 to 5; Thursday 11 to 7.
Closed Monday and Tuesday.
t. (510) 642-0808
f. (510) 642-4889
TDD: (510) 642-8734
Press contact
Rod Macneil

University of California, Berkeley Art Museum and Pacific Film Archive (BAM/PFA)
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