(ex)CHANGE: History Place Presence

Asian Arts Initiative



Shahzia Sikander, Parallax, 2013, 3 channel HD video animation with 5.1 surround sound, Fondazione MAXXI, Rome, Italy. Photo courtesy of Asian Arts Initiative.


Colette Fu, Dai Food Pop Up Book, 2013, presented through We Are Tiger Dragon People 我們是虎龍人. Photo courtesy of Asian Arts Initiative.


Boone Nguyen, Untitled, 2015, presented through Bomb Crater Pond Series. Photo courtesy of Asian Arts Initiative.


Tomie Arai, Here to Stay, 2015, New York City Chinatown. Photo courtesy of Asian Arts Initiative.


Tomie Arai, Swirl, 2003, presented through Asian Arts Initiative’s Chinatown In/Flux exhibition. Photo courtesy of Asian Arts Initiative.

Asian Arts Initiative (AAI) will commission six Asian American artists to create public artworks across Philadelphia that reflect on the city’s rich and layered narratives and its changing neighborhoods. Public artist Tomie Arai will create a project with the artist collective Chinatown Art Brigade exploring the relationship between arts and gentrification. Poet and Pew Fellow Sueyeun Juliette Lee will convey experiences of border crossings, and photographer Boone Nguyen will gather multigenerational migrant stories in multimedia installations. Visual artist Shahzia Sikander will gather narratives on place and solidarity, to be displayed at a site with a history of movement and migration, and filmmaker and Pew Fellow Rea Tajiri will create a video projection about the Philadelphia Hostel of 1944, a transitional home for Japanese Americans who were resettled following the internment camps of WWII. Composer Byron Au Yong will develop a musical piece with hip-hop lyricist Aaron Jafferis. The project will culminate in a citywide exhibition, accompanied by an exhibition catalogue created in partnership with the Asian American Literary Review, and a symposium presented with the Smithsonian Asian Pacific American Center.

Additional unrestricted funds are added to each grant for general operating support.