Lucid Dreams and Distant Visions: South Asian Art in the Diaspora at Asia Society Museum, through August 6, 2017

“Asia Society Museum in New York shines a spotlight on the work of nineteen contemporary artists from the South Asian diaspora. As individuals living between worlds, diasporic artists often negotiate notions of home and issues relating to migration, gender, race, and memory in their practice.

On the occasion of the seventieth anniversary of independence of the Indian Subcontinent from the British Empire, this exhibition, first proposed by Jaishri Abichandani, founder of the South Asian Women’s Creative Collective, provides a timely platform to celebrate these artists and their diverse perspectives, notably in response to the recent rise of nationalism and xenophobia that has swept the globe.” ― Asia Society

“Seen in the context of the turbulent state of affairs for immigrant populations, the work of diasporic artists working and living between worlds has taken on a new urgency in counterbalancing the retreat into simplistic identity politics and xenophobia,” said Boon Hui Tan, Asia Society Vice President for Global Arts & Cultural Programs and Director of Asia Society Museum. “Through a number of mediums, including photography, sculpture, and video, the artists featured in Lucid Dreams and Distant Visions challenge prevailing stereotypes and assumptions of South Asian identities in the United States today.”

Khalil Chishtee. Study for History is a nightmare from which I am trying to awake II, 2017. Wood, H. 40 x W. 100 in. (101.6 x 254 cm). Courtesy of the artist

Jaret Vadera. Emperor of No Country, 2016. Print on fabric, H. 58 x W. 28 x D. 6 in. (147.32 x 71.1 x 15.2 cm). Courtesy of the artist

Ruby Chishti. The Present is a Ruin Without the People, 2016.
Recycled textiles, wire mesh, thread, wood, embellishment, metal scrapes, and archival glue; with sound. H. 81 3/4 x W. 127 7/8 x D. 11 3/4 in. (207.6 x 324.8 x 29.8 cm). Courtesy of the artist

Mequitta Ahuja. Performing Painting: A Real Allegory of Her Studio, 2015. Oil on canvas, H. 80 x W. 96 in. (203.2 x 243.8 cm). Courtesy of the artist

Palden Weinreb. Untitled (Reliquary), 2012. Encaustic wax, Polyurethane resin, and LED lighting. H. 56 x W. 24 x D. 24 in. (142.2 x 61 x 61 cm). Courtesy of the artist

Allan deSouza. Rumpty-Tumpty Series #5–7, 1997/2017. Digital prints from film. Each H. 20 x W. 30 in. (50.8 x 76.2 cm). Courtesy of the artist and Talwar Gallery, New York and New Delhi

Allan deSouza. Rumpty-Tumpty Series #5–7, 1997/2017. Digital prints from film. Each H. 20 x W. 30 in. (50.8 x 76.2 cm). Courtesy of the artist and Talwar Gallery, New York and New Delhi

Vandana Jain. Enlightenment, 2012. 40 sugar casts of CFL blister packs. Dimensions variable. Courtesy of the artist

Chitra Ganesh. Devika Rani, 2012. Loose graphite powder and charcoal on paper. H. 76 x W. 51 in. (193 x 129.5 cm). Courtesy of the artist

Chitra Ganesh. Gopa in the Garden, 2012. Loose graphite powder and charcoal on paper. H. 51 x W. 73 in. (129.5 x 185.4 cm). Courtesy of the artist

Shahzia Sikander. The World is Yours, The World is Mine, 2014. Gouache and ink on hand-prepared paper. H. 23 3/4 x W. 20 5/8 in. (60.2 x 52.3 cm). Created for New York Times Turning Points Op-Ed

Shahzia Sikander. Many Faces of Islam, 1993–1999. Gouache, vegetable color, watercolor, and tea on wasli paper. H. 24 x W. 28 in. (61 x 71.1 cm). Commissioned by New York Times Magazine Special Issue: “Imagining the Millennium” by living artists, Sept. 19, 1999. Courtesy of the artist and Sean Kelly, New York

Lucid Dreams and Distant Visions: South Asian Art in the Diaspora is organized by Asia Society Museum with the support of the Smithsonian Asian Pacific American Center. The artist selection was made by Boon Hui Tan and Lawrence-Minh Davis, Curator, Smithsonian Asian Pacific American Center. Together they formed the curatorial committee with Abichandani and Michelle Yun, Senior Curator for Modern and Contemporary Art, Asia Society.

Images courtesy Asia Society.