ASIA CONTEMPORARY ART WEEK (ACAW) is a dynamic platform that brings together leading New York and Asia-based art institutions, museums and galleries to present the largest showcase of cutting-edge exhibitions, innovative projects, provocative dialogues on current topics, and networking opportunities. Directed by Curator Leeza Ahmady, ACAW is a non-profit curatorial & educational initiative of Asia Contemporary Art Consortium (ACAC), fiscally sponsored by the New York Foundation for the Arts.
As a remarkable testimony to the field's growing prominence in New York and the art scene at large, the 13th edition of Asia Contemporary Art Week expands to a full season this fall to present 30+ cutting-edge exhibitions and public programs at leading ACAW Consortium Partner museums and galleries citywide. The two-month long platform highlights 150+ acclaimed and emerging artists through timely exhibitions and retrospectives by individual artists and artist collectives from recent to modern history, along with ACAW's newly conceived studio visits program, Thinking Collections: Open Studios.
Centerstage to this year is ACAW Director, Leeza Ahmady's conceptual framework which investigates the rightful place of an artist in relationship to one of the most prominently used terms in the art-world today: "collection". Thinking Collections, therefore revolves around ideas of artistic and archival practices beyond the art market lens through symposiums, performances, lectures, film screenings and panel discussions which contextualize many of the significant solo and group exhibitions by artists with practices from or related to China, India, Japan, Korea, Mongolia, Thailand, Iran, Pakistan, Syria, and Kazakhstan among others. Programs will progressively unfold during the fall months and culminate with ACAW's acclaimed annual forum, FIELD MEETING. Premiering offsite for the first time in Asia, the sixth iteration of the program is hosted in collaboration with ACAW Consortium Partner, Alserkal Avenue in Dubai in the context of the regional Al Quoz Arts Festival. The two-day forum will be held January 25th–26th, 2019.
Throughout ACAW 2018, a range of common inquiries and themes emerge and reflect on the world's troubling political, racial, and economic divisiveness. Artists and experts in the field juxtapose immigration, border conflicts, and social upheavals to humanity's relationship with nature in the age of the Anthropocene. A resurgence of identity politics, deriving from the 1990's, pervades alongside an exploration of materials and processes that is only furthered through ACAW's studio visits. Technology, history and the future role of multidisciplinary artists are also examined through the lens of art history, modernity, religion, philosophy, education, and pop culture.