Asian American and International Artist Links

The first week of September marks Asiatic Weekend Asia, and the event has been celebrated ever since in Los Angeles with great vigor. This festival is a colloquialized celebration of Asian American life, culture, traditions and art that happen in the course of a single weekend. It features a variety of speakers from Asian American media personalities to performers, who converge to explore the intersections of race and ethnicity.

This Asian American art festival showcases new works by Asian artists throughout the course of the weekend. Several events are planned in conjunction with national and international artistic luminaries and organizers are soliciting submissions for a myriad of exhibits and performances throughout the duration of the festival. The festival is also curried up with a variety of cultural activities and events that happen around the curriculum in the days before and on the weekend of the festival. An example of such activity is the Student Mentoring Program, which pairs Asian American students with local artists.

The Student Mentoring Program is a joint venture between the school and the Asian Pacific American Student Association (APASA). According to the program’s website, the goal of the program is “to provide a platform for students to be involved in critical discussions with Asian American artists that are curriculum-based.” Other participating artists include former APASA President M. Amy Huang, Los Angeles interdisciplinary artist Ruben Delgado-Reyes, Japanese American painter Takashi Murakami, and New York City street artist Baby Phat. There is also an organized literature session and a poetry reading with the participation of local poets. The selected poet will be the guest of honor during the first Friday of October as a featured performer during Asiatic Weekend Asia.

On the second weekend of Sept, the ASIA will sponsor an open national juried art exhibition called “Ladies of Abstract Arts.” The participating artists will be from throughout the country and there will be some satellite exhibits as well. The participating artists will be from all over Asia and the participating works will span the gamut from pop art to abstract expressionism to cultural visual arts. The Asian American artwork exhibited at the exhibition will be separated by region so that the participant audience can easily see the work of local artists.

On the last weekend of October, the Asian American and International Folk Festival is organized by the Asiatic Society. It features traditional Filipino kalua pig and Chinese lantern dances as part of its program as well as traditional Chinese martial arts. The festival is themed “Tales of the Past – Asian American Art,” with emphasis on the influence of European and Western arts upon the creation of contemporary Asian American art.

R Gelio Gutierrez is a professor at the Center for Complexity, Diversity and Justice Studies at the University of San Francisco. In 2000 he was the first Hispanic person to serve as the poetry editor for the New York Review of Books, later becoming the executive director of the APA. He has also served as a visiting professor in Germany, Japan, Korea, and Hong Kong. Dr. Gutiros is the co-winner of the 2004 International Poetry Prize and has written numerous books including No Apologia por el Silhouette (Beirut: Le Parderie, 2004), Justusizing (Wiesbaden: Deutica-Vite publishing house, 2004), and Days of Angels (Ludwig’s Verlag, 2005). Professor R.G. has served as a visiting faculty at Hampshire College in Massachusetts, a visiting faculty member at Brandeis University, and a visiting scholar at the University of California, Los Angeles.