1985 – 1986

Roots to Reality: Asian America in Transition

October 11 – November 24, 1985

A Collaboration: Henry St. Settlement & the Alliance for Asian American Arts and Culture. A Festival of Asian American Visual & Performing Arts. (AAAC as a member of the Alliance, joined visual artists with performing artists events.) Catalogue 16 pages with introduction by Robert Lee, Chair of the Alliance ’83-‘89, and remarks by Fred Wei-han Houn, Project Director. Held at Henry St. Settlement.

Participating artists:

Ming Chip Fung: The Seal 1975-1985

January 9 – February 5, 1986

Ming Chip Fung challenges the traditional notion that seal carving is a utilitarian, non-independent art form, subordinate to other mediums of art. He discards rules that govern the seal-carving tradition, such as those that mandate the size of the seal and the material out of which to make it. Most notably he discards the literary meanings of the text and individual characters featured in his seals, instead creating new characters belonging to his “own private language.” Catalogue pamphlet by Wang Fangyu. Curated by Robert Lee. This exhibition was remounted in Han Art Gallery in Hong Kong. Learn more.

Participating artist:

New Year’s Embroidery

February 7 – February 28, 1986

From the collection of folklorist in residence Prof. Chen. Held in conjunction with Asian American Dance Theatre’s D’Asia Vu performances of Kuang-Yu Fong, Yung Yung Tsuai, Music from China, and Kwok on February 8.

The City

March 7 – April 4, 1986

An exhibition reflecting the efforts by Asian Americans to make sense of their community and the city, to design a viable and visible community within this urban environment, and, by looking at Y.J. Cho, Jerry Kwan, and Ming MurRay, to see how they actually perceive these built historical environments. If the paradox is unavoidable and no compromise exists, how does one retain a distinctive sense of place without resorting to traditional decorative motifs. Perhaps by following how these artists see, an approach will be free to emerge. Curated by Robert Lee.

Participating artists:


April 11 – May 9, 1986

Orientalism raises complex questions of otherness. By inhabiting this ‘otherness’ – a heightening of perceptions enables us to see what we could never have thought before – a transcultural space can emerge. There is only the investigation, the painting of the painting by which to recognize and authenticate ourselves. There is no other frame of reference to identify contemporary authenticity. Three years ago (1983) Charles Yuen chose to ‘appropriate the (Asian) stereotype’. Now his painting flourishes through a fructile world of pseudo organisms. One of them may be us. A panel discussion entitled “Orientalism – A Surrogate Heritage” was held on April 20. Panelists included Robert G. Lee of Brown University, Dominique Nahas, Peter Kwong of SUNY, Rockwell Chin and Charles Yuen. Curated by Robert Lee. Catalogue essay by Dominique Nahas, curator at the Everson Museum.

Participating artists:

The 2nd Annual Open Studio Show

May 1986

Featured guided tours to thirteen artists’ studios in the Chinatown community and a group show of works by fifteen artists. Learn more.

Open studio participants:
Gallery show participants:


May 30 – June 25, 1986

An exhibition based on Heroes and Strangers, a film that looks at our fathers through the eyes of grown children. The works call on Asian Americans to look again at their fathers, at the historical experience they brought with them to fatherhood, and to harvest the affection and appreciation that grows as we approach our own parenthood. Catalogue includes essays by Fay Chiang. Learn more.

Participating artists:

SCA Foundation Exhibition

June 24 - July 7, 1986

Sponsored jointly by AAAC and East West Fusion Theatre. Held at Sharon Creative Arts Foundation (SCAF) in Sharon, CT.

Participating artists: