The scope of Asian art is not monolithic: it’s geographically vast and difficult to parse, yet its influence is visible everywhere.
Asia, you could say, exists in us all. In the Bay Area, and California in general, this is a particularly visible idea, with a vibrant and diverse mixture of cultures that represent the near, far and middle East. Proximities is a trilogy of exhibitions featuring the diverse perspectives of Bay Area-based artists whose work expresses unique connections, conceptions and interpretations of Asia. Operating from various proximities to the region—from direct heritage to imagined journeys—the artists offer viewers points of departure to contemplate the role of place in contemporary art.
The first show, What Time is it There? (titled after a 2001 film by the Taiwanese director Tsai-Ming Liang), focuses on place, in particular dream-like visions of distant landscapes and the sway of Asia’s creative influence. With rich color, varied materials, literary and historical references, the works evoke ideas of travel, escape, celebration, and nostalgia for places we may or may not have actually been. Subsequent exhibitions will focus on the key thematic elements of human interaction and global trade. Proximities is an invitation to bring us all closer to Asia through an array of aesthetic approaches and viewpoints.