What is Whiteness: Zimmerman, Asiana, and “What is Asia?” at the Asian Art Museum

it’s that missionary syndrome.

asians art museum's samurai blog

What do The Asian and the Zimmerman trial have in common?The Asian's White Dominance

In 1988, Gayatri Spivak asked, “Can the Subaltern Speak?”  Sadly, a full quarter century later, the answer at the Asian Art Museum of San Francisco is still, “Just barely.” For the Proximities 1 exhibition, the Asian Art Museum hired a white male curator with admittedly no background in Asian art to curate a show of contemporary work by local artists with a central theme of “What is Asia?”  This white curator in turn put together a show where six of the seven artists are white,  a number of whom—like Ruth Benedict—have never even been to Asia. What is “Asia”?  And who gets to answer?

“Does an artist or viewer have to be Asian or Asian American to consider the subject?” — Glen Helfand, guest curator, Asian Art Museum

“At the level of racial representation…  whites are not of a certain race, they’re just the human race.” —

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