Faculty

Jaishri Abichandani
Tomie Arai
Sergio Bessa
Alexandra Chang
Melissa Chiu
Dipti Desai
Vishakha N. Desai
Karin Higa
Mark Johnson
Margo Machida, Ph.D.
Marvin Taylor
John Kuo Wei Tchen
Jeffrey Wechsler
Tom Wolf
Midori Yoshimoto
Zhang Hongtu

 

Born in Bombay, India, Jaishri Abichandani immigrated to New York City in 1984 and received her MFA from Goldsmiths College, University of London. She founded the South Asian Women’s Creative Collective, (http://www.sawcc.org), in New York and London and was the Founding Director of Public Events and Projects at the Queens Museum of Art.

 
 
 

Tomie Arai is a visual artist and recipient of two New York Foundation for the Arts Fellowships in Printmaking, a 1994 National Endowment for the Arts Visual Arts Fellowship, and a 1995 Joan Mitchell Visual Arts Grant. She served as NYU Asian/Pacific/American Institute’s first Artist-in-Residence in 1997-1998.

 
 
 


Photo by Chan Chao

Sergio Bessa is the Director of Curatorial and Education Programs at The Bronx Museum of the Arts. He currently teaches at Columbia University—Teachers College and has previously taught and lectured at the School of Visual Arts and Metropolitan Museum.

 
 
 
 

Alexandra Chang is the Curator of Special Projects and Director of Global Arts Programs at A/P/A Institute at NYU, an arts scholar and independent curator. She co-organized of the Diasporic Asian Art Network and serves on the executive committee of the International Network for Diasporic Asian Art Research. Chang is working on the East Coast Asian American Art Project (ECAAAP), an inter-institutional art, archives and web project. She is the author of Envisioning Diaspora: Asian American Visual Art Collectives from Godzilla, Godzookie, to the Barnstormers (2008).

 

Melissa Chiu is Director of the Asia Society Museum in New York and Vice President of the Society’s Global Arts program.  She has organized nearly 30 exhibitions of artists from across Asia including China, Japan, Iran, Pacific Islands and Korea. Chiu is the author of Breakout: Chinese Art Outside China (2007), which focuses on the international Chinese artistic diaspora and Chinese Contemporary Art: 7 Things You Should Know (2008).

 

 

Dipti Desai is an Associate Professor and Director of the Art Education Program at NYU’s Steinhardt School. Focusing on contemporary art practices as a pedagogical site, she is the co-author of History as Art, Art as History: Contemporary Art and Social Studies Education published by Routledge. Currently, she is the Senior Editor for the Journal of Cultural Research in Art Education.

 

 

Vishakha N. Desai is President and CEO of Asia Society, where she leads the institution’s activities in the areas of policy, business, arts, culture and education. She is a frequent lecturer at international gatherings and a commentator in the media addressing cultural, social, and political trends and their implications for the U.S.-Asia relationship and Asian regional ties. She has been a leader in presenting large scale programs and exhibitions focusing on Asian American artists, ideas, and issues.

 


Photo by Sharon Lockhart, 2010

Karin Higa is the Senior Adjunct Curator at the Japanese American National Museum in Los Angeles. She curated the exhibitions “The View from Within: Japanese American Art from the Internment Camps, 1942-1945,” and “One Way or Another: Asian American Art Now,” which was co-curated with the Asia Society, NY. She has taught at Mills College, the University of California, Irvine, and Otis College of Art and Design, and has lectured extensively on Asian American and contemporary art.

 

 

Mark Johnson is Professor of Art and Gallery Director at San Francisco State University. He is the Principal Editor of Asian American Art: A History, 1850-1970 (2008) and served as principal guest curator of a related exhibition at the de Young Museum Asian/American/Modern Art: Shifting Currents, 1900-1970.

 

 

 

Margo Machida is Associate Professor of Art History and Asian American Studies at the University of Connecticut. A scholar, independent curator, and cultural critic specializing in Asian American art and visual culture, she is widely cited as a pioneering figure in the field of Asian American art history.  She is also the organizer of the landmark 1994 exhibition, “Asia/America: Identities in Contemporary Asian American Art,” which debuted at the Asia Society Galleries in New York City, and toured for two years to art museums across the United States.  Dr. Machida’s most recent book Unsettled Visions: Contemporary Asian American Artists and the Social Imaginary (2009) won the 2009 Association for Asian American Studies Cultural Studies Book Award.  She is co-editor of Fresh Talk/Daring Gazes: Conversations on Asian American Art (2003), co-organizer of the Diasporic Asian Art Network, and a member of the executive committee of the International Network for Diasporic Asian Art Research.

 


Photo by Frank Fournier

Marvin Taylor is the Director of the Fales Library & Special Collections at NYU. Dr. Taylor has had extensive experience with art archives through the acclaimed Downtown Collection. Dr. Taylor is the editor of The Downtown Book: The New York Art Scene 1974-1984.

 

 

 

 Jack (John Kuo Wei) Tchen is the Founding Director of the Asian/Pacific/American Institute and will administer the Summer Institute Project for NYU. In addition to his classroom teaching, Dr. Tchen is writing and editing The Yellow Peril Reader forthcoming spring 2011 with The New Press. His book, New York Before Chinatown (1999), is about orientalism and the formation of American identity in nineteenth-century New York City. Dr. Tchen is co-chair of the mission and vision committee for the new Smithsonian Institution Asian/Pacific American Center and also works as senior historian with the Museum of Chinese in America of which he is a co-founder.

 

Jeffrey Wechsler was the Senior Curator at the Jane Voorhees Zimmerli Art Museum, Rutgers, the State University of New Jersey from 1983-2011. He curated the exhibitions “Asian Traditions / Modern Expressions: Asian American Artists and Abstraction, 1945-1970” (1997) and “Transcultural New Jersey: Crosscurrents in the Mainstream” (2004).

 

 

 

Tom Wolf is Professor of Art History at Bard College. He is the author of several writings on Kuniyoshi including “Kuniyoshi as Photographer” in the Yasuo Kuniyoshi retrospective exhibition catalogue for The National Museum of Modern Art, Kyoto, Japan, 1989. He also wrote “The Tip of the Iceberg:  Early Asian-American Artists in New York,” in Asian American Art:  A History, 1850-1970, (2008).

 

 

Midori Yoshimoto is Associate Professor of Art History and Gallery Director at New Jersey City University, who specializes in post-1945 Japanese art and its global intersections. She is the author of Into Performance: Japanese Women Artists in New York (2005). Yoshimoto has also served as a lecturer at the Museum of Modern Art, New York since 2004.

 
 
 

Zhang Hongtu is an artist whose work combines traditional Chinese Shan Shui (landscape) paintings and highly recognizable European impressionist and expressionist stylization. He is also known for his Pop Mao pieces, which he first created in reaction to his family’s persecution in China as Muslims and later used when he was living in exile in the United States to come to terms with seeing Mao’s image.  Zhang was part of the artist collective Godzilla: Asian American Artist Network and was featured in the landmark exhibition “The Decade Show,” an exhibition that focused upon 1990s issue-driven art.