2019 NYU Global Asia/Pacific Art Exchange and Working Sessions

GAX 2019 in Tiohtiá:ke (Montreal), June 10-16, 2019

Artwork by Yuki Kihara featuring a turtle swimming towards a plastic bag. A blue geometric pattern is the featured background. The turtle swims through green ocean plant life, and is yellow and burgundy.
‘サモアについてのうた (Samoa ni tsuite no uta) | A song about Sāmoa’ (2019–) by Yuki Kihara. Funding received from Creative New Zealand – the national arts development agency of the Government of New Zealand. Courtesy of Yuki Kihara and Milford Galleries Dunedin, Aotearoa New Zealand.

The Global Asia/Pacific Art Exchange (GAX) will take place in Tiohtiá:ke (Montreal), Canada in 2019 with a focus on Global Asian Indigenous in Contemporary Art. GAX will bring together scholars, artists, arts practitioners and administrators, and local organizations to establish research sharing and forward major topics in the field internationally on Global Asias, Asian Indigenous, and Native Studies. The exchange is built in collaboration with partnering institution Concordia University, Montreal with the major conference: Asian Indigenous Relations in Contemporary Art.

Major thematics that will be at the center of GAX 2019 Tiohtiá:ke (Montreal) programs, working sessions, site visits, and discussions will include decolonizing art histories and exhibition practices as well as building Indigenous allyship in thinking through topics of digital archives; collections, museum, and curatorial practices; climate change and ecological justice; queer relationalities, and Transpacific and hemispheric art historical framings.

GAX 2019 Tiohtiá:ke (Montreal) is co-convened by Alice Ming Wai Jim and Alexandra Chang with Heather Igloliorte, Jason Edward Lewis, and the Concordia GAX Montreal local organizing team. Learn more at www.ethnoculturalarts.com/gax.

Hosted by Concordia University, GAX 2019 Tiohtiá:ke/Montreal is aligned with the University’s Indigenous Directions Action Plan: Concordia’s Pathway Towards Decolonizing and Indigenizing the University (April 2019) “to co-construct a new, shared future based on responsibility, reciprocity, and respect,” acknowledging numerous sources including the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples. In response to recent posts on social media related to GAX’s public conference “Asian Indigenous Relations in Contemporary Art,” the organizers of GAX 2019 Tiohtiá:ke/Montreal reaffirm that the goal of fostering self-reflexivity about the reality of the institutions and contexts in which we work related to issues of equity, diversity, and inclusion inevitably leads to working through difficult knowledge. GAX is committed to perspectives based on sound, culturally-sensitive research that not only contribute to addressing the multiple complex challenges to reconciliation, Indigenization, and decolonization of the academy but also uphold an ethics of hospitality, reciprocity, and anti-racism allyship as foregrounded in this conference.

GAX 2019 Conference
Thursday, June 13-Friday, June 14, 2019
Asian Indigenous Relations in Contemporary Art

Concordia University – York Auditorium EV.1-615
Engineering, Computer Science and Visual Arts Integrated Complex (EV Building)
1515 St. Catherine West (Metro Guy-Concordia)
This venue is accessible for wheelchair users. If you need accommodations, please email GAX2019Montreal@gmail.com.

Skawennati, Satellite of Love, from Words Before All Else Parts 1-3, Machinimagraph, 2018.

The conference Asian Indigenous Relations in Contemporary Art brings together international and local artists, curators, and scholars to exchange knowledge about relational approaches to the making, presentation, and study of Indigenous and Asian diasporic contemporary art.

The two-day conference will focus on the Canadian (including the Americas) and Asia-Pacific contexts, particularly Hawai`i, the Pacific Islands, Oceania, Australia, and New Zealand. Our esteemed keynote speakers are Samoan, Japanese interdisciplinary artist Yuki Kihara, Asian American Studies scholar Margo Machida, and Mohawk multimedia artist Skawennati.

In the past decade, there has been an explosion of Indigenous artists, curators, and scholars in Canadian, the US, Asia Pacific, and Islander contexts and a concurrent surge in uncovering and theorizing Asian Indigenous relations in the fields of Asian American, Asian North American, and Asian Pacific and Islander studies. Decolonizing research and activism and present-day coalition building between Indigenous, marginalized, and ally groups are leading to new paradigms of identity and community to confront issues of self-determination, decolonization, and social justice.

Now is the time to have these conversations on global Indigeneity, Asian diasporas, and the future of exhibition making. 


June 11 (2:00-3:30 p.m.) Public Panel Discussion
ARTEXTE – 2, Sainte-Catherine East, Room 301
A Conversation on Indigenous/Asian Art Archives
Jessica Hebert, John Tain, Mikhel Proulx, and Sara England

June 13 Conference at Concordia University

Morning Welcome

Sessions: Curating Hospitality, Alternative Contacts/Storytelling, Languages, Artist Routable, and tour of EAHR-IARG Exhibitions

EAHR Workshop in Collaboration with Taklif. Registration required

Opening Keynote: Yuki Kihara

Reception & Book Launch: Samoan Queer Lives

June 14 Conference at Concordia University

Morning Keynote: Skawennati

Climate Working Group Session

Sessions: Ethics of Return, Curating Asian Indigenous

Afternoon Keynote: Margo Machida

Throughout the summer, exhibitions will be on view at Concordia University’s FOFA Gallery, Department of Art History, and EV Junction (all in EV Building), and at the Webster Library. View additional information on artists, curators, and locations.

Asian/Pacific/American Institute at NYU
Concordia University Research Chair in Ethnocultural Art Histories
Concordia University Research Chair in Indigenous Art History and Community Engagement
Concordia University Research Chair in Computation Media and the Indigenous Future Imaginary

Concordia University
The Gail and Stephen A. Jarislowsky Institute for Studies in Canadian Art
Asia/Pacific/American Institute at NYU
NYU Global Research Initiatives, Office of the Provost
Art Speaks
Queer Media Database Project Canada Quebec
Ottawa Art Gallery
Montreal Museum of Fine Arts
Asian Diasporic Visual Cultures and the Americas Journal (ADVA)

Special thanks to the following entities at Concordia University:
Office of the Vice-President, Research and Graduate Studies
Faculty of Fine Arts Associate Dean, Research
Department of Art History
Centre for Interdisciplinary Studies in Society and Culture (CISSC)
EAHR | Media CISSC Working Group
Ethnocultural Art Histories Research Group (EAHR)
Indigenous Art Research Group (IARG)
Milieux Institute for Arts, Culture and Technology

Concordia University is located on unceded Indigenous lands. The Kanien’kehá:ka Nation is recognized as the custodians of the lands and waters on which we gather today. Tiohtiá:ke/Montreal is historically known as a gathering place for many First Nations. Today, it is home to a diverse population of Indigenous and other peoples. We respect the continued connections with the past, present and future in our ongoing relationships with Indigenous and other peoples within the Montreal community.

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