NYU Global Asia/Pacific Art Exchange (GAX)

The Asian/Pacific/American Institute at NYU launched the first phase of the inter-institutional NYU Global Asia/Pacific Art Exchange (GAX) from July 8-22, 2013 in Shanghai, China; Hong Kong; and Wollongong, Sydney, and Canberra, Australia, focusing on Asian/Asian diasporic art globally.

The GAX is fashioned after the concept that virtual interconnections have an important place within scholarship and network building, but that face-to-face interaction compounded with sustained virtual engagement allows for a deep collegial connection and solid foundation on which to build future collaborative projects and research sharing.

Since then, the exchange has taken place in Washington DC and New York City,  Tokyo and Honolulu, and in May 2017 in Buenos Aires.

The on-the-ground aspect of the GAX allows for the importance of site-specificity to be highlighted within a global framework and the ability to be immersed in the on-the-ground scholarly and artistic communities and allows for exchange scholars to meet an expanded network of scholars and artists even beyond those who are directly involved as core exchange scholars.

NYU’s global network university concept and partnering institutions including Australian National University and Chinese University in Hong Kong has enabled the possibility of the exchange, grounding the exchange with colleagues who are open to thinking through collaborative possibilities and back-and-forth dialogue that may begin with the initial exchange, but has continued to grow as a sustained collaboration.

Global exchange scholars visit the studio of artist Samson Young at City University of Hong Kong. Photo by Thomas Looser, 2013.

The exchange brings together scholars, curators, and artists at global sites with a group of core collaborative scholars from participating partner institutions each year and is meant to be generative for research, resulting in publications, exhibition development, and other research-based projects and programs to share and disseminate research, strengthen international networks of scholars and curators, and create ongoing dialogue between international colleagues, arts communities, and wider publics in the US, Asia/Pacific region, EU, Latin America, Africa, and Middle East in the expanding field of Global Asian Visual Cultures.

Global exchange panel in collaboration with Para-Site at Spring Gallery in Hong Kong. Photo by Thomas Looser, 2013.

Through international site visits, symposia, public dialogues, and ongoing working sessions, the exchange aims to build sustained multi-year inter-institutional and scholarly connections to encourage a broader transnational and comparative diasporic discourse while recognizing the continual importance of local contextualization and place. The many targeted working sessions allow for smaller group discussions to work through important issues and think about possible projects and collaborations.