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Virtual Asian-American Art Museum Project

Alexei Taylor, Author

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The Moment For Ink

Documenting the History of Ink Painting in America

This exhibition is co-organized by the Chinese Culture Center of San Francisco and San Francisco State University, in association with the Asian Art Museum of San Francisco and the Silicon Valley Asian Art Center. It documents the current moment, in which we recognize the significance of Asian artistic approaches in American art that have long been richly represented in the Bay Area. Our exhibition and its related educational programs, hosted by four participating institutions, feature the work of nearly fifty historical and contemporary artists who have extended the legacy of ink painting in important ways during their careers in the United States.

This project represents an unprecedented scale of community collaboration involving three major educational and cultural institutions located in San Francisco, as well as reaching south to a fourth in Santa Clara. Additionally, we are delighted that the exhibition will tour later this year to China’s prestigious Zhejiang Art Museum, on the banks of Hangzhou’s beautiful and historic West Lake. We are also proud to be developing educational programming there in partnership with the acclaimed China Academy of Art. This international network extends the reach of the ongoing, original research about Asian and Asian American fine art expressions by faculty, staff, and students working at San Francisco State University (a former host to the double centennial exhibition of Chang Dai-chien and visiting artists including Tseng Yuho, C. C. Wang, Chen Chi-kwan, and Wucius Wong), and by the curators, administrative team, and hardworking board of directors at the Chinese Culture Center (who have presented influential exhibitions of Wu Guanzhong, C. C. Wang, and contemporary artists such as Zhong Chongbin). Projects like these forge new local and global networks that enable important under- standings of our shared history and culture.

We are especially grateful to the participating artists, lenders, and catalog essayists, and to our project funders. This last group includes the National Endowment for the Arts, the San Francisco Arts Commission, the Terra Foundation for American Art, and the Zellerbach Family Foundation. We salute these funders for their trust in and support for this collaborative vision.

We hope our project helps build awareness of the vitality of Asian-inflected ink painting that has flourished in the United States for more than a century. It most certainly points to the centrality of cultural diversity in understanding the art of California and of our nation. We will continue to work together toward building stronger alliances, both regionally and globally, that will reinforce and further challenge our own long-standing reputation as a center for the study and appreciation of painting with ink.

Mabel Teng
Executive Director of the Chinese Culture Center of San Francisco
Leslie Wong
President of San Francisco State University

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