We developed a controlled set of keywords to index the materials in AAA’s ever growing collections, making it easier for users to retrieve information. The process began with identifying vocabulary relevant to recent artistic practices and developments in Asia. There were over three thousand terms that our in-house cataloguers used to tag the collections over a fifteen year period. We reduced this list to around two hundred essential and frequently used terms before consulting additional reference resources to add vocabulary common within the international contemporary art context. Finally, we invited advisors of AAA and practitioners in the field to suggest locally circulated terms that describe styles, trends, and movements specific to countries in Asia.

Over three hundred keywords appear in this interactive visualisation. We welcome your feedback to supplement this evolving list with knowledge on the multiple recent histories of art in the region. Please email us at library@aaa.org.hk. You may download a more detailed version of the visualisation here.

Click on the nodes to open subsections and on the keywords to retrieve related content.


Thank you to the following individuals for their generous input: Murtha Baca, Pamela Corey, Iftikhar Dadi, Jane DeBevoise, Hyunjin Kim, Eileen Legaspi, Lesley Ma, Georgy Mamedov, Salwa Mikdadi, Mella Nindityo, Po Po, T. Shanaathanan, Nora Taylor, David Teh, Reiko Tomii, Phoebe Wong, Saubin Yap, and Zhuang Wubin.

The interactive visualisation is inspired by Matthew D. Lincoln’s “Hierarchies of the Getty Art and Architecture Thesaurus,” which is made available under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License.