London, Asia is a collaboration between Asia Art Archive (AAA) and the Paul Mellon Centre for Studies in British Art (PMC).
This project posits London as a key, yet under-explored site in the construction of art historical narratives in Asia, and examines its influence through exhibitions, patronage, art writing, and art education. London, Asia also reflects on how the growing field of modern and contemporary art history in Asia intersects with and challenges existing histories of British art.
London, Asia does not propose a comparative framework, but rather encourages new perspectives on the entanglements, historic and contemporary, between London and Asia. By looking at examples of particular exhibitions, events, institutions, and individuals, this project asks broader methodological questions about the ways in which the art histories of Britain and Asia have been, and are being, written, circulated, and negotiated. The project is envisaged as a series of interventions and conversations with no specific end point; rather, these initiatives and resources are intended to open up and fuel generative engagement with an area that art historians, curators, and researchers have yet to examine in a systematic and critical way.
Through this three-year period AAA and the PMC will collaborate on a series of discussions, events, and programmes, in addition to archival and digital projects. It will reach out to a broader community of interest to shape and realise these initiatives, and we anticipate the collaborative development of a repository of digitised materials, filmed conversations, oral histories, and texts that will be made available as open-access resources.
Key research strands include:
Institutions (such as the British Council and the Commonwealth Institute)
Art schools and pedagogy
Symposium | Showing, Telling, Seeing: Exhibiting South Asia in Britain, 1900–Now
The first key component of London, Asia is the symposium Showing, Telling, Seeing: Exhibiting South Asia in Britain, 1900-Now (June 30–July 1), accompanied by a panel discussion in association with Tate on occasion of the exhibition 'Bhupen Khakhar' at Tate Modern (July 2).
Open Call | Research Grant | The London, Asia Research Award
Ongoing: Deadline 18 April 2017
The second phase of London, Asia explores the institutions and institutional histories that are key to shaping a more nuanced understanding of the cultural entanglements between London and Asia across the twentieth and twenty-first centuries. Like exhibitions, institutions produce multi-layered and multi-temporal histories. They are nodes within a complex web of connections. In thinking about the role that institutions have played in forging these connections, we can cut across different time periods, bringing together a range of people, objects, materials and approaches.
Other Planned Events and Initiatives:
A workshop exploring the impact of art schools and pedagogic practices on the development of art practice and art historic narratives concludes the three-year project.
A number of residencies, fellowships, events, and initiatives will be developed over the course of 2016–18 and will be announced regularly on both AAA and PMC websites.
Paul Mellon Centre is an educational charity committed to supporting original research into the history of British art and architecture of all periods. It is the sister institution to the Yale Center for British Art, with which it collaborates closely, and is part of Yale University.