Queering Contemporary Asian American Art
EDITED BY LAURA KINA AND JAN CHRISTIAN BERNABE
FOREWORD BY SUSETTE MIN
AFTERWORD BY KYOO LEE
Queering Contemporary Asian American Art takes Asian American differences as its point of departure, and brings together artists and scholars to challenge normative assumptions, essentialisms, and methodologies within Asian American art and visual culture. Taken together, these nine original artist interviews, cutting-edge visual artworks, and seven critical essays explore contemporary currents and experiences within Asian American art, including the multiple axes of race and identity; queer bodies and forms; kinship and affect; and digital identities and performances.
Using the verb and critical lens of “queering” to capture transgressive cultural, social, and political engagement and practice, the contributors to this volume explore the connection points in Asian American experience and cultural production of surveillance states, decolonization and diaspora, transnational adoption, and transgender bodies and forms, as well as heteronormative respectability, the military, and war. The interdisciplinary and theoretically informed frameworks in the volume engage readers to understand global and historical processes through contemporary Asian American artistic production.
“The editors disrupt notions of race, gender, and art to question the limits of each of these categories. A thoughtful and challenging collection that makes an important contribution to the fields of Asian American studies and visual culture.”
-LeiLani Nishime, author of Undercover Asian: Multiracial Asian Americans in Visual Culture
“Queering Contemporary Asian American Art provides a vital intervention and gendered counterpoint to the ways in which Asian Americans are usually racialized, demonized, and betrayed by mainstream academia and media.”
-Russell Leong, editor of Moving the Image: Independent Asian Pacific American Media Arts
“This volume stands as a bracing and provocative testament to the expansive critical and expressive possibilities of fluid concepts like ‘queering’ in dismantling, recasting, and realigning extant representations of Asian American identities, subjectivities, and positions in the twenty-first century world.”
-Margo Machida, author of Unsettled Visions: Contemporary Asian American Artists and the Social Imaginary
“Queer is a piquant term: as noun adjective, and verb, it is put to good use in this thoughtful collection of essays and interviews. The contributors variably attend to the marked body, challenging assumptions about it, including its readability. These writings demonstrate the ways that bold, contemporary artists are moving beyond rigid binaries and cynical,�multi-culturalist systems. Their invitation to critically engage differences and norms is most welcome.”
-Jacqueline Francis, author of Making Race: Modernism and “Racial Art” in America