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Asia Society announces inaugural Triennial of Asia
The centerpiece of the Triennial, an exhibition entitled We Do Not Dream Alone, will open to the public on June 5, 2020. Photo: Frank Oudeman, courtesy Asia Society.

NEW YORK, NY.- In the spring of 2020, Asia Society will launch the inaugural Triennial of Asia, a festival of art, ideas, and innovation. This first edition of the Triennial, themed We Do Not Dream Alone, will be composed of a multi-venue exhibition, policy discussions, forums, and performances. The festival will bring together around forty artists with scientists, historians, policy analysts, and thought leaders from countries spanning Asia, Australia, the Middle East, Europe, and the Americas.

Beginning in spring 2020, programming will introduce the ideas and issues of the Triennial. The centerpiece of the Triennial, an exhibition entitled We Do Not Dream Alone, will open to the public on June 5, 2020 and continue through August 9. It is being conceived of as a multi-venue initiative that includes Asia Society and other sites across New York City. Artists in the exhibition work across all mediums of artistic expression today, reflecting the diversity of contemporary artistic practice. The exhibition will spotlight many artists who have not yet been introduced to American audiences and will offer opportunities for wide-ranging conversations about art, identity, and politics. Boon Hui Tan, Asia Society Museum director will curate the exhibition with Michelle Yun, Asia Society Museum senior curator of modern and contemporary art, who is the exhibition’s cocurator.

“The Triennial of Asia will be the world’s first festival celebrating the top artists and innovators of Asia on a global platform. In a time of crises and divisions we will invite Asia and the world to dream of a new future,” said Josette Sheeran, president and CEO of Asia Society.

The Triennial’s theme, We Do Not Dream Alone, alludes to the acts of personal and communal dreaming and imagining that are central to artistic practice and to humanity itself. The Triennial of Asia will be free at all locations for New Yorkers and tourists alike.

“The works chosen for the Triennial demonstrate the power of art to unite us despite the forces that divide us and will help us examine the meaning of art from Asia in an increasingly global context,” said Mr. Tan. “Opening up spaces for the right to dream has been a fundamental human ideal and experience shared across geography, race, nationality, and gender. We must value art because it not only allows us to dream without fear, but also because it is one of the few civic spaces where we can disagree without explicit conflict, where the democratic potential of art to build new bridges of empathy between individuals and cultures can be expressed. Dreaming is free and it can free us.”

Asia Society Museum presents a wide range of traditional, modern, and contemporary exhibitions of Asian and Asian American art, taking new approaches to familiar masterpieces and introducing under-recognized arts and artists. The Asia Society Museum Collection comprises a traditional art collection, including the initial bequests of Mr. and Mrs. John D. Rockefeller 3rd, and a contemporary art collection. Through exhibitions and public programs, Asia Society provides a forum for the issues and viewpoints reflected in both traditional and contemporary Asian art and in Asia today.

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