Panel Discussion

“Asian art” is a messy label given to works by Asian artists, whether or not the artwork is intended to be viewed in that context or not. Such a label never quite disappears from view, but forms a specific and silent agreement around the consumption of work. This can muddy the waters between one person’s output and another’s person’s interpretation. Showcasing Asian artists in ‘Western’ contexts is a form of propaganda, no matter how well-intentioned. Refusing to showcase Asian artists in ‘Western’ contexts is a form of complicit and purposeful erasure: another form of propaganda.

The Asian artist is not the sole creator of meaning for their work, but is instead caught in a tug-of-war between individual preference and intuition, tokenism, tourism, the whims of translation and their foisted upon role as a cultural advocate for trade relations across the Asia-Pacific.

Deputy Artspace Aotearoa Director Meijing He joins Vanessa Mei Crofskey in a roundtable conversation about how East Asian art is produced and consumed, alongside writer and arts producer Rosabel Tan, filmmaker Nahyeon Lee and fellow artist Claudia Kogachi. Through unpacking each of their distinct personal experiences and practices, they grapple with this understanding of ‘East Asian art' having political weight and identity, the limitations and perceptions faced within the creative industry, and what some of the barriers East Asian artists are currently facing. This conversation may suggest a similar context in the struggle for other identities within the wider diaspora. What hidden agendas hinder our ability to see and understand each other through art? How can we support each other properly?

Drinks and snacks provided. This event is part of the public programme for the New Artists Show 2020* at Artspace Aotearoa.


  • Free


  • Thu 15 Oct


  • 7:30 pm — 8:30 pm


  • Ground Floor, 292 Karangahape Road
  • Newton, Auckland