MA Asian Art Histories annual lecture: The Geometries of Afro Asia

Book cover The geometries of Afro Asia

Date & Time
Date: Fri 17 Mar 2023
Time: 7:00pm – 9:00pm


Lecture Theatre,
Block F Level 2 #F202, LASALLE



Lecture / Talk

Comprising the regions that more than 80% of the world call home, Afro Asia came to the political fore in the mid-1950s, calling for accelerated decolonisation on the one hand and rejecting Cold War polarisation on the other. Building on this history, this talk mobilises Afro Asia as an epistemological grounds for rethinking geographical, social and aesthetic worlds primarily through the worlds Black and Asian artists have catalysed through their work.

Figuring space and time as open questions of geometry and not consequences of top-down linear thinking, works by artists including Samuel Fosso, Nalini Malani, Senga Nengudi, Sammy Baloji, Lim Oksang and Tuan Andrew Nguyen defy dominant political, social, disciplinary and geographical demarcations, as well as address a resurgent crisis of imagination that admit artworks as morally and politically credible only when they perform representationally.

More than a call for inclusivity or a revisionist approach to art history and its methods, Dr Joan Kee will argue that Afro Asia is itself a means of thinking about lives and futures beyond survival and even solidarity.

About the speaker

Joan Kee is Professor in the History of Art at the University of Michigan and is a Ford Foundation Scholar in Residence at MoMA. Her forthcoming book, The Geometries of Afro Asia: Art beyond Solidarity, engages with Black and Asian artists and the vibrant worlds they initiate through their works, and will be released by the University of California Press this April. Kee's other books include Models of Integrity: Art and Law in Post Sixties America (2019) and Contemporary Korean Art: Tansaekhwa and the Urgency of Method (2014). She also co-edited with Patrick Flores a special issue of Third Text on contemporary art in Southeast Asia (2011).