Artists Space

Godzilla: Asian American Arts Network (1990–2001)
Book Launch & Reception

Book Launch
October 24, 2021, 1pm

Artists Space is pleased to host a book launch and reception for Godzilla: Asian American Arts Network 1990–2001, published by Primary Information.

A large black G over a green background. On the left, "Asian American Arts Network" appears in white vertical text over a black background.
Cover of Godzilla: Asian American Arts Network, edited by Howie Chen, published by Primary Information, 2021. Image courtesy of Primary Information. [A large black G over a green background. On the left, "Asian American Arts Network" appears in white vertical text over a black background.]

Godzilla: Asian American Arts Network 1990–2001 is a comprehensive anthology of writings, art projects, publications, correspondence, organizational documents, and other archival ephemera from the trailblazing Asian artist collective.

The collective known as Godzilla: Asian American Art Network was formed in 1990 to support the production of critical discourse around Asian American art and increase the visibility of Asian American artists, curators, and writers, who were negotiating a historically exclusionary society and art world. Founded by Ken Chu, Bing Lee, and Margo Machida, Godzilla produced exhibitions, publications, and community collaborations that sought to stimulate social change through art and advocacy.

For more than a decade, the diasporic group, having grown from a local organization into a nationwide network, confronted institutional racism, Western imperialism, anti-Asian violence, the AIDS crisis, and representations of Asian sexuality and gender, among other urgent issues. Godzilla’s signature 1991 protest of the Whitney Biennial decrying the lack of Asian American representation in museums is detailed in the book. This anthology provides rare insight into a crucial period of the Asian American Art Movement that began post-1968 in conjunction with rise of ethnic studies.

Godzilla created a social space for diasporic Asian artists and art professionals, including members Tomie Arai, Karin Higa, Byron Kim, Paul Pfeiffer, Eugenie Tsai, Alice Yang, Lynne Yamamoto, among others.

Edited by curator Howie Chen, this publication includes full essays and writings by Karin Higa, Byron Kim, Pamela M. Lee, Margo Machida, Paul Pfeiffer, Kerri Sakamoto, and Alice Yang. It also includes contextual material detailing the critical genealogies embodied by the group as well as its wide-ranging activities.

Editor: Howie Chen, Designer: Ella, Managing Editor: James Hoff, Copy Editor: Allison Dubinsky. Paperback, 552 pages, 9 x 12 inches, Edition of 2500, November 2021. ISBN: 9781736534625. The publication will be on sale at the reception for $25, and can also be purchased online through Primary Information.

Howie Chen is a curator and writer based in New York. He has held curatorial roles at the Whitney Museum of American Art and MoMA PS1. Chen’s writings have been published by Primary Information and Badlands Unlimited and have appeared in magazines such as Artforum, Frieze, and Art in America. He is on the faculty of the NYU Steinhardt School.

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