KMA Presents “Global Asias: Contemporary Asian and Asian American Art from the Collections of Jordan D. Schnitzer and His Family Foundation”

January 20, 2022

The Knoxville Museum of Art is pleased to present Global Asias: Contemporary Asian and Asian American Art from the Collections of Jordan D. Schnitzer and His Family Foundation January 28-April 24. Global Asias examines the cosmopolitan, playful, and subtly subversive characteristics of contemporary Asian and Asian American art. The exhibition highlights the work of sixteen artists of Asian heritage who draw on a rich array of motifs, techniques, and cultural motivations to construct diverse “Asias” in a modern global context.  Artists represented in the exhibition include Kwang-Yun Chun, Dinq Q. Le, Jun Kaneko, Hung Liu, Takashi Murakami, Do Ho Suh, and Barbara Takenaga.

“The artists included in this exhibition open our eyes to what it is like to cross boundaries both real and cultural,” shared Jordan Schnitzer, whose family has a longstanding history of championing Asian art and culture. “I hope each viewer is as moved as I am by this exhibition and is challenged and inspired by the art. The power of this exhibition will influence all of us for years to come.”

What does “Global Asias” mean? Is it a place? An idea? This exhibition moves us away from considering Asia as a geographical location and instead invites us to think broadly about how “Asia” has long served as an imaginative construct. By focusing on the conceptual dimensions of Asia—and in thinking about Asia, not in singular but plural terms—Global Asias encourages us to recognize the power of imagination in constructing Asia as a site of meaning across the globe.

The exhibition is divided into three thematic sections. “Exuberant Forms” features works that reshape and challenge conventional views of abstract art by exploring new materials, techniques, and metaphors. “Moving Stories” encourages viewers to reflect on migration experiences within Asia and beyond. “Asias Reinvented” highlights works that transform styles and motifs of traditional Asian art to engage, probe, and critique contemporary popular culture and politics. Combined, the works in Global Asias suggest the plurality and fluidity of “Asia” as a cultural construct and creative practice.

The museum is also offering the following programs in conjunction with the exhibition:
          -Members’ Reception: Wednesday, February 16, 5:30-7:30pm
          -Dine & Discover with Mary Laube: Wednesday, February 23, 12-1pm
          -Gallery talk with Chang Tan, curator of Global Asias: Sunday, February 27, 2-3pm
          -Global Asias Community Day: Saturday, March 19, 11am-3pm
          -Cocktails & Conversation with Koichi Yamamoto: Wednesday, April 13, 6-7pm

Organized by the Palmer Museum of Art in association with the Jordan Schnitzer Family Foundation, Global Asias was guest curated by Dr. Chang Tan, Assistant Professor of Art History and Asian Studies at Penn State.

Support for the exhibition and related educational and outreach programs has been made possible by a grant from the Jordan Schnitzer Family Foundation.

Additional support provided by

Jordan D. Schnitzer
At age 14, Jordan D. Schnitzer bought his first work of art from his mother’s Portland, Oregon contemporary art gallery, evolving into a lifelong avocation as collector. He began collecting contemporary prints and multiples in earnest in 1988. Today, the collection exceeds 19,000 works and includes many of today’s most important contemporary artists. It has grown to be one of the country’s largest private print collections. He generously lends work from his collection to qualified institutions. The Foundation has organized over 110 exhibitions and has had art exhibited at over 150 museums. Mr. Schnitzer is also President of Schnitzer Properties, a privately owned real estate investment company based in Portland, Oregon, owning and managing office, multi-tenant industrial, multi-family and retail properties in six western states.