New Asian Futurisms

Two holographic photos of hands are mounted on a white wall. Adjacent to that wall is a blue wall with a large colorful print of a spaceship. To the right of the colorful print is a set of two sculpted hands. In front of the blue wall is one white pedestal with a pair of winged leather sandals displayed on it, and another white pedestal with a futuristic black and gold sculpture displayed on it. - New Asian Futurisms exhibition - Space Mosque by Saks Afridi

ARTISTS: Saks Afridi | Melissa Chen | Amir-Behan Jahanbin | JiSoo Lee | Firoz Mahmud | Leeroy New |Tomorrow We Inherit the Earth: The Queer Intifada | Eva Wu
WORKING GROUP: Ching-In Chen | Wit López | Atif Sheikh | Li Sumpter

September 27 – December 6, 2019 | Monday-Friday, 10am-6pm


Mainstream fictions, especially science fiction of doomed futures and metaphors for oppression often evoke fear. Instead, what if we repaired the imaginations of fragmented pasts and accepted the new formats of allegory, dialogue, expression; accepted the post-human biome. A shift in perspective and observing multiple histories of diverse communities can inspire us to look forward to looking forward. What if we could use a new futurism to create a narrative of hope?

In New Asian Futurisms, we asked artists to imagine a place beyond time and space, a backdrop for the imagination of queer, differently abled, of multiplicity of thought; to continue the journeys embarked upon by Afrofuturists like Samuel R. Delaney, Sun Ra and most importantly, Octavia Butler. What if we made the traditional purview of science fiction more inclusive; unapologetically naturalist, spiritual and healing. Responding to these questions with existing media, New Asian Futurisms is a public arts program to showcase visual art, digital media, poetry and performance.



The exhibition catalogue includes writing by poets Vidhu Aggarwal, Woogee Bae, Rachelle Cruz, Dulani, Kenji C. Liu, Bushra Rehman, Margaret Rhee, and Bryan Thao Worra.


Related Events

  • Opening Reception: First Friday, October 4, 6-9pm
  • Patawili – Performance by Annielille Gavino: Friday, October 18 and Sunday, October 20, 7:30pm
  • Roopbaan Reimagined – A Dragqueen from the Future – Performance by Ali Asgar: Sunday, November 3, 2-4pm
  • Closing Reception: First Friday, December 6, 6-9pm
    • Featuring performance by Humeysha with opening act by Joe Ahmed



Asian Arts Initiative is designed as a mobility accessible facility, with access to all public floors and spaces, and seating accommodations for programmed events. Both non-gendered and individually isolating restrooms are available on each floor, all equipped with changing stations. If contacted in advance, we will make every attempt to fulfill requests for reasonable accommodations such as vision/hearing auxiliary aids and cognitive disability guides. Please note: Due to most events being attended by the general public, we cannot guarantee accommodations for those with fragrance sensitivities. AAI is a family-friendly multigenerational space.