Exhibitions Overview

Located on the periphery of New York's Chinatown, the Arts Centre has contracted over a thousand artists over its forty-year history and has reached countless numbers of audiences through its exhibitions and live presentations.

Some of the highlights in the exhibition program included the year-long "CHINA: June 4, 1989" exhibition series with over 300 artists shown at PS1, Blum Helman Warehouse and other sites, of which 80 artists works later traveled to Cleveland, Texas, and Michigan, and 15 to Hong Kong, "The Mind's I Series" in 1986 on the issue of identity, "Public Art in Chinatown" in 1988 on new metaphors for a traditional community, "And He Was Looking for Asia" in 1992 on alternatives for the myth of Christopher Columbus, "Passion and Compassion: Five Artists Reflections on Buddhism" 1996, and "Three Generations: Towards a History of Asian American Art" in 1997.

Among other highlights, the Arts Centre produced a series of three historical exhibitions entitled "Asian American Artists and Their Milieu: 1945 to 1965" documenting the beginnings of a cultural presence spanning over 70 years. "Stream Segment" in 1997 featured American artists influenced by Asia as part of the Annual series where emerging artists are exhibited, and "7lb 9oz: The Reintegration of Tradition into Contemporary Art" 1999.

Collaborative exhibitions have included "We Count! The State of Asian Pacific America" 1992 in conjunction with Mayor Dinkins' Asian Affairs Office pairing artworks with the twenty major issues facing the Asian American Community, "Betrayal and Empowerment" in 1994 with Columbia University Teachers College in which the Arts Centre participated in a symposia on Asian Americans, "Ancestors" in 1995 with Kenkeleba House on African American and Asian American historic and aesthetic ties, "Cross Cultural Voices" in 1999 with Korea Society and Steven Gang Gallery, and “AAAC Story” in 2001 with NYU a/p/a Dept. reviewing the 27 year history of the Arts Centre.

Emphasizing the validity of the Folk Arts has remained a high priority to the Asian American Art Centre. The AAAC continues to research and document the currents of traditional culture flowing through contemporary settings. Highlights in folk arts programming over the years have included: the Chinese "Nuo" Masks 1999 and Shadow Puppets Exhibition in 1999?; the Flushing Council on the Arts "Paper Deities in New York" in 1998, featuring an exhibition of the Art Centre’s permanent collection of Chinese folk art.

In 2014, the Arts Centre produced a revival of "CHINA: June 4, 1989" for the 25th Anniversary Exhibition in Commemoration of Tiananmen Square, featuring screenings and works by Zhang Hongtu, Luis Camnitzer, Liliana Porter, and Martin Wong, among others.