Inaugural Asia Society Triennial and mesmerizing lantern festival at Citi Field

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Citi Field, the home of the Mets, is now hosting, though January 26, 2010, the first-ever Hello Panda Festival, the largest lantern arts event in North America. Photo: Sujeet Rajan

NEW YORK – Asia Society in New York will feature around 40 artists and more than 18 newly commissioned works by artists from Asia and the Asia diaspora – several from India, for the inaugural Asia Society Triennial, opening in June 2020.

The triennial is scheduled to be a multi-venue festival and the first of its kind ever in the United States devoted to celebrating Asian contemporary art, ideas, and innovation. Artists who will be creating new art works specifically for the triennial are, apart from India, also from Singapore, Iran, Taiwan, Korea, China, Malaysia, Indonesia, Thailand, among other countries.

The complete list of artists and venues will be announced early next year, according to Asia Society, but press materials reveal some top Indian artists in the mix.

Here are some of the names of the artists released by Asia Society so far: Song-Ming Ang (b. 1980 in Singapore; lives and works in Berlin, Germany and Singapore); Reza Aramesh (b. 1970 in Awhaz, Iran; lives and works in London, England); Vibha Galhotra (b. 1978 in Chandigarh, India; lives and works in New Delhi); Joyce Ho (b. 1983 in Taipei, Taiwan; lives and works in Taipei, Taiwan); Abir Karmakar (b. 1977 in Siliguri, India; lives and works in Vadodara); Kimsooja (b. 1957 in Daegu, Korea; lives and works in New York, U.S.; Paris, France; and Seoul, Korea); Lao Tongli (b. 1983 in Leizhou, China; lives and works in Guangzhou, China); Lu Yang (b. 1984 in Shanghai, China; lives and works in Shanghai, China); LuxuryLogico (collective founded in 2010 in Taipei, Taiwan); Prabhavathi Meppayil (b. 1965 in Bangalore, India; lives and works in Bangalore); Anne Samat (b. 1973 in Melaca, Malaysia; lives and works in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia); Samita Sinha (b. 1978 in New York, U.S.; lives and works in New York); Sun Xun (b. 1980 in Fuxin, China; lives and works in Beijing, China); Melati Suryodarmo (b. 1969 in Solo, Indonesia; lives and works in Solo, Indonesia); Natee Utarit (b. 1970 in Bangkok, Thailand; lives and works in Bangkok, Thailand); Wen Hui (b. 1960 in Yunnan Province, China; lives and works in Beijing, China); Xu Bing (b. 1955 in Beijing, China; lives and works in Beijing, China and New York, U.S.); Xu Zhen (b. 1977 in Shanghai, China; lives and works in Shanghai, China).

The Asia Society Triennial will feature as its centerpiece an exhibition entitled ‘We Do Not Dream Alone’, and will bring together artists with scientists, historians, policy analysts, and thought leaders from countries spanning Asia, Australia, the Middle East, Europe, and the Americas. It will take place at venues across New York City from June 5–August 9, 2020, and will all be free.

The Asia Society Triennial will be co-curated by Boon Hui Tan, Vice President of Global Artistic Programs and Director of Asia Society Museum, who is also the Artistic Director of the Triennial, and Michelle Yun, Senior Curator of Asian Contemporary Art and Associate Director of the Asia Society Triennial.

“We chose these artists because of their engagement with international affairs and their ability to transcend borders and other divides. Art in this moment must demonstrate our common humanity and express our ability to dream together. We designed the Triennial to foster conversations in art, policy, education, technology, and innovation. The exhibition and programs affirm the power of the artistic voice and its critical role in society today,” said Tan, in a statement.

LANTERN FESTIVAL LIGHTS UP CITI FIELD

Citi Field, the home of the Mets, is now hosting, though January 26, 2010, the first-ever Hello Panda Festival, the largest lantern arts event in North America. Photo courtesy of the organizers.

From New York to Los Angeles, lantern festivals – outdoor exhibits featuring giant illuminated displays – have become enormously popular in the US in recent years, thanks to their jaw-dropping spectacle.

Citi Field, the home of the Mets, is now hosting, though January 26, 2010, the first-ever Hello Panda Festival, the largest lantern arts event in North America.

Handcrafted by 60 world-renowned lantern artisans, the over 120 lantern displays have been designed in a myriad of shapes and sizes – including the tallest North American lantern Christmas tree at 60 feet tall, a 98 foot long panda psychedelic light tunnel, life-sized dinosaurs, giant pandas and dream-like scenes of underwater life.

Citi Field, the home of the Mets, is now hosting, though January 26, 2010, the first-ever Hello Panda Festival, the largest lantern arts event in North America. Photo: Sujeet Rajan

The festival utilizes more than 10 million individual lights to create an unforgettable and Instagrammable experience for visitors of all ages.

“The growing popularity of lantern festivals is due to the role of social media in today’s world,” said Winston Wang, General Manager of CPAA North America, at a VIP reception last week prior to the opening of the festival. “Our Hello Panda Festival has been designed to stir the senses and inspire imaginations.”

CPAA North America has signed a multi-year contract with Citi Field to host the festival through 2024 and hope to establish the event as annual New York holiday tradition, it said.

Since 2013, the organization has co-produced events and programs at Lincoln Center and the Kennedy Center. These include stage productions of Peony Pavilion, Mulan, Qingming Riverside, Silk Road, Dragon Boat Racing and Wedding of Erdos.

(Sujeet Rajan is Executive Editor, Parikh Worldwide Media. Email him: sujeet@newsindiatimes.com Follow him on Twitter @SujeetRajan1)

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