Programs & Exhibitions

Spring 2023 Programs


AA&CC is proud to co-sponsor:

Exhibition | "Lunar New Year" curated by Adam Chau

Baltimore Clayworks, Main Gallery, 5707 Smith Ave, Baltimore, MD 21209
On view January 14 - March 25
(Closed March 19 - 26)
Gallery Hours:
Tuesday - Saturday, 10 a.m. - 5 p.m.; Sunday, Noon - 5 p.m.

Chinese/Vietnamese American artist, Adam Chau, has produced this series of exhibitions across the United States celebrating the Asian New Year since 2019.
Participating AAPI and mixed heritage artists share original ceramic works inspired by the animals from the Asian zodiac – a rabbit for the year 2023. Multiple cultures are represented in this project, including China, Hong Kong, Japan, Korea, Myanmar, Taiwan, Thailand, and Vietnam. Participating artists are Ian Basset, Ling Chun, WangLing Chou, Grace Gittleman, Gunyoung Kim, Steven Kin, Nikki Lau, Cindy Leung, Mari Ogihara, Eun-Ha Paek, Shoji Satake, Juliane Shibata, Hitomi and Takuro Shibata, Micah Sweezie. Curator, Adam Chau, is a New York-based artist and Exhibitions Manager at ArtsWestchester.  AA&CC is proud to co-sponsor this exhibition.

 

Exhibition | Tristan Cai: The Aesthetics of Disappearance

Asian Arts Gallery, TU Center for the Arts
On view February 8 - May 20, 2023
(Closed March 19 - 26)
Gallery Hours:
Monday through Saturday, 11 a.m. - 4 p.m.

Through a series of digitally manipulated archival photographs from colonial Singapore, multidisciplinary artist, Tristan Cai, creates “a gesture against historical amnesia” and questions how history is constructed and narrated by those in power. Cai’s haunting images draw attention to the fundamentally forgotten history of “houseboys” and their British colonial masters in Singapore from the 1850s to the 1930s.

 

Gallery Talk + Opening Reception | Meet the Artist: Tristan Cai

Wednesday, February 8, 7:30 p.m.
Asian Arts Gallery, TU Center for the Arts

Celebrate the opening of The Aesthetics of Disappearance with a reception and an introduction to the exhibition by artist, Tristan Cai. Gain deeper insights into how Cai was drawn by chance to the topic of houseboys. Learn how he uses ethnography to understand the human condition and constantly reflects upon photography’s possibilities, limits, and failures. Cai is Professor of Photography at St. Mary’s College of Maryland. He received his B.F.A. from Nanyang Technological University, Singapore and his M.F.A from San Francisco Art Institute. Cai’s accolades include the San Francisco Art Institute MFA Fellowship Award, the Murphy and Cadogan Contemporary Art Award, and the Professional Development Grant and Arts Bursary Award from the National Arts Council of Singapore.

Saiko Kino in Shizuka
Dancer Saiko Kino

AA&CC is proud to co-present:

Performance | Kinetic Crossings

Friday, March 10 and Sunday, March 11, 8 p.m.
Baltimore Theatre Project, 45 W. Preston St, Baltimore, MD 21201
TICKETS: $15 - $25

Nicole A. Martinell (Artistic Director of Deep Vision Dance Company) and Saiko Kino (Japanese dancer and choreographer) will present an illuminating evening of contemporary dance works that cross their creative paths. Martinell remakes In Faith, a vivid, spiritual journey of friction, connection, and gratitude through the eyes of a Muslim man and a Christian woman. Kino's mesmerizing Shizuka revives Shizuka Gozen, a 12th-century mixed-gender dancer known for her extraordinary psychic powers and political influence.

The concert features collaborations with Asako Miura and Heather Mork (lighting design), Timothy Nohe (composer), Jamahl Rahmaan (movement artist), Michiyo Yagi (musician), Homayra Ziad (scholar-activist), and the Deep Vision dancers. AA&CC is proud to co-present this performance.


AA&CC is proud to co-present:

Opening Celebration Performances | Across Asia: Arts of Asia and the Islamic World

Sunday, April 23, 2 p.m.
Walters Art Museum, Graham Auditorium, 600 N. Charles St, Baltimore, MD 21201

Celebrate the opening of the Walters Art Museum’s Across Asia: Arts of Asia and the Islamic World with performances co-presented by the Asian Arts & Culture Center. Listen to Persian music by Ahmad Borhani and Japanese koto musician Masayo Ishigure and enjoy an Indian-Thai collaborative dance performance by Nilimma Devi and Anila Kumari of Sutradhar Institute of Dance and Related Arts/Devi Dance Theatre and Suteera Nagavajara and Vorayot Suksaichon of Somapa Thai Dance Company. The celebration also includes gallery talks, drop-in art-making, and tea tasting from 11 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. All ages are welcome.

Asia North logo by Mika Nakano
Asia North graphic by Mika Nakano

Exhibition + Festival | Asia North 2023: A Celebration of Art, Culture, and Community

May - June
Station North Arts District
Details TBA


Past Events

Fall 2022 Programs

A celebration of creativity and diversity in the DMV’s South Asian communities curated by a team of local South Asian artists and leaders, including Samia Mahbub Ahmad, Nadia Amdad, Ryan Artes, Shanthi Chandrasekar, Nilimma Devi, Ameena Fareeda, Harjant Gill, Farida Hughes, Anila Kumari, Shyama Kuver, Alif Laila, Neha Misra, Adrianna Morgan, Pratisha Pradhan, Rachana Saurabh, Priya  Sekar, Manoj Singh, Jasmine Smith, Shobha Subramanian, Nimi Trehan, and Nikita Yogaraj.

"Navagraha" by Shanthi Chandrasekar
"Navagraha" by Shanthi Chandrasekar

Exhibition | Creative Confluence: South Asian Community Reflections, Connections, and Dialogue

Asian Arts Gallery, TU Center for the Arts
On view September 14 – December 17
(Closed October 17 and November 23-27)
Gallery Hours:
Monday through Saturday, 11 a.m. - 4 p.m.

Explore the rich array of creativity, cultures, and traditions expressed through the works of twenty-two South Asian artists from across the Greater Baltimore and Washington, DC area.  Discover the intersecting and distinct experiences of these artists—with cultural roots in Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Barbados, India, Kenya, Pakistan, Tanzania, and Trinidad and Tobago—who share their perspectives on lineage, self-identity, ideas of homeland, spiritual traditions, sensory experience, and connections to the natural world.

Video still from the film "Mississippi Masala"
Sarita Choudhury (Meena) and Yvette Hawkins (Aunt Rose) in the 1991 film "Mississippi Masala"

Film | Mississippi Masala

Tuesday, November 1, 2022, 7 p.m.
Towson University, University Union, Room 324
281 University Avenue, Towson, MD 21204
(Intersection of Osler Drive and Emerson Drive)

After Mina's (Sarita Choudhury) Indian family is ousted from their home in Uganda by dictator Idi Amin, they relocate to Mississippi to start a new life. Mina falls for Demetrius (Denzel Washington), a young carpet cleaner, despite the protests of their families over their racial difference. The families and their surrounding communities begin to feud, putting even more pressure on the couple's romance. Having to choose between family and love, Mina and Demetrius run away together. Director: Mira Nair. Cast: Denzel Washington; Roshan Seth; Sarita Choudhury. Run Time: 120 Minutes. Hosted by Dr. Harjant Gill, Towson University Associate Professor, Sociology, Anthropology & Criminal Justice.

The studio of artist Shanthi Chandrasekar

Studio Tour | Shanthi Chandrasekar

Saturday, November 5, 2022, 2 p.m.
Studio B
7475 Wisconsin Avenue, Lower Level, Bethesda, MD 20814

Shanthi Chandrasekar is a multimedia, multidisciplinary artist who has been drawing and painting since early childhood. Her interest in understanding different forms of visual media has led her to experiment with drawing, painting, sculpture, photography, printmaking and papermaking. She has also been trained in the traditional art forms of kolam and Tanjore-style painting. While many of her works are influenced by her Indian heritage, her true inspiration comes from the mystery and majesty of the world around her; her muse lives where the scientific overlaps with the spiritual.

Jayamangala dance troupe
Jayamangala

Performance and Discussion | Rhythm & Grace: Dancing through India

Saturday, November 12, 2022, 2 p.m.
Motor House
120 West North Ave., Baltimore, MD 21201

Get a glimpse into the regional classical dance styles that have journeyed from ancient native towns and temples of India to new lands, stood the test of time, and surmounted the challenges of displacement. Enjoy performances by DMV's leading dance groups: Kathak by Lasya Dance Academy, Kuchipudi by Devi Dance Theatre and Kuchipudi Dance Academy, Mohiniattam by Radha Dutta’s Kalalyam, Odissi by Mayur, and Bharatanatyam by Jayamangala. Explore questions about intergenerational transmission and the maintenance and development of cultural heritage with panelists Anila Kumari (Kuchipudi dancer), Mishka Mukherji (Odissi Dancer), Aishwarya Subramanian (Bharatanatyam Dancer) and Shaalini Desai (Kathak dancer). Moderated by Shruthi Mukund. Curated by dancer, choreographer, singer Shobha Subramanian, Jayamangala. Major support provided by the Maryland State Arts Council. Co-presented with the Motor House. 

English Vinglish

Film | English Vinglish

Tuesday, November 15, 2022, 7 p.m.
Towson University, University Union, Room 324
281 University Avenue, Towson, MD 21204
(Intersection of Osler Drive and Emerson Drive)

A tradition-minded Indian housewife (Sridevi) enrolls in an accelerated English-language course after she finds herself unable to place a simple order in an American restaurant. Director: Gauri Shinde. Cast: Sridevi, Adil Hussain. Run Time: 134 Minutes.

Culinary Confluences
Chefs Skiz Fernando and Radhika Sule

Discover+Dine | Culinary Confluences: South Asian Street Food in Baltimore

Sunday, December 11, 2022, 2 p.m.
Motor House
120 W. North Ave, Baltimore, MD 21201

Taste and explore some of the delicious street foods of South Asia with Baltimore’s own celebrated chefs Skiz Fernando (Skiz’s Original) and Radhika Sule (Verandah Kitchen). Fernando and Sule introduce and demonstrate their favorite recipes and delight your taste buds with samples prepared especially for you. Curated and hosted by artist, Farida Hughes. Co-presented with the Motor House.

Author Saima Sitwat
Author Saima Sitwat

Author Talk | American Muslim: An Immigrant’s Story by Saima Sitwat

Tuesday, September 27, 2022, 7 p.m.
Towson University, University Union, Room 324
281 University Avenue, Towson, MD 21204
(Intersection of Osler Drive and Emerson Drive)

Join author, Saima Sitwat, for a conversation about major themes of her book, American Muslim: An Immigrant’s Journey. Hear excerpts from Sitwat’s memoir and explore questions such as, “What does it mean to be a minority, a Muslim, an immigrant, and a woman in 21st century America?” Co-sponsored by TU Center for Student Diversity and TU Department of Women's and Gender Studies.

Tvameva

Performance | Tvameva Music

Sunday, October 2, 2022, 2 p.m.
Towson University, Center for the Arts, Recital Hall
7700 Osler Drive, Towson, MD 21204

Tvameva (meaning "you are" in Sanskrit) is a unique world fusion band based in the Washington DC Region. This presentation features founder-vocalist-producer, Arvind Venugopal, and award-winning guitarist, Rahul Mukerji. The group blends South Indian Carnatic music traditions with new age electronic, classic rock, and other musical sounds. The result is a sublime and spiritually-grounded new sound which respectfully balances tradition with fearless exploration.

Details of artwork by Nimi Trehan

Studio Tour | Nimi Trehan

Saturday, October 8, 2022, 2 p.m.
Potomac, MD

Nimi Trehan is a Maryland based artist with a background in art and interior design. She designed interiors for the residential, corporate, healthcare and federal sectors in India and the US. She has participated in several group as well as solo exhibits locally and internationally.

Bamboo Lotus illustration by Justin Nepomuceno
Bamboo Lotus illustration by Justin Nepomuceno

Lighting Ceremony | Bamboo Lotus Illumination

Thursday, October 20, 2022, 7 p.m.
Asian Arts Gallery, Center for the Arts, Towson University
1 Fine Arts Drive, Towson, MD 21204

Celebrate and learn about Diwali, the Festival of Light celebrated by Hindus around the world. Join artist Adrianna Morgan, in the illumination of her site-specific installation honoring the Indo-Caribbean “bamboo bending” tradition of creating decorative forms to display sacred South Asian oil lamps (diyas). Listen to an artist talk to learn about this practice and the art installation from Adrianna and her production team, and explore Diwali customs with artist, Shanthi Chandrasekar.

Sutradhar Institute of Dance and Related Arts
Riya Devi-Ashby at Sutradhar Institute of Dance and Related Arts

Studio Tour | Sutradhar Institute of Dance and Related Arts

Saturday, October 22, 2022, 11 a.m.
1525 Forest Glen Road, Silver Spring, MD 20910

Visit this hub of Indian dance, storytelling, and visual arts in Silver Spring comprised of studios, open-air spaces, a yoga garden, and a sacred North Indian-inspired stage made with recycled materials. Learn
kuchipudi hand gestures and basic foot stamped rhythms and observe an advanced dance lesson. Explore the yoga garden, landscaped with earthenware from India and a large mural of Princess Sita by a Silver Spring artist.  Enjoy chai, samosas, and other light snacks while chatting with SIDRA’s founder, Nilimma Devi, and the passionate, inter-generational, bi-cultural Devi Dance performers.

The Sutradhar Institute of Dance and Related Arts (SIDRA) was established in 1988 by Nilimma Devi, one of the first women to be allowed to learn the art form of kuchipudi. Devi views kuchipudi classical dance, not as an isolated art, but as a rich tapestry of interwoven art forms. SIDRA introduces dance through a blend of yoga, creative writing, storytelling and music – all links in the chain of kuchipudi aesthetics.


Continuing Programs

 

Master Cambodian musician, Chum Ngek, helps a TU music student play the kong thom.

TU Pin Peat Ensemble (Cambodian Classical Music)

The AA&CC and TU Department of Music teamed up to offer the TU Pin Peat (Khmer classical music) Ensemble led by master Cambodian musician, Chum Ngek. Through this course, which was established in spring 2017, TU students expand their artistic and cultural horizons while contributing to the preservation and longevity of a tradition that was nearly decimated during the Khmer Rouge era in Cambodia.

Special thanks to the Maryland State Arts Council, Citizens of Baltimore County, and AA&CC members for making this initiative possible.

Asia in Maryland (AIM) Cultural Connection

This ongoing project highlights exhibitions, performances, workshops, artist residencies, and online resources featuring local Asian arts and culture in Maryland communities . It also incorporates The Asia in Maryland (AIM) Cultural History Project, an interdisciplinary studies course combining ethnography and oral history to explore, understand and document Asian arts and culture in Maryland. Student research informs Center programming. In fall 2015, we initiated the “Connection” with an exhibition, performances, workshops and family days introducing local audiences to the living Khmer art and culture in the Mid-Atlantic region.

Asia in Maryland (AIM) Cultural History Project

Asia in Maryland (AIM) Cultural History Project

The Asia in Maryland (AIM) Cultural History Project (IDFA 480/580 Interdisciplinary Fine Arts Special Topics Seminar) is an interdisciplinary studies course in Towson University’s College of Fine Arts & Communication. This course combines ethnography and oral history to explore, understand and document Asian arts and culture in Maryland. Students identify their own research topic and conduct independent research with guidance from the instructors throughout the semester.  Topics can include art, music, dance, theater, foodways, costumes, healing arts, martial arts and more. Students create a portfolio of their research as a culminating project at the end of the semester. Student projects will be used in programs at the Asian Arts & Culture Center.

Read about the topics OUR students researched...