The AARC’s Community Art Exhibit Program displays artworks year round that celebrate the diverse and dynamic cultural heritage, history, identity and creativity of Asian American Pacific Islanders. Exhibits are displayed on a quarterly schedule.
Due to the recent spike in COVID-19 cases, the AARC will be closed to the public beginning on Friday, July 3. Read more here. Visit our Digital Programming Page for virtual exhibits and online programs for the public.
Current Exhibits and Programs
- Out of Service by Amar Gupta
On March 17, 2020, in an attempt to slow the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic, Austin-area bars, music venues, and dine-in restaurants were closed. Service industry workers and performing artists have been stuck in limbo ever since—seemingly with no end in sight to when their workplaces will ever reopen. Amar Gupta’s photography captures this moment in the lives of workers who are the lifeblood of small businesses in Central Texas. This series examines the experiences of those affected by the local and national response to the COVID-19 pandemic.
- Creative Highlights Video Series
A video series highlighting AARC Artists from this year's exhibition cycle.
- ArtsResponders: Social Practice Responds to COVID-19 Featuring Lizzie Chen and Kengo
Social Practice, according to the Tate Museum, “describes art that is collaborative, often participatory and involves people as the medium or material of the work.” It can include “any art form and involves people and communities in debate, collaboration or social interaction.” ArtsResponders is a project that commissions artists to train in Social Practice and engages community in an artistic response to cope with and overcome COVID-19.
Perlas ng Austin (The Pearls of Austin)
Learn about the history and culture of the Central Texas Filipino Community in a digital exhibit that features photographs from the Austin History Center's archives and cultural objects curated by the Austin Filipino American Association.
Permanent and Semi-Permanent Installations
Lotus by Sunyong Chung and Philippe Klinefelter, 2013
granite, handmade ceramic tiles
Lotus is a large site specific sculpture created by Art in Public Places commissioned artists Sunyong Chung and Philippe Klinefelter for the Asian American Resource Center (AARC), and is located in the entrance plaza overlooking heritage live oaks.
Chung created an intricate and lively 12’ diameter mosaic of a lotus, made of hand-colored and hand-crafted dimensional tiles, which Klinefelter surrounded with seven 9’ tall hand-carved granite “petals” gracefully reaching toward the sky. Klinefelter also carved the lotus’s seed pod at the center of the mosaic from granite, which doubles as a gently flowing fountain. According to feng shui principles, the placement of the fountain near the AARC entrance creates positive chi, or energy, for the building. The lotus, native to Asia, was chosen as inspiration for the sculpture because of its symbolic attributes of harmony, purification and healing.
- Prayer Phone
Prayer Phone | Semi-Permanent Art Installation
Prayer Phone, a handmade altar with a disconnected phone, is an invitation to the public to “call” their deceased loved ones while giving offerings and prayers. This project reflects a common custom of many Asian traditions: commemorating ancestors and venerating the spirit world.
Two essential elements compose this installation. The old fashioned phone is a symbolic artifact that represents humanity’s desire to connect and communicate with others. Its historic form evokes passage of time. By contrast, the spiritual act of lighting incense symbolizes the following: sacredness when the element of air is ignited, purification of the environment’s energy, and blessings in return for offerings. These two elements combine to help connect the earthly to the heavens.
This project is inspired by an episode of This American Life featuring stories about Telephone of the Wind in Otsuchi Town, a small seaside town in northeastern Japan. An iconic English telephone phone booth connected to nowhere was repurposed, and people began “calling” family members lost during the tsunami caused by the 2011 Great Japan Earthquake. Telephone of the Wind became a public space for people to grieve for their lost loved ones. In response, Prayer Phone shares in the deep tradition of respecting spirits and coexisting with entities beyond the physical realm, as well as providing a physical space and an outlet to feel connected with the departed.
- Past 2020 Exhibits
- Past AARC Exhibits
A River Across East and West
Colors of Life
Duality and Doko
Everything That Matters
Let the Colors Speak
Storied & Pop Japan
Tea and Travel: A Virtual Exhibit Reception
Visions of Asia