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.
Current/Upcoming Exhibits and Programs
The AARC presents Diane Chiyon Hong’s Vessels – Handle With Care. An exhibition consisting of drawings that examine East Asian cultural representation and iconography. By engaging with common tropes, she embarks on the process of reclaiming some part of the narrative and aims to open up space for dialogue and new perspectives. Playful juxtapositions of objects and figures create images that are at once endearing and unsettling. Utilizing humor as a subversive tool, Diane Chiyon Hong grapples with the complexity of Asian cultural identity by light-heartedly poking fun at the enterprise of stereotyping. Vessels – Handle With Care is on-view in the AARC's Foyer from February 26th, 2024 - July 5th, 2024.
The AARC presents Julie Lee's In Her Glory. A collection of silk scarves containing memories of Lee's mother, specifically in her youth before she came to America. This portrait series depicts a woman's youthful beauty throughout time as she navigates throughout her life journey. The scarves contain and mimic patterns worn by the woman in the implanted photographs, melding together and forming visualizations of fleeting memories that have been frozen in time. Julie Lee's In Her Glory is on-view from February 26th, 2024 to July 5th, 2024 in the Zen Garden Hallway.
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 2023 Exhibits
Great Value! Heritage Objects and Da Kine: Jasmine Chock
Spine Songs: Irene June
- Past 2021 - 2022 Exhibits
Creative Highlights Video Series
- Past AARC Exhibits