A4 announces a a new Artist Council that includes Tomie Arai, Vijay Iyer, Jon Santos, and more!

By A4 Staff
August 3, 2023

Asian American Arts Alliance is pleased to announce the establishment of an Artist Council in conjunction with the organization’s 40th anniversary. The inaugural cohort of artists in A4’s 2023 Artist Council includes Tomie Arai, Jessica Chen, Vijay Iyer, Ani Liu, Amanda Phingbodhipakkiya, Jon Santos, Shahzia Sikander, and Perry Yung. Working across a broad range of disciplines such as visual art, dance, music, and theater, the artists will provide advice and counsel on areas pertaining to their expertise. They will also help guide the organization and help shape its programming and strategy.

“We are so thrilled to be able to tap into this incredible creative brain trust in order to continue to refine our programming and ensure its relevance in 2023 and beyond!” says Lisa Gold, A4’s executive director. “We are extremely grateful for these highly accomplished and admired artists who are generously contributing their talents, resources, and knowledge to ensure A4 continues to play an important role supporting AAPI artists.”

Read more about the new Artist Council members below or visit our About page.

Tomie Arai
Tomie Arai is a public artist, born and raised in New York City. Through the framework of community-led collaborations, Arai uses public art, mixed media installations, and large-scale light projections as platforms to amplify issues of race, gender and social justice. Arai has designed both temporary and permanent public works of art for Creative Time, the GSA Art in Architecture Program, the NYC PerCent for Art Program, the MTA Arts for Transit Program, and the San Francisco Arts Commission. She is a co-founder of the cultural collective, The Chinatown Art Brigade, and is currently an artist-in-residence with CAAAV: Organizing Asian Communities.

Jessica Chen
Jessica Chen is an American dancer, choreographer and Artistic Director of J CHEN PROJECT, with a mission to create dance works that emphasize identity, cultural diversity, and belonging. Her work has been presented at New York Fashion Week (MoMA), Kennedy Center Millennium Stage, MACY’s Thanksgiving Day Parade, TEDx Semester at Sea, and featured in Google Arts & Culture by the Asian American Arts Alliance. Currently, projects include AAPI Heroes: Myths and Legends, R&H Cinderella, Jersey Boys, The Messenger, and Cabaret. She was nominated for the 2023 Bessie Award in Outstanding Choreographer/Creator.

Vijay Iyer
Described by The New York Times as a “social conscience, multimedia collaborator, system builder, rhapsodist, historical thinker and multicultural gateway,” composer-pianist Vijay Iyer has earned a place as one of the leading music-makers of his generation. His honors include a MacArthur Fellowship, a Doris Duke Performing Artist Award, a United States Artist Fellowship, a Grammy nomination, and the Alpert Award in the Arts. His most recent albums are Love in Exile (2023), a collaboration with Arooj Aftab and Shahzad Ismaily that is “suffused with unfolding mystery and deep human connection” (NPR), and Uneasy (2021), a trio date with Tyshawn Sorey and Linda May Han Oh hailed as “a triumph of small-group interplay and fertile invention” (The New Yorker). He teaches at Harvard University.

Ani Liu
Ani Liu is an internationally exhibiting research-based artist working at the intersection of art & science. Ani’s work examines gender politics, labor, reproduction, simulation and sexuality. Integrating emerging technologies with cultural reflection and social change, Ani’s most recent work examines the biopolitics of care work and motherhood. Ani’s work has been exhibited internationally, at the Venice Biennale, Ars Electronica, Kunstmuseum, the Queens Museum, and MIT Museum. Ani’s work has been featured in The New York Times, ArtForum, Art in America, National Geographic, VICE, Mashable, Gizmodo, TED, PBS, The Brooklyn Rail, and WIRED. She is currently an Associate Professor of Practice at the University of Pennsylvania.

Amanda Phingbodhipakkiya
Born in Atlanta to Thai and Indonesian immigrants, Amanda is a multidisciplinary artist, educator, and activist. Her work in sculpture, textile, public art, and ritual has reclaimed space in museums and galleries, at protests and rallies, on buildings, in classrooms, and on the cover of TIME. Her work examines the unseen labor of women, amplifies AAPI narratives, and affirms the depth, resilience, and beauty of communities of color. Amanda has been artist-in-residence with the NYC Commission on Human Rights and sits on the President’s Committee on the Arts and the Humanities, where she advises the President on how art can foster community well-being.

Jon Santos
Jon Santos is the principal of Common Space Studio, a New York City-based design studio and acting director of communications design for artist Anicka Yi, a long time collaborator who together with Josh Kline produced work as the Circular File collective from 2007 to 2009. He designed and edited Werner Herzog’s Whitney Biennial installation in 2012 and in 2016, he developed original artworks in collaboration with Hank Willis Thomas for the first artist-run super-pac (For Freedoms). Santos exhibits his work internationally and was nominated for a James Beard award and was a recipient of an AIGA Gold Medal.

Shahzia Sikander
Shahzia Sikander is widely celebrated for subverting Central and South-Asian miniature painting traditions into dialogue with contemporary international art practices and launching the form known today as neo-miniature. Interrogating ideas of language, trade, empire, and migration through feminist perspectives, Sikander’s paintings, video animations, mosaics and sculpture explore gender, sexuality, racial narratives, and colonial histories. Sikander is a recipient of the MacArthur award and The Pollock-Krasner Foundation’s Pollock Prize for Creativity, among others.

Perry Yung
Perry Yung is a Chinese American actor and musician originally from Oakland, CA. He is a founding member of the Slant Performance Group and has been a member of La MaMa E.T.C.‘s Great Jones Repertory Group since 1993. He is a recipient of the Japan US Friendship Foundation and Asian Cultural Council awards for shakuhachi crafting. Perry can be seen as Father Jun in HBO’s Warrior television series, produced by Justin Lin (Fast and Furious) and Shannon Lee (Bruce Lee’s daughter). This dream production allowed him to combine acting with his flute playing career.

Related Stories