On October 28-29, 2022, the Asian American Art Initiative (AAAI) at Stanford University will host IMU UR2: Art, Aesthetics, and Asian America. This public convening will bring together artists, curators, and academics to rethink and reimagine histories and futures of artists of Asian descent. Held in conjunction with the inaugural exhibitions of the Asian American Art Initiative, East of the Pacific: Making Histories of Asian American Art, The Faces of Ruth Asawa, and At Home/On Stage: Asian American Representation in Photography and Film presented at Stanford’s Cantor Arts Center, these events will serve as the public launch of the AAAI, which is dedicated to the collection, preservation, display, and study of work by Asian American/diaspora artists.
The title of the convening, IMU UR2 is a phrase coined by the painter Martin Wong, who lived in San Francisco and New York. Phonetically reading “I am you, you are two/too/to,” it captures the imagination, playfulness, and conceptual depth of Wong’s work. Here, the self is not singular but made in relation to others, who are likewise made in relation to us. The phrase encapsulates the convening’s aim of thinking through the myriad ways Asian Americans, and the work they create, are at once connected and distinctive.