Best! Letters from Asian Americans in the arts, Wednesday, September 15, 12pm ET

Wed, 09/15/2021

Wednesday, September 15, 2021, 12pm EST

A video recording of the event is available HERE:


A panel discussion and series of readings from the 2021 anthology Best! Letters from Asian Americans in the arts.   Readings, annotations, and dialogue with editors and contributors Christopher K. Ho, Daisy Nam, Iftikhar Dadi, Rachel Ossip, and Dushko Petrovich.

This collection of seventy-three letters written in 2020 captures an unprecedented moment in politics and society through the experiences of Asian-American artists, curators, educators, art historians, editors, writers, and designers. The form of the letter offers readers intimate insights into the complexities of Asian American experiences, moving beyond the model-minority myth. Chronicling everyday lives, dreams, rage, family histories, and cultural politics, these letters ignite new ways of being, and modes of creating, at a moment of racial reckoning.

The publication Best! Letters from Asian Americans in the Arts includes contributions by: Aily Nash and Sylvia Schedelbauer, Ajay Kurian, Alexander Lau, Anicka Yi, Anne Anlin Cheng, Anoka Faruqee, Aruna D’Souza, Asad Raza, Brendan Fernandes, Brian Kuan Wood, Byron Kim, C. Spencer Yeh, Candice Lin, Cathy Park Hong, Celine Wong Katzman, CFGNY, Chitra Ganesh and Sung Hwan Kim, Chris Wu, Christine Y. Kim, Dawn Chan, Furen Dai, Hera Chan, Herb Tam, Holly Shen, Hồng-Ân Trương, Howie Chen, Hyperlink Press, Iftikhar Dadi, J Fan, j.p. mot, Jean Shin, Jen Liu, Jesse Chun, Jessica Hong, Jia Tolentino, John Tain, John Yau, Josh Kline, Ka-Man Tse, Ken Lum, Kenneth Tam, Kim Nguyen, Luke Luokun Cheng, Lumi Tan, Maia Chao, Marc Handelman, Marci Kwon, Margaret Lee, Martha Tuttle, Martin Wong, Mary Lum, Matthew Shen Goodman, Megha Ralapati, Mel Chin, Michelle Lopez, Mimi Wong, Mo Kong, Naeem Mohaiemen and Yara El-Sherbini, Pamela M. Lee, Patrick Jaojoco, Patty Chang, Paul Pfeiffer, Philip Poon, Prem Krishnamurthy, Ralph Pugay, Sarah McCaffery, Zheng Shengtian, WangShui, Sreshta Rit Premnath, Tausif Noor, Vinay Hira, Yayoi Shionoiri, and Zulfikar Ali Bhutto.

Co-sponsored by Asian American Studies Program

Christopher K. Ho (Cornell AAP ’97) is a speculative artist based in Hong Kong and New York. His practice encompasses making, organizing, writing, and teaching. He is known for materially exquisite objects that draw from learned material about, and lived encounters with, power and otherness in an unevenly decolonized, increasingly networked world. He serves as Executive Director of Asia Art Archive.

Daisy Nam is the curator at Ballroom Marfa, a contemporary art space located in Far West Texas. Previously she was the assistant director at the Carpenter Center, Harvard University where she organized exhibitions, publications, and public programs. Prior, she produced seven seasons of public programs at the School of the Arts, Columbia University. Curatorial residencies and fellowships include: Marcia Tucker Fellow, New Museum, New York; Bellas Artes, Philippines; Surf Point Foundation, Maine; Gwangju Biennale Foundation, Korea. She holds a master's degree in Curatorial and Critical Studies from Columbia University and a bachelor's degree in Art History from New York University. 

Iftikhar Dadi is Professor and Chair of the Department of History of Art and Director of the South Asia Program at Cornell University. Publications include Modernism and the Art of Muslim South Asia (2010), the edited volume Anwar Jalal Shemza (2015), the co-edited catalogue Lines of Control (2012), and the co-edited reader Unpacking Europe (2001). Dadi serves on the editorial advisory boards of Archives of Asian Art and BioScope: South Asian Screen Studies. As an artist he collaborates with Elizabeth Dadi. Their practice investigates identity and borders, and the capacities of urban informality across South Asia and the Global South.

Rachel Ossip is a designer, writer, and editor based in Brooklyn, NY. She serves as the managing editor of Paper Monument and n+1 magazine, as well as the designer for n+1 books. She has worked with a range of small publishers, academic publications, and institutions, such as New Directions, the Othering & Belonging Journal, and the Rhode Island School of Design.

Dushko Petrovich Córdova works in distributed media as an artist, writer, editor, and publisher. He is a co-founder of Paper Monument and serves on the n+1 Foundation board; he is an associate professor at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, where he directs the New Arts Journalism program; and he is director of communications and publications for the 2022 edition of the FRONT Triennial.




 image of book cover Best! Letters from Asian Americans in the arts