Curated by Eric C. Shiner

ZONE: Chelsea Center for the Arts is proud to present U Can’t Touch Dis: The New Asian Art. Presenting the work of 18 young artists, many showing in New York for the first time, U Can’t Touch Disintroduces a cacophony of voices, images, sounds and sites that transform the traditional aesthetic tropes of Asian art into a new visual language based on global currents in new wave music, fashion, aesthetics and pop culture. These artists, from across Asia and the Asian diaspora in the West, create the “New Asian Art,” a philosophical nexus of production that is changing the face of Asia and indeed the world. From Satanicpornocultshop’s hybrid mix of pop, experimental and death metal music to Saya Woolfalk’s entryway soft sculpture and video installations that revolve around scarily cute depictions of life and death, the New Asian Artists included in the exhibition break the rules of race, class and gender normativity, creating dynamic works that are smart, troubling, beautiful and eclectic in equal measure. Many of the artists in the exhibition throw the idea of “Asia” into the trash bin, instead identifying themselves as part of a truly global flow of information, identities and positions. Some have punk rock sensibilities, whereas others are old-school academics with a penchant for releasing the oft talked about “other”; no matter their stance, they make art that screams out in rebellion, whether subtle in nature or too hot to touch.


The exhibition includes works ranging from painting (Lisha Bai, Yun Bai, Toby Barnes, MinKim, Tomokazu Matsuyama, Ramya Ravisankarand Yoskay Yamamoto) to sculpture (Susan Lee-Chun, Brendan Fernandes and Saya Woolfalk), as well as photography (Young Chung, Tomoaki Hata, Hiroshi Mori, Shen Wei, O Zhang), conceptual design (Goil Amornvivat), fashion (Angel Chang) and music (Satanicpornocultshop). 

September 6 – October 13, 2007


Opening reception:

Thursday September 6th, 2007



Artists in exhibition:

Lisha Bai

Yun Bai

Toby Barnes


Tomokazu Matsuyama

Ramya Ravisankar

Yoskay Yamamoto

Susan Lee-Chun

Brendan Fernandes

Saya Woolfalk

Young Chung

Tomoaki Hata

Hiroshi Mori

Shen Wei

O Zhang

Goil Amornvivat

Angel Chang


Eric C. Shiner is an independent curator and art historian specializing in contemporary art. He holds Masters degrees in the History of Art from Yale University and Osaka University, where he studied under the auspices of the Japanese government’s Ministry of  Education. His scholarly focus is on the concept of bodily transformation in postwar Japanese photography, painting and performance art. Shiner was an assistant curator of the Yokohama Triennale 2001, Japan’s first ever large-scale exhibition of international contemporary art, is the curator of Making a Home:  Japanese Contemporary Artists in New York at Japan Society in October 2007, and  will be co-curator of the exhibition Simulasian at the inaugural Asian Contemporary Art Fair, New York in November 2007. He is an active writer and translator, a contributing editor for Art AsiaPacific magazine, and an adjunct professor of Asian art history at Pace University in New York.

Categories: exhibitions