“Asia” in Portugese Colonial History, Art, & Politics

In “The ‘Orient’ in the ‘New World,’” Jorge Lúzio discerns a Portugese-Asian presence in “the cultural genesis of colonial Brazil” via South/east Asia. In tracing Asian cultural influences in “baroque imagery, gastronomy, commercial relations, and customs,” Lúzio discusses the presence of Asianness in colonial Brazil prior to the 19th-century immigration of Asian subjects (35). For […]

Indo-Portuguese Iconography in the New World

In Jorge Lúzio’s essay “The Orient and the New World: The Carreira da India and the Flows between Asia and Portuguese America,” he traces the movement of Asian cultural objects, mainly religious ivory carvings, to colonial Brazil.  Rather than mapping the flows of Asian immigrants, Lúzio focuses on the way art objects, which preceded the […]


Luzio’s piece delves into the aesthetics of the ivory Christian figures that circulated through the networks of trade established within the colonies of the Portuguese empire in order to unsettle understandings of space. The very title of the piece “The ‘Orient’ in the ‘New World’” points towards the essay’s gestures of deterritorialization and reterritorialization. However, […]

Asian Brazilian Art

Jorge Luzio offers an interesting way to think about Asian influence during colonial times in the New World, especially in colonial Brazil. His text illuminates how pieces of art can be connected with everything, from different types of social networking to commerce, history, and culture. As Luzio explains, during colonial times the Portuguese Empire used […]

An Asian/American Positionality

In her book Unsettled Visions, Professor Margo Machida opens with the question: how do artists of Asian heritage, whether foreign or U.S. born, conceptualize the world and position themselves as cultural and historical subjects through the symbolic languages and media of visual art?  In the first chapter, Machida maps out multiple thematics available for considering the […]

memory + mapmaking

I was quite interested in this week’s discussion on the relationship between personal and collective memory, and the role art plays in contesting both because of the dialogic way memory works. Machida emphasizes the way in which memory is not “stored” but rather constituted through sociability, “Remembering, therefore, is necessarily dialogic, as it involves a […]

Asian American Identity

The reading “Unsettled Visions” by Professor Margo Machida opened my eyes to issues of immigration and the process of identity formation in a new country. Machida gives us a detailed description of how Asian American art has long been used as a way to invoke cultural similarities among Asian Americans and create a social presence […]

Mapping Maintenance Art

This weekend I visited the Queens Museum to see the Mierle Lederman Ukeles retrospective on her career as a feminist performance artist.  Her works, particularly her Maintenance Art Performances, have always been engaged with ecology and the infrastructure of cities. Two of the exhibitions components were incorporated into the Queens Museum’s famous Panorama of the […]