Published in 2012, the e-journal’s inaugural issue, with contributions from over 40 scholars, critics, curators, and artists, addresses a theme that is central not only to AAA, but is one of the most vexed topics in recent years: the notion of the “contemporary in art,” with specificity to the contexts of Asia.

Acknowledging Hal Foster and Terry Smith’s “Questionnaire on ‘The Contemporary'” in the Fall 2009 issue of October, as well as writings by John Clark and Joan Kee amongst others, we invited curators, artists, critics, and academics from Asia to contribute their thoughts on the topic. As an archive of “contemporary art in Asia,” the issue helped us to consider AAA’s collection as a shifting frame, situated in the present but also connecting past and future. The issue also drew upon a text from the archive from 1967 on Sri Lankan artist Ivan Peries by Senake Bandaranayake (first published in Third Text in 1987), looking at the position of a modernist artist of the “Third World.”

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