Godzilla: Asian American Arts Network
Editor: Howie Chen
Publisher: Primary Information (2021)
This anthology gathers writings, documentation and ephemera from Godzilla: Asian American Arts Network, a collective based in New York from 1990 to 2001, which was formed to provide a support structure for Asian American artists, writers and curators to stimulate visibility and critical discourse for their work. Edited by curator Howie Chen, the book gathers archival material from the group’s wide-ranging activities, which included producing exhibitions and forums to social change advocacy surrounding institutional racism, the politics of representation, Western imperialism, the AIDS crisis and violence against Asian Americans. Godzilla created a social space for diasporic Asian artists and art professionals, including members Tomie Arai, Karin Higa, Byron Kim, Paul Pfeiffer, Eugenie Tsai, Lynne Yamamoto and Alice Yang, among others.
Founded by artists Ken Chu, Bing Lee and Margo Machida in New York and eventually expanding into a national network, Godzilla’s aim was to “function as a support group interested in social change through art, bringing together art and advocacy” and “to contribute to changing the limited ways Asian Pacific Americans participate and are represented in broad social context―in the artworld and beyond.” This comprehensive chronicle of Godzilla: Asian American Arts Network assembles art projects, critical writing, correspondences, exhibition and meeting documentation, media clippings and other archival ephemera to convey the political and cultural stakes of the time.