Lala Rukh, Untitled, circa 1976 (MFA Graduation artwork, University of Chicago). Collection of Seemin Khan. Photo by A. Moratinos.
Hosted by South Asia Institute, the first Pan–South Asian American cultural institution in Chicago, and curated by artist, curator, and educator Shelly Bahl, this exhibition presents an archive of the history, from the late 1990s to today, of the emergence of South Asian American diasporic art practices in Chicago. Chicago has a rich record of local artists, exhibitions and other public programs that have featured South Asian American art, but these histories are little known today. The archival presentation of this under-documented exhibition history in the form of print and digital exhibition documentation, ephemera, and oral history recordings is displayed alongside an exhibition of contemporary art by South Asian American artists who live or have lived and worked in Chicago. The two parallel simultaneous exhibitions demonstrate how Chicago was and continues to be a key center of South Asian American art today. A series of related tours, panels, presentations, literary events, and film screenings complement the exhibition.