The book, The Asian Modern, by John Clark (with an Introduction by the Manila-based critic and curator, Patrick Flores) seeks to construct a “cross-Asian” account through a detailed historical and empirical focus on 30 artists spanning Southeast, East, and South Asia, as well as Australia. At the core of the book is the premise that the given place, “Asia,” is the locus for a critique of the normative account of modernism tethered to another locale, identified by Clark as “Euramerica.” These focused geographic arenas provide the basis for novel itineraries, dynamic dispersals, and alternative sightlines that reject the conventional frame of the nation. Given the ambitious scale and scope of Clark's project, the ARTMargins editors invited five historians of modern and contemporary art in Asia—Monica Juneja, Ming Tiampo, Nora Taylor, Gao Minglu, and Chaitanya Sambrani—to critically reflect upon the methodological and scholarly implications of his undertaking for the narratives of art history in Asia and beyond. Their responses point up both the limits and merits of The Asian Modern, and address important themes and debates in approaches to global art history, more broadly.

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