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POSTED: Sunday, February 22, 2009

”;Unsettled Visions: Contemporary Asian American Artists and the Social Imaginary”;

By Margo Machida

Duke University Press

$27.95

What are the intentions of an artist in the context of creating art? How does one's cultural background influence these decisions?

The author, originally from Hilo, analyzes the work of 10 artists, including photographer Pipo Nguyen-duy and printmaker and sculptor Zarina Hashmi.

Through in-depth interviews, Machida looks to not only engage in criticism, but identify and interpret “;Asianness”; in the contemporary American art.

Analyses are grouped around three major themes engaged by Asian-American artists in the 1990s: representations of the Other; social memory and trauma; and migration, diaspora and sense of place.

The book is illustrated with many works by the artists, providing a backdrop for the commentary at hand.