Vancouver International Centre for Contemporary Asian Art


Fanned out covers of old Asianadian magazines


The Centre A Reading Room Presents: Revisiting The Asianadian

February – May 2022

Organized by Hania Ilahi and Hau Yu Wong

Revisiting The Asianadian at Centre A is a rare presentation of the entire run of The Asianadian Magazine, a quarterly publication in Toronto from 1979 to 1985. The publication was a key witness to some of the defining moments in Asian Canadian cultural history during the time.

The publication emerged from a collaborative network of Asian Canadian cultural producers and instigated a Canadian counterpart to the Asian American movement of the 1960s and 1970s. It foregrounds Asian Canadian perspectives, offering a counterpoint to the predominantly stereotypical representations of them in the mainstream media and confronting the broader racist attitudes in the country that shaped the Asian-diasporic experience in Canada at the time. Though short-lived, during its run, the magazine served as a forum for the unreserved expression of progressive Asian Canadian voices.

Since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, countries with large Asian diasporas have seen a surge in anti-Asian hate and xenophobia that has once again galvanized Asian Canadian creators to address the legacy of anti-Asian racism in Canada and the historical movements that had emerged to confront it. As one of the few libraries in Canada that holds physical copies of all 24 issues of the Asianadian Magazine, Centre A is delighted to offer a window to earlier Asian Canadian grassroots organizing and to explore the medium of serial publication as a site of collaborative/communal cultural activism. 

The Magazine has previously been featured at Centre A in 2018 as part of an exhibition in collaboration with LiterASIAN festival alongside other Asian Canadian communal magazines, such as Ricepaper Magazine, and Rungh, to celebrate the Asianadian’s 40th anniversary. 

The Reading Room and library at Centre A began in 1999 with contributions from artists, researchers, and curators both locally in Vancouver and internationally. The Reading Room emerged out of the need to collect a body of literature on Asian art practices, and by extension creating transnational ties with international arts communities. 

Accessibility: The gallery is wheelchair and walker accessible. If you have specific accessibility needs, please contact us at (604) 683-8326 or [email protected].

Centre A is situated on the unceded territories of the Musqueam, Squamish, and Tsleil-Waututh peoples. We honour, respect, and give thanks to our hosts.