This guide is a springboard developed by librarians at the SVA Library to help initiate your research into the art and experiences of Asian American and Pacific Islander artists (AAPI). Please read our definition of AAPI below. We have used it as a broad guideline for selecting the artists included in this guide. Asia and the Pacific Islands span a significant portion of the world. An AAPI artist may have been born in the United States, immigrated here, or spent a significant portion of their lives here. In fact, the more we attempt to define AAPI the more we see how ambiguous the term can be, leading us to consider that it may be too vague and reductive to compartmentalize artists under this umbrella term. However, we believe that seeking out and pro-actively familiarizing ourselves with the experiences and legacies of AAPI artists is part of the work we do to become strong allies in the fight against xenophobia and racism in our communities, our country, and the world. What you will find on the following pages is a collection of books, ebooks, movies, articles, and more to help jump-start your research into the lives and legacies of AAPI artists and movements.
As with all of our research guides, they are a work-in-progress and we welcome your feedback. You can reach us at email@example.com. The SVA Library is committed to antiracist actions. You can read our Antiracism statement here:
How do we define Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders?
Asian American is defined by the US Office of Management and Budget¹ as “a person having origins in any of the original peoples of the Far East, Southeast Asia, or the Indian subcontinent.” The six largest sub-groups of Asian Americans are from China, the Philippines, India, Korea, Vietnam, and Japan.
Native Hawaiian or Other Pacific Islander is defined as “a person having origins in any of the original peoples of Hawaii, Guam, Samoa, or other Pacific Islands.”
There were over 16.6 million Asian Americans in the United States in 2016—approximately 5.2% of the total U.S. population. Native Hawaiians or Other Pacific Islanders made up 0.2% of the population in 2016.