The New York Times has an excellent article on the Asia Society’s changing mission as the world’s center of gravity shifts east. Robin Pogrebin details the new branches in Houston, where Lee Ufan is making a site-specific work, and Hong Kong:
Long regarded as a New York institution with regional branches, Asia Society over the last few years has aimed to recast itself as an international organization, partly through the construction of the two major centers in cities where it previously had only offices.
The new buildings — each of which cost about $50 million — will catapult the annual operating costs of each location to $4.5 million from about $700,000, but Asia Society says it is confident about the investment.
“By the year 2050, more than 50 percent of the world’s gross domestic product will come from India and China,” said Vishakha N. Desai, president of the society, in a recent interview at her office. More than 60 percent of the population will live in Asia then, she said.
“We’re going from Pax Americana to possibly Pax Pacifica,” she added. “This is a century when America will be a very important player, but not the player. There is a different balance of power in the world.”
Asia Society Expands, in Houston and Hong Kong (New York Times)