Common Tides: Linking People of the Asia-Pacific and the Unites States


Common Tides: Linking People of the Asia-Pacific and the United States, curated by Meridian International Center in Washington, D.C., explores nearly two and a half centuries of contacts between Americans and the peoples of the Asia-Pacifichighlighting exchanges between political leaders, military personnelsports stars, medical researcherscreative pioneerseducatorsand philanthropic organizationsCommon Tides shows the history and importance of U.S. ties to this region, which are much broader than the traditional story of trade, missionaries, and war. At the heart of these contacts have been mutual interest and shared values that underscore our common humanity despite differing languages and cultures 

The evolution of these connections as well as the changing demography of the United States are captured in the images in Common Tides. The United States is currently home to an estimated 22.5 million Asian-Pacific Americans, the fastest growing population in the country and a direct link between the United States and the region. The deepening of the interactions across the Pacific is reflected in Common Tides by the arc connecting the experiences of Elizabeth Gray Viningtutor to then-Japanese Crown Prince Akihito in 1946, to that of chef David Chang, whose 2017 trips across Asia highlighted the region’s culinary richness and cultural diversity in his hit television show for American audiences 

The future of American interactions with the Asia-Pacific will be built on a framework that ranges from space cooperation to support for democratic consolidation, and from a partnership with the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) to a continued commitment to human security and development.  As Common Tides shows, these contacts have been and will continue to be shaped by the exceptional, generous, and diverse peoples of the United States, whose interests, values, and histories tie them indelibly to the Asia-Pacific region.  

Common Tides will be touring starting in October 2019 in Bangkok for the YSEALI summit. The exhibition will be touring for a year being shown in Thailand, Indonesia, Malaysia, Singapore, Cambodia, and Brunei.

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