L.A.’s AAPI-Owned Galleries and Art Spaces

Curate LA
7 min readMay 10, 2022

by Shelley Holcomb

Installation view of Aryo Toh Djojo ‘This Too Shall Pass’. Image courtesy of Grant Gutierrez and Joshua Schaedel of Sow & Tailor, Los Angeles

The past few years have shown us that regardless of how diverse we like to think the current art world is, it’s really not hard to see if we look at the numbers that it’s still very much dominated by white cis men (surprise, surprise). And although the Los Angeles art world may seemingly be taking steps in the right direction toward inclusivity, it’s safe to say we still have a very long way to go.

Los Angeles County has, by far, the largest Asian population of any county in the U.S. It is home to the largest populations that are ethnically Chinese, Taiwanese, Filipino, Korean, Cambodian, Thai, Indonesian, Sri Lankan, Mongolian, and Malaysian (and the second-largest ethnic Japanese population only after Honolulu County, Hawaii).

At Curate LA, it is our mission to continually reimagine and shape the creative landscape here in Los Angeles. In doing what we do best, we’ve compiled a bit of data, crunched some rough math, and came to the realization that out of all the art spaces in Los Angeles, AAPI-owned art spaces make up 2.3% (in our 7+ years of existence as Curate LA we’ve listed over 1,800 venues residing within the greater Los Angeles area; some have come and gone, but it gives you an idea of how many spaces we’re talking about here). Only a handful of venues focus on showing, selling, and collecting art by AAPI artists, even fewer are APPI-owned.

We want to see these numbers rise and our goal in compiling this list is to facilitate growth and awareness in the Los Angeles Arts Community as well as make these spaces more accessible to those who want to find them. That’s why, when AAPI Heritage Month rolled around this year, we felt the need to celebrate and shine a light on Los Angeles’s AAPI artists, curators, and spaces working hard to close the gap. We will continue to add resources as they come to us so make sure you bookmark these venues, submit a space we might have missed, and check back for updates.

Highlighted below are a selection of AAPI-owned museums, galleries, and art spaces in Los Angeles and you can check out the full list here. We hope you show your support to these spaces this AAPI Heritage Month + beyond!

Sow & Tailor Family (L to R: Spring Ito, Royce Ito, Greg Ito (S&T Co-founder), Karen Galloway (S&T Co-Founder), and Bette Ito), photo by Rob Yamamoto.

Sow & Tailor

3027 S. Grand Ave. Los Angeles, CA
Website | Instagram: @sowandtailor

Sow & Tailor is a family-run gallery in Los Angeles dedicated to supporting emerging artists through exhibitions and various projects. Our aim is to foster a space where a local and global community of creatives can thrive. Owned and operated by Karen Galloway, Greg Ito, and Stefano Di Paola. Est 2021 in Los Angeles, CA.

Helen J Gallery, Photo by Adrian Valle Photography

Helen J Gallery

929 Cole Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90038
Website | Instagram: @helenj_gallery

Specializing in Asian art and design, the gallery features vibrant programming and exhibitions geared towards embracing Asian culture and the diaspora.

Jenny Hata Blumenfield

Blumenfield Projects

2900 Colorado Ave. Santa Monica, CA 90404
Website | Instagram: @blumenfield_projects

Blumenfield Projects is artist Jenny Hata Blumenfield’s curatorial response to upending limiting ceramic narratives in order to further the advancement of ceramics within contemporary culture.

Kenneth Tam ‘All of M’, installation view. Image courtesy of Commonwealth & Council

Commonwealth & Council

3006 W 7th St Ste 220 Los Angeles CA 90005
Website |Instagram: @commonwealthandcouncil

Commonwealth and Council is rooted in our commitment to explore how a community of artists can sustain co-existence through generosity and hospitality. The gallery celebrates their manifold identities and experiences through the shared dialogue of art — championing practices by women, queer, POC, and ally artists to build counter-histories that reflect our individual and collective realities.

Nonaka-Hill, Kentaro Kawabata: 凸凹 Bumpy exhibition. Image courtesy of Nonaka-Hill.

Nonaka-Hill

720 N. Highland Ave., Los Angeles, CA 90038
Website | Instagram: @nonakahillgallery

Nonaka-Hill is a contemporary art gallery in Los Angeles with a focus on Japan, founded in 2018 by Rodney and Taka Nonaka-Hill.

Human Resources

410 Cottage Home St, Los Angeles, CA 90012
Website | Instagram: @humanresourcesla

Human Resources Los Angeles is a non-profit exhibition and performance space located in Los Angeles’s Chinatown dedicated to supporting interdisciplinary, performative and experimental art practices.

Japanese American National Museum

Japanese American National Museum

100 N Central Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90012
Website | Instagram: @jamuseum

The Japanese American National Museum is dedicated to preserving the history and culture of Japanese Americans.

Stroll Garden, Installation view of ‘House & Garden’, an exhibition by Lily Clark & Analuisa Corrigan

Stroll Garden

7380 Beverly Boulevard, Los Angeles, CA 90036
Website | Instagram: @strollgarden

Located in Hollywood, Stroll Garden focuses on sculptural work, particularly by female artists.

Various Small Fires

812 N Highland Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90038
Website | Instagram: @vsf

Various Small Fires (VSF) was established in 2012 by Esther Kim Varet with locations in Los Angeles, California, Dallas, Texas and Seoul, South Korea.

Arushi Kapoor, photographed by Mara Friedman

Arushi Gallery

1243 W Temple St, Los Angeles, CA 90026
Website | Instagram: @arushigallery

Founded by Arushi Kapoor, Arushi Gallery is an art gallery & advisory specializing in post war Contemproary art in Los Angeles, London & New Delhi.

KP Projects (Merry Karnowsky Gallery)

633 N. La Brea Ave., Los Angeles CA 90036
Website | Instagram: @kpprojectsgallery

The gallery was founded in Los Angeles in 1997 by Merry Karnowsky. It exhibits contemporary art, and it is part of the underground “lowbrow” art movement, showing works of pop surrealism and from the street art scene. Exhibitions have included the artists: Shepard Fairey, Camille Rose Garcia, Mercedes Helnwein, Dave McKean, Mark Ryden, Todd Schorr, Edward Walton Wilcox and Kent Williams.

Gong Art Gallery installation view, work by Kim Manfredi

Gong Art Gallery

2824 Newport Boulevard, Newport Beach, CA, 92663
Website | Instagram: @gongart_gallery

Founded in 2019, The gallery predominantly features painting, porcelain and unique works that are forward-thinking and cultural character while maintaining a strong sense of aesthetic tradition. the gallery exhibits art that will continue to engage the viewer over time.

Korean Cultural Center, Los Angeles

5505 Wilshire Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90036
Website | Instagram: @kccla

The Korean Cultural Center is the axis of Korean heritage in Los Angeles. The Korean Cultural Center welcomes the general public to experience the rich traditions and history of Korea through specialized programs, sponsored events, and multiple learning resources.

View of EPOCH gallery’s virtual exhibition “Echoes” in collaboration with LACMA’s Art+Technology Lab

EPOCH

Virtual Space
Website | Instagram: @epoch.gallery

EPOCH is an artist-run virtual experiment by artist Peter Wu+. “EPOCH started at the beginning of quarantine when artists were losing exhibition opportunities. I wanted to create a new kind of space for virtual shows that would situate art in different contexts.”

Bel Ami

709 N Hill St, Los Angeles, CA 90012
Website | Instagram: @belami.la

Bel Ami was founded in the Summer of 2016 by Naoki Sutter-Shudo and Sabrina Tarasoff.

Emilia Yin at Make Room, 2022. Courtesy of Emilia Yin and Make Room, Los Angeles.

Make Room Los Angeles

5119 Melrose Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90038
Website | Instagram: @makeroom.la

Established in 2018, Make Room is a contemporary art gallery owned and directed by Emilia Yin, situated at the heart of Hollywood, the gallery is made up of two exhibition spaces with an outdoor courtyard and garden.

Space Ten

13703 Cordary Avenue #10, Hawthorne, CA 90250
Website | Instagram: @spaceten.xyz

Space Ten is an artist-run exhibition space that aims to foster connection between artists, art-lovers, and anyone seeking creative community.

Ochi Projects

3301 W Washington Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90019
Website | Instagram: @ochiprojectla

Contemporary art gallery by artist Pauli Ochi.

Interested in supporting even more BIPOC art? Check out our lists of Black-owned and Latinx-owned art spaces in Los Angeles.

Curate LA is Los Angeles’ most comprehensive art discovery platform. Our mission is to promote the economic and cultural development of L.A. by making its artistic ecosystem radically accessible to everyone. We deliver curated information on upcoming shows, exhibitions, museums, artist studios and galleries across the city. Connect with us on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook + help us in our mission to promote L.A.’s artists, galleries and institutions by becoming a supporting member here.

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Curate LA

Curate LA is Los Angeles’s most comprehensive art discovery platform. www.curate.la