Asian Improv aRts Midwest’s mission is to build a vital, self-empowered Asian American community
in the Chicago area

Our Mission 2017 Taiko Legacy Stage Scene with Youth drummers
Slide Brings versatile collaborators
in Fusion
MIYUMI PROJECT Learn More 2017 Reduction at MCA
Slide Pursuit of
Higher Aesthetic
Tsukasa Taiko Learn More
Slide Sucession of
Refined Beauty
Learn more SHUBUKAI
Slide Kioto Aoki:
Breathe, Fibres of
Papers Past
Solo Exhibition at International Museum of Surgical Science
Slide AIRMW Emergency Fund More Info Slide Support Our New Dojo

Asian Improv aRts Midwest’s mission is to build a vital, self-empowered Asian American Community in the Chicago area by advancing the understanding and profile of Asian American cultures through the traditional and contemporary cultural arts. AIRMW is dedicated to creating productive relationships with artists, community, and institutions in order to produce high-quality arts programs that accurately reflect the multicultural, multi-ethnic reality of Chicago and the nation.

News Updates 

2021.5.12: NewCity Art Feature: What is Graphic Recording? For Kiyomi Negi-Tran, Service Art That Soars

2021.5.11: NewCity Stage: Always Look: A Preview of Beyond the Box 4.3—Black Hair E{m}urge at Links Hall

2021.4.7: Chicago Reader: Rika Lin’s ‘ingenuity of necessity’ bridges centuries of tradition

2021.3.24: Asian Improv Nation Statement on Increasing Hate and Attack on AAPI Community

2021.3.20: Asian Improv Records Triple Solo Album Release, New Music by Kioto Aoki, Mai Sugimoto, Da Wei Wang



fri12mar(mar 12)10:00 amsun13jun(jun 13)4:30 pmKioto Aoki at IMSSBreathe, Fibres of Papers Past

Event Details

Artist-in-Residence Capstone Exhibition at the International Museum of Surgical Science

March 12 – June 13, 2021

Breathe, Fibres of Papers Past is a solo exhibition by Fall 2020 Artist-in-Residence Kioto Aoki constructed in conversation with the collections of the International Museum of Surgical Science. The exhibition intertwines the histories of medical imaging, anatomy, physiology, the Museum’s origin and physical architecture through the technological studies and processes of analogue photography. Adjacent explorations of the physicality of the body and the photographic image proposes Aoki’s work as a sinew that negotiates the poetic ambiguities of embodied time – whilst considering the notion of fibre in biological, material, conceptual and historical contexts.

This IMSS program is partially supported by a grant from the Illinois Arts Council Agency.

More information at IMSS website.


March 12 (Friday) 10:00 am - June 13 (Sunday) 4:30 pm CST


International Museum of Surgical Science

1524 N Lake Shore Dr., Chicago IL 60610

fri16apr(apr 16)12:00 ammon31may(may 31)11:59 pm思考回路 • SHIKOUKAIRO IIIPatterns of Thought

Event Details

思考回路 • Shikoukairo III
April 16 – May 31, 2021
Zhou B Art Center
1029 W 35th St, Chicago IL  / 2nd floor

Asian Improv aRts Midwest (AIRMW) presents 思考回路 • Shikoukairo III: Patterns of Thought as a continuation of AIRMW’s efforts to reframe the conversation around Asian & Asian-American cultural diegesis in the arts. A third iteration of the 思考回路 Shikoukairo exhibition, the show features artists who are intuitively influenced by their Asian diasporic background and experiences, yet whose practices diverge from didactic and diegetic inquiries of cultural identity. This year the project has expanded to feature an international roster of Chicago-connected artists, whose work emphasizes process and material-based methodologies and explorations. 思考回路 • Shikoukairo III considers notions of legibility and visibility through the photographic, cinematic, abstracted, textural, refracted, reflective, tactile and sonic image.


Zhuoyun (Yun) Chen (Los Angeles)
Hua Xi Zi (Shanghai)
Jennifer Chen-su Huang (Chicago)
Liwei Hu (Shanghai)
Naoki Nakatani (Tokyo)
Shinnosuke Miyake (Tokyo)
Taro Takizawa (Syracuse)
Rebecca Tsai (Taipei)
Yao-Yi Wang (Taipei)
Kiyomi Negi (Chicago)
Kioto Aoki (Chicago)

Head to Shikoukairo.org for artists bios and additional information.

Shikoukairo is an annual exhibition part of AIRMW AA Arts Initiatives:


April 16 (Friday) 12:00 am - May 31 (Monday) 11:59 pm CDT


Zhou B Art Center

1029 W. 35th Street

sat15may(may 15)7:00 pmsun16(may 16)8:30 pmBeyond the Box 4.3-Black Hair E{m}urge

Event Details

Beyond the Box 4.3 – Black Hair E {m} urge

Saturday, May 15 + Sunday May 16, 2021 | 7:00 PM CT | Streaming from Links Hall

Yoshinojo Fujima (a.k.a. Rika Lin) reconvenes the investigation of Japanese aesthetics and identity after a pandemic hiatus in 2020. Black Hair E {m}urge is one of several iterations in her process of transforming beyond the limitations of didactic ethnic cognizance and gender expectations. Yoshinojo invites from Japan, cart-puppetry artist Ryugyoku Nishikawa, and welcomes back Chicago Puppet Artist Tom Lee to contribute their own filmic explorations and  interpretations of the classic Nagauta piece “Kurokami”.

Suggested ticket donation: $20

Saturday May 15 2021: https://youtu.be/csgudO6Dnw8

Sunday May 16 2021: https://youtu.be/e1BUMoJv24M        “


15 (Saturday) 7:00 pm - 16 (Sunday) 8:30 pm CDT

thu20may7:00 pmSudden Impact SeriesDheeru Pennepalli

Event Details

AIRMW presents the Sudden Impact Series

Thursday, May 20, 2021 | 7:00 PM


Live from Hairpin Arts Center

Tatsu Aoki brings together a new series to facilitate catalyst events, providing a substratum for Chicago’s musical artists to explore and musically experiment. May 2021 guest artist will feature Dheeru Pennepalli.

Dheeru Pennepalli is a Chicago-based guitarist, composer, and improviser known mostly for his work with the long-running experimental ensemble a Light Sleeper. Pennepalli approaches his instrument with the aim of finding new ways to express emotion through melodic and rhythmic interplay, with an ear for unusual phrasings and non-traditional structures. During the pandemic months, Pennepalli spent much of his time exploring techniques for using overdriven and distorted feedback loops to create expansive ambient soundscapes, on top of which he layers pointed and delicately fingerpicked melodic improvisations.



(Thursday) 7:00 pm CDT

Special thanks to our supporters

Asian Improv aRts Midwest Main Programs



Arts Initiatives