You could find reasons for both enthusiasm and skepticism when Asia Society announced last year that it would present a triennial of contemporary art, centered on art from what the organizers called "Asia and the world.”

Enthusiasm: Our supposedly global galleries and museums still engage too little with a continent that’s home to 60% of the world’s population, and the more new Asian art we see here, the better. And admission would be free.

Skepticism: There are now more than 300 biennial and triennial exhibitions of contemporary art worldwide. In New York alone, the Whitney Museum of American Art, the New Museum, MoMA PS1, the Queens Museum, El Museo del Barrio, the International Center of Photography and the Wallach Art Gallery at Columbia University all gum up their galleries with perennial festivals of new art. In the high-water years of globalization — the ’90s and early 2000s — the -ennial exhibitions popping up all over promised to forge a new, worldwide field of artistic creation, with the West no longer at the center. Twenty-odd years later, when digital networks have dissolved distances and novelty seems an artistic nonstarter, the format is feeling increasingly tired.