Three Trees: Alberto Giacometti's Art
as Theatre and History

by Alvin Eng
& Laurie Wilson

[March 15, 2013]

6PM to 8PM

25 West 43rd Street, Room 1000
between 5th & 6th Avenues, Manhattan



Playwright Alvin Eng and Art Historian Laurie Wilson will discuss Eng’s play, “Three Trees,” a historical drama that explores the unique relationship between 20th century Parisian artist, Alberto Giacometti, and his muse/model, Japanese Existential Philosopher, Isaku Yanaihara. The Pan Asian Repertory Theatre will present the World Premiere of this play at the West End Theare, NYC, March 23 – April 14, 2013. (

During the 1950s, Alberto created many portraits of Isaku. For many consecutive summers, Alberto flew Isaku from Tokyo to Paris to continue their sessions. Still, the artist felt he could never fully capture the philosopher’s essence. A deep, complicated love, through art, grew. This love became an obsession that upended everything and everyone in its path. Isaku was forever changed. Alberto’s intimate, insular life with his wife Annette and brother Diego was also never the same.

“Three Trees” is the first of Eng’s Portrait Plays cycle of historical dramas about artists and portraiture. As such, the play also dramatizes the premise of a portrait’s spiritual ownership. When we become enraptured by a portrait, are we under the spell of the artist or model?






Lecture Archive

Fall 2012 - Spring 2013

Fall 2011 - Spring 2012

Fall 2010 - Spring 2011

Fall 2009 - Spring 2010

Fall 2008 - Spring 2009

Fall 2007 - Spring 2008


Fall 2006 - Spring 2007

Fall 2005 - Spring 2006

Fall 2004 - Spring 2005

Fall 2003 - Spring 2004

Fall 2002 - Spring 2003

Fall 2001 - Spring 2002


Asian American / Asian Research Institute 2017

25 West 43rd Street, Room 1000, New York, NY 10036   
Phone: 212-869-0182 / 0187   
Fax: 212-869-0181 | E-mail: