This paper argues the need to widen the discourse of modern architecture through an exploration of modern(ities) in Asia, and posits that modern(ities) of East and West are intertwined. The constructed and contested nature of identities, through the medium of colonial exhibitions, is discussed. Using Japan and India as examples, the paper examines the notion of one, none or many modernities and argues that there are multiple alternative modern(ities) that need to be theorised for different locations. The alternative modernities and their dilemmas are posited as being linked to postcolonial constructions of identities, albeit in different ways and in different Asian contexts. The Asian architect, while being both the product and subject of different types of historical lineages and power constellations, has been a key agent in the manifestations of modernity in different locations.