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Special Exhibitions

Yoga: The Art of Transformation
Through May 25

"How Did We Become So Obsessed With Yoga?" This was the title of a recent KQED blog post that included a review of our exhibition. Yoga: The Art of Transformation doesn't have the answer, but it's a great way to discover yoga's origins and experience a "nuanced study of Indian tradition..." (India Currents). The artworks date from the second to 20th centuries and include several masterpieces. Images ranging from benevolent deities and gurus to Tantric goddesses and yogis reveal how yoga practices—and perceptions of them—have evolved over time and across communities.

The Carved Brush: Calligraphy, Painting, and Seal Carving by Qi Baishi (1863–1957)
Through July 13

Who was Qi Baishi? Born into a poor farming family, he became the most widely recognized Chinese artist of his time. He is credited with transforming the brush art of China’s educated elite into a more universal art form, appreciated by people of all social backgrounds. For these reasons, Baishi’s art (there are 24 works on view) is the ideal gateway for discovering the millennia-old tradition of Chinese brush painting.

Enter the Mandala: Cosmic Centers and Mental Maps of Himalayan Buddhism
Through Oct 26

A mandala is a geometric map of Himalayan Buddhist visionary worlds, and it has physical and symbolic geography. In this exhibition, Tibetan artworks transform a gallery into a three-dimensional architectural mandala. In this way, visitors can literally “enter the mandala,” exploring dimensions of the cosmos—and perhaps themselves—that might otherwise remain invisible.

Programs and Events

Langgeng (Everlasting)
Sun, Apr 6, 2 pm
FREE, part of Target First Free Sundays

Renowned Balinese music ensemble Gamelan Sekar Jaya will perform a Hindu mantra paired with a guided meditation practice live from a Balinese village via Skype. The multimedia presentation will be infused with dance and jegog, an indigenous music that features bamboo marimbas. In Bali, artists strive to unify their body and mind to provide a complete, balanced and harmonious performance. Relax with these masters and find your balance.

Thursday Night Programs, Programs, Programs!

Our Thursday extended hours have sprung into action. For just $5 after 5 pm, you can enjoy the museum in all its resplendent evening beauty. Want to see the yoga exhibition? It's only an additional $5. There are usually programs on these evenings, sometimes with cash bars, music and other goodies. Check our schedule if you feel like spicing up your Thursday night art-going. Here's what's coming up:
Tonight! 6 pm
Apr 10, 7 pm
Apr 17, 6 pm, $25 (includes a tasting)

Artists Drawing Club: Renewals/Returns with Chris Fraser
Thurs, Apr 24, 6:30 pm
FREE with museum admission (only $5)

The Asian Art Museum was once housed in a wing of the de Young Museum building, and for the last ten years has occupied the site of the former city Main Library. Light artist Chris Fraser will reveal ways that the Asian Art Museum exists in a state between cultures, architectures, histories and times. His work has been exhibited at places including Yerba Buena Center for the Arts and Palazzo Bembo as part of the 55th Venice Biennale. He's a recipient of the Jay DeFeo MFA Prize at Mills College and was recently awarded a Eureka Fellowship by the Fleishhacker Foundation.

AsiaAlive: Kathak Yoga
Fri, Apr 25–Sun, Apr 27, 12–4 pm
FREE with museum admission

Witness the revolutionary dance technique of Kathak yoga created by Pandit Chitresh Das. It's a unique practice requiring an integration of the mind, body and spirit. The Chitresh Das Dance Company emphasizes its technical, graceful and dramatic aspects. Learn and see more in our drop-in, all-ages program.

Raja Yoga: Meditation for Busy People
Sun, Apr 27, 3 pm
FREE with museum admission

Meditation has become a popular and effective tool to de-clutter the mind of noise, stress and chaos, empowering people to gain peace and wellness. Create positive attitudes by deepening your understanding of Raja Yoga and its practical and simple spiritual principles. For this particular class led by the SF Brahma Kumaris Center, develop techniques to bring respect, care and appreciation into your relationships.

For Members

Member Appreciation Days & Double Discount in Museum Store
Fri, Apr 18 & Sat, Apr 19 during museum hours

Dear Members, we're grateful for your support and we'd like to thank you for being a part of our lives. For two days, enjoy a special 20% discount in our museum store. All that shopping work up an appetite? Get more savings with 10% off at Cafe Asia. Once you've refueled, catch a members-only docent-led tour of Yoga: The Art of Transformation at 12:00 pm and 2:30 pm. Questions? Please call 415.581.3740 or email members@asianart.org.
Sat, Apr 12, 11 am–1pm
Enjoy a docent-led tour followed by an engaging discussion over tea. Exclusively for our members. Space is limited and registration is required. Call 415.581.3740 or email members@asianart.org.

Museum Store

Manjusha by Jyotsna Singh jewelry
Now Available in the Store

As the granddaughter of Maharaja Bhupinder Singh (known for his splendid “Patiala necklace” in our previous Maharaja exhibition), Jyotsna Singh has inherited a passion for jewelry which inspires her line, Manjusha, meaning “treasure chest of jewels”. Her newest collection is influenced by a deep personal connection to energies associated with specific gemstones and colors, thought to impact the balance of the chakras in the body.

Our Recommendations

Yoga and Psyche Conference: The Future of Psychology
Fri, Apr 18–Sun, Apr 20
The California Institute of Integral Studies

Come to one of the first academic conferences in the US dedicated to the integration of yoga and Western psychology. Get teachings, research, insights, and practices from presenters like Christopher Chapple, Angela Farmer, Baxter Bell, Rama Jyoti Vernon, and Yogi Amrit Desai. Learn more here.


Asian Art Museum
Chong-Moon Lee Center
for Asian Art & Culture
200 Larkin Street
SF, CA  94102

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Yoga: The Art of Transformation was organized by the Arthur M. Sackler Gallery, Smithsonian Institution with support from the Friends of the Freer and Sackler Galleries, the Art Mentor Foundation Lucerne and the Ebrahimi Family Foundation. Presentation at the Asian Art Museum is made possible with the generous support of Helen and Rajnikant Desai, The Bernard Osher Foundation, E. Rhodes and Leona B. Carpenter Foundation, Kumar and Vijaya Malavalli, Society for Asian Art, and Walter & Elise Haas Fund. Media sponsors: ABC7, San Francisco Examiner, KQED, San Francisco magazine. Support for Thursday Night Programs and Artists Drawing Club is generously provided by Wells Fargo.
Vishnu Vishvarupa, approx. 1800–1820. India; Rajasthan state, former kingdom of Jaipur. Opaque watercolor and gold on paper. Courtesy of the Victoria and Albert Museum, London, Given by Mrs. Gerald Clark, IS 33–2006; Old Man Looking into a Gourd, ca. 1938, by Qi Baishi (1863–1957). Hanging scroll; ink and color on paper. Lender: The Reverend Richard Fabian; Ayurvedic food photo by Flickr User PrityaBooks; Standing–Jina, 1000-1100. India; Tamil Nadu state. Bronze. Courtesy of Private Collection; all other images courtesy of their respective organizers and/or artists.

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