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Special Exhibitions

28 Chinese
FINAL WEEKS - Ends Aug 16

Would you like an "eye-opening overview of China's contemporary art scene of the past two decades"? If so, then SF Weekly suggests 28 Chinese, now in its FINAL WEEKS (yikes). It's a striking exhibition that presents 48 artworks from 28 of the most notable artists working today. Don't miss the show stopper, Zhu Jinshi’s Boat—a "massive yet delicate piece...of pure lightness." (KQEDClick here to see a riveting time-lapse of Boat being installed, and watch this trailer to whet your appetite. See it for just $5 on Thursday nights, or for FREE this Sun, Aug 2. On Thurs, Aug 13, meet the fascinating couple who spent a decade collecting the artworks in 28 Chinese

Woven Luxuries: Indian, Persian, and Turkish Textiles from the Indictor Collection
Through Nov 1

"Precious, intricately made, a signifier of not only taste and wealth but also power and political influence, opulent silk velvet is the star of Woven Luxuries." (SF Chronicle) These 11 sumptuous pieces provide a glimpse into the world of Iranian, Indian and Turkish silk velvets. For tunes inspired by Woven Luxuries, listen to our Spotify playlist here. A shorter version also exists on YouTube

Exquisite Nature: 20 Masterpieces of Chinese Paintings (14th-18th c.)
Through Nov 1

These rarely seen paintings include variations on popular subjects such as landscape, birds-and-flowers, country life and historical stories. Though differing in style and geographical representation, each artwork offers a unique take on humankind's celebration of the natural world.

Picturing Sound, Creating Mood
Through Nov 22

Looking closely at these 12 Indian paintings from the 18th and 19th centuries, you'll notice elements of sound hidden in the details: a cocked hunting rifle, dangling jewelry, falling rain or a bird in flight. These create a mood that draws the sensitive viewer (rasika) into the artwork emotionally, allowing you to feel its essence (rasa).

Yoong Bae: Continuity and Pursuit
Through Dec 13

Eight representative pieces introduce the late artist Yoong Bae's hybridized approach. Bae was known for blending Korean artistic traditions with modern Western art while reflecting the calmness and harmony of someone at peace in this in-between space.

Programs and Events

Family Fun Day with Alphabet Rockers
Sunday, Aug 2, 10:30 AM–2 PM
FREE courtesy of Target

Alphabet Rockers will host a special Family Fun Day, including a performance from 1–2 PM. Make stuff, learn to beat box and blast off with the Alphabet Rockers through hip hop grooves, rhymes and super-positive messages. On Family Fun Days, our fun gallery activities, immersive storytelling and creative art-making opportunities encourage families to look closely at the art while having oodles of fun. Themes and projects change regularly. Tell your friends on Facebook.

The Making of "1945: The Year of Infamy"
Thurs, Aug 6, 7–8:30 PM
FREE with admission ($5 after 5 PM)

Composed by Dr. Anthony Brown for the Grammy-nominated Asian American Orchestra, 1945: A Year of Infamy commemorates the 70th anniversary of Hiroshima and Nagasaki while also drawing attention to the current Fukushima nuclear crisis. Informed by gagaku—ancient Japanese court music—1945: A Year of Infamy blends orchestral music, jazz, gospel and poetry. Consider this program part conversation and part musical show-and-tell, adding up to a wonderful Thursday evening. Don't forget, you can also see 28 ChineseShare with friends on Facebook.

Japanese Tea
Sat, Aug 15, 1 & 2:30 PM
Free with museum admission

Have you seen the functioning teahouse in our Japan gallery? There's an alcove for flowers, a hearth used in winter for the hot water kettle and a preparation area (mizuya) with fresh running water and drain. Chado Urasenke Tankokai will bring it all to life as they serve you a bowl of whisked green tea and traditional sweets. Seating is limited. First come, first served.

Artists Drawing Club: Dot to Dot with Hadi Tabatabai
Thurs, Aug 27, 6:30–9 PM
FREE with admission ($5 after 5 PM)

Dot to Dot is a simple game played around the world. No one knows its origins, and the most common version involves dots on a piece of paper, connected by lines drawn by players. When a player closes the four sides of a square, they own that space by writing their initials in it. For this project, artist Hadi Tabatabai invites you to play a 3D version of Dot to Dot. After capturing a square, players place a colored tile in the space. Different winners' tiles will create a pattern that ultimately documents a shared experience. Finished boards will be placed on the floor in a grid format, creating an even larger pattern. Share with friends on Facebook.

For Members

Discover Bay Area Art and History with the Chinese Culture Center
Aug–Sept 30

Asian Art Museum members can enjoy a discounted rate of $15 per person/$10 for seniors (regular price $20 and $15) on Chinatown Heritage Walks. Learn about the amazing role Chinatown plays in California history. Did you know that in the mid-1800’s, Chinese immigrants planted the first vineyards in Napa, dug the first wine caves, erected majestic stone bridges and mined mercury, in addition to building railroads? Dig deep during a California Roots Excursion in Napa Valley on Sept 26. Members can get a discounted rate of $135 (regular price $150). For reservations on these deals, please call the Chinese Culture Center at 415.986.1822 x30 or email tour@c-c-c.org. Discounted tour rates are available through Sept 30.

Society for Asian Art Lecture Series
Fridays, Aug 21–Dec 4
10:30 AM–12:30 PM

This fall, fall into The Society for Asian Art’s popular Friday lecture series, Asia’s Storied TraditionsLeading scholars will explore the narrative tradition in Asian art: Buddhist myths and legends, Hindu epics, a Persian book of kings, and Chinese, Japanese and Korean tales depicted in scrolls, murals and more. The Society for Asian Art (SAA) is an independent support organization for the Asian Art Museum. It offers a wide range of educational and cultural programs including lectures, study groups, literature courses and organized trips. Click here for tickets and/or to join SAA (you have to be an Asian Art Museum member to join SAA).

Museum Store

Tara Books Notecards, Publications and Special Event

We're featuring beautiful notecards based on two international award winning books, The Night Life of Trees and Waterlife, published by Tara Books. Boxed sets contain ten handmade cards, envelopes, and inserts about the artist and artisans involved ($21.95). We also carry over a dozen book titles from Tara Books ($19.95–$55). Based in Channai, South India, Tara Books is a collective of artists, designers, writers, and editor that publishes picture books for adults and children.

On August 27, 6PM, see a short film Between Memory and Museum by Arun Wolf of Tara Books. It explores the idea of a museum from the perspective of communities historically regarded as anthropological subjects. There'll be a Q & A with Wolf.


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

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28 Chinese is organized by the Rubell Family Collection, Miami. Presentation at the Asian Art Museum is made possible with the generous support of China Art Foundation, Gorretti and Lawrence Lui, Silicon Valley Bank, The Akiko Yamazaki and Jerry Yang Fund for Excellence in Exhibitions and Presentations, William Mathews Brooks, Lucy Sun and Warren Felson, and an anonymous donor. Media sponsor: The California Sunday Magazine. Woven Luxuries: Indian, Persian, and Turkish Velvets from the Indictor Collection was organized by the Asian Art Museum. Exquisite Nature: 20 Masterpieces of Chinese Painting (14th-18th c.) was organized by the Asian Art Museum. Yoong Bae: Continuity and Pursuit was organized by the Asian Art Museum. Picturing Sound, Creating Mood was organized by the Asian Art Museum. The Way of Tea is made possible with generous support from The Henri and Tomoye Takahashi Charitable Foundation. Major support for Family Fun Days is provided by the Estate of Dorothy J. Bakewell. Additional support is provided by The Charles D. and Frances K. Field Fund, Douglas A. Tilden, William Randolph Hearst Foundation, The Joseph & Mercedes McMicking Foundation, Dodge & Cox, and The Morrison & Foerster Foundation. Target First Free Sundays--free general admission on the first Sunday of every month and the family programs offered on that day-are made possible by Target. 

Installation view of 28 Chinese, 2015, Asian Art Museum of San Francisco. Photograph © Asian Art Museum of San Francisco; Lovers are Artists (Part One), 2012, by Fang Lu (Chinese, b. 1981). Four-channel video (color, silent), edition 1 of 5. Courtesy of Rubell Family Collection, Miami. © Fang Lu; Tent fragments, 1500–1600. Iran, Safavid period (1501–1722). Cut and voided velvet with supplementary weft patterning; silk and metal thread. Courtesy of Rina & Norman Indictor. Photograph © Sheldan Collins; Landscape after old masters (detail), by Wang Yuanqi (Chinese, 1642–1715). Leaf from album; ink and colors on paper. Lent from the Collection of The Tang Family. Photograph © Asian Art Museum of San Francisco; The Hindu deity Krishna and his consort sheltered from the rain by an umbrella, approx. 1800–1900 (detail). India; Himachal Pradesh state. Opaque watercolors on paper. Courtesy of Asian Art Museum of San Francisco, Gift of Mr. Johnson S. Bogart, F2003.34.25. Photograph © Asian Art Museum of San FranciscoSongs of a Tortoise (Guga) (detail), 1988, by Yoong Bae (Korean, 1928–1992). Ink and colors on paper. Courtesy of Asian Art Museum of San Francisco, Gift of Kyung-Hee Bae in memory of Yoong Bae, 1994.72. © Estate of Yoong Bae. Photograph © Asian Art Museum of San Francisco; Japanese Tea photo by Flickr user Kim Unertl/unertlkm; Scene from the epic Ramayana: Kumbhakarna battles the monkeys. approx. 1075–1125. Northeastern Thailand, former kingdom of Angkor. Sandstone. Courtesy of Asian Art Museum of San Francisco, The Avery Brundage Collection, B66S7. Photograph © Asian Art Museum of San Francisco; all other images courtesy of their respective artists and organizers.

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