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Special Exhibitions

28 Chinese
Through Aug 16

"No need to schlep all the way out to Beijing to see today's hottest Chinese art: The Asian Art Museum is bringing it to us." This is what San Francisco magazine said about 28 Chinese, which explodes narrow concepts of contemporary art from China, presenting 48 artworks from 28 of the most notable Chinese artists working today. These artists embody a multiplicity of perspectives and practices, including painting, photography, new media and breathtaking installation, like Zhu Jinshi’s Boat—a colossal 40-foot creation. Click here to see a riveting time-lapse of Boat being installed, and watch this trailer to whet your appetite for the exhibition.

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

Textiles serve many practical functions, but they can also express personal and political influence. This exhibition, as described by Worn Through, "is built on ten fragments...that tell the story of silk velvets in India, Persia, and Turkey and their roles in their respective cultures and empires. No small feat for ten pieces of fabric, but one which is performed masterfully." Treat your eyes and imagination to these sumptuous velvets, then treat your ears to equally feel-good tunes inspired by the show.

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 twelve 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

First Thursday: Memes, Puns and Selfies--A Look at Chinese Digital Culture
Thurs, Jul 2, 6–9 PM
Free with museum admission ($5 after 5 PM)

Writer, critic, artist, technologist and co-founder of The Civic Beat, An Xiao Mina has designed an interactive program that will look at the visual culture of the Chinese Internet. She'll lead a panel of artists and researchers including Samantha Culp and Xiaowei Wang in the exploration of Chinese digital culture. Then, attendees will participate in a calligraphy workshop in a hands-on discovery of Chinese-language Internet puns, sourced by Beijing-based artist Ma Yongfeng. Share on Facebook.

The Way of Tea
Sat, Jul 11, 1 & 2:30 PM
Free with museum admission

Have you seen the functioning teahouse in our Japan gallery? It was created in Kyoto by specially trained carpenters and craftsmen. Its features include a functioning preparation area (mizuya) with fresh running water and drain. Omotesenke Domonkai Northern California Region will bring it to life as they serve you a soothing bowl of whisked green tea and traditional sweets. Seating is limited. First come, first served.

China Today: Society and the Individual
Sat, Jul 18, 1:30 PM
$10 Members, $15 students, $30 general

Join moderator Tom Gold, University of California Berkeley Professor of Sociology, in examining China from a socio-political angle and facilitating dialogue on some of the changes that are taking place on the ground in China today. Panelists include Sasha Welland, University of Washington anthropologist and Xiao Qiang, Founder and Editor-in-Chief of China Digital Times. Co-sponsored with Asia Society of Northern California. Space is limited, get tickets now

Family Fun Days
Sun, Jul 5 & 19, 10:30 AM–2:30 PM
Free with museum admission

What can you do with a box full of stuff? This summer, make a found object sculpture using materials headed for the trash and explore themes of reusing, repurposing and recycling in 28 Chinese. Bonus: every first Sunday, admission is free, thanks to Target First Free Sunday! 

Artists Drawing Club: Your Piece with Ahree Lee
Thurs, Jul 23, 6:30 PM
FREE with museum admission ($5 after 5 PM)

This Artists Drawing Club edition is inspired by Korean wrapping cloths (bojagi), which women pieced together out of scraps, creating an heirloom full of beauty and utility from what would otherwise be waste. Artist Ahree Lee re-imagines the bojagi as a video installation. It requires photos of as many people as possible, so we're inviting you to participate by submitting your picture. If you love the Bay Area and want to be in an artist's work, click here to get started -- a simple selfie will do! Make sure you're here on July 23 to witness your part in the project. The SF Bicycle Coalition is providing free valet bike parking starting at 5:30, so pedal your way to the event! Share on Facebook.

For Members

Summer Fun at the Asian Art Museum and SF Zoo & Gardens

Ready for some summer fun? Surprise friends and family with an Asian Art Museum membership. Act fast—for a limited time only, gift and renewed memberships include two free tickets to the San Francisco Zoo & Gardens! Your family can get to know two famous rhinos: Reina at the Asian Art Museum and Gauhati at the Zoo.To get in on this offer, visit us online, call 415.581.3740 or stop by the Member Desk.

Inspired by nature

On display through November 1, Exquisite Nature presents rarely seen paintings that depict popular flora and fauna subjects. After viewing them, seek your own inspiration in nature. In July, Asian Art Museum members can visit the Conservatory of Flowers for free! Awaken your senses as you stroll through the historic Conservatory’s lush botanical greenhouse filled with towering palms, delicate water lilies, and exotic fruits and flowers. Just flash your member card at the Conservatory’s ticket booth between now and July 31 to enjoy free admission for up to two adults and two children. 

Museum Store

Glass Sculptures

Guanyin is the Chinese form of the bodhisattva Avalokiteshvara. The figure of Avalokiteshvara can be traced back to India. His name means “the lord who looks down with compassion.” In China, Guanyin is believed to hear the sorrows of humanity. Designed by a multi-generational family in China, these beautiful sculptures are available in seven colors: clear, green, gold flecked, glow in the dark, teal, blue and amber/red. Each sculpture measures 5.25” tall.

Retail Price: $20 
Member’s Price: $18

Our Recommendations

Present Tense: Future Perfect
Through Aug 29
Visual Art Center, 750 Kearny St, 3rd Floor, SF

Present Tense: Future Perfect highlights exceptional artists of Asian descent working in Bay Area graduate study programs. It's a showcase of Asian and Asian American artists at a key juncture in their careers. Each artist gets space to express specific themes, mediums, and formal inquiries. The show honors them in a city that is increasingly difficult to navigate due to rising rents and limited venues. As a group, the artists represent the true diversity of creativity in the region. 


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. Lead funding for the Asian Art Museum's Thursday Night Programs is provided by Wells Fargo.

28 Chinese gallery photo by J. Yin;  Textile fragment (detail), 1625–1675. India, Mughal period (1526–1858). Cut and voided velvet with supplementary weft patterning, silk and metal-wrapped thread. Courtesy of Rina & Norman Indictor. Image © Rina & Norman Indictor, photo by Sheldan Collins; River Pavilion, Mountain Colors (detail), 1368, by Ni Zan (Chinese, 1301–1374). Ink on paper. On Loan from the Collection of The Tang Family, R1989.99. Image © Asian Art Museum, 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 Francisco; Meditation, 1991 (detail), by Yoong Bae (Korean, 1928–1992). Ink and colors on paper. Courtesy of Asian Art Museum, San Francisco, Gift of Kyung-Hee Bae in memory of Yoong Bae, 1994.70. © Estate of Yoong Bae. Image © Asian Art Museum, San FranciscoMemes, Puns and Selfies photo by Flickr user Shankar S./ShankarOnline; 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; Chiyomi McKibbin, Detail of Untitled (Platform), Oil on floated panel, 2014. Courtesy of the artist and the Chinese Culture Center; all other images courtesy of their respective artists and organizers.

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