Phantoms of Asia: Installation in Progress

The first week of an exhibition install is always a magical week. As we begin to unpack and examine the artwork up close, we are continually reminded that catalog photographs are no substitute for the real thing.

Museum Conservator Katie Holbrow examines "Absence of God VII" (2008) by Raqib Shaw.

For Phantoms of Asia: Contemporary Awakens the Past, the first week of installation has concentrated on incorporating contemporary artwork into the second and third floor galleries.

Visitors this weekend had a chance to see sneak peeks of the exhibition in the form of stunning new works in the Chinese, Himalayan, Japanese, Korean, and West Asian galleries. Some of them literally glow!

Bae Young Whan "Frozen Waves" (2010) part of installation in progress.

While most of the artists have yet to arrive, Korean artist Cho Jeong Hwa was on-site during the week to assist with the technical set-up for Breathing Flower, the giant red lotus that will be installed in San Francisco Civic Center in the coming weeks. Like many works in the exhibition, this artwork is not exactly plug-and-play.

Artist Choi Jeong Hwa and museum Exhibition Manager Kelly Bennett work on the technical components for "Breathing Flower" (2011-2012), to be installed in Civic Center.

We have a lot more artwork going up over the next few weeks. Keep an eye on this blog for sneak peeks of works and artists to come, or take a walk through the galleries and prepare yourself for encounters with art both new and old.

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