I have worked at the Asian Art Museum for over 20 years and there are several objects in the galleries that I never get tired of looking at. In the Japanese gallery—way at the end by the tea room —we always have a beautiful collection of bamboo baskets from the Cotsen Collection on display. The baskets get changed out every 6–8 months and I look forward to seeing the new selection each time. At the moment this area is especially interesting because the tea room objects have been selected by artist Hiroshi Sugimoto, and one of the contemporary pieces from Phantoms of Asia has found its way in there.
If you wander a ways down the Japanese gallery to the case full of diminutive netsuke (the sculptural toggles used to attach pouches to a kimono), look for this fish with amazing details including actual fish skin.
This usually makes me hungry for Japanese food, so at lunch time I walk over to Nojo on Franklin St in Hayes Valley for some White Miso Glazed Trout or their delicious noodles.
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