Ok, it’s a sad rap reference but there was an interesting SFChronicle article by Kenneth Baker on the current Tutankhamun exhibit at the de Young Museum, which was first shown in 1979. In the article he writes “But what will we not be seeing that we might have in the de Young’s special exhibitions galleries during the nine-month span of “Tutankhamun”? What projects did FAMSF curators have to postpone or scrap altogether for the sake of the costly “Tut” gamble?” Which begs the question, what exhibit or some variation of it, would you like to see again at the Asian? (Refer to this list of past exhibits). Personally, I’d like to see Hokusai & Hiroshige (1998). These ukiyo-e prints are just awesome!
Archive of Posts by Jason Jose
Senior Graphic Designer, Asian Art Museum
So I have this great idea for an exhibit. The de Young museum has their Bouquets to Art, the Asian can do an ikebana show. What is ikebana? It’s the Japanese art of flower arrangement but it’s much more than that. It’s really a disciplined art form using minimalism such that an arrangement may consist of only a minimal number of blooms interspersed among stalks and leaves. The container is also a key element of the composition. It is said that the samurai used ikebana along with the tea ceremony to focus their concentration and gain peace of mind before going into battle. Pair it with some artwork from the museum’s permanent collection or it can just stand on its own and I think this could be a good exhibit, plus a new flower arrangement can be setup after a week to keep it fresh. What do you think?
I’m not at all a political person but the recent events in Iran struck me particularly the senseless death of a young woman named Neda. A common Persian name, Neda means “divine message, voice, or calling.” I was reminded that the museum has a great collection of art from Iran including this object called “Vase in form of mother and child” approx. 1100–1200.
I saw Kill Bill again the other day and the sushi bar scene between Hattori Hanzo and Beatrix always keeps me rolling. It’s funny that the master swordmaker hides behind the guise of a skilled sushi chef. So I thought, is Hattori Hanzo based on a real Samurai? Yes he is. According to Wikipedia, Hattori Hanzo (1542–1596), also known as Hattori Masanari, the son of Hattori Yasunaga, was a famous Samurai who also was a Ninja. Hanzo was born a vassal of the Matsudaira (later Tokugawa) clan, and served Tokugawa Ieyasu; he would later earn the nickname Oni-Hanzo (Devil Hanzo) because of the fearless tactics he displayed in his operations.
Here’s the Kill Bill scene. Enjoy!
In my opinion, the best Samurai movie I’ve seen when I was a kid. Here’s the description from Amazon.
“Child and expertise for rent, reads the banner flying from the wooden cart of rogue samurai Itto Ogami (Tomisaburo Wakayama). With his infant son and a baby carriage stocked with a veritable arsenal in tow, Ogami rents his services for 500 pieces of gold while awaiting his revenge on the corrupt clan that murdered his wife. Director Kenji Misumi draws his distinctive graphic style from the legendary manga series written by Kazuo Koike (who adapted his own work for the screen) and adds an inspired cinematic device: when Ogami enters battle, the world falls silent, literally, until his sword strikes. The fights are savage—blades slash, limbs fly, and blood spurts like geysers—yet the film relaxes in moments of serenity and tenderness as the cooing baby boy marvels at the wonder of the world.”
See a preview on YouTube.