Archive for 'Poetry in Clay'

Bye bye Buncheong

Translated Vase, Yee Sookyung, 2007. Courtesy the artist.

Translated Vase, Yee Sookyung, 2007. Courtesy the artist.

This weekend our Korean ceramic exhibition, Poetry in Clay, is leaving us.

If you haven’t had a chance to explore this showcase of buncheong ceramics, you’d better hurry in. Even if you have seen it, I’ve found it’s an exhibition worthy of a second look.

While some people, like our marketing manager Jenn, immediately connect with the beauty of these pieces, for others (myself included) it’s a slower process. My co-worker Amelia came to appreciate the works through the class narrative that forms part of the context of the exhibition. For me, the way in was through the contemporary works, especially the vessels made from soap. That’s right, soap. I’m not giving you a sneak preview; you’ll have to come see them for yourself.

Luckily, some of the contemporary pieces (such as the Translated Vase, pictured) will remain on view in the loggia until April, but the juxtaposition of old and new is central to this show, so to get the full experience you’ll need to join us this weekend – perhaps on our Target First Free Sunday on January 8. Hope to see you there.

A Holiday Message from Director Jay Xu

We have much to be thankful for this past year. We began 2011 showcasing two superb exhibitions—Beyond Golden Clouds: Five Centuries of Japanese Screens, followed by the critically acclaimed Bali: Art, Ritual, Performance.

Museum Director Jay Xu and Associate Head of Conservation Mark Fenn examine the Asian Art Museum's bronze rhinoceros.

Museum Director Jay Xu and Associate Head of Conservation Mark Fenn examine the Asian Art Museum's bronze rhinoceros.

In the fall we unveiled our new brand, promising to awaken the past and inspire the next for visitors. And we opened three wonderfully diverse exhibitions fulfilling that promise: Korean Buncheong Ceramics from the Leeum, Samsung Museum of Art in Korea, Maharaja: The Splendor of India’s Royal Courts, and Deities, Demons, and Dudes with ‘Stashes: Indian Avatars by Sanjay Patel. These exhibitions show traditional and contemporary artworks side by side – literally in the case of Buncheong ceramics, and thematically with Sanjay’s show giving us a contemporary interpretation of themes also explored in Maharaja.

In addition to presenting compelling art, we offer interactive programs for the family, scholarly lectures and presentations, films, art activities, publications, and performances that you cannot find anywhere else in the Bay Area. We also provide unique educational programs to thousands of school children, and we continue to protect and conserve the artworks in our collection for future generations to discover.

Without the generosity of our donors and supporters, none of this would be possible. So, this season, consider making an end of year donation to the Asian Art Museum. Your gift makes a big difference to us. Along with knowing that your contribution allows thousands of others to enjoy the museum’s offerings, you can also enjoy the benefits of a tax deduction or match your gift with your employer’s matching gift program to increase your support.

I wish you a healthy and happy holiday season and thank you for all your continued interest and support.

Warm regards,
Jay Xu,
Museum Director

Where did all the Korean art go?

If you’ve been on the museum’s second floor lately to enjoy our new installation of contemporary Korean art, you may have noticed a corresponding sudden lack of traditional Korean art in the adjacent galleries. Where did it all go?

Empty cases line the Korean gallery walls

In preparation for the exhibition Poetry in Clay: Korean Buncheong Ceramics from Leeum, Samsung Museum of Art, museum staff have removed all of the permanent collection artwork from the Korean galleries and tucked them away in storage.


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Soap and clay

“When will you be done installing?”

Over the past two days I’ve heard this question from several staff and visitors who have encountered a spread of crates and precariously placed ceramics outside the doors of the Korean galleries.

"Translation Series" by Meekyoung Shin. Soap, pigment, varnish, mirrored steel plate, wooden crate. Lent by the Artist.

"Translation Series" by Meekyoung Shin. Soap, pigment, varnish, mirrored steel plate, wooden crate. Lent by the Artist.

The answer: We’re done!

And a clarification: That’s not clay!

Meekyoung Shin’s Translation Series plays with many things: material, process, place. Those elegant vases are made of humble soap. Perched on their travel crates, they look to me like they have just arrived at the museum— or alternatively are just leaving.

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