Asian Art Museum of San Francisco — Tomb Treasures, New Discoveries from the Han Dynasty

 

Last week, I visited Asian Art Museum of San Francisco with family and friends, to see this interesting exhibition.  My friends are all world travelers.  Visiting the Museum is one of the best travel programs for them.  In order to share with my friends and readers who may be interested to see this exhibition in future, I took many photos.  The museum allows photo taking without flash.  I am so thankful!

The exhibits include 100 objects which are new discoveries from the tombs of two kingdoms in the Han Dynasty (206 BCE to 220 BCE).  The exhibition is a collaboration of Asian Art Museum of  San Francisco and Nanjing Museum of China. There are lots of interesting information included in the gallery captions, the docent tours, as well as the exhibition catalog.  Apart from appreciating the beautiful artworks made two thousand and two hundred years ago in ancient China, I am thrilled that these objects also give us a glimpse of the way of life of the elites in the Chinese society.

I am particularly interested in the figurines of dancers and musicians.  The dancers wear long sleeves garments and show big movements that stimulate our imagination how the dances were appreciated at that time.  The bell set gives us some idea about the musical performance for the elite.  Many visitors may also be in awe seeing the jade suit and the jade coffin of the elite.

As inscribed on the artworks in the Tomb Treasures:  “Everlasting happiness without end” is probably the theme which may evoke visitors’ emotions.

I hope you will visit this exhibition which will end in May this year.  If I have time, I will study a little bit more some of those objects and share the information with you.  Meanwhile, I hope you will like these pictures shown in the gallery and slide show.  Just click any picture and you will see the photos shown in carousel.  Enjoy!

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Looking East at Asian Art Museum–How Monet, van Gogh and other Western Artists were influenced by Japanese Art and Culture

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If you live in San Francisco or travel here for a visit, this is an art exhibition that you will enjoy very much.  Asian art is not as commonly appreciated by most Americans, but the Impressionists are more popular.  You may be interested  to know that in the late 19th Century, a generation of artists and collectors embraced Japanese art, and created the trend called Japonism.  Impressionists and post-impressionists including van Gogh,  Cassatt, Degas, and Monet were much influenced by the Japanese art and culture.

In this exhibition, there are many paintings that you can pair the art work of the Western artists with the Japanese artists.  I usually don’t take pictures in the museum, but this time I was encouraged by the museum’s request:  SNAP and SHARE.  So, I did my part.  I took many pictures without flash and shared with you all.  Very often, artists inspire one another, but it is interesting to learn how they were inspired by other cultures without even having visited those countries.  We have social media nowadays and technology.  But what kind of communication did they have at that time?   Art has become the subject, as well as the media in communication.  Art has existed since the beginning of civilization.  It  never stops to inspire, to cultivate, and to appreciate.

I know very little about Japanese Art though I visited Japan many years ago through a work-study program in the university.  Ten years ago, I attempted to study Asian Art at the Asian Art Museum, but failed to complete the course due to work.  This exhibition has re-ignited my interest in this area.  I looked up some information via the internet and bought some books.  There are some interesting articles I found.  Take a look if you are interested.

Monet’s collection of Japanese prints: what are the historical and cultural factors, and how these two cultures met.  If you like, let us study a little and hold a discussion group, just to have fun.  Meanwhile, these photos I took told us lots of information.  The exhibition is still on till February 7. Don’t miss this opportunity.  See you there!

I also found this You Tube video from Asian Art Museum very educational.