Through September 5
Gender is the museum’s first exhibition to explore the collection through the lens of gender. “Gender and sexuality are so central to conversations our society is having today, especially in the Bay Area. With its diverse holdings, the museum can make an important contribution to that dialogue,” explain the curators, Maya Hara, Shinhwa Koo, Joanna Lee, and Megan Merritt.These four emerging curators have placed artworks from disparate cultures and periods side by side to show how gender — whether fluid or fixed, divine or sensual, subversive or orthodox — is constructed, performed, and depicted throughout Asian art in provocative and inspiring ways.
The exhibition includes 16 works, ranging from a 1,000-year-old Indian sandstone sculpture to a 21st-century Korean work crafted from mulberry paper.“Seeing Gender gives us the opportunity to both learn from the next generation of curators and use our collection to engage our audiences with topics that are relevant to their lives,” notes Chief Curator and Curator of Japanese Art Dr. Laura W. Allen.
Bearing Witness: Selected Works by Chiura Obata
Through Janurary 31, 2023
How do artists react to catastrophes? How do they capture feelings of desperation and hope in the wake of natural — and manmade — disaster? Bearing Witness: Selected Works by Chiura Obata showcases this singular artist’s firsthand depictions of the 1906 earthquake and fire — the only on-the-spot renderings of the aftermath — as well as his paintings documenting the forced incarceration of Japanese Americans during World War II. Born in Japan, but with a life and career deeply entwined with the Bay Area, Obata (1885—1975) is renowned as a 20th-century master who merged Japanese painting techniques and styles with modern American abstraction.
Including many new acquisitions on display for the first time, Bearing Witness invites audiences to follow the evolution of Obata’s distinctive vision, from some of his earliest, rarely seen, watercolors, to his famous prints of California landscapes, to his somber consideration of wartime’s devastation.
Included with general admission. Reserve your tickets today.Bearing Witness: Selected Works by Chiura Obata is on view through Jan. 31, 2023.
Zheng Chongbin: I Look for the Sky
“Experiencing the world is a cognitive journey.” — Zheng Chongbin
How do artists think about space? That question animates the site-specific installation I Look for the Sky by Marin County–based artist Zheng Chongbin (b. 1961). In dialogue with the museum’s transformation project, I Look for the Sky explores how the manipulation of light can profoundly change our perception of architectural space.
As an artist trained in classical Chinese figurative painting at the China Academy of Art who went on to study performance, installation, and conceptual art at the San Francisco Art Institute, Zheng brings a singular approach to contemporary art.
I Look for the Sky, suspended below the skylights in Bogart Court, comprises panels that vary in transparency and pattern that direct the flow of natural light and manipulate visual sightlines to create a novel spatial experience. Zheng was interested in engaging with ideas of transparency and the free flow of light that architect Gae Aulenti emphasized in her 2003 renovation of the museum building that once served as the city’s Main Library. Zheng’s exploration of transparency and light as mediums is also influenced by the Southern California Light and Space artists of the 1960s and 1970s.
I Look for the Sky invites you to bring a new awareness to your environment.