Embracing Change: Explore the transformation of the Asian Art Museum in SF

SAN FRANCISCO (KGO) -- The Asian Art Museum tells the vital story of Asian art from prehistory to the present, bringing diverse voices together to engage and enlighten. Immerse yourself in rich art experiences that honor Asian culture through world-class collections, programs, and exhibitions.

"The Asian Art Museum is the place where Asian art and culture comes to life, from ancient masterpieces to the cutting-edge expression of the contemporary artist," states Dr. Jay Xu, Director and CEO of the Asian Art Museum.

In 1966, The Asian Art Museum opened its doors to the public. From the beginning, the comprehensive art space has been a leading platform that continues to grow. Throughout the pandemic, the museum embraced the changing times and created fresh connections between Asian art and the outside world.

"The pandemic really disrupted so many people's lives. And addressed the crisis of our society, the racist legacy of this nation that we need to reckon with," explained Xu. "I think of art as the highest form of human expression, and you can relate with art in so many ways and feel a sense of peace and come to healing."

Recently, the museum expanded to include a new building, accommodating its growing art programs. The expansion brings impressive additions, but also provides new experiences of the museum's masterpieces and collections that date back more than 6,000 years. From ancient jades to contemporary installations, guests are surrounded by awe-inspiring artwork and stunning design.

One of the newest exhibitions is called "teamLab: Continuity," housed within the Museum's new Akiko Yamazaki and Jerry Yang Pavilion. This contemporary digital experience dissolves boundaries between artwork and viewer, as individuals step into an ecosystem of imagery inspired by nature and East Asian Art.

"The concept behind this exhibition is one of continuity, in the sense that normally, artworks are considered to be sort of distinct, independent entities," explained the founder of teamLab Toshiyuki Inoko. "In this exhibition, there are many artworks, but they all exist in continuity with one another. So, the artists will move between rooms and interact with each other, in addition to interacting with people."

Upon entering the exhibit, visitors navigate an interactive experience complete with blooming flowers, darting fish, and soaring crows. Unlike traditional exhibits, guests also have a direct impact on the art with the ability to change the artwork as they interact.

In addition to new exhibitions, the museum is known for having one of the most comprehensive Asian art collections in the world. Visitors can explore the 18,000+ works of art in its permanent collection.

"You can navigate the museum without any judgment, and encounter artists not only who are alive and creating, but also artists who existed 1000 years ago--how they were viewing the world and demonstrating their existence and their sense of belonging," says Asian Art Museum's Head of Contemporary Art Abby Chen.

We've all had to embrace change during the pandemic and the museum has proven that by telling compelling stories from diverse viewpoints, art can transform, heal, and bring people together.

Visit here to learn more about the San Francisco Asian Art Museum.

Go here to discover teamLab: Continuity exhibition.

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