Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Telling Tales



Joining the Tezuka ("Astro Boy") and Yoshitoshi (19th century woodblock artist) exhibits at the Asian Art Museum...



...is a small exhibition on the second floor...



...devoted to large scroll works from various centuries and countries...



...that are meant to be used in the telling of stories...



...such as this huge 20th century scroll painting from Thailand about Buddha's penultimate life.



I had never considered Buddha having an advantage in narrative over the Christ story, but with reincarnation factored in, Buddha seems the clear winner.



The Thai scroll painting, by the way, was used as a backdrop for daylong storytelling marathons in Thailand, probably accompanied by music and dance, before the tobacco heiress Doris Duke acquired it for her collection.



One of the highlights of the Asian Art Museum is that with such a huge permanent collection, they can rotate pieces constantly and the place tends to feel like a new museum every six months.



In particular, the Korean wing on the second floor features a lot of contemporary paintings on a rotating basis...



...and the place is usually empty so young artists can sketch in front of old Korean screens in peace.

5 comments:

Heidi said...

Thanks for the art and sense of empty space. My ongoing preference over the neccessary sagas of politicking and the quest for civil and economic justice.

Happy Summer Solstice! Here's to abundant light, enough for everyone.

pjwv said...

Hey Mike, Beautiful shots as always . . . the woodblock print exhibit is Yoshitoshi, though. The artists all went by several names but that is the most common and the one the museum uses.

I looked for you at Iphigenie last night but if you were there I missed you. I hope you make it to one of the performances at least -- judging from last night, it's the clear winner of the season (I'm saying that even though I don't see Giovanni until tomorrow).

sfmike said...

Dear Heidi: I completely agree about the joy of getting away from the ugly politicos over to some beautiful "empty space." And happy Summer Solstice to you. I'm going to the Oakland Columbariam tonight where there's a "new music" celebration with about forty different performers spread across an entire cemetary. I'll be sure to take some photos.

Dear Patrick: Thanks so much for the correction on Yoshitoshi, and I went back and corrected it in the text. Sorry we didn't connect last night, but the audition for "Tannhauser" supernumeraries went a little long and I made it to "Iphigenie" with just a few minutes to spare (and I got cast, hurrah!).

pjwv said...

Congratulations on getting cast! I look forward to your photo essay on Tannhauser. I checked the standing room section at intermission and afterwards as well as beforehand. I was very thorough! I thought I had found you but the guy denied being Mike. I'm at the opera tomorrow and next Friday in my subscription seat (D5 in the orchestra left) and on Sunday I'm at the Symphony in I think E22, in case you're going to any of those.

sfmike said...

Dear Patrick: I will be going to the Sunday Prokofiev. If you'd be interested in breakfast/lunch beforehand in my neighborhood (I'm a block from Davies Hall), give me a ring or send me an email. (415) 552-4549 and strickla@earthlink.net.