Popping up at Fusion Friday

June 28, 2012

Fun summer evenings in our courtyard continued on June 15 with the second installment of Fusion Fridays! For this “Pop Up” night, visitors enjoyed a karaoke lounge, a group graffiti activity, and much more.

In the courtyard we listened to DJ Ireesh Lal, who brought along his trumpet to create an even more upbeat sound. Upstairs, the karaoke lounge was hopping with some great voices and some entertaining performances. Visitors explored the exhibition Gajin Fujita: Ukiyo-e in Contemporary Painting and took inspiration from it as they added their own marks to a plexiglas wall in the courtyard, and took pictures throughout the galleries in a photo scavenger hunt. Check out their uploads here, and see all our great photos on Flickr!

Wish you were there? Come to the next event, Sound Off, on July 20! We’ll have live performances from Minyo Station, DJs Jeremy Loudenback and Arshia Haq playing their favorite Bollywood and bhangra soundtracks, and trucks India Jones and Paradise cookies in our lot. Free for members, $15 general admission. Reserve or buy your ticket on Eventbrite now! ~KS


Changes Coming to the Galleries!

June 22, 2012

If you’ve been here recently, you’ve probably noticed this sign between the Chinese and Japanese galleries:

We’re excited to open a new Korean Gallery in October, and the Curatorial and Collections departments are hard at work renovating the new space (keep checking back here for sneak peeks!). This is part of a multi-year plan that will renovate and reinstall many of our permanent galleries. But what happened to the Chinese ceramics for trade that used to occupy that gallery?

This summer, we have two wonderful interns as part of the Getty Multicultural Undergraduate Internship program (we love having these interns!). One of them, Christian from Reed College, is hard at work ensuring that these deinstalled ceramics are carefully packed for storage. After spending his very first day here removing the objects from the gallery in preparation for the renovation, Christian is now learning how to protect the ceramics and other objects from damage by wrapping them in acid-free paper and creating custom-cut foam supports that will keep them safe from air, moisture and even earthquakes. He’s working closely with collections assistant Cesar to assess their condition and pack them carefully into special boxes.

After the objects are packed, the boxes are labeled with their accession numbers and pictures so they can be easily found when it’s time to put them back on view, and stored in our newly upgraded storage facilities. With 15,000 objects in our collection, it’s important to stay organized with careful record-keeping and periodic inventories, which we’ve written about before. These upgrades and renovations have been generously funded by the Korea Foundation, the Pasadena Community Foundation, the National Endowment for the Arts, and the Korean Cultural Heritage Administration, IMLS, Mike and Sookie Garrison, and Eunhak Bae and Robert Kwak. We’re excited to share more about our progress as we move closer to the opening of the Korean Gallery this fall! ~CM

Yoshitoshi and woodblock printing

June 13, 2012

ImageImage Masterpieces of Tsukioka Yoshitoshi, our newest exhibition, truly celebrates the work of this great Japanese master. Yoshitoshi’s woodblock prints are stunning not only for his great imagination, but the skillful creation of his prints through the unique technique of woodblock printing. Using this process, an artist creates a concept drawing for the final piece (seen top right), and works with a variety of artisans to have it reproduced. To properly print a work, generally a wood block is carved for the initial outline (called the “key block”) and each color– this means that for a single print, many blocks may be needed, and the paper must be perfectly aligned each time a new color is applied. The video below gives a good overview of the inking process, and a longer video of the entire process from carving to printing is featured at the end of our exhibition. The exhibition also includes an original key block alongside the impression it creates, and several preparatory drawings– see the top photos for an original drawing alongside the final print!

If you want to learn more about the process and history of woodblock prints, there are several upcoming programs where you can do just that! This Sunday, June 17, artist Kristina Hagman (whose contemporary woodblock print exhibition 36 Views of Mount Rainier is on view in the Contemporary Gallery upstairs) will give a lecture and demonstration of the process at 2 p.m. Next weekend on Saturday, June 23, the curatorial staff will give a special tour of Masterpieces of Tsukioka Yoshitoshi, and the following day on the 24th scholar Ken Brown gives an overview of Japanese book and magazine illustrations as featured in two of his books. Make sure to check out our website for more info, and don’t forget–members come for free! ~CM

Top images: Tsukioka Yoshitoshi (1839-1892), From the series Biographies of Valiant Drunken Tigers (Keisei suikoden), (Left) Komyo-ajari, (Right) Preparatory Drawing for Komyo-ajari, Japan, 1874, Woodblock print on paper, Loaned by the Ed Fries Collection.

Fusion Fridays are back!

June 7, 2012

Fusion Fridays, Pacific Asia Museum’s signature summer evening series, is back! We kicked it off—literally—on Friday, May 18, with sumo matches, taekwondo, and much more.

Andrew Freund, director of the California Sumo Association, introduced us to the basic principals of sumo. Then world sumo champion Byamba took on challengers, including some of our guests, in real matches in our courtyard. After a short break Xplore taekwondo broke boards, reached heights through careful balance, and sliced apples midair in an impressive display.

Guests also enjoyed listening and dancing to the sounds of DJ Yuki Shimotakahara, exploring the new exhibition Masterpieces of Tsukioka Yoshitoshi, providing their own voiceovers to kung fu movies in an activity led by artist Nori Shirasu, and eating food from trucks Nom Nom and Coolhaus.

Sad you missed out? Come to our next event, Pop Up, on June 15, 7:30–10:30 pm. We’ll have a karaoke lounge, a group graffiti project, DJ Ireesh Lal spinning in the courtyard, and trucks Clean Street Food and Paradise Cookies in our lot. Free for members, $15 general. Reserve or buy your ticket on Eventbrite now! ~KS