The Year of the Snake brought fantastic exhibits, colorful events and a partnership for the future. In November, the announcement was made that University of Southern California was partnering with Pacific Asia Museum to create USC Pacific Asia Museum. The alliance between the museum and the university presented a wealth of collaborative opportunities for both institutions. The new partnership will preserve and support the museum’s building and collections and enhance the scholarship of creative faculty and students at USC involved with the arts, museum studies, diverse cultures, religions and archeology.
It’s been a busy year of exhibitions! The Garden in Asia included not only traditional art from China, Japan and South Asia but also some wonderful contemporary art, demonstrating how nature continues to inspire artists today. In the adjoining gallery, The Art of Continuity: Revering our Elders shared how different cultures have remembered their ancestors– and so did our visitors! Our third year-long exhibition was Focus on the Subject: The Art of the Harari Collection, examining the various objects found in Japanese painting. And some of these paintings were more than just depictions– double meanings and puns make them even more enjoyable.
In our Focus Gallery, we began a series of contemporary Asian art exhibitions. In April, Takashi Tomo-oka astounded visitors with his juxtaposition of contemporary photography and traditional formats. Then, Constructed Visions: New Media from Korea presented the work of four Korean artists who examine the idea of reality in their work. And the newly opened Ralli Quilts: Contemporary Textiles from Pakistan takes this long-standing art form and examines it as contemporary art.
Our Education team has also been hard at work. They began by kicking off the Year of the Snake at our annual Lunar New Year Festival. Three Free Family Festivals followed, celebrating everything from Korea to Indonesia, and a Mid-Autumn Moon Festival wrapped up the major programs of the year. For the grown-ups, our Fusion Friday series continued to excite visitors with Maori warriors, shadow puppets, Thai dance and much more.
An artist-in-residence brought the traditional art of ralli to life this year. Naina travelled all the way from Pakistan to share this patchwork quilting art. If you missed her over the summer, don’t worry! See above for our newly opened exhibition on ralli, and browse Naina’s work in our museum store.
Behind The Scenes
Our curatorial team was hard at work with renovations to the Snukal Family Ceramics Study Gallery and the Chinese Gallery, which also includes contemporary art generously supported by our Collectors’ Circle.
Our curatorial and education departments also teamed up to expand our Audio Tour, which now features details on objects throughout the entire museum in English, Chinese and Korean. The best part is, you don’t even have to be here to experience it! Learn more about listening to the Audio Tour from anywhere on our website.