This Week at Pacific Asia Museum: September 23-29

September 23, 2013

This Week at Pacific Asia MuseumThis is our weekly post to make sure you know what’s coming up at Pacific Asia Museum! Make sure to check back every Monday to stay in the know. And as always, you can sign up for our e-newsletter at the bottom of our homepage, or check out our full events calendar here.

Free Friday: It’s the fourth Friday of the month, and you know what that means– free admission all day! Make the most of your visit by dropping in on our 30-minute docent-led tours at 11 a.m. and 1 p.m.

…and Free Saturday: We’re participating in the Smithsonian’s Museum Day Live! on Saturday, September 28. Tickets are required, so make sure you get yours here.

Dress up for a good cause: Our annual Festival of the Autumn Moon gala is celebrating Korea this year– we’re sold out, but if you’re lucky enough to have tickets, you can explore the live and silent auction catalog on the Festival website.

Advertisements

Happy Mid-Autumn Festival!

September 19, 2013

mooncakeToday marks the 15th day in the 8th lunar month of the year, which means many cultures throughout Asia are celebrating. This date marks the full moon closest to the autumnal equinox, and is celebrated with harvest festivals in many parts of Asia. These festivals are usually celebrated as a family or community holiday, when all come together to share traditional food and spend time with each other.

Mid-Autumn Festival (中秋節, also known as Moon Festival or Mooncake Festival) is celebrated in China, Taiwan and Hong Kong. You may be familiar with the dense mooncakes traditionally given as gifts during this time, which involve a rich pastry crust usually filled with an egg yolk (symbolizing a full moon) and red bean or lotus seed paste. These cakes are given to friends, family and coworkers in the days leading up to the holiday. Lion dances and dragon dances are also common in parades and community celebrations, and bright lanterns adorn houses, temples and city squares.

Dragon Dance

A dragon dance performed at Pacific Asia Museum.

The tale most commonly associated with the Mid-Autumn Festival is that of Chang-e, the moon goddess. While there are many different versions, one common story begins with the couple as immortals living in heaven. Houyi is an expert archer, and when the ten sons of the Jade Emperor transform into ten suns, scorching Earth, Houyi shoots down all but one. The Jade Emperor is furious and banishes them to Earth as mortals, and Houyi goes on a quest to regain immortality. He finds it in the form of a pill which he brings home and hides. Chang’e discovers the pill and swallows it, and flies to the moon (in certain versions, she’s fleeing her angry husband. In others, he tries and fails to save her from floating away). Houyi is devastated and builds himself a palace on the sun, and once a year can visit Chang’e on the moon– a day celebrated as the Moon Festival.

In Vietnam today, the Mid-Autumn Festival also references the Chang-e story and involves similar traditions as in China, though historically the holiday originated as a festival to honor the mythical dragon who brought rain for crops. In addition to practices shared with the Chinese, there is a special emphasis on children during this holiday (Tết Trung Thu in Vietnamese). The community plans a number of activities for children that day, including crafts, parades and performances in which the children participate. Adults also give children small presents for the occasion.

Chuseok gift sets

Chuseok gift sets for sale in Korea. Source: hojusaram on Flickr.

In Korea, Chuseok (추석) is celebrated on the same day of the lunar calendar as the Mid-Autumn Festival. As in China and Vietnam, families spend this holiday together, and traditionally thank their ancestors for the harvest. Games, sport and dances accompany other traditions including visiting ancestors’ graves to remove weeds and offer special food for the occasion. One particularly important dish is songpyeon, a dumpling of sorts made of rice and filled with sesame, red bean, chestnut or other ingredients. These are steamed on pine needles, which give the songpyeon a distinctive flavor (and fill the home with the scent of fall). Families will often make these together, emphasizing the importance of family during this holiday. Koreans will also exchange gifts, though not usually of mooncakes– cookies, fruit, gift sets and even Spam are popular.

Want to experience Mid-Autumn Festival for yourself? On Sunday, October 6, we’re holding a celebration in partnership with Chinese Culture Development Center complete with performances, food, crafts and more. This event is free for members and included with admission for non-members– discounted advance tickets are available here! ~CM


This Week at Pacific Asia Museum: September 16-22

September 16, 2013

This Week at Pacific Asia MuseumThis is our weekly post to make sure you know what’s coming up at Pacific Asia Museum! Make sure to check back every Monday to stay in the know. And as always, you can sign up for our e-newsletter at the bottom of our homepage, or check out our full events calendar here.

Haiku: Practice counting your syllables and so much more! The Southern California Haiku Study Group holds its monthly meeting on Saturday, September 21 at 2 p.m. All are welcome!

Learn Something New: Our weekly classes continue! Whether you’re interested in yoga, Chinese brush painting, or the ukulele, we’ve got something for everyone. Check out our list of ongoing classes here.

Coming Up: Our monthly Silk Road Storytime series continues on Saturday, October 5 at 10:30 a.m. Sunny Stevenson will share Korean stories this month along with a craft and snacks. Free and open to all!


This Week at Pacific Asia Museum: September 9-15

September 9, 2013

This Week at Pacific Asia MuseumThis is our weekly post to make sure you know what’s coming up at Pacific Asia Museum! Make sure to check back every Monday to stay in the know. And as always, you can sign up for our e-newsletter at the bottom of our homepage, or check out our full events calendar here.

Art and Coffee: Grab a cup of (iced) coffee courtesy of Starbucks and learn more about our new exhibition Constructed Visions: New Media from KoreaThis post will give you extra background before your visit.

Free Family Festival: Celebrate the arts and culture of Korea at our last Free Family Festival of the year! Enjoy a wide range of performances (scroll down for performance times) as well as crafts, a book signing, and free admission to the galleries.

Looking Ahead: Our programs for the rest of 2013 are now listed on our online calendar. Browse through to see who’s coming to Authors on Asia, Silk Road Storytime themes, Curator’s Tour events and more!


Celebrate Korea at our Free Family Festival!

September 5, 2013

Korean dancers

Here at Pacific Asia Museum, we offer several opportunities throughout the year for the community to visit us for free. One of our bigger traditions is our Free Family Festival series, which features performances and crafts in addition to free admission. On September 15, 2013 from 12-4 p.m., we’ll be showcasing the arts and culture of Korea at our last Free Family Festival of the year!

Tae Kwon Do Don’t miss our great performance lineup, which ranges from traditional Korean dance to b-boy routines. Kids will love the high-flying tricks of Victory Tae Kwon Do, and audiophiles will appreciate the Haemil Music Group’s contemporary take on traditional Korean music. Check the schedule on our website to make sure you catch your favorite.

Atta Kim, On Air Project

Atta Kim, ON-AIR Project 160-13, from the Series “India”, 2007, Chromogenic print, Courtesy of the artist

While you’re here, visit some new additions to our galleries. Constructed Visions: New Media from Korea opened just a few weeks ago, and showcases the work of four contemporary Korean artists who manipulate reality in different ways. Our newly renovated Korean Gallery takes a thematic approach to Korean material culture, including works from Shamanist, Confucian, and Buddhist contexts. If you saw the gallery when it first opened last fall, you’ll be pleased with the recent rotation of objects– there are several new works to see!

After being inspired in the galleries, the Korean Cultural Center is generously providing several crafts in the museum courtyard that all ages will enjoy. You’ll also have the opportunity to meet author Joan Schoettler, who will be signing her book Good Fortune in a Wrapping Cloth in the museum store.

Can’t make this Free Family Festival? There are many other free opportunities to visit. Try our monthly Silk Road Storytime (next one is Saturday, September 5!) or our Free Fourth Friday. Subscribe to our email newsletter and you’ll also recieve notice of our other upcoming programs. Better yet, you can become a Pacific Asia Museum member, and visit for free anytime! ~CM


This Week at Pacific Asia Museum: September 2-8

September 2, 2013

This Week at Pacific Asia MuseumThis is our weekly post to make sure you know what’s coming up at Pacific Asia Museum! Make sure to check back every Monday to stay in the know. And as always, you can sign up for our e-newsletter at the bottom of our homepage, or check out our full events calendar here.

Flower Arranging: Learn the historic art of Chinese Flower Arranging with Master Rosa Zee beginning Friday, September 6 from 12:30-3 p.m. Taught in a five-week series, special pricing for individual classes available. Call for more details at 626-449-2742 x 31; advance registration required.

Samurai Stories: Join Sunny Stevenson for our monthly Silk Road Storytime on Saturday, September 7 at 10:30 a.m. She’ll share stories from Japan appropriate for all ages, and kids are welcome to make a samurai craft and enjoy an Asian snack. Free and open to the public.

Coming Up: Our last Free Family Festival of the year will celebrate the arts and culture of Korea on Sunday, September 15 from 12-4 p.m. See the full lineup of dynamic performances here.


This Week at Pacific Asia Museum: August 26- September 1

August 26, 2013

garden photos 092

This is our weekly post to make sure you know what’s coming up at Pacific Asia Museum! Make sure to check back every Monday to stay in the know. And as always, you can sign up for our e-newsletter at the bottom of our homepage, or check out our full events calendar here.

Award-winning music: On their first visit to Los Angeles, the Taiwu Children’s Ancient Ballads Troupe will perform at Pacific Asia Museum on Wednesday, August 28 at 3 p.m.  accompanied by Grammy winner Daniel Ho. This group aims to preserve the culture of the Paiwan tribe of southern Taiwan through song. Great for adults and children alike!

Coming Up: Master Rosa Zee teaches a five-week series of Chinese flower arranging from September 6 through October 4. Students should supply own garden scissors and spray bottle; all other materials provided. Series is $125 for members, $150 for non-members. Advance registration required, call 626-449-2742 x 31 for more information.