SAN FRANCISCO, March 21, 2014—The Asian Art Museum launched the 2014 Artists Drawing Club program series, featuring seven Bay Area contemporary artists. This interdisciplinary public program series invites artists to use the museum as a platform, drawing inspiration from the permanent collection, rotating special exhibitions, the building, and the neighborhood, and leveraging their artistic practices to realize a new artist-driven project in which exchange, experience and interaction are paramount. The Artists Drawing Club is not about the act of drawing, but drawing connections between ideas, times, cultures and the broader world.
The 2014 series will feature artists Michael Arcega, Binta Ayofemi, Jung Ran Bae, Ajit Chauhan, Chris Fraser and artist duo Hughen/Starkweather (Amanda Hughen and Jennifer Starkweather). The Artists Drawing Club is March through August with events in and outside the museum.
“Last year’s pilot Artists Drawing Club opened up the institution, making it a resource for artists while supporting new works,” said Marc Mayer, educator for public programs. “As we kick off the 2014 series, I know this group of artists will provide fresh perspectives to reimagine the museum, draw links between cultures and time, unlock ideas from objects in the collection, and define the location the Asian Art Museum can occupy in the Bay Area’s cultural landscape. I am excited to see each of these projects unfold.”
Artist Ayofemi started-off the series on Thursday, March 20 in an event called Pattern/Language, an ongoing project by the artist created for the Artists Drawing Club. Ayofemi will investigate transmissions of utopian pattern and form, from Persian carpets, texts, ceramics and gardens to contemporary disco and funk structures adapted into 1970s Persian pop music. Pattern/Language will become a roving garden, with a small constellation of six pop-up gardens and tea rooms in San Francisco during the spring of 2014. The artist’s installation presents a series of new works, including carpets and tea cups with various patterns as part of the tea garden. Pattern/Language will culminate in the artist’s Nohroozi Garten event, held in Golden Gate Park on Sunday, April 20.
On Thursday, April 24, Chris Fraser will use light to engage the unseen in everyday phenomena, in his event Renewals/Returns. The Asian Art Museum was once housed in a wing of the de Young Museum building and for the last ten years has occupied the site of the city’s former Main Public Library. Fraser will search out spaces of overlay and gaps, drawing attention to the ways the Asian Art Museum exists in a state between: between cultures, architectures, histories, and times. These states in between suggest a sense of transience, and it’s in the overlap of the two where the life of the museum exists.
On Thursday, May 22, Hughen/Starkweather will unveil artwork they created based on interviews with Asian Art Museum staff members, in an event titled Re:depiction. Hughen/Starkweather asked staff members to describe from memory an artwork from the museum’s collection. The artists then created an abstract work on paper based on the description. On the night of the event, Hughen/Starkweather’s depiction will be shown in the museum alongside the original artworks described by staff members and sound pieces excerpted from the interviews.
On Thursday, June 26, Ajit Chauhan will host an event titled Palimpsest, a study in reincarnations: a life erased to make room for another life, with traces or ghosts of the “other.” The Asian Art Museum building—formerly the Main Public Library—still houses inscriptions, 24 quotations in toast tinted–limestone chosen by former mayor Edward Robeson Taylor that echo the building’s former life. Palimpsest will be a playful intervention of these texts.
Programs for artists Michael Arcega on Thursday, July 24 and Jung Ran Bae on Thursday, Aug. 28 are still in development. Details on the Artists Drawing Club programs can be found at www.aamstage.org/artistsdrawingclub. Last year’s pilot program featured artists Julie Chang, Binh Danh, Ala Ebtekar, Amy M. Ho, Ranu Mukherjee, Toyin Odutola, Radka Pulliam, Lordy Rodriguez and Weston Teruya.
The Asian Art Museum–Chong-Moon Lee Center for Asian Art and Culture is one of San Francisco’s premier arts institutions and home to a world-renowned collection of more than 18,000 Asian art treasures spanning 6,000 years of history. Through rich art experiences, centered on historic and contemporary artworks, the Asian Art Museum unlocks the past for visitors, bringing it to life while serving as a catalyst for new art, new creativity and new thinking.
Information: 415.581.3500 or www.aamstage.org
Location: 200 Larkin Street, San Francisco, CA 94102
Hours: The museum is open Tuesdays through Sundays from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. From Feb. 6 through Sept. 11, 2014, hours are extended on Thursdays until 9 p.m. Closed Mondays, as well as New Year’s Day, Thanksgiving Day and Christmas Day.
General Admission: FREE for museum members, $12 for adults, $8 for seniors (65+), college students with ID, and youths (13–17). FREE for children under 12 and SFUSD students with ID. General admission on Thursdays after 5 p.m. is $5 for all visitors (except those under 12, SFUSD students, and museum members, who are always admitted FREE). General admission is FREE to all on Target First Free Sundays (the first Sunday of every month). A surcharge may apply for admission to special exhibitions.
Access: The Asian Art Museum is wheelchair accessible. For more information regarding access: 415.581.3598; TDD: 415.861.2035.