Strongly influenced by Pan-Asian fare, Café Asia provides a wide array of menu items, appealing to the diverse clientele who enjoy the Asian Art Museum. Our menu changes frequently, allowing us to capture the best organic and sustainable ingredients offered from our local purveyors. Come join us for lunch or take an afternoon break and enjoy tea service from our extensive hot tea menu—no museum admission required.
Koki Tanaka:Potters and Poets
November 4, 2016-February 14, 2017
Its two featured projects—A Poem Written by 5 Poets at Once (First Attempt) and A Pottery Produced by 5 Potters at Once (Silent Attempt) are part of a larger series in which Tanaka assembles strangers with a common profession or avocation and asks them to work together simultaneously to create new work. The projects are represented through documentation, primarily video.
For the first work, Tanaka brought together Japanese poets who write in different styles. The poets, seated at a small round table, write verses, exchange ideas, think and write quietly, pen to paper, no computers in sight. They edit and add to each other’s work, read lines aloud, and talk about the processes of writing, in some cases talking around tensions and unspoken disagreements.
For the second, Chinese potters sit around a pottery wheel and form clay into vessels using an assortment of techniques and tools. At times they work together, at other times they ask one potter to take the lead, and sometimes they disagree with the next steps they should take. The resulting vessels are on display as part of the exhibition.
Tanaka’s interest in human relationships, activism, history, and community comes through in these subtle, humorous, unscripted works. He says, “To do something collaboratively is an ethical proposition….What is documented here is a kind of social sculpture, and as such it is also a document of the failure of that process.”
Mother -of-Pearl Lacquerware from Koera
April 29-October 23, 2016
Through 30 radiant objects, many on view for the first time, you’ll discover the painstaking techniques used to create a flawless, gleaming surface filled with almost microscopic details. You’ll also get a close-up look at abalone shell, the stunning natural phenomenon that gives these works their iridescent luster. And an in-gallery video will share the conservation procedures that preserve the art’s beauty and integrity.
The works featured in this exhibition are mostly drawn from the museum’s collection, in addition to objects on loan from the Los Angeles County Museum of Art and the Metropolitan Museum of Art. A related display of five contemporary artworks of various mediums is on display in the adjacent Korean art galleries. Influenced by traditional Korean mother-of-pearl lacquerware, these works demonstrate the vitality of this vibrant art form today.
At the Asian Art Museum, we’re longtime leaders in Korean art. The first Western art museum to establish a Korean department with a dedicated full-time curator, we have a distinguished history of presenting groundbreaking Korean exhibitions. With Mother-of-Pearl Lacquerware from Korea, we continue our commitment to advancing international scholarship in this important field.
Be sure to check out our exhibitions of Chinese and Japanese lacquerware, on view now.