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.
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.
Discover more than 150 objects from one of the world’s greatest collections of Chinese art, more than half of which will be on view in the U.S. for the first time. Rarely seen outside the court at the time of their creation, these artworks inherited an aura of mystery that has fueled an enduring fascination. Characterized by their extraordinary splendor, beauty and richness, these objects represent the highlights of China’s artistic accomplishments.
Through exquisite paintings, ceramics, jades and more, Emperors’ Treasures explores the identities of nine rulers who reigned from the 12th through 20th centuries. By examining each ruler’s contribution to the arts and the eras’ changing styles, this exhibition reveals how emperors’ personal tastes shaped the evolution of art in China.
RELEPHANTS WITHOUT NUMBER
Nov. 26, 2015- JuN. 26, 2016
This intimate exhibition reveals the central position of elephants in the Indian cultural landscape. They hold a prominent place in Buddhist, Jain and Hindu religious traditions, and were popular subjects for Western artists traveling through India in the 1800s.
In paintings, sketches, prints and sculptures, you’ll see elephants in multiple roles. They’re depicted as beloved possessions of kings, majestic carriers of royal riders in processions, valuable assets on both hunting grounds and battlefields, and transporters of heavy loads.
Nov. 10, 2015- Jul. 31, 2016
The techniques used to create Chinese lacquer, seen in works from the 13th through 20th centuries, are awe-inspiring and invite closer examination. Some pieces are coated with more than 100 layers of lacquer, then carved to reveal a detailed relief. Meticulous applications of mother-of-pearl produce sprawling scenes with the scope of landscape paintings. Objects in these and other styles exemplify the aesthetics of Confucian scholars, who displayed this type of art in their studies.
Chinese lacquers feature historical figures, scholars, flower motifs and a variety of auspicious symbols. A round red Yuan-dynasty tray, for example, is elaborately decorated with peacocks flying through peony blossoms, an emblem of wealth and nobility. On another tray, a little boy depicted in mother-of-pearl inlay emerges from a lotus blossom, symbolizing the wish for many sons.
Get to know the rich history of this artistic tradition through a selection of compelling and distinctive pieces.
Where is the line between history and mythology?
Nov 6, 2015-Aug 14, 2016
In Extracted, artist Ranu Mukherjee eclipses the boundaries between the two, placing them in the same universe. Commissioned for the Asian Art Museum’s 50th anniversary, this new exhibition draws inspiration from California’s Gold Rush, the Chinese Exclusion Act of 1882, the ancient text The Classic of Mountain and Seas, and the museum’s own collection.
Through colorful, collage-like video, textiles and works on paper, Mukherjee invites you into otherworldly landscapes inhabited by miners, a shape-shifting alligator, a Chinese goddess with a leopard tail and tiger teeth, and other fantastical beings.
By adding video and artworks to Extracted, located within the museum’s Chinese galleries, Mukherjee will create an evolving experience that invites multiple visits. Through its countless layers — image over image, fact mingled with fiction — Extracted creates tension between history and myth