Asian Art Museum Reopens to Public

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SAN FRANCISCO — The Asian Art Museum has reopened to the public while maintaining its robust array of online digital programs.

Timed advance ticketing and safety guidelines enable comfortable, convenient visits. In addition, admission is free the first Sunday of every month to ensure access for all audiences.

On site, everyone is invited to enjoy thousands of masterpieces across two full floors of freshly renovated collection galleries and to explore the museum’s recent transformation through premier contemporary exhibitions, including “Zheng Chongbin: I Look for the Sky”; “Memento: Jayashree Chakravarty and Lam Tung Pang”; and “After Hope: Videos of Resistance.”

“The Asian Art Museum offers new worlds to explore and, with every visit, provides a place of inspiration, insight, and, above all, community — whether you stop by on site or online,” says Jay Xu, Barbara Bass Bakar Director and CEO of the Asian Art Museum. “During a time of increased anti-Asian racism and violence, our exhibitions and programs demonstrate the necessity not just of visibility and representation, but of speaking out in the face of oppression and injustice.

“Our new contemporary installations provide the unique perspectives only artists can offer on subjects like togetherness, hope, and resilience. As one of our featured artists, Chanel Miller, says, ‘Art requires imagination, and imagination is the key ingredient to empathy.’ These are the values that will sustain us now and through the end of the pandemic. We can’t wait to welcome you back.”

Special Exhibitions Offer Antidote to Today’s Anxieties

“We’ve been working hard behind the scenes to ensure the up-close art encounters you’ve been missing during quarantine will be ready,” says Xu. “Two full floors of refurbished collections galleries reimagine our masterpieces from across Asia, giving longtime members a chance to see an ‘old friend’ in a fresh light or first-time visitors a chance to encounter a new favorite.

“Our current program of temporary art exhibitions and special installations speak to this moment’s universal need for a change of pace and scenery, political and social engagement, and healing.”

Special exhibitions include:

“Zheng Chongbin: I Look for the Sky” and “State of Oscillation”

How do artists think about space? That question animates a new two-part exhibition by Marin County–based artist Zheng Chongbin (b. 1961). Videos, projections, and 5,000 square feet of vinyl and scrim suspended beneath skylights explore how the manipulation of light and space can profoundly change our perception of architecture, time, and even memory.

“After Hope: Videos of Resistance”

Hope is an emotion that drives us to imagine, represent, and create different worlds. With the same joy, pleasure, and bravado of a music video or YouTube confessional, this new kind of multimedia experience from the Asian Art Museum invites audiences to immerse themselves in a series of 54 short videos, from over 60 artists, that explore the role of hope in contemporary art and activism.

“Memento: Jayashree Chakravarty and Lam Tung Pang”

Architecture-scale maps and projections from two important artists working in Kolkata and Hong Kong capture the chaos and emotional rupture of rapid urbanization, immersing visitors in the uncertainty and the nostalgia — as well as the social and political potential — such ceaseless change unleashes.

“Chanel Miller: I was, I am, I will be”

The inaugural work in the new Wilbur Gallery is also the museum debut for artist and critically acclaimed author of “Know My Name,” Chanel Miller, who powerfully represents healing as a three-part process: reflecting on the past, being mindful in the present, and envisioning the future. Miller’s work can be viewed through the gallery’s windows facing Hyde Street (the gallery is not currently accessible to the public).

“Lost at Sea: Art Recovered from Shipwrecks”

Trace the pathways of 12th-century stone reliefs and 15th-century ceramics, from Vietnam to the ocean floor to San Francisco, and confront the ambiguities inherent in every museum collection.

Fresh Experiences Daily with #MuseumFromHome

The museum understands that not everyone will feel comfortable visiting at this time, so it will continue to provide a robust range of digital content and offerings via social media channels, Instagram, Facebook, and YouTube, as well as through special Zoom-based live programs, including:

The popular bi-monthly series, “Art Escapes: Virtual Tours Through Asia”;

Take Out Tuesdays, weekly lunchtime lectures with dedicated docents;

New education programs with creative leaders from around the world presenting a variety of timely topics—from contemporary art, to activism, to music, food, and cultural celebrations;

Virtual mediation and wellness sessions with local teachers and practitioners;

A special Virtual Member Lounge offering priority access to exciting content and in-depth programs for everyone who joins our global family of Asian art lovers;

Check the #MuseumFromHome webpage for new opportunities to engage with curators, artists, and local makers.

Safe, Socially Distanced Visits; New Hours and Ticketing

The Asian Art Museum is following the City Health Department’s strict guidelines to ensure on-site visitors can feel safe, calm, and comfortable and visits are clean, fun, and full of discovery.

Because the museum is operating at 25% visitor capacity, this means a visit to the museum will work differently than before:

A visit starts with timed ticketing: booking advance tickets online is strongly encouraged to minimize transactions and support physical distancing.

Face coverings are required to enter and must be worn at all times.

All visitors will receive a complimentary stylus upon entry to be used with touch screens in the galleries, as well as elevator buttons.

Directional signage reinforces physical distancing and suggests routes for exploring the galleries; elevators will have limited capacity.

Visitors are encouraged to download the Asian Art Museum app for self-guided multimedia tours and the redesigned Visitor Guide before their visit. Docent-led group tours will not be offered on-site until further notice.

Coat check is temporarily closed, so visitors should leave large bags, backpacks, and luggage at home.

The cafe, Sunday at the Museum, is temporarily closed as are drinking fountains. Visitors may leave the building and re-enter by showing their tickets for that day.

Hand sanitizer stations are available throughout the museum.

Surfaces including but not limited to rails, door handles, call buttons, and seating will be sanitized at regular intervals throughout the day and each evening.

Credit card machines at the admissions desk and in the museum boutique will be sanitized between every purchase. Visitors can also use Apple Pay and Google Pay.

The friendly staff has been training for reopening since shelter-in-place began and will be happy to answer any questions before or during a visit.

The museum will also be operating with convenient new hours to accommodate stringent cleaning protocols:

Thursdays: 1 to 8 p.m.

Fridays–Mondays: 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Tuesdays and Wednesdays: Closed

Free admission: Essential workers, SFUSD students, children 12 and under, active-duty military.

General admission: $15; seniors (65+) and students (13–17): $10. There will be no special exhibition surcharges.

Check the museum website (under the “Visit” tab) for information about upcoming free admission days and for updated parking, transportation, contact, and entrance information.

Address: 200 Larkin St., San Francisco, CA 94102

Phone: (415) 581-3500

Website: www.asianart.org

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