SAN FRANCISCO, April 28, 2016 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- From April 29 to Oct. 23, the Asian Art Museum presents Mother-of-Pearl Lacquerware from Korea, an original exhibition combining new insights into this ancient tradition whose enduring creative power continues to inspire artists and artisans. Through a select group of 30 radiant objects, spanning the domestic craftsmanship of dynasties past to cutting-edge contemporary art, audiences will deepen their appreciation for this alluring technique and delight in its novel interpretations by living artists.
"This exhibition provides a bridge between the past and the future. What makes it so special is that we have rare examples that are hundreds of years old," says Associate Curator of Korean Art, Hyonjeong Kim Han. "We present a multifaceted approach here, exploring historical, artistic, and technical themes, as well as the conservation of Korean lacquers."
Highlights among these heirlooms include delightfully elaborate keepsake boxes from the early 1500s to the mid 1600s, a selection of 18th-century luxury tables, and a rare late-Joseon dynasty reading desk.
"There are few traditional artisans still practicing this technique in Korea," continues Han. "But contemporary artists have revived the tradition of mother-of-pearl to express change and constancy. It allows them to be in harmony with their culture, while still connecting to a contemporary conversation about art."
The exhibition places multiple mother-of-pearl works from today's Korea directly into dialogue with the past. Enormous "pebbles" by Hwang Samyong, which required roughly 250 hours each to complete, exude a witty simplicity glossed with luxury. Seven wall panels completely patterned with mother-of-pearl by Kim Yousun are infused with impressionistic energy and light, recalling Van Gogh's luminous swirls. Multimedia artist Lee Leenam will also debut a new video work featuring a 16th-century painting from the Asian Art Museum's collection as its background.
"The Asian Art Museum was the first museum in America to have a dedicated Korean art curator and gallery, so we have always been a leader in finding innovative ways to present Korean art and culture outside of Asia," says Asian Art Museum Director Jay Xu. "This exhibition furthers the museum's commitment to sparking conversations about what's next, in San Francisco and around the globe."
Mother-of-Pearl Lacquerware from Korea is organized by the Asian Art Museum and is made possible with the generous support of the Koret Foundation and Korea Foundation.
ABOUT THE MUSEUM
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.asianart.org
Location: 200 Larkin Street, San Francisco, California 94102 U.S.A.
SOURCE Asian Art Museum