Tuesday, January 8, 2008

Arting upwards and onwards or my review of the San Francisco Asian Art Museum

So San Francisco is continuing to be awesome. Now basically while I've been on vacation I've been accumulating sessions to post up in the future, and so I have far, far more than I could possibly actually put up. So... Also, I've been thinking about things and such and making plans and such, so... Well, let me put that all aside for a moment and talk about the San Francisco Asian Art Museum (since I visited it today)

Let me hit up just a few main points because I am sleepy:

First of all: The museum is awesome. That's just how it is.


- There's a massive amount and diversity of cool stuff

- There's a large regional variety (well, let's say there's a large number of art belonging to several distinct regions: China, Japan, Tibetan Buddhist areas, Southeast Asia, and India), and there's even a decent subregional variety (I got to give credit to the fact that the museum makes a distinction between North India and South India).

- Nice thing about Asian art: colors and details (if that seems like an extremely vague description, well, Asia's an extremely big continent).

- Cool building too, the ceilings are often highly decorated and give a nice atmosphere to the whole museum.

- You can just barely take it all in within a day but that if you do your mind will most likely explode (yeah, that happened to me)

- A lot of the highly detailed works lend themselves to repeat viewing, especially the Indian sculptures and Chinese paintings


- The Southwest Asian and Persian Art section (which for some reason includes Muslim Central Asia) is tiny (one very small room), out of the way (I missed it in my first time around), and there's some nice pieces, but only enough to show they really need to expand this section massively.

- The history stuff is kind of weak, some of it is interesting, but most is superficial and some of it is misleading, however that might just be my history snobbery (I'm actually thinking of creating a separate history webpost so I can post more about history, but I'll cover some of my general complaints, which to be fair I have about most popular histories, in another session).

- Mongolia's gets very little love in the Himalayan and Tibetan Buddhist section

- Laos gets no love (although I didn't read all the labels so there might have been some Laotian art) in the Southeast Asia section

- The area's a little ghetto so try to leave there a decent amount before nightfall

Overall pretty awesome stuff. Really gets the brain juices flowing (maybe to the point of overloading) but forget utilitarian arguments the art is just beautiful (especially cool is the jade art exhibits (there's at least both Chinese and Japanese jade art), those exhibits might be temporary though, although they might be permenant, basically I'm not sure on that point. Also, obviously, Indian (or if you want to be politically correct South Asian (which I think, in disagreement with the museum, should include Sri Lanka) Art rocks!!!!)

There's more I could say, but again I'm sleepy so simply: Dude, you should go, dude. Dude.

Anywho, take it to your head, take it to your heart and remember Rand rocks. Goodnight Folks!

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