Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Working field trip

It's kinda nice that we get to go on field trips as part of work.  A couple of weeks ago I went to the Academy for the first time for their anime exhibit (of course they had some of my fave!).  Today, we went to the Pacific Asia Museum.  And I remembered my camera -- huzzah!

PAM main entrance[looking in from the street]

This museum is such a cozy place.  I hadn't been here for a few years at least, so was glad to be reminded of how quaint it is (as opposed to the monstrosity of LACMA, which is so far away in addition to being such a large space to navigate).  It used to be a residence, so I guess that makes sense.

PAM courtyard[garden courtyard]

The inner courtyard is a great area.  There's tons of plants as well as a koi pond with the most darling lotus in bloom.  The last time I was here was for an exhibition they did on sake.  I went on reception night, when they had set up many tables for sake tasting.  It's a very good private event or party venue.

My coworkers and I came specifically came today to see the current exhibit called, "The Samurai Re-imagined: From Ukiyoe to Anime."  Although my anime is about ninja, I can understand the bushido (way of the warrior) philosophy that is threaded throughout it, as it is in many other manga and anime.  Having lived in Japan and experienced its culture firsthand, seeing the modern manifestations of those old themes increases my emotional attachment to these sorts of things.  Here, I like the contrast of the samurai armor with the plastic robotic and fantastically imagined figurines...


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... as well as the muted colors of ancient scrolls and washi paintings against the pop of printer's colors and larger-than-life silhouettes.


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We continued through galleries of Silk Road arts and textiles, images of the Hindu god Ganesha, and ceramics from all over Asia.  They were all so intricate and beautiful!  These are only two of the many shots I took.

We were lucky to have been guided through the gallery space by the Executive Director as well as the Curator.  It was an insider's view and explanation of space, budgetary constraints, and vision for and philosophy of the museum that we wouldn't necessarily get as everyday visitors.  The curator talked about how they hung one of the kimonos they had on display, and the technicalities of displaying those items, as well as obi and scroll.  He talked about them like ordinary objects -- which, I suppose, is what they are.  They just seem magnified in value and importance behind such a large piece of glass, don't they?!

It was a nice visit.  The last few images I took capture some more of the details and textures that I love so much about Asian things.  I took these in the gift shop and outside!  If only I could actually afford one of the amazing shelves and cabinets on which all the wares are displayed!  For now I'll just ogle:




What a great way to start the workday!  Hope you've had a good one, too!

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