Project Index

The consortium meetings were designed to produce a series of coordinated installations, exhibitions, performances, symposia, readings, workshops, and other events at individual institutions and other venues on the West Coast and beyond. The goal of this institutional collaboration is not so much to stage a « festival » under a single theme and marketing umbrella, but to create a rich, integrated network of projects and programming that is fully informed by its process of creation.

Project Index

An online project by Tom Marioni at the Silent Gallery
You Play the Characters in Your Dreams. You Design My Sculpture in
Your Head.

Asian Art Museum, San Francisco
Zen Painting and Calligraphy, 1600-1900
June 27 – October 7, 2001.
The exhibition features sixty-six works created by Japanese monk-artists of Zen’s later days. It illustrates the Zen teachings that lie at the core of each
artist’s search for inner peace and serenity. The paintings, dating from the
seventeenth through twentieth centuries and borrowed from renowned American collections, reflect a combination of spontaneity, informality, and humor that gives them a fresh and modern quality.

Asian Art Museum, San Francisco
Real to Real: Buddhism and Film
June 22 – September 21, 2001
A twice-monthly Friday evening film and lecture series. Asian Art Museum Auditorium, Golden Gate Park, San Francisco at 7:30 pm through September 21, 2001: June 22 Blue; July 13 The Burmese Harp; July 27 Himalaya; August 10 Groundhog Day. Information: 415-255-6534.

East Bay Center for the Performing Arts
Masayuki Koga
Fall 2001-Spring 2002

In Fall 2001 Masayuki Koga, who is among the world’s finest shakuhachi flute virtuosi, was in residence with the East Bay Center. The shakuhachi aesthetic, technique, and traditions for instruction are steeped in Zen Buddhist thought. During his residency, Mr. Koga worked with African, Japanese, and American musicians to prepare for a concert to be presented at UC Berkeley’s Hertz Hall in honor of the twentieth anniversary of the Japanese Music Institute of America. A second important goal of the residency is the publication of Mr. Koga’s unique and important manuscript on shakuhachi technique.

East Bay Center for the Performing Arts
E Yoon Saelee: Mien Ghost Tales and Other Ceremonies
Fall 2001-2003

East Bay Center for the Performing Arts’ Iron Triangle Theater Company is currently in the creation and development phase of a new work entitled Mien Ghost Tales and Other Ceremonies. The result will be a collage of darkly comic, awe-inspiring ghost stories and ribald tales handed down from generation to generation by the Mien people of northern Laos. The Center’s long-time Artistic Director, Jordan Simmons, is working directly with E Yoon Saelee, a Mien shaman, priest, community elder/artist, scholar, and former prisoner-of-war, on this project. They will be joined by senior member and long time director of the SF Mime Troupe and current EBCPA faculty member, Dan Chumley, and by former Artistic Director of Theater Yugen, actress, director, and current senior artistic staff at EBCPA, Miko Lee.

For over a decade, the East Bay Center has worked closely with the Mien community, providing a central location where they can come to explore their traditional artistic and cultural heritage even as they fought to establish themselves in inner-city, poverty-stricken, and violent neighborhoods. Over time, the Center has developed a relationship of mutual trust and respect that has made this project conceivable and timely. The first task will be to choose tales from the hundreds that exist and to begin to translate the finest into a dramatic script and production plan. The project will draw upon several of the rich artistic traditions of Mien culture, including their hauntingly beautiful micro-tonal singing, ancient verbal dueling practices, and magical ceremonies. The goal is to weave the selected tales across settings in Southeast Asia and here in urban America, which has been home to the Mien since the 1980s, when, following the Vietnam War in which they assisted the CIA, their entire indigenous population became essentially refugees.

Central to the creation phase of this new work is a focused two-month residency for Mr. Saelee. Half of this residency is planned to be spent in Southern China and parts of Vietnam where, outside of the U.S., the majority of ethnic Mien, long separated from their counterparts who migrated to Laos 400 years ago, now reside. Mr. Saelee has been invited there to compare ceremonial and oral traditions with other priests and elders.

Following the developmental work period, an initial production will be staged at the Center’s theater for local audiences. (The Richmond area is home to this country’s largest concentration of ethnic Mien.) Mr. Saylee and Mr. Simmons will then further develop a script that solves the challenge of creating an American-style theater work that effectively speaks both to the Mien and non-Mien. Production and staging elements will be intensified for presentation at other regional venues, allowing the work to reach the wider public.

Japanese American Cultural & Community Center
Shikishi: Awakening
January 6-February 24, 2002

A celebratory exhibition of expressions for the New Year from all voices of
the community, including celebrities, local personalities, artists, priests, writers, children, and other community members. This exhibition features more than 400 shikishi, Japanese ceremonial greeting cards. The participants were asked to use their creativity to express thoughts,wishes, hopes, and dreams for the year 2002.

Japanese American Cultural & Community Center
Shikishi: Awakening
244 S. San Pedro Street, Suite 505
Los Angeles, CA 90012

California College of Arts and Crafts Institute for Exhibitions and Public Programs
Generosity Projects: A Public Symposium and Artists Project Series
Public Symposium: February 8-9, 2002

Generosity Projects is a public symposium and series of artists projects that explore the emergence of generosity as a medium and mode for artists in the 1990s. Over the last ten years, galleries, museums, and other locations have been the sites for artists undertaking projects that have ranged from cooking food in the gallery and serving it to visitors, creating free commuter bus-lines, designing and planting community gardens, and creating open-access, democratic radio stations. This emergence is one of the more subtle and interesting directions that art has taken in the last decade, and has not been examined as a discrete occurrence. What unites these artists is their use of the art project, as conceived personally and institutionally, to perform deeds of generosity, seeking to connect the viewer (who becomes the literal « receiver » of the work) to tangible goods and services which they might enjoy and/or benefit from. Aside from literalizing the question of what benefits art can bring to society, the projects explored by these artists also serve to push the boundaries of « expanded » art practices and ask crucial questions about what both art in the public interest and art in the galleries could become.

Generosity Projects will be manifested at both the San Francisco and Oakland campuses of CCAC through a series of interlocking programs and events. Specific artists will be asked to conceive of new projects to be carried out in the context of CCAC and its surrounding communities. These projects will be designed to directly involve the student body, and will be integrated into class curriculums through student participation and visits. As a central event, the Institute will host a weekend-long symposium, open to the public, which will bring together participating artists, and other artists who have been involved with working in this mode, to meet with writers, economists, and social activists.

The symposium follows directly Awake consortium meeting number four, on the theme of « Engaged Art/Engaged Buddhism. » It opens on Friday evening, February 8, with a keynote address by Peter Coyote at 7:00 PM, Timken Lecture Hall, SF CCAC campus, and continues on Saturday with talks and dialogues from 11 AM to 5:00 PM, also at the SF campus. Participants include: Carlos Basualdo, Peter Coyote, Jeanne van Heeswijk, Mary Jane Jacob, Ben Kinmont, Cesare Pietroiusti, Jorgen Svensson, Michael Swain, and Temporary Services. The program curator is Ted Purves.

For Details on artists project and lunchtime talks, call: 415-551-9210

Headlands Center for the Arts
Art & Mindful Practices with Sanford Biggers and Nicolas Bourriaud
Sunday, April 14, 2002, 4 PM

Headlands Center for the Arts (HCA) is pleased to announce its next public program: Art & Mindful Practices with New York visual & performance artist Sanford Biggers and French art critic Nicolas Bourriaud. Biggers and Bourriaud will discuss how religion and culture can influence the creation of art.

Biggers’s installations use diverse cultural references from Buddhism and traditional religions of the African Diaspora, to global pop culture and hip-hop. He has participated in numerous solo and group exhibitions including « Freestyle » at the Studio Museum of Harlem, New York and his work is currently featured in the 2002 Whitney Biennial at the Whitney Museum of Art, New York. Sanford Biggers will return to HCA in 2003 as an Artist-in-Residence through the Awake program.

Bourriaud is co-director of Palais de Tokyo in Paris and is guest curator of « TOUCH: Relational Art from the 1900s to Now » an exhibition showcasing artists whose work illustrate systematic transformations of everyday activities that will be presented at San Francisco Art Institute in Fall 2003. Bourriaud is editor of Documents, a journal of contemporary art and is the author of two books, Relational Aesthetics (1995) and Post Production (2001).

University of California Berkeley Art Museum
MATRIX 197 « Psychic Windows » by Sanford Biggers
April 7 – June 2, 2002

Buddhist Philosophy and African history intersect in this new site-specific MATRIX installation. Biggers explores transcendence while examining urban culture, technology, and black history.

Krannert Art Museum, University of Illinois
1940 to 1950: The Breakthrough of American Painting
April 25 to August 4, 2002

Part of a year-long interdisciplinary program at the University sponsored by the Ford Foundation in which the museum is collaborating entitled, Arts of the Sacred: Crossing the Boundaries of Place and Perception. The exhibition focuses on the decade traversing World War II and the immediate postwar period.

Yerba Buena Center for the Arts
Ellen Bruno: Film Screenings and Artist Residency
May 4-July 14, 2002

Ellen Bruno will be a artist in residence at Yerba Buena Center for the Arts, San Francisco, where her trilogy SAMSARA, SATYA & SACRIFICE will be screened May 4-July 14, noon, 2pm & 4pm (except May 11 and 18).

Spoleto Festival USA, Charleston, SC
Suzanne Lacy: Community Residency
Spring 2002

The Spoleto Festival USA undertook a residency with Oakland-based artist Suzanne Lacy, known for her large-scale « life » performances of stunning numbers of persons and her probing explorations—in theory and practice—of the role of artists in promoting the health of communities. Long driven by issues of race that underlie American society, Lacy embraced the opportunity to work in Charleston, South Carolina, the historic capital of North American slavery where traces of a complex and painful past persist. This residency resulted in The Borough Project.

Early on in her stay, Lacy was attracted to two small, white, single houses on a corner of a busy, redeveloped intersection in downtown Charleston. They were also located in an area once known as « The Borough, » the name given to this section of the Ansonborough neighborhood by African-Americans who lived and worked along the port for over a century. Lacy recognized that this site embodied a complex history and present-day relevance: these 19th and early 20th-century homes had become sentinels, telling of a time gone in a portside district being turned into tourist attractions and condominiums; they marked a site of cultural resistance, thanks to the steadfastness of the sister-owners Rebecca Campbell and Catherine Braxton who sought to preserve the heritage of their family, community, and culture.

Lacy transformed one of these long-vacated houses into a generous space, at once an installation work and living community-meeting place filled with family histories of past resident recorded through an oral history project based there. (This documentation is now part of the archives at the Avery Research Center for African-American History and Culture, at the College of Charleston, along with a full-length documentary video.) This location was also the headquarters for the high-school students who took part in the Spoleto Festival’s Youth Fellows Program to which Lacy added a mentor element. These actions were resonant with engaged Buddhism, a subject which Lacy presented for « Awake’s » February 2002 consortium meeting and which resulted in an essay on the relationship between engaged art and engaged Buddhism for the upcoming book In the Space of Art.

This residency has remarkably enabled the creation of The Borough Culture Gallery and Museum (BCGM), a new not-for-profit institution that aims to be a permanent cultural institution. This effort, led by Campbell and Braxton, has as its mission to tell the whole story of The Borough, a multicultural neighborhood that throughout its history transcended ethnic and racial division. Conceived as a place of exhibition, research, and advocacy, it seeks to promote residential integration and innovative models of habitation for contemporary Charleston. The physical environment of this emerging institution will be advanced in 2002-03 through the efforts of the Clemson Architecture Center (CAC), under the directorship of Robert Miller, as part of a program that is both educational and a public service. Teaming up with Lacy and artist Rick Lowe (who also presented his work for the « Awake » consortium in February 2002), Clemson Architectural Center students will study multiple scenarios for the future of the BCGM.

The residency has also led to a new initiative being developed by Lacy, Lowe, and Mary Jane Jacob. They will work with a range of social service and cultural institutions in the Charleston area whose work aims toward the goal of social justice. This alliance of organizations will reveal interconnectedness within community that can lead to fostering greater consciousness of the relationship between issues facing the region. In doing do, they will also seek to locate the role of art in addressing these issues with greater efficacy.

Spoleto Festival USA, Charleston, SC
Kim Sooja: Planted Names and A Lighthouse Woman
May-June 2002

Korean artist Kim Sooja has developed two projects for Spoleto Festival USA. The first is at Drayton Hall, the oldest preserved plantation house in America open to the public, and a Georgian Palladian architectural gem. With her Planted Names, Kim will transform each of four rooms surrounding the Great Hall into meditation spaces through the addition of carpets whose surfaces bear the names of two centuries of African-Americans tied to the land through slavery and after emancipation. Drayton Hall, once a rice plantation, evokes for the artist memories of house structures in the Korean landscape; in both scenes life was interwoven with nature through agriculture. To Kim, the weaving of the carpets also parallels the row-by-row cultivation of the land. In the process of making the carpet or the planting, material substance (the weave or the earth) becomes embedded with the spirit of those who came before. Likewise, the names that now fill the space of these rooms fill the imagination of visitors.

Down the Ashley River, in a companion work entitled A Lighthouse Woman, Kim Sooja uses light, color, and sound to transform an abandoned lighthouse into a memorial. When Charleston was first settled in 1670, the need for safe passage into its harbor was necessary. Located on Morris Island, famous for the Civil War battle of the African-American 54th Massachusetts Regiment, this 1876 lighthouse has been ravaged by the forces of nature and man over time, and now stands solitary in the waters of Charleston harbor, a testament to a time when maritime commerce was the lifeblood of the Lowcountry. Kim, who grew up in a Buddhist culture, has illuminated the shaft, transforming it into a subtly changing, « breathing » body: the color shifts with each inhale and exhale. Recalling her project, A Needle Woman, of 1999-00, in which she stood motionless in city streets around the world amidst waves and floods of people, A Lighthouse Woman, in its stoic monumentality, stands as a testament to the memory of the waters.

San Francisco Zen Center/Castro Theater
REAL to REAL: Buddhism and Film
September 20-23, 2002

REAL to REAL blurs the boundaries between East and West, old and new, the sacred and the profane, in a dialogue that engages both Buddhists and non-Buddhists. using the common ground of film to bridge the differences between groups, from Asian Buddhists to first-generation Western Buddhists to seekers of all persuasions.

Friday, September 20
5:30 pm Opening Reception with Doris Dörrie

7:00 pm Opening Ceremony led by Rina Sircar, followed by
Germany, 2000, 105 min.; director Doris Dörrie; cast: Uwe Ochsenknecht, Gustav-Peter Wöhler

9:30 pm MOMENTS
Germany, 1996, 56 min.; director Doris Dörrie

Saturday, September 21
1:00 pm Opening Ceremony led by Blanche Hartman
Michael O’Keefe will introduce Saturday’s first two films
Japan, 1950, 90 min., director Akira Kurosawa; cast: Toshiro Mifune, Masayuki Mori, Machiko Kyo, Takashi Shimura

4:00 pm 12 ANGRY MEN
U.S.A., 1957, 96 min., director Sidney Lumet; cast: Henry Fonda, Lee J. Cobb, E.G. Marshall, Ed Begley

7:00 pm COLORFUL
Japan, 2000, 97 min; director Shun Nakahara; cast: Kouki Tanaka, Sawako Agawa, Kanako Magara, Asuka Komayu

9:15 pm Doris Dörrie will introduce the North American Premiere of
Germany, 2002, 100 minutes; director Doris Dörrie; cast: Heike Makatsch, Alexandra Maria Lara, Nina Hoss, Benno Fürmann, Mehmet Kurtulus, Jürgen Vogel

Sunday, September 22
1:00 pm Opening Ceremony led by SURYA DAS followed by
Bhutan, 2000, 93 minutes; Director: Khyentse Norbu; Cast: Jamyang Lodro, Orgyen Tobgyal, Neten Chokling

4:00 pm Gretel Ehrlich introduces
Germany, 1998, 110 minutes; director Ulrike Koch

7:00 pm Michael Wenger introduces
Czech Republic, 2000, 123 minutes; director Jan Hrebejk; cast: Bolek Polívka, Csongor Kassai, Jaroslav Dusek, Anna Sisková, Martin Huba, Jirí Pecha, Simona Stasová, Jirí Kodet

For information on REAL to REAL: Buddhism and Film call (415) 255-6534

San Francisco Art Institute
TOUCH: Relational Art from the 1990s to Now
October 17 – December 14, 2002

Featuring sculptural, installation, and performance based art that encourages viewer interaction or creates a social space, the exhibition is grounded by seminal works from the 1990’s by Angela Bulloch, Felix Gonzalez-Torres, Jorge Pardo, Phillipe Parreno, Rirkrit Tiravanija, and Andrea Zittel; and also includes recent projects by Liam Gillick,Joseph Grigely, Jens Hanning, Christine Hill, Carsten Holler, Ben Kinmont, Laurent Moriceau, and Gitte Villesen.

As a young critic in the ‘90s, Bourriaud used the term “relational art” to describe a set of artistic practices which take as their theoretical departure human interactions and their social contexts. His widely published critical writings and curatorial projects provided one of the earliest readings of the emergent metaphors of artistic production engendered by information/service culture. In his words, “The artist produces connections with the world broadcast through works of social gesture, sign and form.”

During the Touch exhibition, Rirkrit Tiravanija carried out an artist residency project.

Tweed Museum of Art, Duluth, Minnesota
Multimedia installation nun’·dro: Cycles 1–5, Refuge (Cycle 1, Phase 1)
Premieres November 19, 2002 and will be on exhibition until January 12, 2003

This project marks the completion of the first stage of a parent project entitled nun’·dro: Cycles 1–5, which will document the Tibetan Buddhist practices and rituals of Ngondro (pronounced nun’·dro). Each of the five cycles of Ngondro, which is the foundational practice associated with Tibetan Buddhism, has a complex, specified ritual that is performed 100,000 times. The first cycle is the practice of refuge, and for this cycle’s first phase I have documented on digital video and audio 10,000 prostrations and ritual prayers. There are three components to this exhibition: a 36′ long, floor-to-ceiling, site-specific wall mural with 1,254 selected representations of the 10,000 completed prostrations; a set of five framed pages from a 100-page handmade book that will eventually contain representations of all 100,000 prostrations; and a projection of digitally archived video and audio recordings of the practice. The combination of these elements poses questions regarding our notions of East and West, of the body, of time, place, religion, technology, transcendence— and ultimately the habituated ways we perceive ourselves and the world.

Contemporary Arts Museum and Project Row Houses, Houston
Sanford Biggers
November 22, 2002 – February 2, 2003

A two-venue show curated by Valerie Cassel. Biggers’s installations combine Buddhism with hip-hop and African-American culture.

Headlands Center for the Arts
Artist-in-Residence: Sanford Biggers
March-May 2003

Headlands Center for the Arts in Sausalito, California, will host a three-month residency by the New York-based, African-American artist Sanford Biggers in Spring 2003. Profoundly influenced by his study of Buddhism in Japan, Biggers’s installations draw together diverse cultural references from traditional religions of the African diaspora to global pop culture and hip hop. He has participated in numerous solo and group exhibitions, including « Freestyle » at the Studio Museum of Harlem, New York and the 2002 Whitney Biennial at the Whitney Museum of Art in New York.

Biggers’s planned residency was preceded by a public discussion co-sponsored by the San Francisco Art Institute with Nicolas Bourriaud, co-director of the Palais de Tokyo in Paris and curator of the exhibition Touch at the San Francisco Art Institute. The program, « Art and Mindful Practices » brought a capacity crowd to HCA with many remaining for continued discussion over dinner with the artists-in-residence in Headlands’ community dining room.

Works of art produced during the residency, which is planned for March through May of 2003, may be shown during the public program phase of the project by one or more of the consortium’s national partners, as well as at the Headlands Center for the Arts.

San Francisco Art Institute, Walter and McBean galleries
Artist-in-Residence and Exhibition: Alison Knowles, Secrets of Ordinary Things
March 28 – May 10, 2003

Lecture, April 2, 2003 7:30 pm

Continuing the school’s innovative integration of its academic and public programs, Alison Knowles’s March residency and interdisciplinary intensive course will culminate in an exhibition in the Walter and McBean Galleries of sound sculptures in paper, works that utilize dried beans as acoustic material, sun prints utilizing cyanotype print methods, and an installation produced with students especially for the McBean Gallery. The exhibition reception and preview on Thursday, March 27 will include a 6:30 pm musical performance, Pulp Friction, featuring sound sculptures from the exhibition, directed by the artist.

Trained in painting and graphics, Alison Knowles studied with Josef Albers, Richard Lindner and Adolph Gottlieb graduating with an honors degree from the Pratt Institute in 1956. In the late fifties, she exhibited abstract paintings, and by 1960 projected and silk-screened directly onto canvas for a show at the Judson Gallery in New York. Associated with John Cage’s legendary class at the New School, she introduced her work internationally as one of the founding members of Fluxus that first toured Europe in 1962. Knowles is a noted innovator of performance art, installations, sound art, poetry, and bookmaking, often combining these practices into intermedia works that focus on the interdependence of sight, sound, taste, and touch.

Knowles achieves this integration through various works that often focus attention on small events: the sound of beans pouring through an elongated sculpture, the sound of two pieces of sandpaper as they are rubbed together, the waterway-like patterns found in handmade bread. In a word, on the moment. “For reasons which I do not know,” writes Knowles, “I do not make things that have their greatest beauty shown in resting still. This thing that the work is about is something glanced at peripherally, and gone.” For Knowles what is big, strong, and steady, misses the mark of a truth/beauty context that is lifelike.

Knowles continues to expand the spirit of Fluxus in her work, much of which takes food as its subject – her The Book of Bean, for instance, shown in the Venice Biennale, is comprised of a book so large that the visitor can walk through it, sit on a chair mounted on page 9, eat bean soup in it, and use it as a performance space. Likewise, her Bean Culture Instruments, on view in this exhibition, are sufficient in themselves as visual objects, some of them paper pouches, brittle and chrysalis-like in appearance. Yet the sound these objects make when ‘activated’ –– the rush of the cascading beans when they’re shaken, turned, or overturned –– return the objects to the human realms of action, intention, and specific, though unstated, usage.

Her cameraless cyanotype prints use photosensitive emulsions to engage the sculptural qualities of light itself, setting a dialogue between images in shadowy, opaque colors that light has left behind, and the simple fact of the light’s having been there at all, producing active documents of one-time sets of circumstances. A number of the works in the exhibition were composed by Knowles during residencies at Dieu Donné Papermill, New York City, Cave Paper, Minneapolis, MN, and the Women’s Studio Workshop, Rosendale, New York.

With an over 40-year exhibition history, Alison Knowles’s work has been shown at the Guggenheim Muesum in New York (1969), the Venice Biennale (1983), the Queensland Art gallery in Brisbane, Australia ((1997), Documenta X in Kassel, Germany (1997), the Museum of contemporary Art inLos Angeles (1998), and the Whitney Museum of American Art in New York (1999-2000), among other venues. In 1995, a retrospective tour of her work, Indigo Island (with catalogue), opened at the Stadtgalerie Saarbrücken, Germany, toured to the Centre for Contemporary Art Warsaw, Poland and the Museet for Samtidskunst Roskilde, Denmark. Her book works, Loose Pages, the Book of Bean, and A Finger Book appeared in the 80’s and contain her experiments with the sound, feel, and structure of paper. Mid-90s, Left Hand Books published Spoken Text and Bread and Water.

Henry Art Gallery, University of Washington, Seattle
Artist-in-Residence: Arlene Shechet
Spring 2003, Installation Project 2004

The Henry Art Gallery will commission New York-based sculptor Arlene Shechet to create a new installation work for 2004. The project will begin with a short residency, tentatively scheduled for April 2003, where the artist will work in an « open studio »—actually a classic gallery space in the Henry’s old wing—initiating collaborations with the School of Art at the University of Washington. Employing an accessible gallery as a studio opens up the artistic process to the museum’s audience (at selected times), helping to make the work accessible to general viewers. This residency period will also permit the artist and curator to consider a range of historical Buddhist objects from private and public collections in Seattle, which might be incorporated into the subsequent installation.

Asian Art Museum/Chong-Moon Lee Center for Asian Art and Culture, San Francisco
Japanese Tea House in Real Time
Opening March 2003

The new Asian Art Museum will have a traditional, functioning Japanese tea house installed in its Japan gallery. The museum will be offering live tea demonstrations on a monthly basis. A fundamental aspect of Japanese tea is the appreciation of art in the special environment and social circumstances of the tea gathering. The host will select bowls, tea caddies, hanging scroll (usually calligraphy poem) and flowers to express a theme or emotional state. This selection is known as toriawase (assemblage of things). Connections with Zen practice, such as emphasis on being in the moment, contemplation of nature and the essence of things in their natural state, etc.) will be explored in these programs, which will aim to foster a more intense connection with art works by participants in a living context.

Asian Art Museum/Chong-Moon Lee Center for Asian Art and Culture in San Francisco
The Story of Buddhism as told by the New Permanent Collection Installation
Opening March 2003

The installation of more than 2500 objects from the Asian Art Museum’s highly-regarded collection in the galleries of its new, expanded facility will offer a panoramic view of Asian culture over a 4,000-year period. This new installation is an unparalleled opportunity to create a cohesive arrangement of Asian art with interpretive components that reflect broad-based and inclusive perspectives on Asia. One of the key themes to be explored is « The Spread of Buddhism through Asia. » The collections are to be organized to roughly follow Buddhism’s path from its origins in India to Southeast Asia, the Himalayas, China, Korea, and Japan.

Seattle Art Museum
Kim Sooja
September 2003 – March 2004

An installation by contemporary Korean artist Kim Sooja will be on view from September 2003 through March 2004 in a gallery adjoining the collection exhibition described below. Kim Sooja has created several installations related to Buddhist practice that have involved on different occasions Korean textiles, video, and performance. In this work, she creates an installation that includes, among other elements, suspended Korean textiles in movement, curved mirrors, and a sound component of Tibetan Buddhist chant.

Seattle Art Museum
Collection exhibition with public education components
Fall 2003 – Winter 2004

The Seattle Asian Art Museum will present three related projects on Buddhist art during Fall 2003 and Winter 2004, with installations in three adjoining galleries and public programming. The projects juxtapose divergent aspects of Buddhist arts: traditional Buddhist arts from the widely separated areas of Japan and Tibet, and also juxtapose these traditional arts with an installation related to Buddhist practice by contemporary artist Kim Sooja.

Opening in July in the Japanese Buddhist art gallery, a new installation from the permanent collection will suggest a temple interior. The installation will include a component based on a temple altar, with a main sculpture on a platform, surrounded by sculptures of the four guardians behind a decorative railing. Related objects such as metal banners, kesa textiles and ritual utensils will be included. The installation will feature several masterpieces of Heian period Japanese Buddhist sculpture carved in wood.

In the education gallery next door, an installation opening in mid- November will compare aspects of Japanese Shingon Buddhist art with Tibetan Buddhist art. In addition to several works of art from both areas from the museum’s collection, the installation will feature video footage to provide some ritual context and to reflect the presence of these two Buddhist traditions in Seattle. In a « first » for the museum, a sculpture was moved from storage to a temple for the day to film a Shingon Buddhist ritual, to be used in this upcoming installation. A sculpture of Jizo Bosatsu from SAM’s collection was installed on the altar at the neighborhood Shingon temple (Seattle Koyasan Church). Professor Shunsho Manabe, a scholar visiting from Japan who is also a Shingon Buddhist priest, conducted an opening-the-eye ceremony and was recorded by filmmaker Jay Koh. The aim is to juxtapose this footage with a video segment from a Tibetan Buddhist ritual. On another monitor, videotaped interviews with four artists who create Shingon Buddhist and Tibetan Buddhist art will be available, as well as commentary on the two rituals, and selections of chant from both traditions.

A series of public programs on traditional and contemporary art associated with Buddhism will be held during this time period, with a major event in January 2004 (contingent on funding from the Japan Foundation). Two artists who create traditional Buddhist sculpture in Kyoto, the well-known husband and wife team of Kokei and Sayoko Eri, have been invited for a one-week residency at SAAM. During the residency, the two will lead daily demonstrations of wood carving (Kokei Eri) and gold-leaf application (Sayoko Eri) in the museum’s large central courtyard. They will also each give an evening slide talk illustrating the process of their work, describing their training and Mr. Eri’s family lineage, and concepts of Buddhist practice related to their work. Their work is in the tradition of the Heian period sculpture to be included in the Japanese Buddhist art installation, and they are commissioned to create many sculptures for Japanese Buddhist temples, as well as exhibiting their work internationally. Following their residency, video footage from their demonstrations and commentary will be added to the education gallery.

Cal Performances, University of California Berkeley
U Theater of Taiwan, The Sound of Ocean
September 26-27, 2003

Cal Performances at the University of California, Berkeley will present Taiwan’s U Theater, September 26-27, 2003, in Zellerbach Hall on the campus. The company was founded in 1988 by Ching-Ming Liu, a native of Taiwan who studied theater there, in the graduate program at New York University, and with Polish theater director Jerzy Grotowski. The U Theater began by studying folk rituals and performance. In 1993, master drummer Wong Chee-Mun joined the company to begin incorporating meditation, martial arts and drumming into their original works. The company’s headquarters on the Laochuan Mountain outside of Taipei serves as home, rehearsal, and performance space. There, the performers practice Tai-chi, take martial arts lessons, practice drumming, and most importantly, meditate in a true Zen practice, which is the foundation of their performance. The U Theater has a unique place on the world stage, as their work is an amalgam of acting, dancing, drumming and martial arts.

The Sound of Ocean marks a milestone in the company’s history, the result of strict discipline of the body and total freedom of the mind. The work is a reflection of the Buddhist deity Kuan-Yin, who practiced meditation on the sea to perfect her mind. As she listened to the ocean swelling and ebbing away, she was purified of all illusions, and thus reached supreme enlightenment. Wong Chee-Mun was further inspired by a mighty temple bell, which emitted real « sound waves, ocean waves, purifying waves. » With a sound-scape created by drum, gong and musical bowl, The Sound of Ocean observes both the reawakening of life and the eternal peace of death.

Grey Art Gallery, New York
Everything Matters: Paul Kos, A Retrospective
September 9 – December 6, 2003

Surveying the career of a leading San Francisco Bay Area artist from the late 1960s to the present, Everything Matters features some 15 major installations that can be both humorous and unsettling. Works range from Chartres Bleu, a 27-monitor video installation tracing the progress of light across the gothic stained glass window, to Tunnel, in which a model train circumnavigates a wheel of cheese. Also on view are photo-documentation of performance pieces and a selection of Kos’s pioneering videos.

Curated by Constance M. Lewallen, Everything Matters: Paul Kos, A Retrospective is organized by the University of California Berkeley Art Museum and Pacific Film Archive. The exhibition is made possible by the Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts, the National Endowment for the Arts, and Agnes Bourne. Additional funding is provided by Paule Anglim, Ann Hatch, and Joan Roebuck. The Grey Art Gallery presentation is mounted in conjunction with the The Buddhist Project and made possible in part by the New York State Council on the Arts and the Abby Weed Grey Trust.

Smart Museum of Art, University of Chicago
Hiroshi Sugimoto: Sea of Buddha
October 2, 2003 – January 4, 2004

This exhibition centers on « Hall of Thirty-Three Bays, » a suite of photographs by Hiroshi Sugimoto, a Japanese artist known for his serenely beautiful, conceptually precise series of black-and-white photographs. In 1995, Sugimoto made an exceptional group of photographs at the Sanjusangendo (Hall of Thirty-Three Bays) in Kyoto. This famed thirteenth-century temple houses 1000 standing statues of the bodhisattva Kannon, an enlightened being of boundless compassion. Sugimoto’s dense, richly detailed photographs contain row upon row of Kannon’s subtly varied faces, and when presented together, they immerse the viewer in what Sugimoto has called a « sea of Buddha. » These meditative images will be complemented by a selection of familiar and rarely-seen works including several of Sugimoto’s famous « Seascapes » as well as artists’ books, the video « Accelerated Buddha » (1997), and the print portfolio « In Praise of Shadows » (1999). This exhibition is presented in conjunction with the Smart Museum’s exhibition Visual Mantras: Meditative Traditions in Japanese Buddhism.

Smart Museum of Art, University of Chicago
Visual Mantras: Meditative Traditions in Japanese Buddhist Art
October 2, 2003 – February 22 2004

This exhibition will present a selection of contemplative images used within traditional Japanese Buddhist culture. Covering several centuries (1500-1950), this exhibition will include devotional figure painting as well as Zen calligraphy and painting, situating these images within their particular cultural contexts and exploring their varied uses for teaching and meditation. This exhibition is presented in conjunction with the Smart Museum’s major exhibition of works by Hiroshi Sugimoto.

Los Angeles County Museum of Art
The Circle of Bliss: Buddhist Meditational Art
October 5, 2003 – January 4, 2004

The artistic basis of this exhibition is the Chakrasamvara (« Circle of Bliss ») Tantra, a Buddhist narration of a meditation practice that has sponsored a rich array of visual arts and ritual objects. Approximately 160 Tibetan, Nepalese, Indian, and Chinese paintings, sculptures, textiles, and ritual implements drawn from North American, European, and Nepalese collections will be displayed in a carefully mapped sequence, providing a vivid guide through the stages of meditation. The organizers intend to offer a clear experience of the processes and goals of this special Buddhist practice, including a computer program that attempts to replicate the visualizations associated with it. A groundbreaking catalog will combine these outstanding examples of artistic expression with the Buddhist literature that inspired them. Numerous interactive educational components will be developed and a symposium will be held at the Columbus Museum of Art. (This exhibition is co-organized by the Los Angeles County Museum of Art and the Columbus Museum of Art.)

Collaborative project of the UCLA Hammer Museum, the UCLA Fowler Museum of Cultural History, and the Japanese American Cultural and Community Center
From the Verandah: Art, Buddhism, Presence
October 5 – December 28, 2003 at the Fowler Museum

The Fowler Museum of Cultural History and the Hammer Museum, both at UCLA, are working closely with the Japanese American Cultural and Community Center to research and develop a public exhibition. From the Verandah is an experimental installation/performance conceived by a team of two performance artists (Joe Goode, Hirokazu Kosaka), an architect (Michael Rotondi), several museum professionals (Linda Duke, Marla Berns, and Betsy Quick) and features the work of a respected visual artist (Wolfgang Laib). The opening of the experimental gallery at the Fowler in October 2003 will coincide with and be programmatically and conceptually related to a large exhibition at the museum called The Art of Rice: Spirit and Sustenance in Asia. This exhibition, which surveys the influence of rice on cultures across Asia, is organized by Roy Hamilton, curator of Asian and Pacific Collections at the Fowler.

Metaphors and principles derived from both science and the art of tea have informed the design of the space and influenced the choice of materials. References to tea, rice, and carbon – as echoes of fire, as the physical basis for life on earth, as the main component of traditional Asian ink – will be found again and again. The central architectural form of the installation will suggest Japanese Buddhist temple and rock garden forms, with a verandah-like platform that invites the visitor to linger in a liminal space: between inside and outside, heaven and earth, art and life.

The installation
Visitors will enter the installation through a preparation room, its walls painted with a charcoal wash, where they will be asked to remove their shoes. They will follow a path to the main gallery space and a ramp onto the verandah. The pathway itself will be carefully designed to help visitors slow down, begin to notice sensory experiences, and become attentive. As they walk towards the verandah, they may glimpse figures engaged in meditative acts, either on the verandah itself or off in the darkened periphery.

The large wooden verandah is situated within an otherwise darkened gallery space, slightly raised off the floor, and forming two joined mirror-image rectangles. Each verandah half will surround a sunken « garden. » One sunken area will display a beautiful marble Rice House by the artist, Wolfgang Laib; the other will be covered with a layer of clay that will dry and crack into an intriguing pattern. The verandah will allow visitors to view the Laib work and the clay from many directions and also to sit and contemplate them. Cushions will be available for sitting.
A double wall of cloth will visually separate and define the two sides of the verandah. It will allow several lighting options to be employed for specific performance events that occur within the gallery. Subtle lighting around the base of the verandah will allow it to « float » in the space.

The performance installation
During some of the hours that the gallery is open to the public an on-going performance piece, called As Beauty Subsides, will be carried out in and around the verandah. Student performers, working with Joe Goode and his performance group, will develop a meditative performance score that they will carry out in shifts. The presence of these deeply absorbed figures will both affect the atmosphere within the gallery and also offer visitors a model for slowing down, focusing, and being present in the space. In this sense, the performers will echo and extend the visitor’s own experience on the path.

The resource area
Visitors will leave the gallery through a comfortably furnished and more brightly lit room where books and other educational materials relevant to the themes and content of the installation will be offered for perusal. Shoes left in the entry room will be easily retrievable through shelves that open into both spaces.

Public programs
A range of public and educational programs are being planned in conjunction with From the Verandah. Most of these will take place in the gallery itself, others will be held in the museum’s auditorium and outdoor amphitheater. Plans include intimate musical performances, tea ceremony demonstrations, meditation instruction, and conversations between scholars, artists, and thinkers on meditation, Buddhism, and the role of aesthetic experience in human development. Meditation workshops will be facilitated by Yvonne Rand. A special performance by artists Oguri and Hirokazu Kosaka will take place in the gallery. Lectures, performances by students, and programs for educators and school groups are also planned.

Integrations with the larger University
The Verandah installation will serve as classroom and laboratory for several UCLA courses. Students who work with Joe Goode on the performance installation will receive academic credit. Faculty teaching a cross-disciplinary Cluster Course on genetics will use the Verandah installation as an alternative to their science lab for activities that include careful observation, non-judgmental looking, drawing, discussion, and explorations of the role of metaphor in science in art.

Creative team:
Hirokazu Kosaka, performance artist, kyudo archer, Buddhist priest
Michael Rotondi, FAIA, architect and teacher
Joe Goode, performance artist, writer
Linda Duke, Director of Education, Hammer Museum
Marla C. Berns, Director, Fowler Museum
Betsy Quick, Director of Education, Fowler Museum
Shozo Sato, tea master, artist

UCLA Fowler Museum of Cultural History
The Art of Rice: Spirit and Sustenance In Asia
Fall 2003

The Art of Rice explores the remarkable cultural significance of rice as reflected in Asian visual and performance arts. Based on the interdisciplinary work of an international team of twenty-two scholars, artists, and other specialists, the exhibition and its accompanying publication engage the public in issues of economics, politics, history, philosophy, and religion. The exhibition takes as its focus the many beautifully designed and decorated objects associated with rice that constitute an important field of artistic and cultural endeavor.

The approximately 250 objects on view will range from imperial Chinese woodblock prints to nineteenth-century Javanese textiles, to modern works created for popular festivals of the agricultural cycle; they include ceramics, sculpture, paintings, drawings, textiles, furnishings, ritual paraphernalia from Japan, Korea, China, the Philippines, Vietnam, Thailand, Burma, Indonesia, Nepal, India, and Sri Lanka. The exhibition will embark on a national tour after opening in Los Angeles. One of the themes explored by the exhibition is the way in which various Asian religions, including Buddhism, have shaped the expression of rice culture. The subject of gaining Buddhist merit through the giving of alms, for example, is represented by a pair of beautiful Japanese Zen paintings showing a line of monks on their morning rounds. The exhibition will include a « festival theater » showing video footage of many Asian rice festivals, including the offering of the first grains of the new harvest to Buddha in a northern Thai monastery.

Grey Art Gallery
Witnessing Time/Being Time:
Consciousness as Context in Contemporary Art
Thursday, October 9, 7:45 pm
Randolph Summerville Theatre, Room 703

Both the heightening of consciousness and the dimension of time play major roles in the art of Paul Kos. This panel discussion will bring together artist Marina Abramovic, curator Mary Jane Jacob, the Venerable Losang Samten, and others to discuss contemporary art and meditation practice. Moderated by Jacquelynn Baas, art historian and director of the consortium project Awake: Art, Buddhism, and the Dimensions of Consciousness.

Offered in conjunction with Everything Matters: Paul Kos, A Retrospective, on view at the Grey Art Gallery, New York University, 100 Washington Square East, New York City, September 9-December 6, 2003.

Co-sponsored by the Buddhism Project; NYU’s Center for Media, Culture and History, and Center for Religion and Media; and the Grey Art Gallery. For more information, please call 212/998-6780, e-mail, or visit

University Art Gallery, California State University, Hayward
Zen and Modern Art: Echoes of Buddhism in Western Painting and Prints
October 9, 2003 through January 31, 2004
Opening Reception Wednesday, October 8th, 5:00 to 7:00 pm

A pioneering survey of a seldom explored theme, demonstrating that the influence of Zen on the development of modern art has been stronger than most people realize. Few Western artists became Buddhists, or meditated in traditional ways. But many were inspired by the dynamic energy of Zen calligraphy, especially the artistic potential of spontaneous brushstrokes. Some went beyond that into Zen philosophy.This general historical overview of that influence will include work by artists on the East Coast, West Coast, and Europe. After an introductory gallery of traditional Zen art, the early galleries will feature Surrealists such as Miró, Hayter, and Onslow Ford, as well as Mark Tobey and Morris Graves, together with Abstract Expressionists such as Jackson Pollock, Willem de Kooning, Robert Motherwell, and Franz Kline.

The later galleries will focus on notable figures of the San Francisco Bay Area. This region has played a major role in the history of Zen and modern art. Representing the Bay Area will be the visual work of traditional Zen teachers such as Suzuki Roshi, first Abbott of San Francisco’s Zen Center, the first Zen monastery in the United States, as well as such artists as Sam Francis, William T. Wiley, Jay DeFeo, Arthur Monroe, the writer-teacher-calligrapher Alan Watts, and the poet-painter Lawrence Ferlinghetti.
Some are under the impression that the influence of Zen on art, poetry, and music in the Bay Area disappeared after the 1950s and ’60s. Actually, that influence has remained very much alive. Suggesting the range of this continuing dynamic will be prints made in the Bay Area during the 1980s by John Cage who transmitted the spirit of Zen to generations of musical and visual artists, as well as work by the painter-scholar Kasuaki Tanahashi, who lives in Berkeley and is one of the best known Zen artists alive today. He will paint a special Zen painting during the opening.

The University Art Gallery is located in the Arts and Education Building
HOURS: Fall Quarter, Wednesdays through Saturdays 12:00 to 3:00 p.m.
Winter & Spring Quarters, Wednesdays through Fridays 12:00 to 3:00 p.m.

Consortium for the Arts, University of California Berkeley
Artist in Residence, Helen Mirra

Helen Mirra is the Consortium for the Arts/Arts Research Center Artist-in-Residence for the Fall 2003 semester. While in residence at Berkeley she is preparing new work for exhibit in the Berkeley Art Museum’s Matrix series and teaching in the Department of Art Practice. A highly interdisciplinary artist, Mirra creates sculptural installations as well as audio installations, sound recordings, video projections, stand-alone video projects, and poetry. She will discuss her work at a number of public programs over the course of the semester. For more details on this residency please see

Helen Mirra: Recent Film and Video
October 16, 2003
5pm, Nestrick Room, 142 Dwinelle Hall, FREE

Mirra will introduce and screen two works: A Map of 81=9AN at a scale of one foot to one degree (2001) a silent handpainted 16mm film, and Arrow (2002) a sound and video work made with the structure and timing of a thunderstorm, followed by a discussion.

Asian Art Museum/Chong-Moon Lee Center for Asian Art and Culture in San Francisco
Korean Art of the Goryeo Dynasty (918 – 1392)
October 18, 2003 – January 11, 2004

Korean Art during the Goryeo Dynasty is characterized as a period of intense religious fervor and gorgeous artistic output. From the rulers to the lowest subjects, Goryeo people were ardent believers in Buddhism. During this period Buddhism and the related arts received tremendous support: by the eleventh century there were over seventy Buddhist monasteries in Songdo (the new capital city) alone, two entire sets of over eighty thousand woodblocks representing the complete edition of the Buddhist canon were carved, and thousands of Buddhist paintings were commissioned. This exhibition will include approximately 110 objects organized in six sections: ceramics, paintings and illustrated sutras, sculpture, ritual implements and metal crafts, lacquer wares, and printing. This will be the museum’s first major temporary exhibition in its new building and several programs will be offered in conjunction with it. Tentative plans include: an international symposium; a Teacher workshop (in-service teacher training) on Korean art, religion, society and culture; and public demonstrations and hands-on of traditional Korean Buddhist painting.

Consortium for the Arts, University of California Berkeley
Fusing Dance Techniques from East and West
October 31, 2003

A conversation with Lin Hwai-Min, Artistic Director, Cloud Gate Dance Theatre, and Jacquelynn Baas, Director Emeritus, Berkeley Art Museum/Pacific Film Archive, and Director, AWAKE: Art, Buddhism, and the Dimensions of Consciousness project.
Faculty Club, Seaborg Room, 5:30-6:30pm, reception preceding at 5pm, FREE.
This event is part of the conference East Asia at Berkeley, sponsored by the Institute for East Asian Studies.

Consortium for the Arts, University of California Berkeley
Cloud Gate Dance Theater of Taiwan Residency

Cloud Gate Dance Theatre of Taiwan is considered a national treasure in its native country and has performed at such prestigious venues as BAM’s Next Wave Festival and the Sydney 2000 Olympic Arts Festival. The troupe’s founder and artistic director Lin Hwai-min was selected as « Choreographer of the 20th Century » by Dance Europe magazine and one of the « Personalities of the Year » in 2000 by Ballet International magazine. The Consortium for the Arts/Arts Research Center is co-sponsoring various residency activities by Lin Hwai-min and company members, including a master class for advanced dance students, during their visit to Berkeley to appear at Cal Performances.

Cal Performances, University of California Berkeley
Lin Hwai-min: Cloud Gate Dance Theater of Taiwan, Moon Water
October 31 – November 1, 2003

Cloud Gate Dance Theater of Taiwan comes to Cal Performances at UC Berkeley, October 31 – November 1, 2003 for performances of Moon Water. Named after the oldest known dance in China (a ritual dance some 5,000 years old), Cloud Gate was founded in 1973 by choreographer, director and writer Lin Hwai-Min, and was the first modern dance company in any Chinese speaking country. The company is made up of two-dozen dancers whose training includes Tai Chi, meditation, Chinese Opera movement, modern dance, and ballet.

Moon Water is set to music from Six Suites for Solo Cello, performed by Mischa Maisky. To the Chinese, Moon Water, or Suei Yuei, brings to mind two ideas. One is a Buddhist proverb: « Flowers in a mirror and moon on the water are both illusive. » The other describes the ideal state of Tai-Chi practitioners: « Energy flows as water, while the spirit shines as the moon. » Lin Hwai-Min builds on these famous quotes to create his work, a poetic rendering of Taoist philosophy. Moon Water is a study of real versus unreal, effort versus effortlessness, yin and yang; in the end, it is a study of time.

Lin Hwai-min has been recognized as one of the most important cultural figures in Asia. An internationally renowned choreographer, Lin studied Chinese opera movement in his native Taiwan, modern dance in New York, and classical court dance in Japan and Korea. He often draws from traditional Asian culture for inspiration and material to create works with innovative forms and contemporary relevance. In addition to his work as a choreographer and opera director, Lin is an acclaimed writer, with an MFA from the Writers Workshop, University of Iowa. His novel Cicada is an all-time best seller in Taiwan, and several of his works have been translated into English and published in the United States. Lin Hwai-min’s visit to Berkeley will provide an opportunity to convene practitioners and thinkers about perceiving the arts in a public forum.

Cal Performances, Zellerbach Hall , 8pm.
Sightlines pre-performance talk by artistic director Lin Hwai-Min, 7:00-7:30pm, free to
ticketholders. For performance and ticket information, call (510)642-9988 or visit

Consortium for the Arts, University of California Berkeley
Seminar on perception and the performing arts with Lin Hwai-min
Fall 2003

Collaboration of museum educators:
Deborah Clearwaters, Asian Art Museum/Chong-Moon Lee Center for Asian Art and Culture, San Francisco
Sarah Loudon, Seattle Asian Art Museum
Gail Maxwell, Los Angeles County Museum of Art
Curriculum Guide: « Visual Arts for Meditation »
Completion in 2003-2004

Museum educators from three west-coast museums will prepare a curriculum guide entitled Visual Arts for Meditation to be used by school teachers in lessons about what meditation is, how it is done, and why. The vehicle for the lessons will be arts in the service of, or influenced by, a variety of Buddhist contemplative practices. Three themes will be treated:

1) images that focus feelings of devotion,
2) images that foster creative expression, and
3) images that encourage insight.

Six large images of artworks will be provided to enhance students’ experience of art and encourage them to learn from it. Images of two masterworks from each museum will be reproduced in a poster format. The front of each laminated poster will be a high-quality reproduction of the artwork, along with a title announcing the theme and subject. The back will describe the history, materials, and use of the work, along with suggested student activities. Other, related images that may be seen at the respective museums will be included for comparison and explication.

The curriculum guide will be geared to ninth-grade students and packaged for humanities educators with a resource book providing further information, a bibliography, and reproducible guides and activities for students. The resource book will include the text and images on each poster to facilitate study and preparation. Community advisory groups of teachers will contribute to the planning of the curriculum guide, helping the museum educators with content, resources, and approaches. Workshops on how to use the posters will be presented to as many teachers as possible. Follow-up interviews with educators who use the posters will assess the efficacy of the project.

Otis College of Art and Design, Los Angeles
Artist Residency: Chieh Jen Chen
Fall 2003

Otis College of Art and Design is bringing Taiwanese artist Chieh Jen Chen to Los Angeles for an intensive residency designed to expand the awareness of its students and public regarding international issues that connect Pacific Rim culture with Los Angeles. Chen Chieh Jen (born 1960, Taiwan, Taiwan) lives and works in Taipei, Taiwan. He graduated in 1978 from the Technical School of Design, Taiwan, and specializes in performance art, photography, digital photography, and film.
Chen, Chieh Jen is one of Taiwan’s leading artists, representing Taiwan in the Venice Biennale (1999) and the Taipei Biennial (1998); he won the Kwanju Biennial Award in 2000. As a member of the Living Clay group that emerged in Taipei in the late 1980s, Chen’s work grows out of a dissident urge to address the grotesque attributes of post-colonial Taiwanese culture. He was the first artist on the Taiwanese scene to enact « performance art, » and one of the first to address with photography the body as a site upon which political horrors and psychological mysteries play out. His monumental series of digital photographs, 12 Karmas; Nie-Ching (The Mirror of Evil),1994-1999, draws upon Buddhist propositions concerning suffering in order to examine contemporary questions about the genealogy of self, the origins of the mind, and concepts of power, punishment, and redemption. His first film, which explores questions of self, family, and the psychologically abject in terms of the Buddhist Hell Realms, was shown to critical acclaim at the Taipei Biennial (2002). Chen has developed a forceful body of work that addresses Taiwan’s political, social, and cultural history, and in the process reasserts Buddhist and Taoist teaching about the cycles and struggles inherent to human greed and desire.

Los Angeles County Museum of Art
The Great Gesture (mahamudra): Confluence of Brancusi’s Art and Buddhist Poetry
October 2003

« The Great Gesture (mahamudra): Confluence of Brancusi’s Art and Buddhist Poetry » is a presentation and workshop that will take place at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art. The modernist sculptor Constantin Brancusi was inspired by the poetry of the Tibetan Buddhist Milarepa. A presentation by Gail Maxwell, LACMA museum educator and Asian art historian, will compare some of Brancusi’s elemental forms with complex Tibetan Buddhist artworks. These comparisons will show the astounding variety of artistic responses to the meditative insights of Buddhist poets. The workshop, guided by Los Angeles poet and novelist Terry Wolverton, will encourage participants to explore their own responses to Buddhist poetry.

University of California Berkeley Art Museum
Awakening: Buddhist Painting from Tibet,China, and Japan
November 5, 2003 – February 22, 2004

Startling and compelling paintings from Tibet, drawn from the collection of Theos Bernard (1908–1947), highlight the exhibition of rare Asian Buddhist paintings on view in the Asian Galleries. Never before shown at the museum, and usually shielded by curtains to keep them from the eyes of the uninitiated, these works have lessons in life—and death—to teach those who will accept.

The Wheel of Life is full of fascinating scenes. The six central sections, representing six realms—gods, demigods, hosts, hells, animals, and humans—are each blessed with a Buddha whose teachings are appropriate to that realm. The outermost wheel, filled with tiny scenes of Tibetan life, illustrates ways to escape the cycle of birth and death and attain nirvana. But lest we be lulled into thinking we can rise above all material life, the whole wheel is held firmly in the grip of a monster demon of impermanence, death, and misery.

The Project
Mandala: Zone of Zero by Kimsooja
November 7-December 20, 2003

Mandala: Zone of Zero is a mixed media sound installation in which Tibetan, Islamic, and Gregorian chants are interwoven to manifest a journey towards enlightenment. Utilizing the Buddhist Mandala as a point of reference, Kimsooja situates circular jukebox bubble speakers on each of the four gallery walls. These speakers maintain formal similarities to that of traditional Mandala, imbuing a Western kitsch cultural object with Eastern religious connotations. The intertwined chants emitted from the jukeboxes wrap and envelop the listener in bundles of sound, similar in theory to Kimsooja’s signature bottari sculptures in which the artist wraps traditional Korean bed coverings around books, clothes, and other household objects. Reflecting her absorption of different cultures, social contexts, and aesthetic approaches, Mandala: Zone of Zero explores the notion of oneness and totality where the mind and body are spiritually united to achieve an all encompassing state of “zero.”

International Buddhist Film Festival
First Festival: Los Angeles County Museum of Art
November 20-24 2003

A multi-day, multi-faceted program of Buddhist cinema will be presented in several venues around the country in a biennial series; the first will be held at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art. In connection with art and photography exhibitions, lectures, panel discussions, and performances of music and dance, the IBFF will present a program of films from all over the world, including documentaries, features, experimental works and animation that draw from or describe Buddhist cultures, history, aesthetics, personalities and ideas. The International Buddhist Film Festival is a project of the nonprofit Buddhist Film Society, committed to bringing new audiences to these works. IBFF events (films, lectures, exhibitions, performances and symposia) are presented in partnership with institutions (schools, museums, community organizations) around the country. For more information visit

The Art of David Ireland: The Way Things Are
Oakland Museum of California
November 22, 2003-March 14, 2004

« You can’t make art by making art » has been a guiding principle in the work of David Ireland, one of California’s most important and critically acclaimed artists working in the challenging arena of conceptual and installation art. « Ideally my work has a visual presence that makes it seem like part of a usual, everyday situation, » he says. « I like the feeling that nothing’s been designed, that you can’t tell where the art stops and starts. »

This fall the Oakland Museum of California opens an exhibition surveying three decades of the work of this key figure in the conceptual art movement. The Art of David Ireland: The Way Things Are, the first in-depth assessment of Ireland’s art and its ongoing significance, will be on view from Nov. 22, 2003 to March 14, 2004.

The exhibition will feature approximately 80 works created between 1972 and 2002, including four large-scale installations, 30 sculptures and 47 two-dimensional pieces. Included will be a wide range of work demonstrating Ireland’s adventuresome sense of creativity, from drawings made of cement and dirt to a motorized sculpture and a wooden chair 16 feet high. Ireland will be directly involved in the exhibition’s installation, » activating the space » and creating relationships among his works of the past 30 years.

The exhibition will also include a video interview with Ireland in his home — a San Francisco Victorian described by one writer as an » environmental-sculpture-in-progress » — and a resource area with documentation of other site-specific installations by the artist.

Over the past 30 years, David Ireland has produced a remarkable series of architectural transformations, installations, objects and drawings that consistently challenge viewers’ everyday distinctions between art and non-art. A self-described « post-discipline » artist guided by Zen thought and postmodern aesthetics, Ireland moves fluidly from making small drawings to creating sculptures as large as houses. The exhibition will feature early two-dimensional works from the 1970s, made of dirt, talcum and cement, that have been rarely seen since they were created but are important in foreshadowing Ireland’s later work. More recent two- and three-dimensional pieces reflect his wide-ranging interests, from exploration of the phenomenon of chance to his interest in process and history.

One of the artworks for which Ireland is perhaps best known is his home in San Francisco. In 1975, he purchased a run-down Victorian house at 500 Capp Street and spent the next three years working on it. While he did not initially intend to create a work of art, he gradually began to perceive his actions in cleaning and restoring the house as an artistic performance, equating his moves with those of any painter or sculptor. He approached his tasks — stripping wallpaper, polishing floors, sanding trim and repairing the sidewalk — with a deliberate respect and finesse that for him fixed his actions firmly in the realm of art. When he repaired the sidewalk in front of his home, Ireland videotaped it as though it were an artistic performance. The house is filled with sculptures made out of « non-art » materials, including old brooms, bent wire, cement and wet paper.

Ireland was born in Bellingham, Washington, in 1930. He received his bachelor’s degree in industrial design and printmaking from Oakland’s California College of Arts and Crafts in 1953. He returned to school in the early 1970s, studying plastics technology and printmaking at Laney College and receiving a master of fine arts degree in printmaking in 1974 from the San Francisco Art Institute. His studio is currently located in Oakland.

He did not fully commit himself to art until he was in his early 40s, after traveling extensively around the world and working as an architectural draftsman, carpenter, designer, businessman and African safari guide. The exhibition will look at how these early life experiences have been influential, resulting, for example, in the reference to elephants in his works, the claiming of architecture as art, and the open-ended sense of exploration that is the foundation for his work.

The curator of The Art of David Ireland: The Way Things Are is Karen Tsujimoto, senior curator of art at the Oakland Museum of California. The exhibition will be accompanied by a 224-page catalog published by The University of California Press. The catalog will contain 140 color and black-and-white illustrations along with essays on the development and significance of Ireland’s work by the exhibition curator and Jennifer R. Gross, Seymour H. Knox, Jr. Curator of Modern and Contemporary Art at the Yale University Art Gallery.

The exhibition and catalog are made possible with generous support from the National Endowment for the Arts, a federal agency; The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts, New York; Oakland Museum Women’s Board; Ann Hatch and Paul Discoe; Paule Anglim; Agnes Bourne and Dr. James Luebbers; Steven and Nancy Oliver; and friends of David Ireland.

Following its premiere in Oakland, the exhibition will travel to the Addison Gallery of American Art, Phillips Academy, in Andover, Massachusetts (April 17 – July 18, 2004); Sheldon Memorial Art Gallery and Sculpture Garden at the University of Nebraska, Lincoln (August 21 – November 14, 2004); and Santa Barbara Museum of Art (December 11, 2004 – March 15, 2005).
For more information:
For press information see

University of California Berkeley Art Museum
Helen Mirra/ MATRIX 209 65 instants
November 23, 2003 to January 24, 2004.

In his 1969 book Silence, artist and musician John Cage, deeply influenced by the Buddhist teachings of D. T. Suzuki and the Instrumentalist philosophy of John Dewey, wrote, « We are involved in a life that passes understanding and our highest business is our daily life. » The practice of Chicago-based artist Helen Mirra similarly explores the everyday relationship between the natural world and the people who inhabit it. Working from a broad array of scientific, historical, and aesthetic references, she creates work out of drawing, sound, film, photography, fabric, text, and installation involving precise, repetitive actions that mirror meditation and honor labor. The horizon˜as it refers to the earth, sea, and sky˜occurs again and again in Mirra’s aesthetically minimalist works, which feature a consistent palette of green, blue, and brown.

65 instants, Mirra’s MATRIX exhibition, arises from the second-century Buddhist philosopher Nagarjuna’s idea regarding the moment between initial perception and intellect or judgment. Sixty-five instants are said to occur within this moment, the length of time of a finger snap; these instants have been variously described as too short to comprehend and registerable if one is sufficiently attentive. Mirra will have made sixty-five works, one a day for sixty-five days. Each is created from a one-by-six-foot recycled shipping pallet plank, hand-sawed to match the length from the elbow to the fingertip of one of the artist’s arms and the width of her other hand. Diligently hand-sanded, the planks are monochromatically painted with milk paint, an eighteenth-century matte furniture paint. They will be installed to create a horizontal band around the MATRIX Gallery.

The process of making each work over the course of a day is comparable to kinhin (walking), that is, a meditation directed toward making space and prolonging instants. Buddhist teacher Seung Sahn wrote in The Compass of Zen, « This world is impermanent….Even one second of our lives seems full of so much movement and change in this world that we see. But your mind ‘right now’ is like a lens whose shutter speed is one divided by infinite time. We call that moment-mind. If you attain that mind, then this whole world’s movement stops. From moment to moment you can see this world completely stop. »

Born in Rochester, New York, in 1970, Mirra holds a Bachelor of Arts degree from Bennington College and a Master of Fine Arts degree from the University of Illinois at Chicago. Her work was included in Delays and Revolutions at the 2003 Venice Biennale, and recent solo exhibitions have been at Stephen Friedman Gallery, London; the Whitney Museum, New York; and Donald Young Gallery and The Renaissance Society, Chicago. 65 instants is the result of a six-month Bay Area residency cosponsored by the Arts Research Center of the Consortium for the Arts at UC Berkeley and the Awake project.

University of California Berkeley Art Museum
The Garden
December 7, 2003 – July 3, 2004

« People wander the forest of existence and have only their ignorance to show them the way. The Buddha opens their eyes to wisdom and leads them to Nirvana.˜
Bhavaviveka (Indian philosopher, sixth century)

An installation in Gallery 4, The Garden features objects from the museum’s Eastern and Western art collections that either emerge from historical Buddhist traditions or simply lend themselves to meditative reflection. Included are artworks dating from 200 BCE to the present by artists from India, China, Japan, Tibet, and Vietnam–countries where Buddhism has flourished for centuries–along with works by Western artists one might not expect to encounter in an exhibition inspired by Buddhism.

One goal of the project is to explore ways of designing an exhibition that encourage visitors to slow down and spend time with works of art. The resonance between objects from different cultures paired in unconventional ways invites viewers to invest the works with possibility. While The Garden does not propose a literal translation of Buddhist thought, the gallery will serve as a space to ponder the basic concepts of Buddhism: the vow of the Buddha, the four noble truths, the eight-fold path, and meditation as a way to enlightenment.

As in many spiritual traditions, meditation is a crucial element of Buddhism. The goal of the Bodhisattva is for everyone to reach nirvana, or freedom from suffering. It is the Buddhist belief that through the individual’s efforts toward virtuous conduct, deep contemplation, and intuitive wisdom, enlightenment can be achieved.

Among the works in the gallery addressing the theme of meditation are a page from a turn-of-the-century Tibetan Illustrated Text on Monastic Arts and Sciences and a Flying Female Figure (c. 1744) by Giovanni Battista Tiepolo. The Tibetan monk’s robe carefully placed on the tree branches in which he sits and the simple folds of drapery in the Tiepolo drawing create a subtle rhyme. Flying Female Figure conjures thoughts of fourteenth-century women mystics who through monastic meditation practices reached divine levels of awareness. More traditional works such as a fourteenth-century Japanese scroll showing the Entry of Buddha into Nirvana will also be presented.
Over the course of the exhibition, the museum will host related events being developed by other campus units and departments–poetry readings, musical performances, and talks–presented with the support of the Consortium for the Arts at UC Berkeley.

Yerba Buena Center for the Arts
Tom Marioni: Golden Rectangle
January 17-April 4, 2004

Golden Rectangle is a solo exhibition featuring old and new work by Tom Marioni, one of the Bay Area’s most treasured conceptual artists. The main component of the exhibition is a site-specific installation commissioned by YBCA titled The Temple of Geometry. Consisting as a series of white cubes within the white cube of the gallery, The Temple treats the art viewing environment as a place of hushed reverence and quiet contemplation. The exhibition reflects Marioni’s interest in Asian art and thought, specifically Zen Buddhism, in emphasizing the creative process over the finished product, to the ephemeral over the permanent. Rather than giving primacy to the art object, Marioni treats the Gallery as a space for social interaction. In addition, Marioni will extend The Act of Drinking Beer with Friends is the Highest Form of Art, his ongoing performance project, into the Center’s Galleries, where he will be interacting with visitors on a weekly basis.

The Asian Art Museum, San Francisco
Mountains and Rivers Without End
Anima Mundi Dance Company
Artistic Directors Kathryn Roszak and Christopher Castle
February 19, 2004, 7 p.m.

Kathryn Roszak created this original dance theater performance from California nature poet Gary Snyder’s 1996 poem of the same name. The work travels through real and mythical landscapes, from the vast American wilderness to pulsating urban centers invoking the spirit of people and land.

The production features the work of Anima Mundi Dance Company Co-Directors Kathryn Roszak and Christopher Castle. Roszak conceived, adapted and choreographed the work, and Castle created original music. The cast includes actor Earll Kingston, special guest dancer Yoshi Akiba, with dancers John Chung, Terese Hoibye, Deborah Hurley, Kelly McCann, Charles Slender, and Emily Zeller.

Anima Mundi Dance Company has performed widely in San Francicso and California and at the Smithsonian Institution, Washington DC, at La MaMa ETC, New York, at Frank Lloyd Wright’s Taliesin West in Scotsdale, Arizona, and at the Copenhagen Cultural Festival, Denmark


Main – Home

phone: (510) 233 5550

The Asian Art Museum, San Francisco
Montien Boonma: Temple of the Mind
February 27 – May 23, 2004
A major retrospectiive featuring more than 35 works by the late Montien Boonma, one of Asia’s most distinguished artists. His artworks, which evolved around his faith in Buddhism, explore the notion of art as contemplative space for viewer participation and meditation. Organized by the Asia Society, New York.

The Jewish Museum, San Francisco
Artist-in-Residence: Lee Mingwei

Lee Mingwei’s research and installation will initiate community-based aspects of the Jewish Museum’s new building’s opening installation, which is entitled The Memory Garden, projected for 2006. Mingwei’s project consists of two parts:

An automatic, fixed position camera in a nearby building that will take a photo every day at noon during construction. The camera will record the transformation of the old power plant, a transformation of the old into the new.

He will also work in 2003-4 to interview a diverse group of about thirty persons, representing those immigrants who previously occupied the area of downtown where the museum will be and were displaced, as well as those who have moved into the area or formed temporary relationships with San Francisco geography. Mingwei will personally interview each person—walking with them to places such as the museum’s site or other locations in San Francisco, and ask what they brought with them, locating evidences of memory through material culture.

Consortium for the Arts, University of California Berkeley
Inspiration and Emptiness: Contemporary Poets on Writing, Meditation, and Buddhism
March 12, 2004

In conjunction with the Berkeley Art Museum exhibition The Garden, the Consortium for the Arts at UC Berkeley presents a program exploring the influence of Zen Buddhism on poetry in the Bay Area. Five American poets will read froom their work and discuss Buddhism as it relates to their art and life practices.

Afternoon Session
March 12, 1:30-4:30pm
Berkeley Art Museum Theater
readings and discussion with Leslie Scalapino, Kevin Davies, and giovanni singleton
Visit to Berkeley Art Museum exhibit The Garden (on view at BAM through July 3, 2004) included in program. Informal reception immediately following.

Evening Session
March 12, 7:30pm
2050 Valley Life Sciences Building
readings and conversation with Gary Snyder and Norman Fischer

All sessions free and open to the public; seating is first-come, first-serve. Wheelchair accessible. For more information call (510)642-7784.
This program received support from the Doreen Townsend Center for the Humanities at UC Berkeley. The Awake project has received generous support from the Nathan Cummings Foundation, James Irvine Foundation, National Endowment for the Arts, and private donors.

Drawing Sentences: Equivalents and Analogues
March 30 – April 9
Worth Ryder Gallery , Kroeber Hall
Opening Reception: March 30, 4-6pm

W.G. Sebald’s The Rings of Saturn was the focus of an Art Practice course taught in Fall 2003 by Awake NEA-funded artist-in-residence Helen Mirra. The book was used as a springboard for considering the relationships between text and image, intention and chance, illustration and abstraction. Using collaboratively determined parameters, the students made an extended set of concept-driven drawings. As within Sebald’s own complex practice, new works were generated through examined response, memory, and research. In the exhibit Drawing Sentences: Equivalents and Analogues, viewers can see how this process allowed each artist to arrive at very different results from the same starting point, and seek out the relationship between the original text and the artwork it inspired.

University Art Museum, University of California, Santa Barbara
Jin Soo Kim: roll – run – hit – run – roll
March 30-May 16, 2004

roll – run – hit – run – roll is an installation by Korean-born, Chicago-based artist Jin Soo Kim organized in collaboration with the Northern Illinois University Art Gallery in Chicago. Issues of travel, experience, and memory have been ongoing in the work of Jin Soo Kim. Exploring the theme of travel both literally through physical sculptural objects and metaphorically through sound elements, roll – run – hit – run – roll will consist of eight approximately 12-inch high by 12-inch wide by 8-foot long tunnel sculptures fabricated of steel, and two audio CDs that feature layered sounds of ticking clocks, breaking light bulbs and clanging metal plates from railroad tracks – sounds that will be quiet, yet discernible, and hidden, emitting from speakers within the tunnels. Because of the nature of the work and its focus on issues of travel, the artist’s intent is to have the piece travel to venues located in various geographical regions throughout the country. Jin Soo is flexible about the way the tunnels will be installed at each venue. Since her work is largely progressive and intuitive in nature, the installation is expected to change fairly dramatically from venue to venue. A small catalogue accompanying the show will detail the entire installation in a long, foldout fan insert.

Homecoming: New Work by Dinh Q. Le
March 30-May 16, 2004

Dinh Q. Le has often spoken of important impact his education at the University of California, Santa Barbara (UCSB) has had on the development of his maturation as an artist. Studying under photographer Richard Ross, whom Le considers his mentor (Ross in turn considers Le his most gifted former student), the artist first confronted and explored his ambivalence and yearnings about his own cultural roots through his series of woven photographs. Coming full circle, Le then returned to his native Vietnam, built a house in Ho Chi Min city, and has reclaimed his family’s past and his own future. Working with the community of Buddhist monks in Vietnam, the artist will create an installation especially for the University Art Museum’s participation in the Awake project that explores the idea of « homecoming » from multiple perspectives and on numerous levels of experience.

Laurel Beckman: OnBoard and Awake: streaming texts and illuminated conjunctions
April 27 – 30, 2004

Perhaps the most challenging facet of human existence is the notion of consciousness. Individual, societal, and species-specific identification and differentiation all hinge on evolving theories of consciousness. The theories are not static or singular, but rather transform and contest within and between an impressive array of research disciplines: cognitive sciences (in particular, neurology), philosophy, psychology, religious studies, biology, chemistry, linguistics, and meta/physics. Consciousness is also a prominent theme in the arts, as we seek and define perceptual forms for expression of existence through visual and textual languages. Self-awareness and the development of language have been defined as primary markers of sentience and consciousness. Broad ranging research from divergent fields produces revelations in everything from phenomenology to artificial intelligence. Two LED signboards display rotating text/graphics sequences that behave as if in conversation with one another. The curated texts center on themes related to the UAM “Insights” exhibition: consciousness and its facets of attentiveness, perception, and intentionality. Additionally, a series of artists’ projects interspersed throughout the texts perform moments of consciousness

Also at: Towards a Science of Consciousness 2004 conference, Tucson, Arizona
April 7-11, 2004, sponsored by the Center For Consciousness Studies, University of
Arizona Tucson

University of California Berkeley Art Museum
Looking for Buddha
Winter-Spring 2004

Buddhist visual culture holds considerable fascination for the Western eye. From the sacred sites of Cambodia to the daily rituals of Tibetan monasteries, Western photographers have been seeking the essence of Buddhism for generations. The exhibition presents a range of photographic approaches to Buddhist imagery. Theos Bernard, a Columbia University anthropologist, captured for the first time on film the temple ceremonies in Tibet and Lhasa in the 1930s. San Francisco photographer Linda Connor has been traveling to Southeast Asia since the 1970s. Her luminous, large-format black-and-white photographs of Buddhist temples and ruins are evocative of the nineteenth-century romantic sensibility. Lewis Koch’s photographs from Dharamsala taken in mid-1990s allow a glimpse into the curious mixture of timelessness and contemporary reality in the life of Buddhist monasteries. The photographic collages of Vietnamese-born photographer Dinh Q. Lê juxtapose the mythical images of Cambodian temples with the violent political history of the Khmer Rouge regime and Western pillaging.

Henry Art Gallery, University of Washington, Seattle
WOW (The Work of the Work)
Opens in two parts:
Gary Hill: Tall Ships : August 21, 2004 – February 6, 2005
WOW South Galleries: November 5, 2004 – February 6, 2005
WOW North Galleries and East Gallery: November 5, 2004 – February 27, 2005

Henry Art Gallery Chief Curator Elizabeth Brown has been developing the concept of WOW (The Work of the Work) over the last two years, seeking to trace the continuity from historical examples to those of the present day, to isolate some of the reasons art matters deeply. A show about the relationship between audiences and art, WOW focuses on the specific connections a work of art creates and builds with an individual viewer.

Dramatic and deeply moving works by a small group of international and multi-ethnic artists, including Anne Appleby, Callum Innes, Hannah Villiger, Candice Breitz, Steve
McQueen, Kim Sooja, Catherine Yass, Gary Hill, and Olafur Eliasson, demonstrate the fundamental capacity of art to evoke distinct and powerful reactions, and to help us be
attentive to them.

Regardless of medium or subject matter, the primary « work of the work » of each artist is to provide the context for an experience-whether emotional, sensory, associational, or spiritual-that is uniquely human. Whether revealing a broad spectrum of hues within a single field of color, prompting a meditative state, or evoking feelings of alienation and unease, WOW demonstrates that the power of great contemporary art is available to anyone willing to explore what art does rather than what it seems to be.

WOW is organized for the Henry Art Gallery by Chief Curator Elizabeth A. Brown. Support for this exhibition has been provided by the Allen Foundation for the Arts, PONCHO, William and Ruth True, John and Shari Behnke, Mr. and Mrs. Furman C. Moseley, H.S. Wright III & Katherine Ann Janeway, Beverly and George Martin, Lynn J. Loacker, Michele and Steve Heller and donors to the Contemporary Art Fund. In-kind support provided by the Grand Hyatt Seattle, Western Bridge, and The Stranger. Public support provided by Pro Helvetia, Arts Council of Switzerland and 4Culture / King County Lodging Tax Fund.

The Minneapolis Institute of Arts
Above Is Below
December 17, 2004–February 13, 2005

« Above is Below » features the spiritually based art of Sarah Chokyi, Anne Bauer and David Hamlow, whose distinct bodies of work have evolved out of long-term meticulously defined daily practice. The exhibition will present an installation of repetitive images by Bauer, who holds Buddhist ritual at the core of her artistic inquiry; and a structure built by Hamlow, who records his daily life by saving, sorting and arranging the commercial packaging and detritus of his daily consumption.

Asian Art Museum/Chong-Moon Lee Center for Asian Art and Culture in San Francisco
The Kingdom of Siam: Art and Culture of Ayutthaya 1351-1767 (Tentative)
2004 or 2005

In 2004/2005 the Asian Art Museum is tentatively planning to stage the exhibition The Kingdom of Siam: Art and Culture of Ayutthaya 1351-1767 focusing on one of Thailand’s great Buddhist kingdoms. This will be the first exhibition outside of Thailand on the subject and will present an interesting opportunity to explore Southeast Asian Buddhism. The artifacts of Ayutthaya that survive are stone and bronze Buddha images and sculpture of Hindu deities, figural and decorative wood carving, some furniture, lacquered and gilded cabinets for sacred manuscripts, ceramics, small amounts of gold jewelry, and a few textiles and manuscript paintings. Examples of all these will be included in the exhibition. Public programming will seek to expand visitor experience of the exhibition and make connections with Thailand’s contemporary Buddhist culture. Tentative program ideas include, lectures, storytelling for families, and artist demonstrations.

Location To Be Decided
Treasures of the Tea World

This exhibition on the history of tea, with accompanying programming, film and book, is being organized by Awake Consortium member, filmmaker Gaetano Kazuo Maida. Tea is second only to water itself as the world’s most consumed beverage, and provides the basis for a multicultural and multinational cinematic narrative. Since its earliest cultivation in China, tea has been closely linked with the diffusion of Buddhist culture and ideas around the world, and they share a geographic impact. The abundant material culture associated with tea—drawn from strong collections in Japan, China, the UK, France, Germany, India, and the U.S. — provides the basis for an extraordinarily rich presentation of artifacts in the exhibition. Participatory events at exhibition venues offer audiences hands-on experience with tea traditions of various cultures.
Preliminary interest has been expressed in participating in the tour by a number of museums, and discussions are ongoing. The film, entitled In Search of Green Gold, written and produced by Maida (with National Geographic director William Livingston) is also intended for overseas distribution with current negotiations with broadcasters in Japan, China, Taiwan, Hong Kong, India, UK, France, the Netherlands, Germany, and Sweden.

Isabella Stuart Gardner Museum, Boston
Re-creation of Isabella Stuart Gardner’s meditation room
2004 or later

It is not generally known that Mrs. Gardner, who was an intimate friend of Kakuzo Okakura, author of The Book of Tea, had a meditation room in her house on Boston’s Fenway, now the Gardner Museum. The room was dismantled and its contents sold in the 1970s. Research is underway to re-create this room in the context of a major renovation to the visitor services areas of the museum currently in planning phase.

Dallas Museum of Art
Richard Tuttle
February-June 2005

Richard Tuttle will be the first full-scale museum retrospective spanning the nearly 40-year career of this leading American artist of the post-minimalist generation. Respecting Tuttle’s practice of working in series, the exhibition will cover some 15 bodies of work, from the mid-1960s to the present, that both blur and enhance the categories of sculpture, installation, painting, drawing, printmaking and artist books. The exhibition is organized by Madeleine Grynsztejn, Elise S. Haas Senior Curator of Painting and Sculpture at the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, in close collaboration with the artist, and opens at SFMOMA in January 2004.

Cantor Center for the Visual Arts, Stanford University
On the Edge: Chinese Art in the Era of Globalization/ Chinese Artists Encounter the West
opens January 26, 2005

On the Edge: Chinese Artists in the Era of Globalization is an innovative exhibition exploring the issue most critical to the development of avant garde art in China during the past fifteen years: the marginalization of China’s « experimental » artists. Pushed to the edge of the highly regulated Chinese art system, they turned outward, only to find another liminal position in the realm of international art. The artists’ extended relegation to the margins has proven to be a dramatic catalyst for creativity, resulting in a large body of bold experimental works dissecting the artist’s position in the West-centric global art world and, as a corollary, China’s political situation in regard to the West. On the Edge incorporates the most notable works in this vein, plus major new pieces created for the exhibition.

Until now, most exhibitions of contemporary Chinese art in the West have either presented Chinese art as a homogeneous monolithic entity, or have concentrated on art with clear ties to China’s great traditions of painting and calligraphy. Both methods are problematic in that they package Chinese art to validate Western preconceptions, thus contributing to Chinese art’s liminality. In focusing on that liminality, On the Edge takes the refreshing approach of locating a theme within the art movement, rather than imposing it from without.

Works presented in On the Edge range from bitingly humorous commentary on the artists’ bumpy road to international stardom, to political pieces that have provoked minor diplomatic incidents, to thoughful invitations to explore a common ground between East and West.

The artists in the opening version of On the Edge are Huang Yong Ping (Xiamen, Paris), Qiu Zhijie (Beijing), Sui Jianguo (Beijing), Wang Du (Paris), Xu Bing (Beijing, New York), Yan Lei (Hong Kong, Beijing), Yin Xiuzhen (Beijing), Zhang Huan (Anyang, New York), and Zhou Tiehai (Shanghai). Over the course of the exhibition, new works will be added, created by artists participating in a series of 2-week residencies at Stanford. Among the visiting artists will be Cai Guo-Qiang (Quanzhou, New York) and Yang Jiechang (Paris).

The exhibition will be accompanied by a 150-200 page illustrated catalog edited by Britta Erickson. The catalog encompasses an introduction to the major themes and development of Chinese art from the late 1980s, and a focused examination of the individual artists and works in the exhibition. A complementary series of documentary films will explore the artists’ working methods and philosophical approaches to art.

Curators: Britta Erickson, Guest Curator; John Listopad, Coordinating Curator
Number of artists: 11 (with possible additions)
Number of works: 21 (with possible additions)
Characteristic objects: Paintings, prints, photographs, videos, sculptures, interactive CD-ROM, mixed media installations
Space required: Approximately 3500-4000 square feet
Tour dates: After April 2006
Contact: Britta Erickson




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