San Francisco’s Asian Art Museum is full of wonderful art from many Asian Cultures. Many of the works are large and grand, while others have grandeur in the intricacy on a small scale, such as this clam.
The photographic challenge is taking photos indoors, in a dimly lit room, with works of art behind glass. It’s a bit of a challenge. Sometimes, I’m pleased with the results, other times not.
This one isn’t too bad, but it did take a lot of noise reduction, and the sharpness suffers a bit as a result. It was quite the balancing act to get everything just right.
This is a fine netsuke on view in our Japan galleries. It’s not only exquisitely crafted (remember, this is not much bigger than an actual clam), but it’s rather whimsical too. Thanks to Tumblr user emalvick for the great picture and kind words.
We’re officially now in the Year of the Snake. Lunar New Year happened on February 10, about a month ago. It’s been a time for new beginnings, debt resolution, cleansing, and renewal—you should think about paying your friend back for all those matcha lattes she’s been buying you!
Snakes are symbolic of fertility, longevity, and good fortune. In fact, in some cultures like Korea, it is believed that if you find a snake in your house, you will be blessed with an abundance of food (if they didn’t freak me out so much, I’d want a snake in my house). The curves of this Japanese basket remind me of a snake. Do you see it too?
For more cool Japanese baskets, do a search for them in our online collection here.
- Deb, Art Speak intern
From our collection: “Beauty watching the New Year sunrise” by Eishosai Choki, active 1775-1825. May your New Year’s Eve be warm, safe, and fun. We’ll be closed tomorrow. Thanks for all your support and love in 2012. See you in 2013! Whew.
Sensoji Temple prospered during the Edo period through its ties with the shogun and other members of the ruling class. It was located in the Asakusa district of Edo (present-day Tokyo), the capital’s most celebrated pleasure quarters. Sensoji still stands and is a popular site, daily attracting thousands of people.
Hiroshige illustrates the main building of the temple complex, the Thunder Gate (Kaminarimon), built in 1633. Statues of the gods of thunder and wind would have stood in niches on either side. An enormous paper lantern hangs from the beam of the entrance. Some distance away from this gate are a five-storied pagoda and the Gate of Guardians (Nio-mon).
The open space linking the two gates is the Nakamise (literally, “stores in the middle area”), a famous, busy place where temporary stalls were put up during the temple’s festivals.
Kinryuzan Monastery at Asakusa, from the series, One Hundred Views of Famous Views of Edo, July 1856, by Ando Hiroshige (Japanese, 1797-1858). Ink and colors on paper. Gift of Japanese Prints from the Collection of Emmeline Johnson. Donated by Oliver and Elizabeth Johnson, 1994.34. © Asian Art Museum, San Francisco.
The gorgeous colors of fall make us hungry, and we’re thankful for these autumnal foods in our netsuke (tiny Japanese sculptures) collection.
Whatever you do on Thanksgiving, we hope it’s with loved ones and with good eats.
For more on our netsuke, click here. They’re a little bit like old school cell phone charms. Our netsuke collection is quite stellar.
A fierce Japanese-art inspired face, possibly made out of paper, hovers over diners in Sakagura, NYC. Some consider it to be the best izakaya in the country. It was pretty good, and the sake selection is no joke.