San Francisco March 2, 2021 — The Asian Art Museum plans to reopen to the public on Thursday, March 4 (health orders permitting), while maintaining its robust array of online digital programs. Timed advance ticketing and safety guidelines enable comfortable, convenient visits. In addition, admission will be free the first Sunday of every month, including Sunday March 7, to ensure access for all audiences.
On site, we invite everyone to enjoy thousands of masterpieces across two full floors of freshly renovated collection galleries and to explore the museum’s recent transformation through premier contemporary exhibitions, including Zheng Chongbin: I Look For the Sky; Memento: Jayashree Chakravarty and Lam Tung Pang; and After Hope: Videos of Resistance.
“The Asian Art Museum offers new worlds to explore and, with every visit, provides a place of inspiration, insight, and, above all, community — whether you stop by on site or online,” says Jay Xu, Barbara Bass Bakar Director and CEO of the Asian Art Museum. “During a time of increased anti-Asian racism and violence, our exhibitions and programs demonstrate the necessity not just of visibility and representation, but of speaking out in the face of oppression and injustice. Our new contemporary installations provide the unique perspectives only artists can offer on subjects like togetherness, hope, and resilience. As one of our featured artists, Chanel Miller, says, ‘Art requires imagination, and imagination is the key ingredient to empathy.’ These are the values that will sustain us now and through the end of the pandemic. We can’t wait to welcome you back.”
“We’ve been working hard behind the scenes to ensure the up-close art encounters you’ve been missing during quarantine will be ready,” says Xu. “Two full floors of refurbished collections galleries reimagine our masterpieces from across Asia, giving longtime members a chance to see an ‘old friend’ in a fresh light or first-time visitors a chance to encounter a new favorite. Our current program of temporary art exhibitions and special installations speak to this moment’s universal need for a change of pace and scenery, political and social engagement, and healing.”
How do artists think about space? That question animates a new two-part exhibition by Marin County–based artist Zheng Chongbin (b. 1961). Videos, projections, and 5,000 sq ft of vinyl and scrim suspended beneath skylights explore how the manipulation of light and space can profoundly change our perception of architecture, time, and even memory.
Hope is an emotion that drives us to imagine, represent, and create different worlds. With the same joy, pleasure, and bravado of a music video or YouTube confessional, this new kind of multimedia experience from the Asian Art Museum invites audiences to immerse themselves in a series of 54 short videos, from over 60 artists, that explore the role of hope in contemporary art and activism.
Architecture-scale maps and projections from two important artists working in Kolkata and Hong Kong capture the chaos and emotional rupture of rapid urbanization, immersing visitors in the uncertainty and the nostalgia — as well as the social and political potential — such ceaseless change unleashes.
The inaugural work in the new Wilbur Gallery is also the museum debut for artist and critically acclaimed author of “Know My Name,” Chanel Miller, who powerfully represents healing as a three-part process: reflecting on the past, being mindful in the present, and envisioning the future. Miller’s work can be viewed through the gallery’s windows facing Hyde Street (the gallery is not currently accessible to the public).
Trace the pathways of 12th-century stone reliefs and 15th-century ceramics, from Vietnam to the ocean floor to San Francisco, and confront the ambiguities inherent in every museum collection.
We understand that not everyone will feel comfortable visiting the museum at this time, so we will continue to provide a robust range of digital content and offerings via our social media channels, Instagram, Facebook, and YouTube, as well as through special Zoom-based live programs, including:
Check our #MuseumFromHome webpage for new opportunities to engage with curators, artists, and local makers.
The Asian Art Museum is following the City Health Department’s strict guidelines to ensure on-site visitors can feel safe, calm, and comfortable and visits are clean, fun, and full of discovery.
Because the museum is operating at 25% visitor capacity, this means a visit to the museum will work differently than before:
The museum will also be operating with convenient new hours to accommodate our stringent cleaning protocols:
Thursdays: 1p.m.–8 p.m.
Fridays–Mondays: 10 a.m.–5 p.m.
Tuesdays and Wednesdays: Closed
FREE admission: Essential workers, SFUSD students, children 12 and under, active-duty military.
General Admission: $15; Seniors (65+) and Students (13–17): $10. There will be no special exhibition surcharges.
Please check the museum website (under the “Visit” tab) for information about upcoming free admission days and for updated parking, transportation, contact, and entrance information.