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Asian Art Museum presents series of three exhibitions featuring Bay Area artists.

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Antioch Creek (detail), 2008, by Larry Sultan. Chromogenic print, edition of 9. © Estate of Larry Sultan. Courtesy of the Estate of Larry Sultan and Pier 24 Photography.

SAN FRANCISCO, April 15, 2013— Continuing its expanded focus on exhibiting contemporary art, the Asian Art Museum presents Proximities, a series of three intimate exhibitions of recent and newly created artworks exploring the wide, elusive range of Asia through the varied perspectives of Bay Area artists. Guest curated by Glen Helfand, the exhibitions each feature 8-12 artworks—paintings, sculpture, video, installations, plus related programs—and are organized around cultural themes that resonate across all points of Asia: real and imagined landscapes; family/community; and trade/commerce. The artworks on view reflect the artists’ “proximity” to Asia and Asian history.

“The Bay Area has a strong connection to Asia—some of the artists featured in Proximities have Asian lineage, others academic training, while some simply have an interest and attraction to Asian culture,” said Jay Xu, director of the Asian Art Museum. “The aim of the series is to illuminate ideas and viewpoints, and to invite a lively dialogue among artistic, ethnic, and cultural audiences.”

In the first exhibition of the series, Proximities 1: What Time Is It There?, on view May 24 through July 21, 2013, artists explore mythic landscapes of Asia as seen from imagined and experienced distances, with a tone that ranges from fantastical and dreamy to witty and colorful. The exhibition features works by seven artists not traditionally considered in Asian art dialogues. For example, Tucker Nichols, whose work is typically seen outside an Asian context, will draw upon his extensive study of Asian art to create a site-specific installation. Larry Sultan’s photograph of a blossoming cherry tree depicts suburban California, yet evokes Japanese landscape, suggesting shifts and overlaps in our perspectives of place. Proximities 1 will showcase works by artists Elisheva Biernoff, Lisa K. Blatt, Ala Ebtekar, James Gobel, Tucker Nichols, Larry Sultan, and Andrew Witrak.

The second of the series, Proximities 2: Knowing Me, Knowing You, on view Oct. 11 through Dec. 8, 2013, is concerned with the roles of family, community, and ethnicity, addressing a global population that makes the concept of Asia resonate beyond its geographic boundaries. Artists featured include Rebeca Bollinger, Kota Ezawa,
Mik Gaspay, Michael Jang, Pawel Kruk, Barry McGee, and Anne McGuire.

On view Dec. 20, 2013 through Feb. 23, 2014, Proximities 3: Import/Export will include works by Amanda Curreri, Jeffrey Augustine Songco, and Imin Yeh, among others, relating to commerce, trade, mass production, and the marketing of national identity, all aspects that generate global impressions of Asia.

The exhibition series will be augmented with image collections via social media, blog posts and other web content related to the exhibition’s themes on The show’s online presence will continue to expand with each exhibition.

Proximities is organized by the Asian Art Museum. Presentation at the Asian Art Museum is made possible with the generous support of the Graue Family Foundation and the Columbia Foundation.

Opening Event: Local Time
Thursday, May 30, 6:30 pm – 9:00 pm
Free with museum admission

Local Time is a Thursday night happening that marks the opening of Proximities 1: What Time Is It There?, the first of three intimate exhibitions of recent and newly created artworks exploring the wide, elusive range of Asia through the varied perspectives of Bay Area artists. Join guest contemporary art curator Glen Helfand as he introduces the exhibition series, followed by short, lively in-gallery talks between Asian Art Museum curators and featured artists about their inspiration and the themes of Proximities. The event culminates with a live performance featuring new media artist and composer, Surabhi Saraf.

About the Asian Art Museum

The Asian Art Museum–Chong-Moon Lee Center for Asian Art and Culture is one of San Francisco’s premier arts institutions and home to a world-renown collection of more than 18,000 Asian art treasures spanning 6,000 years of history. Through rich art experiences, centered on historic and contemporary artworks, the Asian Art Museum unlocks the past for visitors, bringing it to life, while serving as a catalyst for new art, new creativity and new thinking.

Information: 415.581.3500 or

Location: 200 Larkin Street, San Francisco, CA 94102

Hours: The museum is open Tuesdays through Sundays from 10:00 am to 5:00 pm. From February through October, hours are extended on Thursdays until 9:00 pm. Closed Mondays, as well as New Year’s Day, Thanksgiving Day, and Christmas Day.

General Admission: FREE for museum members, $12 for adults, $8 for seniors (65+), college students with ID, and youths (13–17). FREE for children under 12 and SFUSD students with ID. Admission on Thursdays after 5:00 pm is $5 for all visitors (except those under 12, SFUSD students, and members, who are always admitted FREE). Admission is FREE to all on Target First Free Sundays (the first Sunday of every month). A surcharge may apply for admission into special exhibitions.

Access: The Asian Art Museum is wheelchair accessible. For more information regarding access: 415.581.3598; TDD: 415.861.2035.

Press Release Types: Exhibitions, Programs & Events