About

Asians Art Museum of San Francisco     asiansart@gmail.com

Project Timeline

08/25/09:  Official website launch www.asiansart.org

08/26:  Into the Blogosphere, here first:  insightful take, puts it in context.  Quickly spread across blogosphere.

08/27:  Art Action:  Matcha! event; hundreds of flyers distributed.  Manga authority and recipient of Order of the Rising Sun Fred Schodt attends, tweets about us.

08/28:  Online interview hosted by 8Asians.com.

08/29: Scholars echo our concerns on the Japan History Group blog.

09/03:  Major museum’s curator of Japanese art responds.

09/03:  Artsjournal.com’s Real Clear Arts blog asks “What should the museum do?

09/08:  Art Action:  Educator’s Workshop

09/14:  ON THE AIR:  Real Talk on KPFA’s Hard Knock Radio

09/16:  In the News at Fecal Face

09/22:  San Francisco Chronicle’s art critic Kenneth Baker on the Samurai parody

09/25:  AAMSF volunteer and another museum’s educator: Orientalism lives!

10/04:  Shotgun Review by Lani Asher

10/29:  Featured in premiere issue of online journal Art Practical

11/**:  “Samurai Subverted” reported from London in The Art Newspaper

11/01:  Inglorious Samurai in UC Berkeley student publication hardboiled

11/13:  As seen in Japantown:  by JK Yamamoto, in the Hokubei Mainichi online

11/20:  Censored by de Young Museum, with their AAMSF cronies on the phone. Story immediately goes viral.

03/09/10:  UC Berkeley’s Center for Japanese Studies sponsors public lecture

05/04:  City College of San Francisco’s “East Meets West” Concerts & Lectures series

05/23:  9 months later our work still sets AAMSF’s director “simmering,” in LA Times

06/2011:  This project detailed in the book The Routledge Companion to Museum Ethics: Redefining Ethics for the Twenty-First Century Museum, ed. Janet C. Marstine, in the essay “Museum Censorship” by Christopher Steiner.

Background:

The Asian Art Museum’s history of community conflict:

Art Exhibit Stirs Controversy Among Korean Americans (2007)

Activists Blast SF Museum’s Exhibit of Tibetan Art (2005)

and failed “foreign” policy:

As recently as 2004, the museum’s official policy was “No Asian American artists will be shown in the Asian Art Museum.*” (See footnote for references.)

Impacting Discourse

Our art is being studied as it happens at colleges and cultural institutions around the globe, from Hawai’i to Heidelberg, New York to New Zealand, and has received the recognition and approval of faculty and scholars at universities across the U.S. and beyond, and across the disciplines of Anthropology, Art, Art History, Asian Studies, Asian American Studies, Cultural Studies, Ethnic Studies, and History.  We’ve also been actively speaking at colleges and universities since the project began.  The project is discussed in at least one volume on 21st century museum ethics.

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*This has been confirmed verbally multiple times with multiple sources in both PR/Marketing and Public Programs/Education departments, who were employed by the AAMSF at the time the policy was in effect, and most of whom still are. We were first informed of it in late 2004 by a member of museum management, and reconfirmed it with museum department heads we spoke with outside the museum during our intervention at the Matcha sword event on 8/27/09. We also verified it in February 2010 with the head of an Asian American arts non-profit in San Francisco who was employed at the museum at the time the policy was in place.

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