Phantoms of Asia: Contemporary Awakens the Past

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“Phantoms of Asia: Contemporary Awakens the Past” is an innovative art exhibition, curated by Mami Kataoka, which opens Friday at the Asian Art Museum in San Francisco. The exhibition focuses on contemporary art while also exploring its deep connection to art of the past, and features the works of 31 prominent artists from all over Asia.

Some art works featured include ancient Chinese and Indian sculptures, 19th century Tibetan thangka paintings, the 17th century Korean scroll painting ”A King of Hell”, as well as contemporaries like abstract paintings and light boxes of artist Palden Weinreb of Tibet and the seriocomic video “The Class” by Thai artist Araya Radsjarmrearnsook.

Possibly the most visible and ambitious piece in the exhibition is the 24-foot tall red lotus sculpture called “Breathing Flower”, which stands in San Francisco’s Civic Center Plaza. The art piece, created by Korean artist Choi Jeong Hwa, is the symbol for the ancient Asian’s devotion of spiritual illumminatino and renewal.

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