Museum Hours
Thu: 1 PM–8 PM
Fri–Mon: 10 AM–5 PM
Tue–Wed: Closed
200 Larkin Street
San Francisco, CA 94102
Contemporary Art

Into View: New Voices, New Stories

Jan 19, 2024 – Aug 5, 2024
Hambrecht Contemporary Gallery

Recently acquired work by fourteen contemporary artists whose alternative narratives of mythology, history, and identity speak to a radically reimagined future.

Into View: New Voices, New Stories features recently acquired paintings, sculptures, ceramics, prints, and mixed-media work by local and international contemporary artists who challenge and subvert convention by transforming familiar stories, stereotypes, and techniques. Works such as Heroine by Rupy C. Tut (b. India, 1985), a reimagined scene from a Punjabi folktale, and Nuwa’s Hands by Cathy Lu (b. United States, 1984), a contemporary envisioning of a Chinese mythological goddess, join past and present via a radical reclamation of traditional imagery. Throughout the exhibition, fresh approaches to well-established genres boldly defy expectations: what appears to be a traditional Chinese landscape painting by Wu Chi-Tsung (b. Taiwan, 1981) is in fact formed from sculptural layers of crumpled, photosensitive paper, while an experimental film by TT Takemoto (b. United States, 1967) peers beneath the surface of documentary footage of Japanese American women factory workers to reveal an intimate atmosphere of same-sex romance. “Prioritizing women-identifying and queer voices from the collection, this selection aims to change the model of male-dominated art history,” says Assistant Curator of Contemporary Art & Programs Naz Cuguoglu. “By demanding a new agency from familiar narratives, these artists of color are writing their own futures.”

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Incorporating references to cosmology, mythology, ecological concerns, and political uprisings, the included works share a mode of inventive storytelling which scholar and professor Donna Haraway has termed “speculative fabulation.” Broadly speaking, speculative fabulation describes a strategy of defamiliarizing and reimagining accepted stories, ideas, and modes of thinking to arrive at new and fantastic possibilities; it is often linked to the boundlessly imaginative world-building that informs technological inventions and science fiction. “The term speculative fabulation may be new to many viewers,” notes Cuguoglu, “but it reflects the need for new language to accompany the important conceptual innovations of contemporary artists from Asia and the Asian diaspora.”

This exhibition invites viewers to be active participants in storytelling and poetic narrative-making practices. The gallery includes a small library of books that inspired the exhibition concept, where reading group meetings will be held on select dates to offer a space for learning and dialogue. In January of 2024, the gallery will also host a special performance by conceptual artist and educator Duto Hardono; this event, in which participants create an improvised sonic composition as a meditation on repetition, language, and communication, is organized in collaboration with KADIST.

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Artists: Koon Wai Bong, Theresa Hak Kyung Cha, Wu Chi-Tsung, Michael Jang & Barry McGee, Cathy Lu, Jiha Moon, Younhee Paik, Nicole Pun, Stephanie Syjuco, TT Takemoto, Wesley Tongson, Rupy C. Tut, and Jenifer K Wofford.


Image: Heroine, 2022, by Rupy C. Tut (American, b. 1985). Natural pigments on handmade hemp paper. Asian Art Museum, Museum purchase, Mortimer-Harvey Fund; with additional funding from the Sikh Women’s Organization of Central California and the Sikh Foundation, 2022.124. © Rupy C. Tut. Photograph © Asian Art Museum. 

Organizers & Sponsors

 Into View: New Voices, New Stories is organized by the Asian Art Museum. 

Sustained support generously provided by the Akiko Yamazaki and Jerry Yang Endowment Fund for Exhibitions and the Kao/Williams Contemporary Art Exhibitions Fund.