Seeing Gender is the museum’s first exhibition to explore the collection through the lens of gender. “Gender and sexuality are so central to conversations our society is having today, especially in the Bay Area. With its diverse holdings, the museum can make an important contribution to that dialogue,” explain the curators, Maya Hara, Shinhwa Koo, Joanna Lee, and Megan Merritt.
These four emerging curators have placed artworks from disparate cultures and periods side by side to show how gender — whether fluid or fixed, divine or sensual, subversive or orthodox — is constructed, performed, and depicted throughout Asian art in provocative and inspiring ways.
The exhibition includes 16 works, ranging from a 1,000-year-old Indian sandstone sculpture to a 21st-century Korean work crafted from mulberry paper.
“Seeing Gender gives us the opportunity to both learn from the next generation of curators and use our collection to engage our audiences with topics that are relevant to their lives,” notes Chief Curator and Curator of Japanese Art Dr. Laura W. Allen.
Images: Satyavati and Shalya (Satyawati and Salya), approx. 1936–1940, by Ida Bagus Putu Taman (Indonesian, 1873–1953). Sandalwood. Asian Art Museum, Vicki Baum Bali Collection; Gift of Wolfgang Lert and Ruth Clark Lert, 1992.43. Photograph © Asian Art Museum. Musical Bodies: Banjo, 1999, by Wilson Shieh (Chinese, b. 1970). Ink and color on gold paper. Asian Art Museum, Gift of the Yiqingzhai Collection, 2005.77. © Wilson Shieh. Photograph © Asian Art Museum.