“Contemporary antique” Asian arts
For those devoted to Asian arts, viewing all kinds of objects for understanding the aesthetics and styles from ancient Asian cultures is really exciting. When you view something new, objects you´ve never seen before, they might seem beautiful and fascinating, but unfamiliar at the same time. I don´t know if you´ve ever experienced this sentiment, but some antique artworks or objects appear just contemporary to us, even if they are hundreds of years old.
Since the Asian Art Museum in San Francisco launched their exhibition “Phantoms of Asia: Contemporary Awakens the Past”, I know at least that I never was alone with this perception.
The current exhibition combines contemporary artworks with antique objects
and thereby invites the visitors to reflect upon their own beliefs and perceptions. Probably, the curators intented to really raise some existential questions with their exhibition, asking us about life, death and the cosmos itself. This exhibition invites you to pause and reflect on your own place in the universe while taking in some amazing art. Follow this link for the Phantoms of Asia
Moreover, Asian Art Museum chief curator Forrest created an interesting project on the internet related to the correlation between ancient art objects and their “contemporary” appearance. On their trumble-page the Asian Art Museum collects all kind of ancient Asian art objects, that strike their viewers as modern. Everybody is invited to submit some objects to the site. Nice to know, Forrest explicitly invites all online visitors to search the museum´s own picture database in order to find a nice example of an old piece appearing modern today. Join in or browse the page here: Asian Art Museum – ancient modern
Anyway, on the pictures above you find some of my own favorites in Asian arts: “Contemporary antiques”… How “contemporary” can antique artworks be?
(Pictures courtesy of: Nagel auctions Stuttgart, Andrea Filippi (Ethnologica), National Palace Museum)