Society for Asian Art and Asian Art Museum are separate non-profit organizations with separate memberships. Please use the appropriate registration buttons to register for Society programs.
Advance registration is now closed. We are accepting late registrations for this lecture series.
No culture exists in a vacuum, without a context or a past. During this lecture series, we will examine the ways historical ideas, forms, and techniques continue to shape the arts and cultures of today. We will start with archeological explorations, move on to artists who continue ancient traditions, and bring in contemporary artists referencing and exploring the past.
We will see how exchanges east and west led Chinese calligraphers to enliven an ancient art, and how Bay Area artist Ala Ebtekar explored the cosmos and the idea of time for a piece now on view on the museum’s newly opened East West Bank Art Terrace. After we travel to Central Asia, South Asia, the Himalayas, China, Korea, and Japan, our concluding lecture will feature the Barbara Bass Bakar Director & CEO of the Asian Art Museum, Dr. Jay Xu, speaking on the unique contribution and relationship between archeology and art. This lecture will have special significance to the spring special exhibition, Phoenix Kingdoms, exploring new discoveries of an ancient Chinese 3,000-year-old Bronze Culture.
Art will help us illuminate what one of our speakers, Arnold Chang, describes as “The Past is Always Present”.
Please refer to the schedule of Speaker & Topics below to ascertain the location of each lecture.
Speakers & Topics (Subject to Change)
Jan. 26, 2024
Medieval Central Asia in Depth: Archaeological Explorations and Mapping of Newly Discovered High Elevation Cities of the 6th-12th Centuries Study Guide Maps
Michael Frachetti, Professor of Archaeology, Department of Anthropology, Washington University in St. Louis
Feb. 2, 2024
The Medieval Ghost City of Ani: A UNESCO World Heritage Site Study Guide
Heghnar Watenpaugh, Professor of Art History, University of California, Davis
Feb. 9, 2024
Living Traditions: Architecture of Japan in a World Context Study Guide
Ken Tadashi Oshima, Professor/Director of History Theory, Department of Architecture, University of Washington, Seattle
Book of Interest: Frank Lloyd Wright and the World, published by the Kajima Institute.
Feb. 16, 2024
Home is a Foreign Place: The Art of Zarina Hashmi Study Guide
Mary-Ann Milford-Lutzker, Professor Emerita, Department of Art and Art History, Mills College
Feb. 23, 2024
Japanese Aesthetics of Subversion: Basara, Wabi Sabi and Kabukimono Study Guide
Akiko Walley, Maude I. Kerns Associate Professor of Japanese Art, University of Oregon
Mar. 1, 2024
The Past is Always Present Study Guide
Arnold Chang, Artist, Curator, and Art Historian
Mar. 8, 2024
Making the Desert Bloom: The Art, Architecture, and Archaeology of the Nabataeans Past and Present
Sarah Wenner, Andrew W. Mellon Curatorial Research Fellow, Cincinnati Art Museum
Mar. 15, 2024
Reading the Future in Verse: The Art of Bibliomancy and the Book as Vessel to Move through Space and Time
Ala Ebtekar, Artist and Lecturer, Stanford University
Mar. 22, 2024
New Buddhist Art and Architecture in India
Padma Dorje Maitland, Malavalli Family Foundation Associate Curator of the Art of the Indian Subcontinent, Asian Art Museum of San Francisco
Apr. 5, 2024
Wang Dongling and Calligraphic Practice in Contemporary Art
Julia Andrews, Distinguished University Professor Emeritus, Department of History of Art, The Ohio State University
Apr. 19, 2024
Tsherin Sherpa: Art from the Himalayas Today
Tsherin Sherpa, Artist
Apr. 26, 2024
Monkey Paintings of the Joseon Dynasty
Yoon-Jee Choi, Assistant Curator for Korean Art, Asian Art Museum of San Francisco
May 31, 2024 New date!
The Lost Kingdoms of Ancient China: The Relationship Between Archeology and Art History
Dr. Jay Xu, The Barbara Bass Bakar Director & CEO, Asian Art Museum of San Francisco
June 7, 2024 New date! The speaker will present this lecture on Zoom.
Tradition as an Echo in My Art
Shahzia Sikander, Artist, Studio SS Sikander
Left: Past Continuous Tense (detail), 2011, by Lam Tung Pang (Chinese, b. 1978, active Hong Kong and Vancouver). Charcoal, image transfer, and acrylic on plywood. Acquisition made possible by the Kao/Williams Foundation. Photograph © Asian Art Museum of San Francisco.
Right: Landscape in the style of Ni Zan and Huang Gongwang, dated 1708, by Wang Yuanqi (Chinese, 1642–1715). Qing dynasty (1644–1911). Ink and colors on paper. Asian Art Museum, Museum purchase, B69D7. Photograph © Asian Art Museum of San Francisco.
Registered attendees of the lecture series are encouraged to attend in-person in Samsung Hall. Otherwise, registered attendees can attend via Zoom. Drop-ins for individual lectures are only available in-person in Samsung Hall on a space available basis. Drop-ins for individual lectures are not available on Zoom. The lecture series is organized as 14 separate Zoom webinars. A Zoom webinar confirmation email with information on how to join each week's webinar will be sent to all registered attendees 2 or 3 days before each lecture. Even though it is not required by Zoom, we recommend that you download and install Zoom on your computer or mobile device in advance, and set yourself up with a free account. Attendees will have a chance to participate in the Q&A via Zoom Q&A. Read Arts of Asia Zoom Webinar FAQs.
The Society for Asian Art's cancellation policy requires at least one week's advance written notice in order to receive a refund of registration fees. This excludes our Travel programs, which have separate cancellation policies, as well as any programs where a specific refund policy is stated on the event page. Your fees will be returned to you through a check in the mail. To cancel, please contact us.
For programs located within the Asian Art Museum, the museum entrance fee must be paid separately and is not included with your registration fee.
Please note that by registering for a program, you are giving consent to the SAA to be photographed or videoed as a participant.