Thursday, February 4, 2016

New Berkeley Art Museum / Pacific Film Archive Opened


IMG_3603 _ BAM PFA Pre-Opening, 30 January 2016

Last week, UC Berkeley's Berkeley Art Museum / Pacific Film Archive opened its new building to guest.  Thursday was the gala opening day for donors; Friday, opening day for students; Saturday for members of the Museum/Archive; and Sunday, a community open house. 

I visited the Museum on 30 January, Saturday and it was nice to see so many members and their families and friends exploring the space and artworks on display.  The place was full of excitement and high energy but the visitors didn't overwhelm the quite airy space.  Comparing to the old site, this one was slicker and had more conventional gallery layout, thus easier to mount exhibitions.  Because the Museum did not exhibit their usual collections at the opening exhibition, it was hard to gauge how much the exhibition space had changed.  Once the the permanent collections are back, visitors might be able to understand it better.

IMG_3611 _ BAM PFA Pre-Opening, 30 January 2016

IMG_3610 _ BAM PFA Pre-Opening, 30 January 2016

DSCN1425 _ BAM PFA Pre-Opening, 30 January 2016

DSCN1424 _ BAM PFA Pre-Opening, 30 January 2016

DSCN1463 _ BAM PFA Pre-Opening, 30 January 2016

IMG_3600 _ BAM PFA Pre-Opening, 30 January 2016

IMG_3599 _ BAM PFA Pre-Opening, 30 January 2016

IMG_3595 _ BAM PFA Pre-Opening, 30 January 2016

The initial exhibition had many exciting works and here are a handful of the highlights:


IMG_3581 _ BAM PFA Pre-Opening, 30 January 2016 DSCN1433 _ BAM PFA Pre-Opening, 30 January 2016
Architecture models

DSCN1440 _ BAM PFA Pre-Opening, 30 January 2016

DSCN1434 _ BAM PFA Pre-Opening, 30 January 2016

DSCN1438 _ BAM PFA Pre-Opening, 30 January 2016
Macadamia wood bowl

IMG_3606 _ BAM PFA Pre-Opening, 30 January 2016
Ruth Asawa

DSCN1461 _ BAM PFA Pre-Opening, 30 January 2016
Solitary, semi-social mapping of ESO-510 613 connected with intergalactic dust by one Nephila clavipes - one week - and three Cyrtophora citricola - three weeks, spider silk, glue, paper, ink, Tomas Saraceno

DSCN1459 _ BAM PFA Pre-Opening, 30 January 2016
Spider silk installation

DSCN1454 _ BAM PFA Pre-Opening, 30 January 2016

DSCN1450 _ BAM PFA Pre-Opening, 30 January 2016
4 Brushstrokes over Figure & 21 Brushstokes, Hyun-Sook Song

DSCN1447 _ BAM PFA Pre-Opening, 30 January 2016
4 Brushstrokes over Figure, Hyun-Sook Song

DSCN1444 _ BAM PFA Pre-Opening, 30 January 2016
21 Brushstrokes, Hyun-Sook Song

DSCN1445 _ BAM PFA Pre-Opening, 30 January 2016
2 Brushstrokes, Hyun-Sook Song

In case one forgot, this picture below reminded people that we were in the quirky Berkeley:

IMG_3609 _ BAM PFA Pre-Opening, 30 January 2016

There were two movie theater to showcase amazing collections of Pacific Film Archive (PFA) - one medium sized and a smaller one perhaps built for art house movies, in which I saw a wonderful short, featuring a woman in Baroque dress and modern sunglasses, running around in and around fountain and gardens, underneath an extravagant hat of a fountain:

DSCN1498 _ BAM PFA Pre-Opening, 30 January 2016

A very promising beginning.

On Sunday, it was reported that some UC Berkeley students protested at the museum, "protesting the campus’s decision to designate funds to the creation of an art museum rather than to increase benefits for campus workers."

I do support some of their arguments; yet, I cannot agree with their Leninist and Maoist approach. Universities have societal obligations to stimulate minds and art museum is one of the very useful tools for such an endeavor.


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- Berkeley Art Museum Closed Its Bancroft Way Site
- Casualty of the Economy - Berkeley Art Museum's new building by Toyo Ito
- Lovely Sight at Berkeley Art Museum (BAM)
Getting Ready for Barry McGee at Berkeley Art Museum
- In Berkeley Art Museum, California
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Thursday, January 28, 2016

New Berkeley Art Museum / Pacific Film Archive Readying for Opening


IMG_3497 _ BAM PFA January 2016

After a length closure, UC Berkeley's Berkeley Art Museum / Pacific Film Archive finally will open in Downtown Berkeley their new home, designed by Diller Scofidio + Renfro, replacing their 27-year-old seismic unsafe older building, a beloved brutalist structure designed by Mario Ciampi.

Here a some snapshots I took yesterday, just before it's opening to the public on 31 January, 2016.

IMG_3530 _ BAM PFA January 2016

IMG_3521 _ BAM PFA January 2016

IMG_3517 _ BAM PFA January 2016

IMG_3505 _ BAM PFA January 2016

IMG_3504 _ BAM PFA January 2016

IMG_3512 _ BAM PFA January 2016

IMG_3528 _ BAM PFA January 2016 (md)

IMG_3506 _ BAM PFA January 2016

IMG_3511 _ BAM PFA January 2016

IMG_3510 _ BAM PFA January 2016

IMG_3507 _ BAM PFA January 2016

Below are a few pictures of the museum and the preparation of the opening bash, taken a few nights ago, by local novelist, Steve Masover:, posted on his "One Finger Clicking" Tumblr blog:






































































































The Grand Opening is coming soon.  Be there!


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- Lovely Sight at Berkeley Art Museum (BAM)
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- In Berkeley Art Museum, California
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- Silke Otto-Knapp at Berkeley Art Museum

Monday, January 25, 2016

“Shadow” Over the Land – Featured Painting

My landscape/allegorical oil painting, Shadow, depicts a fantastic world - a vast furrowed dark brown field, whose parallel ridges converge towards the distant horizon, which was dotted with a cluster of very insignificant white buildings, centering on a little church spire, which was barely visible. The contrast between the enormous dark fields and the tiny white village is highly dramatic, yet that is topped by several huge leaden and apparently weighty clouds, which curiously cast no shadows; instead, adds mysterious and menacing atmosphere, gliding over the entire field, s a huge shadow of an invisible bird, very much the personification of foreboding.

Shadow / 影子 / Schatten
Shadow / 影子 / Schatten
Oil on Canvas
30″ x 40"
Completed in 2008

Interestingly, this painting just joined a group show, titled "In to the Future". Perhaps, this ominous world is the vision of the future?

Originally posted on my website: Featured Works.

Friday, January 8, 2016

My Favoritate Artwork at Ca' Pesaro, Venezia (Venice), Italy


DSCN1567 _ Ca' Pesaro, Venezia, 13 October

Ca' Pesaro in Venice is known for its modern collections, including paintings by Gustav Klimt, Pierre Bonnard and Marc Chagall.  When I visited the museum, Klimt was not on display so I chose these two pieces as my favorites.

The sculpture "Cardinal" by Giacomo Manzù was a very striking piece.  From the front, it looked like a well formed symmetrical shrub, or an over-sized checkers piece, which definitely was nothing but simple and had multiple layers of meanings. The side view of the cardinal was an even more fascinating figure, which sat on an invisible seat, therefore gave the viewers a view of that support-less cardinal sloping down to the ground.  A political metaphor?

DSCN1575 _ Ca Pesaro, Venezia, 13 October
Cardinal by Giacomo Manzù

ca pesaro Venice modern art collection Manzu

My other favorite was a still life painting, done with rich but not obsessive impasto, therefore a contrast and drama.  The humble subjects and narrow breadth of somber hues lent an overall feeling of austerity, deceptively so, because the painting was really rich of subtlety and interplay, such as the shape of a vase rack and its shadow on the wall in the center of the canvas.  The gradation of the shades was broad but subtle, and such tonal contrast generated another tense drama. The light and shadow almost added tangible movements to the absolute stillness of the piece. One could pulse the ticking clock underneath those layers of silent paints.

DSCN1581 _ Ca Pesaro, Venezia, 13 October

My Favorite Museum Collection Series
>> My Favorite Museum Collection Series 110: To be continued
<< My Favorite Museum Collection Series 108: My Favorite Artworks at Ca' d'Oro, Venezia (Venice)

List of My Favorite Artworks in the Museums I've Visited

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Thursday, December 31, 2015

"Looking East" Exhibition at SF Asian Art Museum

San Francisco Asian Art Museum is exploring "How Japan Inspired Monet, Van Gogh and Other Western Artists" with its current special exhibition "Looking East". 

DSCN0941 _ Looking East, Asian Art Museum

The exhibition was not a gimmick as one might suspect but it is also pointless to determine which pieces influenced which. I would only venture to showcase those pieces made strong impressions on me, either they are by western or Japanese artists.  Some of them are very delicate and others exciting and the rest humorous and delightful.

DSCN0911 _ Still life with azaleas and apple blossoms, Charles Caryl Coleman, Looking East, Asian Art Museum

DSCN0911 _ Looking East, Asian Art Museum
Still life with azaleas and apple blossoms, Charles Caryl Coleman

DSCN0916 _ Kajikazawa in Kai Province, Katsushika Hokusai, Looking East, Asian Art Museum
Kajikazawa in Kai Province, Katsushika Hokusai

DSCN0986 _ Night Herons (Nachtreiher), Otto Eckmann, Looking East, Asian Art Museum
Night Herons (Nachtreiher), Otto Eckmann

DSCN0985 _ Silver Herons (Zilverreigers), Theodorus van Hoytema, Looking East, Asian Art Museum
Silver Herons (Zilverreigers), Theodorus van Hoytema

DSCN0981 _ Looking East, Asian Art Museum
Five Swans, Otto Eckmann

IMG_2863 _ Landscape with two Breton Women, Gauguin, Looking East, Asian Art Museum
Landscape with two Breton Women, Paul Gauguin

IMG_2862 _ Looking East, Asian Art Museum
Port of Saint-Cast, Paul Signac

IMG_2861 _ Haystack (sunset), Claude Monet, Looking East, Asian Art Museum
Haystack (sunset), Claude Monet

DSCN0987 _ Vase of flowers, Henri Matisse, Looking East, Asian Art Museum
Vase of flowers, Henri Matisse

DSCN0977 _ The Silver Screen, Frank Weston Benson, Looking East, Asian Art Museum
The Silver Screen, Frank Weston Benson

DSCN0933 _ Maternal Caress, Mary Stevenson Cassatt, Looking East, Asian Art Museum
Maternal Caress, Mary Stevenson Cassat

DSCN0943 _ Postman Joseph Roulin, Vincent van Gogh, Looking East, Asian Art Museum
Postman Joseph Roulin, Vincent van Gogh

DSCN0942 _ Actor Onoe Kikujiro Il as Takiyasha-hime, Utagawa Kunisada, Actor Matsumoto Yonesaburo, Utagawa Kunimasa, Looking East, Asian Art Museum
Actor Onoe Kikujiro Il as Takiyasha-hime, Utagawa Kunisada & Actor Matsumoto Yonesaburo, Utagawa Kunimasa

DSCN0939 _ The artist's grandmother, Emile Bernard, Looking East, Asian Art Museum
The artist's grandmother, Emile Bernard

DSCN0924 _ Meditation, Alfred Stevens, Looking East, Asian Art Museum
Meditation, Alfred Steven

DSCN0980 _ Fig leaves, Edna Boies Hopkins, Looking East, Asian Art Museum
Fig leaves, Edna Boies Hopkins

DSCN0979 _ Bradley: His Book, William H. Bradley, Looking East, Asian Art Museum
Bradley: His Book, William H. Bradley

DSCN0978 _ Cover of Love (Amour), Maurice Denis, Looking East, Asian Art Museum
Cover of Love (Amour), Maurice Denis

DSCN0953 _ Family Umbrella, Helen Hyde, Looking East, Asian Art Museum
Family Umbrella, Helen Hyde

DSCN0952 _ Jane Avril, Caudieux-Petit Casino), Toulouse-Lautrec
Jane Avril & Caudieux-Petit Casino), Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec

DSCN0949 _ Painted horse escaping from a votive plaque, Totoya Hokkei, Hunting, William Nicholson
Painted horse escaping from a votive plaque, Totoya Hokkei & Hunting, William Nicholson

DSCN0948 _ The Jockey, Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec, Looking East, Asian Art Museum
The Jockey, Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec

DSCN0945 _ Illustration of the Opening Ceremony of the Union Horse Racing Club's Racetrack around Shinobazu Pond in Ueno Park, Hashimoto Chikanobu, Looking East, Asian Art Museum
Illustration of the Opening Ceremony of the Union Horse Racing Club's Racetrack around Shinobazu Pond in Ueno Park, Hashimoto Chikanobu

DSCN0937 _ The square at evening, Pierre Bonnard, Looking East, Asian Art Museum
The square at evening, Pierre Bonnard

DSCN0936 _ Woman in Bed, Profile (Femme au lit, profil), Toulouse-Lautrec, Looking East, Asian Art Museum
Woman in Bed, Profile (Femme au lit, profil), Toulouse-Lautrec

DSCN0935 _ Child with lamp, Pierre Bonnard, Looking East, Asian Art Museum
Child with lamp, Bonnard, Looking East, Asian Art Museum


DSCN0940 _ Street corner seen from above, Pierre Bonnard, Looking East, Asian Art Museum
Street corner seen from above, Pierre Bonnard

DSCN0927 _ English Woman (Englaenderin), Emil Orlik, Looking East, Asian Art Museum
English Woman (Engländerin), Emil Orlik

DSCN0926 _ [Courtesan as the immortal] Fei Zhangfang, Okumura Masanobu, Laziness (La Paresse), Félix Edouard Vallotton
[Courtesan as the immortal] Fei Zhangfang, Okumura Masanobu & Laziness (La Paresse), Félix Edouard Vallotton

DSCN0920 _ Sudden Shower over Shin-Ohashi Bridge and Atake, Utagawa Hiroshige I, Looking East, Asian Art Museum
Sudden Shower over Shin-Ohashi Bridge and Atake, Utagawa Hiroshige I

DSCN0919 _ Standing courtesan, Keisai Eisen, Looking East, Asian Art Museum
Standing courtesan, Keisai Eisen

DSCN0931 _ Looking East, Asian Art Museum

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