Thank you

Exhibition Schedule


Divine Bodies
Mar 9 - Jul 29, 2018

Devotional images are invested with extraordinary power: for Hindus and Buddhists, the image ​is​ god. So what does it mean when artists represent gods in human form? ​Divine Bodies​ presents paintings and sculptures from Hindu and Buddhist traditions across Asia, as well as contemporary photo-based work from India, to ask, “What does it mean when the divine is given a body?”
Apr 6 - Jun 10, 2018

What does it mean to belong? Immigration has become a hot-button political issue, but immigrants themselves are rarely heard. As part of her Testimony project, artist Eliza Gregory asks us to listen to more than a dozen immigrants to San Francisco who tell their stories through photographic portraits, interviews and selected ephemeral materials. Complex, multifaceted and sometimes unexpected, these accounts can be seen as standing in for thousands of other untold tales. 

Guided Tour of Hell
Apr 20 - Sept 16, 2018

Take a guided tour of the Tibetan Buddhist underworld (with the Buddha of Hell as guide). Drawing on both Tibetan artistic traditions and comic book art, Pema Namdol Thaye’s vivid paintings portray a harrowing descent into the realms of hell as experienced by Buddhist teacher Sam Bercholz. There we witness the suffering of “hell-beings” set in fantastical landscapes, both fiery and crystalline, prompting us to contemplate the karmic consequences of negative actions. 

Painting Is My Everything: Art from India's Mithila Region
Sept 7 - Dec 30, 2018

Haroon Mirza: A C I D G E S T
Sept 28 - Dec 30, 2018

Now On View

Traces of Past and Future: Fu Shen’s Paintings and Calligraphy
Dec 5, 2017 - Sept 16, 2018

Featuring 18 works on loan from a private collection, this intimate exhibition is a rare opportunity to see traditional Chinese aesthetics refashioned through the lens of a scholar. After decades of study, teaching and curating, Fu Shen has produced his own personal interpretations of Chinese ink art. His ethereal landscapes, painterly calligraphy and innovative ceramics will give you a new understanding of a venerated tradition and will open your eyes to new ways of seeing. 

When Pictures Speak

Words and pictures are often combined in Japanese art, to celebrate poems and stories, express religious teachings, and comment on current events. Though not unique to Japan, the marriage of text and image has flourished there, finding relevance within each new generation of artists, writers, and patrons.

Hung Yi: Dragon Fortune

If you’ve visited us recently, it’s unlikely you missed the playful creature standing sentry at our steps: a hulking, psychedelic dragon painted in every color of the rainbow, from its fiery horns down to its checkered purple sneakers. Taiwanese artist Hung Yi’s Dragon Fortune meshes together Taiwanese folk art, Japanese textile design, pop art and children’s cartoons, breathing vibrant colors and auspicious blessings right onto our doorstep.

Collected Letters: Liu Jianhua Installation


As a 50th anniversary gift to the museum, the Society for Asian Art has commissioned a major work by Liu Jianhua, one of China’s best-known contemporary ceramic sculpture artists. The work comprises approximately 2,500 pieces of white porcelain formed into letters of the English alphabet and components of Chinese characters, suspended from the ceiling of the second-floor Loggia. The artist provides only the building blocks of words, leaving it to viewers to create meaning. The artwork’s location is especially apropos: the space offers an opportunity for dialogue with the original engraved literary quotations on the Loggia’s walls, dating to the building’s previous incarnation as San Francisco’s Main Library. Organized by the Asian Art Museum.

Asian Art Museum Collection Galleries

More than 2,500 extraordinary works from the museum’s renowned collection are displayed in the second- and third- floor galleries. Together these works constitute a comprehensive introduction to the major cultures of Asia. Immense Indian stone sculptures, intricately carved Chinese jades, vibrant Korean paintings, mystical Tibetan thangkas (ritual paintings on cloth), serene Cambodian Buddhas, richly decorated Islamic manuscripts, and colorful Japanese kimonos are just a few of the treasures on view. Every six months, the museum refreshes dozens of artworks from each geographic region with new selections from storage, providing visitors a unique perspective on each visit. These items are indicated with “Newly on View” tags on the labels.