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Asian Art Museum

San Francisco Mayor Lee Unveils New Logo & Vision at SF’s Asian Art Museum

Asian Art Museum

San Francisco Mayor Lee Unveils New Logo & Vision at SF’s Asian Art Museum

SAN FRANCISCO, September 29, 2011 — The Asian Art Museum introduced a new look and artistic vision Tuesday morning, as San Francisco Mayor Edwin Lee joined museum director Jay Xu to unveil the museum’s new brand and logo that aims to engage a broader audience and spark connections across cultures and through time. The museum’s new look represents a bold step forward, as the museum repositions itself as a place for all to experience Asian art and culture from a new perspective, not simply through the presentation of art objects, but by delivering art experiences that spark new creativity and thinking.

Mayor Lee, Jay Xu, and Anthony Sun, Chair of the Asian Art Commission and Asian Art Museum Foundation, opened a bright red curtain to reveal the logo, developed by international branding consultants Wolff Olins. In introducing the branding, Director Jay Xu emphasized that, “The Asian Art Museum is for all people.” The logo, an inverted “A” accompanied by the word “Asian,” also references the mathematical symbol that denotes “for all.

Mayor Lee enthusiastically supported the museum’s new vision, and said, “San Francisco is a very special city, welcoming visitors from all over the world. We say to our visitors, ‘If you want a great experience, go to the Asian Art Museum.’ The Asian has great appeal for our international visitors, and especially here in our Civic Center area, inviting a greater audience to experience all the wonderful things the Asian has to offer.

Director Jay Xu described the museum’s new vision to act as a catalyst for engaging audiences in discussion and creativity, adding a contemporary dimension to exhibitions of traditional artworks that help audiences connect art to every aspect of their lives. He described how for the first time in its history the Asian will “craft a contemporary art program that makes new connections between masterpieces from our own collection and contemporary art, with concrete, active dialogue between art of the past and art of today.”

Introducing the program was Bay Area artist and Pixar animator Sanjay Patel, whose upcoming collaboration at the museum this fall perfectly illustrates the energy and vitality of the museum’s shift in focus, as it invites artists and audiences to actively engage with its world-renowned collection and innovative exhibitions. Associate Curator of South Asian Art Qamar Adamjee spoke about the upcoming exhibition “Maharaja: The Splendor of India’s Royal Courts” (opening October 21) and how the objects and ideas presented in the exhibition led the museum to invite Patel to respond by creating his own installation in the museum’s galleries. Patel’s installation, titled “Demons and Dudes with ‘Staches: Indian Avatars by Sanjay Patel,” opens in the galleries this November 11.

Akiko Yamazaki, President of the Asian Art Museum Foundation, introduced Nick O’Flaherty, Strategy Director of Wolff Olins, developer of the new branding, who described his work with the Asian as “a dream project.” He said that the design process considered “how visitors look to museums to provide a platform for discussion and interaction. The depths of the offerings of this museum show how it really can be a life-changing experience.”

Also present for the unveiling were San Francisco Supervisors David Chiu, Carmen Chu, and Eric Mar; Protocol Chief Charlotte Shultz; San Francisco Arts Commission President P. J. Johnston; Museum Board members and other representatives of City departments, nonprofit organizations, and numerous media outlets.

About the Asian Art Museum

The Asian Art Museum—Chong-Moon Lee Center for Asian Art and Culture is one of San Francisco’s premier arts institutions and home to a world-renown collection of more than 18,000 Asian art treasures spanning 6,000 years of history. Through rich art experiences, centered on historic and contemporary artworks, the Asian Art Museum unlocks the past for visitors, bringing it to life, while serving as a catalyst for new art, new creativity, and new thinking. The Asian Art Museum is located at 200 Larkin Street, San Francisco.