Intervention: Fresh Perspectives after 50 Years Now Open at Pacific Asia Museum
Thanks to Southern California’s multi-cultural landscape there’s an abundance of institutions devoted to the unique cultures that make the area so special. One such place is the Pacific Asia Museum in Pasadena. Currently celebrating its 50th anniversary, the museum recently debuted its latest exhibition Intervention: Fresh Perspectives after 50 years and I recently visited to check it out.
In celebrating its golden anniversary, the Pacific Asia Museum has taken the opportunity to allow its collection to be viewed and interpreted through fresh eyes. The cultural landscape has changed rapidly in the past 5 decades and brought new meaning to the various objects in the museum’s collection. In an effort to further explore and interpret its archive the museum has invited a group of seven diverse Asian artists to chose pieces to inspire and incorporate into contemporary works.
Immediately upon entering the gallery visitors are invited to interact with the first piece by Antonius Bui. Come on in
Please leave your shoes by the door requests them to exchange their shoes for a pair of slippers. The piece then becomes an ever evolving array of shoes that include historic pieces from the museum archives as well as those belonging to visitors.
Continuing on one is invited to grab a copy of a “memory-paper” from Audrey Chan’s to relive old dreams.
According to Chan, “the objects in PAM’s Chinese collection reminded me of the decorations around my childhood home in the Midwest.” Drawing inspiration from that, The World News and the funny pages she created the “memory-paper” as a repository for her memories of her multi-cultural identity.
Not all pieces in the exhibition are interactive and many are thought provoking visual works that inspire contemplation such as You Can’t use an Old Map to Explore New Worlds by Amir H. Falah and I will one day pass on with her by Akiko Jackson.
Whether meant for interaction or contemplation each work in the exhibition is a thought provoking interpretation of the Pacific Asia Museum’s archive. To have contemporary artists re-evaluate established artifacts is an inspired way to celebrate an anniversary and I thoroughly enjoyed viewing the works on display. It’s on display through February 2, 2022 and is an excellent reason to head to Pasadena.