First Thursdays, 5 to 9 pm
June through November, 2008
FREE with museum admission ($5 after 5 pm)
Asian Art Museum
200 Larkin St., San Francisco, CA
Get your monthly arts fix at the Asian Art Museum’s MATCHA series. Experience live performances, create art, embark on special tours of the galleries, mingle with friends over cocktails, or simply chill to the hip beats of DJs and musicians. Like the vibrant Japanese powdered green tea renowned for its richness and flavor, each MATCHA event has a refreshing and distinctive flair. It’s the perfect way to start the post-work evening and indulge in a healthy dose of the arts.
Thursday, June 5
MATCHA kicks off its third season with multi-sensorial offerings of healing arts from all over Asia: acupuncture, Korean hand therapy, cupping, Japanese shiatsu, Thai foot massage, and more. Sample tea, check out medicinal herbs from China, Japan, India and Tibet, have your pulse diagnosed, tour the galleries, or unwind with cocktails and live music. Organized and presented in partnership with the Acupuncture and Integrative Medicine College, Berkeley.
Sound of the Sages
Thursday, July 3
The guqin (goo chin), a seven-stringed zither, is China’s oldest stringed instrument, with a history of some 3,000 years. Enjoy the stirring melodies of the guqin, played by award-winning musician Wang Fei. Try your hand at brush painting, view Power & Glory: Court Arts of China’s Ming Dynasty, embark on a special tour of musical instruments or the scholarly arts of China in the galleries, or simply enjoy a drink with friends. This program is co-presented with the North American Guqin Association.
Thursday, August 7
You’ve seen Jet Li do it in movies—now watch former champion US World Team Member, Philip Wong and former Bejing Wushu Team champion Zhang Hong Mei lead members of Bay Area martial arts school Pacific Wushu in a dynamic, jaw-dropping demonstration. View the museum’s summer exhibition Power & Glory: Court Arts of China’s Ming Dynasty, jump on guided gallery tours of samurai warrior arts and Southeast Asian daggers, try out a hands-on art activity, tune in to an in-depth talk on shaolin martial arts, or “kick it” with the DJ Phatrick, a drink, and friends.
Tea & Spice
Thursday, September 4
Recently back from its annual trek to Burning Man, John Oda’s Tea Temple will be erected inside the museum. The stupa-like structure pays homage to the nomadic structures of the Silk Road where tea was traded for thousands of years. Savor floral, fruity, and earthy teas of China inside the Tea Temple. Elsewhere in the museum, taste teas from India, Afghanistan, and Tibet. See how these different teas are brewed and try your hand at making your own spice recipe for chai (Indian tea). Enjoy a talk on tea and its cultural influences. Catch Power & Glory: Court Arts of China’s Ming Dynasty before it closes, or hop on a guided tour of the arts of the Silk Road and spice routes.
Thursday, October 2
Author and tattoo artist Takahiro Kitamura (artist name Horitaka, apprentice to the revered Japanese master, Horiyoshi III) gives a talk about the centuries-old art of traditional Japanese tattooing. See live demonstrations of Japanese style tattooing by various tattoo artists using both traditional and modern techniques. Dip into the world of Zen among ancient Japanese Samurai warriors through a guided tour of the galleries, learn about Japanese alters through a talk with author John Nelson, sample Japanese teas by Ito En, and soak up the DJ’s aural offerings.
Thursday, November 6
The grand finale of MATCHA’s third season culminates with music, dance, and a sampling of food from Afghanistan. The evening also features a performance of traditional dance—including the Afghan national dance Attan—by the Bay Area’s own Ballet Afsaneh. Try your hand at making jewelry inspired by the ancient Bactrian gold on view in the special exhibition Afghanistan: Hidden Treasures from the National Museum, Kabul, or mingle on docent tours of the special exhibition and of the crossroads of East and West in the galleries.