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Travel Tip: Art and Archaeology in United States
Hidden Gold

Hidden Gold
Hidden Gold
Hidden Gold: Mining its Meaning in Asian Art
SAN FRANCISCO  •  Asian Art Museum  •  Ongoing

Gold. It evokes power, wealth, royalty, devotion and, above all, immortality. Spanning 1,500 years of history and diverse Asian cultures, Hidden Gold investigates the universal regard for this precious metal and the many ways itís incorporated into art. Gold shimmers as embroidery on a Korean bridal robe, glimmers in wisp-thin leaf on a Thai manuscript and illuminates a Qing dynasty screen with inlayed images of quails and chrysanthemums. 

In many Buddhist cultures, aging artworks may be revitalized through the ritual application of gold. The Svayambhu Stupa on display in this exhibition is a model of an actual monument in Nepal that is ritually renovated by the application of gold at regular intervals. Similarly, a large Mongolian Maitreya sculpture reveals how gold was used to ritually enliven this image of the Buddha of the Future. A smaller lapis Buddha from China bears traces of gold leaf. In all of these cases, the application of gold infuses the artwork with the symbolism of gold: luminosity and eternity.

Thereís also a local connection to the metal. Californiaís position on the world stage is inconceivable without the quest for gold. Hidden Gold boasts a large raw nugget, a nod to the Golden State and the legacy of its mining history. 

For a modern interpretation of that legacy, the Asian Art Museum will also present Extracted, a contemporary exhibition that builds on Hidden Goldís themes through an experimental new film medium developed by local artist Ranu Mukherjee. 

Asian Art Museum Website

Contact: Asian Art Museum
200 Larkin St
San Francisco, CA 94102
Tel: (1) 415 581 35 00

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