Global reports and features about the launch of the Akiko Yamazaki & Jerry Yang Pavilion at the Asian Art Museum in San Francisco 


It’s been a whirlwind few weeks at the Asian Art Museum in San Francisco. Since the Akiko Yamazaki & Jerry Yang Pavilion opened its doors to all on 23rd June, the inaugural digital experience by teamLab has sold over 30,000 tickets and the opening has been widely discussed in the media. Here are some of the highlights so far:





WHY’s Creative Director, Kulapat Yantrasast, shared his ideas about the museum’s transformation with The Architect’s Newspaper, touching on themes including Acupuncture Architecture, the character and movement of space, and how museums can catalyze cultural dialogue.

“Yantrasast’s design anticipates a future in which an increasing number of contemporary Asian and Asian American artists—from Ai Weiwei to Zheng Chongbin and Lam Tung Pang—will favor working with expansive multimedia installations over more traditional exhibitions. Case in point, teamLab: Continuity makes full use of the new pavilion, creating an immersive experience that doesn’t just live on walls but instead envelops all three dimensions.” -Tim Brinkhof


Take a design perspective here.





The Art Newspaper reports on the wondrous disorientation of Continuity – a sensation balanced out by the experience of the architecture as a whole.

“[teamLab: Continuity] stitches together about ten different works, with projections on the gallery walls and floors. Some components are interactive, such as digital flowers growing around your feet. This all fits into [Kulapat] Yantrasast’s mission for the expansion, which he sees as ‘a dynamic balance of the rejuvenation of the historic Public Library building with the programmes and activities of the core collection, as well as the addition of contemporary art and technological experiences in the museum,’ he says. The addition adds a total of 15,000 sq ft of space across two levels. The main gallery, the Akiko Yamazaki and Jerry Yang Pavilion, is one large column-free 8,500 sq ft space meant to offer maximum flexibility for exhibitions and programming. On top of that is the East West Bank Art Terrace, a rooftop sculpture garden currently featuring Ai Weiwei’s Fountain of Light.”


See through an art world lens here.





The Wall Street Journal surveys the pavilion from the street and reflects on the museum’s progressive stance on contemporary art:

“Visible through floor-to-ceiling windows are the line drawings of “Know My Name: A Memoir” by Chanel Miller; Jenifer K. Wofford’s color-rich “Pattern Recognition” fills a wall at street level; and, when you round the corner, the woman in Jas Charanjiva’s blue and pink “Don’t Mess With Me” looks down from a terrace, one hand raised in a brass-knuckled thumbs up. For a museum whose collection spans some 6,000 years to greet us with contemporary works from Asia and the Asian diaspora is tantamount to its shouting ‘Asian art is a phenomenon with a past, not of the past!’ “ -Lee Lawrence


Take the long view here.





The San Francisco Examiner stopped by to sketch a turtle — and was surprised to see it swim into another gallery. Walls and boundaries are just a construct, after all…

“In a separate gallery at the front of the show is ‘Sketch Ocean,’ a station where visitors of all ages can play. Outlines and crayons are provided for budding artists to color pictures of sea creatures, which are photographed, scanned and instantly sent into the masses of fish swimming along the gallery walls. […] I was thrilled to witness the pictures migrate within the space of the Asian Art Museum, as well. Minutes after I made it, I spotted “my” patchwork turtle floating by in a different section of the show inside the new 8,500-square-foot Akiko Yamazaki and Jerry Yang Pavilion. The pavilion is part of a $103 million, multi-year expansion and renovation project that also includes a 7,500-square-foot roof terrace slated for completion in the fall. The expansion project is headed by Thai-American designer-architect Kulapat Yantrasast, of the Los Angeles and New York firm WHY, who calls his work Architectural Acupuncture” -Leslie Katz


Follow the fish here .





The San Francisco Chronicle puts Continuity into context, reflecting on the global trend for immersive digital art experiences and why teamLab’s work is in a category of its own:

“As I approached the projections on the walls and floor, the images reacted, sensitive to my movements. Flowers dropped petals; petals became beams of light. Butterflies flocked in the “Flutter of Butterflies Beyond Borders, Ephemeral Life” section; then a bird took off and exploded into stars across the gallery. […] The 14 artworks that fill the galleries (projected from the ceilings and programmed with algorithms that react to movement with different animation scenarios) have virtually limitless configurations and possibilities. Immersive, digitally animated and projected art experiences are big in pop culture right now, likely a natural reaction to breaking out of the small screens of quarantine. Immersive Van Gogh and similar projects celebrating other artists like Monet have been hits across the country. What’s different about “Continuity” is the way the interactivity takes you from passive viewer to full participant in the work.” -Tony Bravo


Get existential here.





Art Net reported on teamLab’s “Turbo-Charged Art Playground” in their art world roundup:

“San Francisco’s Asian Art Museum is only the second art institution in the U.S. to welcome TeamLab, the ultra-popular Japanese art collective/interactive design corporation that has drawn crowds around the world. The debut of TeamLab’s major series of installations, dubbed teamLab: Continuity, is designed to mark a big moment for the Bay Area museum, the first show in its new $103 million, 8,500-square-foot Akiko Yamazaki and Jerry Yang Pavilion.”


Browse installation images here.





Christie’s included teamLab and the new pavilion in their summer list of must-see exhibitions on the West Coast:

“The movement-sensitive artworks sprawl across 8,500 square feet in the brand-new Akiko Yamazaki and Jerry Yang Pavilion, the star of the museum’s five-year transformation and San Francisco’s largest new art exhibition space. The exhibition puts teamLab’s technical ingenuity on full display as dynamic algorithms that react to visitors make no digital animation the same.”


Scroll the full list here.





The project unexpectedly made it into global gossip columns when Kim and Kanye chose to visit the new pavilion on a family day out. As the saying goes, don’t wish for influencers, you might just get them.

“They did a whole museum day with their kids!”


Catch up on the gossip here.



Reports and gossip are all very well, but ultimately the new pavilion is best experienced for yourself—you can book tickets for Continuity here, and the pavilion is also designed to be enjoyed from the outside. If you find yourself in San Francisco’s Civic Center, head to Hyde Street to see three levels of art on show: Jas Charanjiva’s Mumbai street art mural Don’t Mess With Me is installed on the roof terrace; Chanel Miller’s triptych I was, I am, I will be is displayed via the windows of the Wilbur Gallery; and Jenifer K. Wofford’s Pattern Recognition brings color, light, and speech bubbles to the sidewalk. Inside or out, architecture or open air, we believe art is an indispensable part of public life.


Article by Matilda Bathurst


August 6th, 2021
Acupuncture Architecture,  Education,  Exhibition Design,  Museums,  Programming
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