EXHIBITION ON VIEW SEPT. 25, 2010–JAN. 16, 2011

Media only: Megan Krefting 202-633-0271; kreftingm@si.edu
Public only: 202.633.1000

September 15, 2010

Cutting-edge photography and video installations by internationally renowned artist Fiona Tan make their U.S. premiere this month in the Sackler Gallery’s presentation of “Fiona Tan: Rise and Fall.” To celebrate this first major exhibition of the artist’s work in the United States, the Freer and Sackler will offer an eclectic array of related programs.

Cutting-edge photography and video installations by internationally renowned artist Fiona Tan make their U.S. premiere this month in the Sackler Gallery’s presentation of “Fiona Tan: Rise and Fall.” To celebrate this first major exhibition of the artist’s work in the United States, the Freer and Sackler will offer an eclectic array of related programs.
“The Galleries have put together a lively series of talks, films, musical performances, and tours inspired by Fiona Tan’s beautiful, evocative works,” said Carol Huh, curator of contemporary art. “Much of Tan’s art is grounded in her personal biography, yet her concerns are universal: the relationship between culture, place, and identity; the experience of time passing and the role of memory in our lives. The programs invite us to more deeply investigate Tan’s themes and learn more about a medium that has profoundly influenced the world of contemporary art.”
The lineup kicks off with the popular afterhours event “Asia After Dark,” featuring a sneak preview of “Rise and Fall” along with fun, interactive activities exploring related themes. Such programs will continue throughout the exhibition’s duration. Detailed descriptions are listed below.

Asia After Dark: Asian Pop Rock
Thursday, Sept. 23; 6:30–10:30 p.m., Arthur M. Sackler Gallery 
Celebrate the final Asia After Dark of 2010 and the start of “Asian Art Revolution,” a weekend of events that take a fresh look at Asian art, film, and music. The revolution begins Thursday night at Asian Pop Rock, featuring grooves by DJs Yellow Fever along with a chance to meet special guests Zac Holtzman and Senon Williams from the Cambodian pop-rock band Dengue Fever. Guests will get a sneak peek at cutting-edge video and photography in “Fiona Tan: Rise and Fallbefore its public opening, enhanced by gallery talks with curator Carol Huh, an Artful Avatars activity exploring the exhibition’s themes, and creative video fun hosted by The Pink Line Project. The evening is also an exclusive opportunity to purchase a limited-edition Peacock Room T-shirt by fashion designer Anna Sui.

Tickets for “Asia After Dark” include one free drink and can be purchased at the door for $20 (limited number; cash only) or at asia.si.edu/asiaafterdark for $18. Guests must be at least 21 with a valid photo ID to attend. Visit asia.si.edu/asiaaafterdark for more information.

Fiona Tan and Venice
Thursday, Sept. 30; 7 p.m., Freer, Meyer Auditorium
Saskia Bos, dean of the Cooper Union School of Art and a key figure in European contemporary art, discusses Fiona Tan’s work and her own experiences as curator of the Dutch Pavilion—a presentation of three projects by Tan—at the 2009 Venice Biennale.

A Case of Jet Lag: Asian Visualizations Across Time Zones
Saturday, Dec. 11; 2 p.m., Freer, Meyer Auditorium
Konrad Ng, professor of creative media at the University of Hawaii at Manoa and acting director of the Smithsonian’s Asian Pacific American Program, discusses Fiona Tan’s work in relation to transnational and diasporic Asian filmmakers who explore themes of identity, time, and memory. Ng examines what their work reveals about contemporary Asian visual culture in an age of globalization.

Archival Dreams: Early Ethnographic Cinema and its Spheres of Influence
Thursday, Dec. 16; 7 p.m., Freer, Meyer Auditorium
Film historian Alison Griffiths explores fascinating encounters between anthropology, motion pictures, and popular visual culture from 1894–1920, drawing examples from her award-winning book “Wondrous Difference: Cinema, Anthropology,”and Turn-of-the-Century Visual Culture(2002).” Learn to appreciate ethnographic film’s diverse roots, compelling beauty, and complicated status in the contemporary film archive. Griffiths is a professor in the Department of Communication Studies at Baruch College of the City University of New York (CUNY) and a member of the doctoral faculty in theater at the CUNY Graduate Center.

Remember, Recollect, and Revive: Time and Fiona Tan
Saturday, Oct. 2; 2 p.m., Sackler sublevel 1
Curator Carol Huh reveals how Fiona Tan’s videos and photographs explore the power of images to construct memories and provide a compelling dimension to understanding contemporary Asian art and culture.

Memory, Ethnicity, Instinct, and Identity
Saturday, Nov. 20; 2 p.m., Sackler sublevel 1
Composer/violinist Jason Kao Hwang reinterprets Fiona Tan’s work as music, through perceptions of visual, sonic, historical, and spiritual vibrations. He also compares his personal history with Tan’s to investigate the role of ethnicity in identity.

Four films have been selected by artist Fiona Tan to illustrate connections between her work and world cinema. Carol Huh, curator of the Sackler’s presentation of “Rise and Fall,” introduces each film and discusses its influence on the artist.

Sans Soleil
Sunday, Nov. 7; 2 p.m., Freer, Meyer Auditorium
This cinematic meditation on time, memory, and place spans the globe, blending fact, fiction, witty juxtapositions, and startling philosophical insights into a compelling collage. Includes images that may disturb some viewers; intended for mature audiences.
Dir.: Chris Marker, France/1983/100 min./English

The Island (a.k.a. The Naked Island)
Friday, Nov. 12; 7 p.m., Freer, Meyer Auditorium
Without any dialogue, this feature follows a family of subsistence farmers on a remote island, turning their daily chores into a hypnotic visual rhythm and revealing the beauty in perseverance.
Dir.: Kaneto Shindo, Japan/1960/ 94 min./&, no dialogue

Sunday, Nov. 14; 2 p.m., Freer, Meyer Auditorium
This Samurai-era murder mystery broke ground by using four characters’ contradictory perspectives to tell its story. Today, it’s considered an enduring classic.
Dir.: Akira Kurosawa/1950/ 88 min./&/ Japanese with English subtitles

Sunday, Nov. 21; 2 p.m., Freer, Meyer Auditorium
In this hauntingly beautiful sci-fi epic, a psychologist is sent to investigate a planet’s mysterious emanations, which seem to be driving the crew of an orbiting space station insane.
Dir.: Andrei Tarkovsky/1972/165 min./Russian with English subtitles

Film Admission Policy
Seating is available in the Meyer Auditorium on first-come, first served basis. Doors open approximately 30 minutes before each show. Schedule is subject to change.

Burning Bridge: Jason Kao Hwang 
Friday, Nov. 19; 7:30 p.m., Freer, Meyer Auditorium
Pre-concert tour, “Chinamania,” 6:45 p.m.
Award-winning violinist, composer, and jazz artist Hwang returns to the Freer with his latest project, “Burning Bridge.” His Edge quartet is joined by guest artists on erhu (Chinese fiddle), pipa (Chinese lute), trombone, and tuba.

Free tickets required. Up to four tickets per person can be reserved through Ticketmaster at ticketmaster.com. Tickets are also distributed at the Meyer Auditorium beginning one hour before showtime on a first-come, first-served basis, limit two per person.

Tours of “Fiona Tan: Rise and Fall” will begin Oct. 9. Spotlights will also be offered, allowing visitors to drop in during hour-long blocks to have an informal conversation with a docent about the exhibition. Both tours and spotlights are free. Visit asia.si.edu or the Sackler information desk for more information.

Perspectives on Portraiture 
A special tour series at the Sackler Gallery and the National Portrait Gallery explores the dynamic relationships between portraits, artists, subjects, and viewers. The featured exhibitions are “Fiona Tan: Rise and Fall”at the Sackler and “Americans Now” at the Portrait Gallery. Visit asia.si.edu and npg.si.edu for more information.

“Fiona Tan: Rise and Fall” is organized by the Vancouver Art Gallery. The Arthur M. Sackler Gallery will be the only U.S. venue for the exhibition, which will also travel to the Galerie de L’UQAM in Montréal.

“Fiona Tan: Rise and Fall” is supported by the Mondriaan Foundation in Amsterdam, with additional support from the Netherland-America Foundation.

For more information about the Freer and Sackler Galleries and their exhibitions, programs, and other events, the public may visit asia.si.edu. The Arthur M. Sackler Gallery, located at 1050 Independence Avenue S.W., and the adjacent Freer Gallery of Art, located at 12th Street and Independence Avenue S.W., are on the National Mall in Washington, D.C. Hours are 10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. daily, except Dec 25, and admission is free. The galleries are located near the Smithsonian Metrorail station on the Blue and Orange lines. For general Smithsonian information, the public may call (202) 633-1000 or TTY (202) 633-5285.