By Michael Anthony | 09/16/16  This article by Michael Anthony was originally published in MINNPOST and is being reprinted with their permission


Photo by Cory Weaver  San Francisco Opera's production of "Dream of the Red Chamber."

Photo by Cory Weaver - San Francisco Opera's production of "Dream of the Red Chamber." 

“Who would have thought that this little group from Minnesota would have generated a major world premiere? It’s unbelievable.”

Kevin Smith, president of the Minnesota Orchestra, was speaking to 119 guests at a banquet last Friday, Sept. 9, in the suburban town of Millbrae just south of San Francisco. The banquet, during which an army of waiters delivered a seemingly limitless round of Chinese delicacies – deep-fried milk, sea cucumber, bird’s nest soup, Peking duck – was a prelude to the main event the next evening, the premiere of “The Dream of the Red Chamber,” an operatic treatment by the San Francisco Opera of one of the landmarks of Chinese literature with music by Bright Sheng and libretto by playwright David Henry Hwang.

The Minneapolis Institute of Art (Mia) will launch an unprecedented long-term initiative to create innovative public programs, special exhibitions and new scholarship dedicated to Asian art.  A $6 million bequest from Alfred P. Gale, the Gale Asian Art Initiative at Mia will allow for robust programming designed to foster broader understanding and appreciation of Asian art and culture.  Mia’s collection of Asian art is comprised of some 16,800 objects ranging from ancient pottery and bronzes to works by contemporary artists, with nearly every Asian culture represented.  Areas with particular depth include the arts of China, Japan and Korea. 

Each year, Mia will focus on a particular area of its collection with in-depth programming and events, and will begin with the art of China.  Its Chinese collection includes ancient Chinese bronze that is generally considered one of the nation’s top collections of its kind.  Important examples include a famous vessel in the form of an owl, superb silver inlaid works, and many other outstanding vessels from the Shang and Zhou dynasties (c. 18th–3rd century BCE).

By Elaine Dunn


The 7th edition of the Asia Contemporary Art Show will open at the Conrad Hong Kong on Oct. 8 with an invitation-only VIP Collectors Preview.  The show will present a diverse line-up of original paintings, limited editions, sculpture and photography by artists from 17 countries, 40 of whom will be present at the show.  Special focus will be on Hong Kong’s artists.  Tickets are now on sale: HK$220 (admits two if purchased online; admits one if purchased at the door).


SAN FRANCISCO — This June, visitors to the Asian Art Museum will get a snapshot of some of China’s most exciting artists from the country’s booming contemporary art scene.  The museum’s special summer exhibition “28 Chinese” offers glimpses of contemporary Chinese art through a group of 28 artists, ranging from those in the spotlight like Liu Wei, He Xiangyu, Huang Yong Ping and Xu Zhen to the internationally acclaimed Zhang Huan and Ai Weiwei.  These artists have made a significant impact on the art world and expanded definitions of contemporary art in China.  On view June 5 through Aug. 16 at the Asian Art Museum, the exhibition features 48 artworks, revealing powerful responses to China today, as well as perspectives and attitudes towards tradition. 

By Elaine Dunn

The Tweed Museum of Art (TMA) at the University of Minnesota Duluth will feature the art of internationally celebrated watercolorist Cheng-Khee Chee from May 12 through Sept. 20, 2015.  Forty watercolors painted by Chee from 1974 - 2014, including “Duluth Depot” of 1974, the first painting Chee exhibited with the American Watercolor Society, as well as the monumental “100 Koi” completed in late 2014, will be on display.

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